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Orioles fall season-high 5 games back of Boston

Orioles fall season-high 5 games back of Boston

BALTIMORE—Five games out with 11 to play. That’s the Orioles’ story. 

After playing gallantly this season, the Orioles have fallen flat the last two nights against the Boston Red Sox and now face a gigantic deficit in the American League East. 

The Orioles are five games behind the Boston after their 5-2 loss on Tuesday night before 20,387 at Oriole Park. 

With 11 games left and two against the Red Sox, the Orioles (82-69) will need a miraculous finish to overtake Boston (87-74). The five-game deficit is the largest of the season. 

The Orioles began the evening tied with Toronto for the first wild card, but they’ll have to stave off Detroit, Houston and Seattle to make sure they play in the Oct. 4 single-elimination game. 

“It’s just math. We know how many opportunities there are and there’s still an opportunity for us. They are a good team, like all the teams are at this level, but especially a team having as good of a year as they are.  It’s one thing to want to do it, as much as our guys want to, but you get a couple pitching performances against us like we’ve had the last two nights it’s a challenge,” manager Buck Showalter said. 

Eduardo Rodriguez (3-7) became the second Boston starter in as many nights to retire the first 11 Orioles hitters, and he didn’t allow a hit until Trey Mancini hit a home run in his second major league at-bat in the fifth. 

“It was a really special moment, something that I’ve definitely been waiting for my whole life. It was especially cool for my family. I didn’t say this before the game, but my grandfather was a 20-year season ticket holder here for the Orioles and today would’ve been his 79th birthday. He passed away four years ago, so I just found that out the other day that today would’ve been his birthday. That’s a big reason why it was so special and part of the reason why my mom so pumped out there to,” Mancini said. 

Mancini became the third Oriole to hit a home run in his first major league game. Larry Haney (1966) and Jonathan Schoop (2013) are the others. 

“It was cool that it broke up a no-hitter. I’m glad it could spark the offense a little bit there but the most important thing about tonight is that we lost the game and we’ve got to comeback these next two days and find a way to split this series because it’s a big one,” Mancini said. 

Kevin Gausman (8-11) allowed five runs on 10 hits, equaling a career high, in 6 1/3 innings. 

The destructive Mookie Betts didn’t homer, but had three singles and scored two runs. Betts scored the first run in the third when Hanley Ramirez hit into a force play. Betts is 16-for-31 (.516) in Baltimore this season with eight home runs. 

Jackie Bradley’s 26th home run put Boston ahead 2-0 in the fourth, and David Ortiz slammed his 36th homer in the seventh, a three-run shot that put the Red Sox lead at 5-1.

Manager Buck Showalter didn’t even wait until Ortiz crossed home plate before removing Gausman, who broke a five-game winning streak. 

“I was trying to go down and away. He’s a tough hitter, so I was trying to switch things up, go down and away. Was kind of going at him with fastballs in and fastballs up. The second at bat, I was trying to throw him a lot of splitters. I was trying to throw that pitch off the plate, and hoping he’d kind of go after it, but obviously he’s the hitter he is because he can do that with pitches like that,” Gausman said. 

The Orioles scored in the bottom of the seventh on a double by Schoop who came home on a two-out infield single by J.J. Hardy. 

Hyun Soo Kim followed Hardy’s hit with a single, but Adam Jones flied to deep center, ending the last Orioles threat. 

Rodriguez allowed two runs on four hits in 6 1/3 innings. 

Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 28th save. 

Fortunately for the Orioles, there are two more games left in the series, and if they win both, they’ll be three games behind Boston, which is where they were when the series began.

“We have to win and everything else will take care of itself. When it comes down to it, yeah it's nice when we get a win and some of the teams that we're chasing or are chasing us lose, or visa versa. But first and foremost we have to focus on winning, and the rest will take care of itself,” Matt Wieters said. 

NOTE: Clay Buchholz (7-10, 5.20) faces Ubaldo Jimenez (7-11, 5.94) on Wednesday night. 


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Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

USA Today Sports

Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A person familiar with the negotiations says pitcher Chris Tillman and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract.

The deal includes performance bonuses, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the deal had not yet been announced.

Tillman was 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 19 starts and five relief appearances last year. He would be the second starter added by the Orioles in the past week after right-hander Andrew Cashner.

Tillman likely would join right-handers Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and Cashner in the rotation.

The 29-year-old right-hander lives in Sarasota and had been working out at the Orioles' facility before spring training. Manager Buck Showalter watched Tillman throw and was impressed.

Tillman began last season on the disabled list with right shoulder stiffness.

"Better than he did last year at this time. I think he's got the chance to pitch well for somebody this year," Showalter said. "A lot of the challenges he had last year -- this time last year -- aren't there. Somebody's going to reap the benefits."

Tillman's is 73-55 with a 4.43 ERA in nine major league seasons, all with the Orioles. He won 16 games in both 2013 and 2016.

"He's a guy when he's healthy you can bank on him giving you 200 innings and keeping his ERA between a 3 and a 4," Gausman said. "That in the AL East is always going to be very valuable."


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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

USA Today Sports Images

Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

Live baseball is close to gracing our television screens again. The Orioles haven't had the most active offseason, to put it mildly. Fans are still wondering who will make up more than half the spots in this year's rotation, and Manny Machado's upcoming free agency is looming over every decision the organization makes.

Still, it's exciting to be able to follow the team again. Not every game is televised, so get ready to constantly refresh your favorite beat writer's Twitter account for all your updates.

Even without getting to watch the games, it'll be comforting to once again check box scores in the morning to see if Jonathan Schoop is building on his breakout season, or if top-prospect Austin Hays is all he's cracked up to be (spoiler: he is).

This year's spring training will be especially interesting, considering how many big-name players will be signing in the next few weeks. The O's haven't yet made a big splash this offseason, but with the sheer volume of capable players still on the market, you have to wonder if they'll try to sign some impact players at bargain values.

Typically, the excitement of adding a new piece to the lineup or rotation has to be reignited after a long winter off, but this season, those additions will be taking place while camp is already underway.

It's going to be a hectic few weeks as teams prepare for thier seasons, so bookmark this page to check on on the Orioles spring training schedule over the next few weeks as the team finally takes the field in 2018.

Orioles 2018 Spring Training Schedule

Friday, Feb. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Feb. 25 - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Feb. 26 - Tigers at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 27 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 28 - Cardinals at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 1 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 2 - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 3 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Tuesday, Mar. 6 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 7 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 8 - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 9 - Orioles at Blue Jays, 1:07 pm
Saturday, Mar. 10 (SS) - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Phillies at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Mar. 12 - Orioles at Pirates, 1:05 pm 
Tuesday, Mar. 13 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 14 - Yankees at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 15 - Orioles at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 16 - Orioles at Mets, 1:10 pm 
Saturday, Mar. 17 (SS) - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 18 - Mets at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Monday, Mar. 19 - Orioles at Tigers, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 20 - Rays at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Wednesday, Mar. 21 - Orioles at Yankees, 6:35 pm 
Thursday, Mar. 22 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Friday, Mar. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 24 - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 25 - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Mar. 27 (in Norfolk, VA) - Orioles at Tides (AAA), 3:05 pm