Orioles

Quick Links

Abrupt ending to Rangers after 2 World Series

201210052333848317162-p2.jpeg

Abrupt ending to Rangers after 2 World Series

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington was in shock, slugger Josh Hamilton got booed and pitcher Yu Darvish wasn't sure what to do next.

After going to two World Series in a row, then being in first place for a majors-high 178 days this season, the Rangers never expected an ending like this.

The Rangers are done without winning a game in October. That includes the three-game sweep at Oakland, part of 4-9 finish and cost them the AL West crown on the final day of the regular season. They then lost 5-1 to upstart Baltimore Orioles in the AL's first one-and-done wild-card playoff.

Closer Joe Nathan said Saturday, while cleaning out his locker, that the Rangers unfortunately picked the worst time for their worst slump of the season.

``You throughout the course of a season try to go through your funks at the right time. Unfortunately, we picked about the worst time to go into our worst funk,'' Nathan said Saturday in a quiet and mostly abandoned Rangers clubhouse. ``Most of the season, we played good baseball and stayed consistent. ... The last two weeks didn't go right, for sure.''

It was a miserable closing stretch for the 93-win Rangers and Hamilton, the former AL MVP and batting champion heading into free agency. He may have played his last game in a Texas uniform, considering the price and length of contract it likely will take to keep him.

Hamilton hit a career-high 43 homers and drove in 128 runs but was lustily booed by Rangers fans while going 0-for-4 against the Orioles.

``I enjoyed my five years playing with these guys. Most fun I've ever had playing baseball,'' Hamilton said after the game, when he also put his odds on staying at 50-50. ``The fans, it's been a good ride. Even if you send me off with boos, I still love you.''

In May against Baltimore, Hamilton became only the 16th major leaguer with a four-homer game as part of a 5-for-5 night that included a double.

With the season on the line Friday night, Hamilton struck out twice on three pitches, including the inning-ending out in the eighth with a runner at second when it was still 3-1. He swung at the first pitch his other two at-bats. Though it pushed in the only Texas run, Hamilton's double-play grounder in the first came after the first two batters reached on a combined 12 pitches.

That came after Hamilton dropped a routine popup in Wednesday's regular-season finale, a two-out tiebreaking miscue that allowed the A's to score two runs and go ahead to stay. He missed five games on a September trip because of a cornea problem he said was caused by too much caffeine and energy drinks - and had one homer with 18 strikeouts in the final 10 regular-season games after returning.

``I didn't get the job done,'' the 31-year-old Hamilton said. ``Overall, I had a great year. I think everyone's expectations were up there after the first couple of months. But I came back down to reality. I played the best I could.''

Detroit's Miguel Cabrera won the AL's first Triple Crown since 1967, but Hamilton was on an early pace for that. He led the majors with a .406 average, 14 homers and 36 homers through 27 games, but couldn't keep pace after hitting .202 with eight homers over 47 games in a miserable June and July.

This will be the longest offseason in three years for the Rangers. No other team has ever led a division so long in a season without winning it.

Texas Rangers made its first World Series in 2010, in the franchise's 50th season, and lost in five games against San Francisco.

The Rangers made it back last season and twice were within one strike of their first title in Game 6 at St. Louis. They lost in 11 innings and were beaten in Game 7 after blowing a quick 2-0 lead.

Dismissing any notion of any hangover from that devastating finish, the Rangers started 12-2 this year. They led the AL West only four games into the season, and stayed alone in first place until Oakland caught them in the 161st game and took over the next day.

``I don't know the right way to describe it. I don't know,'' outfielder David Murphy said. ``At some point we just ran out of gas. We stopped playing like the Rangers. I don't know why that is. ... We definitely didn't play up to our capabilities.''

Two offseasons ago, the Rangers added third baseman Adrian Beltre, an AL MVP candidate with his stellar play in the field (career-low eight errors) and at the plate (.321, 36 homers, 102 RBIs). The big offseason addition a year ago was Darvish, Japan's top pitcher; the Rangers committed more than $107 million to acquire him.

Darvish was 16-9 in 29 regular-season starts, when he struck out 221 batters in 191 1-3 innings and established himself as the Rangers' ace. Against the O's, the only AL team he didn't face in the regular season, the 26-year-old right-hander struck out seven and allowed five singles in 6 2-3 innings.

