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Can Orioles capitalize against depleted Sox?

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Can Orioles capitalize against depleted Sox?

By Michael Huberman
CSNwashington.com

On Friday afternoon the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers sent shockwaves throughout baseball with their proposed mega-deal, with the Red Sox sending Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto and their contracts to Hollywood. In return, the Red Sox are expected to receive a package of five players and prospects along with a ton of payroll flexibility. The only hold-up is some important paperwork, but the nine-player blockbuster is expected to be completed on Saturday.

Last year's disastrous finish, highlighted by a loss in the final game of the season in Baltimore, was the beginning of the end for these Red Sox. The team is finally waving the white flag on their disappointing 2012 season, but can they play spoiler to the Orioles playoff quest?

The Orioles have six remaining games against the Red Sox, making the trip to Fenway from September 21-23, and hosting them at the end of the month from September 28-30. This year the O's have had the Red Sox number, winning 8 of 12 games. They've also scored more runs (63) against the Red Sox than they have against any other opponent this year.

In terms of the individuals moving teams, the hitters have always played well against the O's. For his career, Adrian Gonzalez has been an Orioles killer. Over 40 games, Gonzalez hit .386.448.532 against the Orioles, so the pitching staff is likely pleased to not have to deal with the slugging first baseman in the immediate future. While Crawford is out for the rest of the year after undergoing Tommy John surgery, he was also excellent against the Orioles, with a line of .304.347.471 over his career. Orioles' hitters, however, may miss Josh Beckett, as they beat him twice this year.

Facing a depleted Red Sox team for six more games is certainly a positive development for the Orioles, who after last night's win are currently tied with the Oakland A's for the second AL wild card. However, the stench of last year's collapse still hangs in Boston, and if the Orioles are still in the hunt for a playoff spot, one would have to think the Red Sox would like nothing else than to return to the favor against the O's.

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

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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. 

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

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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."

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