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Orioles infielder Robert Andino suspended 50 games for positive amphetamine test

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Orioles infielder Robert Andino suspended 50 games for positive amphetamine test

Baltimore Orioles infielder Robert Andino has been suspended for 50 games under baseball's minor league drug program following a positive test for Amphetamine, a banned stimulant.

The suspension was announced Wednesday by the commissioner's office along with 72-game bans for Orioles outfielder Johnny Dixon and Arizona pitcher Bryan Valdez, who both tested positive for metabolites of Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance.

Andino, 33, is a veteran of 10 major league seasons, including 2009-12 with Baltimore at the major league level. His game-ending, ninth-inning single on the final day of the 2011 regular season gave the Orioles a 4-3 win over Boston, eliminating the Red Sox from playoff contention.

He also has played for the Marlins (2005-08, 2016) and Seattle (2013). He has a .233 career batting average with 18 homers and 97 RBIs in 481 games.

Andino agreed in February to a minor league contract with the Orioles that pays $18,000 a month. He is batting .234 with six homers and 23 RBIs this season at Norfolk of the Triple-A International League.

Dixon, 20, was preparing for his third season with the Dominican Summer League Orioles and Valdez, 22 for his second season with the Dominican Summer League D-backs.

There have been 37 suspensions this year under the minor league drug program and two under the big league program: Pittsburgh All-Star outfielder Starling Marte and Philadelphia pitcher Elniery Garcia.

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Closer Zach Britton tears Achilles tendon in offseason training

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Closer Zach Britton tears Achilles tendon in offseason training

BALTIMORE -- Orioles closer Zach Britton ruptured his right Achilles tendon in offseason training, a significant injury that could cause him to miss part of the 2018 season.

Baltimore executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette on Wednesday confirmed the torn Achilles tendon. It was not immediately clear how long Britton would be out.

In a tweet announcing the injury, the team said Britton was injured Tuesday while training in California and wished him a speedy recovery.

Britton had 15 saves and a 2.89 ERA with the Orioles this past season. In 2016, had a 0.54 ERA and was perfect in save opportunities with a major league-leading 47.

The left-hander, who turns 30 on Friday, is arbitration eligible after making $11.4 million last season. Britton can become a free agent after next season, which made him a strong trade candidate before the injury.

Britton has converted 135 of 145 save opportunities since becoming the Orioles' closer in 2014.


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Kevin Gausman changes jersey number to honor Roy Halladay

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Kevin Gausman changes jersey number to honor Roy Halladay

BALTIMORE  -- Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman will wear No. 34 next season as a tribute to Roy Halladay, who was killed in a plane crash last month.

Gausman announced the switch Thursday on his Twitter account. The right-hander wore No. 39 last year.

Gausman and Halladay are both from Colorado, and the Orioles pitcher said he followed Halladay's career closely and idolized him.

In a post next a photo of his new jersey, Gausman wrote: "Roy gave me the inspiration that I could fulfill even my biggest of dreams -- being a pitcher just like him."

Gausman concluded: "The loss of Roy is tragic and saddening, but I feel honored to have watched everything he achieved."

Halladay died on Nov. 7 when his small plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. He played 16 big league seasons, winning the Cy Young Award in each league and being named an All-Star eight times.