``My mind is more of a blank now. I really can't tell you what kind of season it was,'' Darvish said. ``But the way I feel, it's almost like they tell you to run like a 30-mile marathon. At the last stretch, second wind, third wind and you're about to finish, they tell you to stop. Like I had to stop, and it was just a little bit more to go, and I could have finished it.''

Now, Darvish and the Rangers have to wait until next spring for a fresh start.

Quick Links

Orioles' Adam Jones purchases Cal Ripken Jr.'s former estate, per report

download.png
AP Images

Orioles' Adam Jones purchases Cal Ripken Jr.'s former estate, per report

Cal Ripken Jr.'s 25-acre, 8,545 square-foot home went up for auction this past Saturday and the highest bidder was......Adam Jones? 

The center fielder is purchasing the Orioles legend's former Reisterstown, Md. estate, according to The Athletic

Placed on the market in 2016 for $12.5 million, Ripken reduced the price to $9.7 million last year but was still unable to find a willing buyer. The estate was eventually put up for auction and sold to Jones for an undisclosed amount. 

The six bedroom home has 10 full bathrooms, a movie theater, a gym that overlooks an indoor basketball court, a pool and a baseball field with batting cages, a locker room and soaking tubs. One of the tubs was taken from Memorial Stadium and used by Johnny Unitas and Art Donovan, but Ripken is keeping that one. 

What makes this purchase even more interesting is that Jones will become a free agent at the end of the 2018 season, but that does not mean he plans on re-signing with the team. The 32-year old, who is in his last year of a six-year $85.5 million contract, is known to dip his toes in real estate investments and his wife, Audie Fugett, is a Baltimore native. 

The deal is scheduled to close on June 11. 

MORE ORIOLES NEWS: 

Quick Links

David Price's complete game shuts down Baltimore's offense

david_price_usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

David Price's complete game shuts down Baltimore's offense

BOSTON -- One strike away from a four-hit shutout, David Price happily settled for a complete game and his strongest outing of the season.

Price struck out eight and held Baltimore to five hits, including two in the ninth when the Orioles broke up the shutout before the Boston left-hander finished them off in a 6-2 victory for the Red Sox on Thursday night.

"He was amazing," Boston manager Alex Cora said. "He was outstanding. You saw it. Bad swings, up, down, in and out, changeup, cutter, sinkers ... that was fun to watch."

J.D. Martinez hit a two-run homer in the first, and Xander Bogaerts homered with two on during a four-run fifth, giving Price more than enough cushion against the struggling Orioles.

Price (4-4) struck out eight and didn't walk a batter while winning consecutive starts for the first time this season. He cruised through the first eight innings before Andrew Susac led off the ninth with a double, the first Baltimore player to reach second base in the game.

Manny Machado spoiled the shutout bid with a two-out homer, but Price finished off Baltimore on Jonathan Schoop's pop-up to center as the Red Sox improved to 4-0 against Baltimore by taking the makeup game that was rained out on Patriots' Day.

"They're a free-swinging team," said Price, who threw just 95 pitches. "You can go out there and do that or you can go out there for three innings and give up a bunch of runs."

Danny Valencia had a pair of hits for the punchless Orioles, who have lost three of four and have the second-fewest wins in the American League. Valencia nearly had a double in the fifth, but got thrown out at second by left fielder Andrew Benintendi, one of several strong defensive plays that helped Price go the distance.

Hanley Ramirez also caught a foul pop on the top step of Boston's dugout in the second and Mookie Betts ran down a fly ball that was headed to the wall in right.

"The defensive plays that I had today, it makes everything a lot easier," Price said.

Kevin Gausman (3-3) went 4 2/3 innings for Baltimore, allowing six runs and eight hits while striking out six and walking two. He was pulled after Bogaerts drove a high fastball out to left with two men on during Boston's four-run fifth.

"We just got into some sticky situations where we just had to dig ourselves out of a hole and we just couldn't," Susac said.

The Orioles also weren't happy with the strike zone, which Susac said forced Gausman to throw some pitches the Red Sox pounced upon.

Manager Buck Showalter agreed with his catcher.

"I'm very biased, but I didn't think he got a fair shake tonight," Showalter said. "There were a lot of pitches that could have and should have gone his way."

MORE ORIOLES' NEWS: