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Passed ball leads Orioles to extra-innings victory


Passed ball leads Orioles to extra-innings victory

BALTIMORE – For 11 straight games, the Orioles had hit homers, 25 in all. For a while, it looked like this team, which won on Opening Day without a home run, was becoming overly dependent on the long ball.

On Wednesday night, not only did the Orioles win a game without a home run, but they did it on a way they never had before—on a passed ball.

Caleb Joseph scored on a passed ball by Toronto Blue Jays catcher Josh Thole, and according to STATS, it’s the first time in Orioles history they’ve ended a game in that fashion.

With two outs and the bases loaded in the 10th inning, Adam Jones held up on a 2-1 slider by Rule 5 draft choice Joe Biagini, and when Thole muffed the ball, Joseph came home, and the Oriole had a 4-3 win before 15,404 at Oriole Park.

With two outs, Joseph doubled to center off Biagini (0-1). Joey Rickard, the Orioles’ Rule 5 pick, who had three hits, had an infield single, his third hit of the game. After Rickard took second, Manny Machado walked to load the bases. Then it was Jones’ turn.

“Most guys maybe swing at that pitch because it looks like a fastball coming in. He takes it, and sure enough, we get a clank there,” Joseph said.

The Orioles (9-4) can win with the home run, but it’s important that they win with small ball, too.

“We had a double. Was that ‘little’ or whatever you all call it? Little, small, wee. I consider that pretty big,” manager Buck Showalter said.

“I don’t make light of it. I understand what you all are talking about. But scoring runs is scoring runs. It’s always important to have different ways to do it.”

Joseph, who has yet to hit a home run or even drive in a run, thought the offensive diversification important, too.

“We can still hit home runs. We like the attitude this team is taking. It’s a very unselfish team. I don’t think people now feel like they have to do it all,” Joseph said.

“I don’t think [Chris Davis] or I don’t think [Matt Wieters] or Jonesy feel like they have to do it. They trust that the lineup 1 through 9 can pick each other up versus having to go up there and create a mound of sawdust because they’re trying to win the game by themselves.”

Mychal Givens (1-0) pitched a scoreless 10th for the win.

Givens was the sixth pitcher. As one of the few Orioles pitcher with options, it’s possible that he might have to be sent to the minors if the team needs a fresh arm on Thursday though Showalter downplayed that possibility.

The Orioles (9-4) had lost four of five, and raced to a quick 3-0 lead in the first off R.A. Dickey.

Rickard singled. He’s hit in 12 of 13 games and scored on Machado’s double. Machado has hit in all 13 games, one shy of his career best. Jones walked, and Davis singled to score Machado. Jones came home when Mark Trumbo hit into a double play.

The Orioles had only two more hits and a walk off Dickey in the next five innings.

Ubaldo Jimenez invoked memories of his 2014 iteration by allowing the leadoff runner in each of his five innings to reach. He walked four, and gave up two runs, leaving with a one-run lead after five.

Edwin Encarnacion’s RBI single in the third and Josh Donaldson’s leadoff home run in the fifth accounted for the runs. Donaldson, has six home runs in 16 games.

When Jimenez left, Toronto (8-8) trailed 3-2. Jimenez has often been the beneficiary of home runs. He knows teams have to win other ways, too.

“If you’re in this, of course you’re waiting for the guys to hit homers. It’s really fun. But at the same time, if you get to win a game like this, it’s fun too,” Jimenez said.

Brad Brach, who hadn’t allowed a run this season had a narrow escape in the sixth. Rickard threw out Ryan Goins trying to score on Thole’s single.

He nearly had another one escape in the seventh when Jones’ diving catch froze Michael Saunders at third. Saunders later scored on Encarnacion’s double.

“Two teams, pretty deep, both with strong lineups, pretty good teams throughout. It's going to be a dogfight every time we play them. We know that, and we're ready for it,” Rickard said.

NOTES: Kevin Gausman allowed three runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings for Norfolk at Charlotte. He walked two and struck out nine. … Marco Estrada (1-1, 2.77) faces Chris Tillman (2.77) on Thursday night.









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

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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

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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