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Orioles have their own Home Run Derby against Tigers

Orioles have their own Home Run Derby against Tigers

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles found the ideal way to end a successful week that featured five wins and standout performances from two players brought on board for a potential playoff push.

Jonathan Schoop, Chris Davis and Trey Mancini homered in succession during a four-run first inning, and the Orioles beat the Detroit Tigers 12-3 Sunday to complete a 5-2 homestand.

Joey Rickard and Manny Machado also connected for the Orioles, who led 8-0 after four innings and cruised to their seventh win in nine games.


The homestand began with a sweep of Kansas City, capped by a brilliant outing from right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, obtained in a July 28 trade with Philadelphia. Then, newcomer Tim Beckham led the charge against the Tigers, who won the first two games of the series before Baltimore captured the final two games.

Beckham has a hit in all six of his games since being traded from Tampa Bay and is 14 for 24 with six RBIs. He also made a great grab of a grounder for the final out Sunday.

Everyone got into the act in a blowout that took shape quickly against Anibal Sanchez (3-2).

First, Schoop hit a two-run shot. Davis then homered to deep center and Mancini hit a shot into the left-field seats.

That put Sanchez in a 4-0 hole after only 17 pitches.

"It's really fun when you go back-to-back-to-back and you score some runs early," Schoop said.

Machado went 4 for 5 with five RBIs, and Rickard had a career-best four hits and scored three runs.

Backed by all that firepower, Ubaldo Jimenez (5-7) earned his first win in five starts since July 9. The right-hander pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up one run and nine hits.

"It's always fun when the guys go out there and score a lot of runs," Jimenez said. "Our lineup is capable of doing that every single night or every single day."

Nicholas Castellanos homered for the Tigers, who went 2 for 15 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12.

Then again, it would have taken a whole lot of offense to outdo the Orioles on this day.

"They took advantage of some mistakes," manager Brad Ausmus said. "Sometimes you get away with them. Today we did not."

Sanchez yielded a career-high tying eight runs and 10 hits in three-plus innings. He gave up three straight homers to Milwaukee in May 2015, but this was the first time he surrendered five in a game.

"Those guys have a lot of power," he said. "The pitches I missed, they put on pretty good contact."

After giving up a solo homer to Rickard and a two-run shot by Machado in the fourth, Sanchez was mercifully lifted.

Baltimore batted around in a four-run eighth that featured a two-run single by Machado.

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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."