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Orioles fall to Tigers, get dominated by Justin Verlander

Orioles fall to Tigers, get dominated by Justin Verlander

BALTIMORE -- Justin Upton hit a grand slam in the eighth inning to back a strong pitching performance by Justin Verlander, and the surprising Detroit Tigers beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 Friday night for their fourth straight victory.

Jim Adduci also homered for the Tigers, who have won six of seven despite unloading three stars before the non-waiver trade deadline. Detroit's four-game winning streak matches a season high.

Verlander (7-7) struck out 10 and gave up two runs and six hits over seven innings. He's 10-5 lifetime against Baltimore, including 8-1 at Camden Yards.

Tim Beckham went 4 for 4 with a home run and Manny Machado also went deep for the Orioles, who have lost two in a row to Detroit following a five-game winning streak.

Trailing 2-1 after being limited to three hits by Orioles starter Kevin Gausman, the Tigers rallied against Mychal Givens (7-1) in the eighth. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Upton, who sent the first pitch deep into the left-field seats. It was his third slam of the season and seventh of his career.

Givens had allowed only two runs in his previous 26 appearances, and Baltimore was 43-4 when leading after seven innings.

In the bottom of the seventh, Baltimore missed a chance to add to the lead when Caleb Joseph appeared to be hit by a pitch on the hand with runners at second and third with one out. But the umpires ruled that Joseph had swung and missed, a call that is not reviewable by replay. Craig Gentry followed with a fly out, setting the stage for Detroit's comeback.

The Tigers are surging despite trading slugger J.D. Martinez, catcher Alex Avila and closer Justin Wilson in late July.

Bruce Rondon, who entered with an 11.20 ERA, worked the ninth for his first save.

Adduci put Detroit up 1-0 in the first inning with his second homer in the big leagues, the first coming with Texas in 2014 before he spent the next two years playing in Korea. Since launching his unusual professional career in 2004, Adduci has played in 1,290 games -- but just 84 in the majors.

Beckham tied it by leading off the second inning with a drive to center, his second home run in two nights.

Machado put Baltimore in front with an opposite-field shot to right in the third.


Beckham is 11 for 16 since being obtained from Tampa Bay on July 31. Teammate Chris Davis went 0 for 4 with four strikeouts.


Orioles starter Chris Tillman hasn't won in 14 starts and owns an 8.10 ERA. Those kinds of numbers usually mean the pitcher is either hurting or primed for a demotion to the bullpen.

"Chris says he's healthy and I believe him," manager Buck Showalter said Friday.

So, is it time to remove Tillman from the rotation?

"I think we're leaning more one way than the other, but we're not there yet," Showalter said.


Tigers: OF Alex Presley (oblique strain) is close to resuming baseball activities. He's been on the DL since July 30.

Orioles: Bruised and sore after fouling a ball off his knee Thursday night, DH Trey Mancini was given the night off.


Tigers: Scrambling to find a replacement for Saturday's scheduled starter, injured Michael Fulmer, manager Brad Ausmus was leaning toward right-hander Drew VerHagen but wanted to see the condition of his bullpen.

Orioles: Wade Miley (5-9. 5.60 ERA) is 0-0 lifetime versus Detroit, the only team in the majors he has no record against. In two career starts against the Tigers, he's yielded nine runs in 11 innings.

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Orioles round out starting pitching rotation, finalize 4-year contract with Alex Cobb

USA Today Sports

Orioles round out starting pitching rotation, finalize 4-year contract with Alex Cobb

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Alex Cobb's comfort and familiarity with the AL East was the deciding factor in his decision to sign with the Baltimore Orioles.

"They used the AL East and the success I've had in it to their advantage," the 30-year-old right-hander said Wednesday after finalizing a $57 million, four-year contract. "They kept challenging me with it and I love the challenge of pitching in this division and they know that over the times we talked. They did a really good job of making me feel like this is where I need to be."

Cobb gets $14 million in each of the first three seasons and $15 million in 2021, and he would earn a $500,000 bonus in each year he pitches 180 innings. Baltimore will defer $6.5 million from this year's salary and $4.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He gets $2 million of the deferred money on Nov. 30, 2022, and $1.8 million annually on Nov. 30 from 2023-32. If he doesn't pitch at least 130 innings in 2020, an additional $5.25 million of the final's year salary would get deferred, payable $1.75 million annually on Nov. 30 from 2033-35.


Cobb has a full no-trade this year, then can list 10 teams from 2019-21 that he cannot be dealt to without his consent.

He had spent his entire six-season big league career with Tampa Bay and was the last big-name starting pitcher available in a slow-moving free agent market. He joined Andrew Cashner and Chris Tillman, who were signed last month, in a revamped rotation that includes holdovers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman.

Cobb was 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA in 29 starts last season. He pitched 179 1/3 innings in his first full year back after missing nearly two seasons because of Tommy John surgery.

He had turned down the Rays' $17.4 million qualifying offer in November, and Baltimore pursued him from the start of free agency.

"They didn't stop bothering me the whole offseason," Cobb said. "They were very persistent, and I think that you notice that confidence they have in you just by the way they speak to you and the questions you ask and not questioning anything that's gone on. Everyone's got flaws that they come with and potential things you could really harp on that might not be your strong suit, but they never went down that avenue. They always told me how much they like certain aspects of what I do on and off the field, and just kept repeating how well I fit in here."


Cobb is 48-35 with a 3.50 in six big league seasons. Baltimore will lose its third-highest draft pick, currently No. 51, and the Rays get an extra selection after the first round as compensation.

Jose Mesa Jr. was designated for assignment Wednesday to clear a roster spot.

Baltimore opens on March 29 at home against Minnesota, but Cobb won't be ready to pitch then. He has agreed to be optioned to a minor league affiliate to help build up innings.

"I'm going to be pushing it as quick as I can," Cobb said. "That's going to be up to them. They've invested in me for a four-year period and as much as we know how much every game matters even early in April, we're going to have to look out for the overall future of this whole thing and whole contract and whatever they determine to be the way to protect me and my feedback from the bullpens I'm going to be throwing here in the next few days will probably determine the timeline."

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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."