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Orioles seek another win vs. Yankees


Orioles seek another win vs. Yankees

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles finally ended a long losing streak and will look to build on that much-needed victory against the New York Yankees at Camden Yards on Tuesday.

The Orioles took the series opener 3-2 in a Monday matinee and snapped a seven-game skid -- their longest drought since losing nine straight in July 2011. Dylan Bundy pitched seven strong innings while Jonathan Schoop drove in a pair of runs.

Despite the loss, the Yankees have a firm grip on first place in the American League East with an opportunity to further distance themselves. After leaving Baltimore on Wednesday, the Yankees travel to Toronto for a four-game series against the last-place Blue Jays before returning home for six games with the Boston Red Sox and Orioles.

"I think this is a very important stretch obviously because we're in our division," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "But you can't look too far ahead. You just have to look at the game in front of you and prepare the best you can."

The Orioles are hoping to turn things around over the nine-game homestand that began Monday. Baltimore is 16-7 at Camden Yards -- the best home mark in the American League.

Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said some mental fatigue has played a part in the recent slide that has seen his team lose 13 of the last 17 games.

"That's true with any club," Showalter said. "That's one of the challenges you go through. It's a convenient excuse. We're always looking for whys on both sides of it when things are showing up well on the scoreboard and when they're not.

"But it's always a factor. It's always a factor, and I think everybody is the same degree of physical challenges here. Everybody's got a tale of woe with the schedule or something that they've been wronged somehow."

Yankees right-hander Luis Severino (3-2, 3.11 ERA) will start Tuesday and he has been dominant, allowing three or fewer runs in each of his past four starts. In his last outing against Kansas City, Severino threw eight shutout innings with four hits and seven strikeouts.

It's been a long road for Severino, who was bumped from the starting rotation and was 0-8 in 11 starts last season. The Yankees sent him down to the minors to work on his mechanics before he pitched effectively as a reliever.

Now, he is showing top-of-the rotation command.

"He's pitching the way we thought he was capable of pitching," Girardi said.

In six appearances against the Orioles, including four starts, Severino is 1-1 with a 4.74 ERA.

Baltimore will counter with Chris Tillman, who has been inconsistent after starting the season on the DL with right shoulder bursitis.

Over five starts, Tillman (1-1, 4.43 ERA) has pitched past the fifth inning just once and has walked nine batters and struck out 15.

Tillman struggled early in his past start against the Twins, but eventually settled down. However, he still took his first loss after allowing four runs on nine hits over five innings and 104 pitches.

"Definitely didn't feel like a setback," Tillman said. "Physically felt great, as good as I've felt in a long, long time. Just mechanically I was off, timing was off, (and my) tempo was off. Positives I'm able to take from the game is I finished with three zeros, I guess."

In 19 career starts against the Yankees, Tillman is 8-6 with a 4.63 ERA.

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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."