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Can Orioles get back on track in KC?

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Can Orioles get back on track in KC?

Tonight's Game:

Baltimore Orioles (62-61) vs. Kansas City Royals (75-48), Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Mo., 8:10 p.m.

Starting pitchers:

Ubaldo Jimenez (9-7, 3.97) vs. Kris Medlen (1-0, 2.51)

Keys to the Game:

Can the Orioles shake out of their lethargy against the team that swept them four straight in the ALCS last October?

Who will replace J.J. Hardy? Hardy said that he would go on the disabled list with a sore left groin.

News and Notes:

In his last two starts, Jimenez has worked just five innings to no-decision. The Orioles won both with game-ending home runs.

Jimenez is 4-4 with a 4.21 ERA in 11 starts against Kansas City.

Current Royals are batting .209 against Jimenez. Eric Hosmer is 9-for-26 (.346) with two home runs and six RBIs.

Medlen is making his first start against the Orioles. In two relief appearances, he's allowed four runs in six innings.

Buck Showalter said the Orioles would probably add a pitcher for Monday night's game.

MORE ORIOLES: Orioles lose a tough game on two 12th inning errors

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Orioles Roundup: Trey Mancini tries to remain persistent while Orioles beat themselves

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Orioles Roundup: Trey Mancini tries to remain persistent while Orioles beat themselves

On Friday evening Baltimore fell short 9-1 to Boston. 

As the Orioles continued to struggle, Trey Mancini was the only thing that stayed constant. 

The Orioles have extended the record and are now one of the only two teams to have allowed at least 250 home runs in a season. 

PLAYER UPDATES:

SP Aaron Brooks had three poor innings. Starting with his fastball being tagged by Mookie Betts, followed by the changeup hit by Rafael Devers for an RBI double and the slider was smoked out at about 102 mph by J.D. Martinez.   

In the top of the 3rd, OF Mancini extended his hitting streak to 10 games when he doubled on a line drive to right fielder Mookie Betts and Johnathan Viller scored tying the score 1-1. He went 1-for-3 with an RBI. 

Following in the third, 1B Chris Davis had a fly ball that barely went anywhere. 

RHP Thomas Eshelman closed the final two innings against Boston. He allowed three runs on three hits and a walk, finishing with a 6.50 ERA and 1.61 WHIP in 36 innings this season. The Orioles optioned him to Triple-A-Norfolk for a fresh arm. 

OF Dwight Smith Jr. has been out all month with a strained left calf. Before the start of the game on Friday Smith did some running in the outfield and is expected to be ready for a rehab assignment soon. 

OF DJ Stewart suffered a concussion earlier this month and has been sidelined for a week and a half. 

INJURIES: 

OF Dwight Smith Jr.:  Calf, Expected tp return in late August 

RP Josh Rogers: Elbow, Out indefinitely

SP Alex Cobb: Back, Out until 2020

DH Mark Trumbo: Knee, Expected to return in September 

COMING UP:

Saturday, 8/17: Orioles @ Red Sox, 7:10 p.m., Fenway Park 

Sunday, 8/18: Orioles @ Red Sox,1:05 p.m., Fenway Park 

Monday, 8/19: Royals @ Orioles, 7:05 p.m., Kauffman Stadium  

Source Credit: Rotoworld 

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Should teams like the Orioles be punished for tanking?

Should teams like the Orioles be punished for tanking?

Sure, as fans it stinks to watch our favorite teams tank.

But it doesn't mean that we need a crackdown on tanking teams. Sometimes, tanking happens and it's not necessarily on purpose. (Okay sometimes it is, but not always!)

Sports Illustrated published an article Tuesday that proposed the idea of instituting a relegation system to punish baseball teams that tank too bad. (Think Premier League, but for MLB). 

The argument hinges on a number of teams who are currently playing some not-too-pretty baseball, with a specific focus on the Orioles. 

Yeah, in a three-game series earlier this week Baltimore gave up 32 runs and 16 homers to the New York Yankees.

And yeah, there were some pretty rough moments over those three games (as there have been over the course of the season. 

But isn't calling the Orioles "a group of kindergarteners masquerading as a baseball team" as the SI writer did going a little far?

Yes, watching teams like the Orioles go 39-81 (with a -242 run differential) isn't fun for fans (except of the opposing team. The same goes for watching the Tigers go 35-81 and the Blue Jays and Royals possibly put up their own 100-loss seasons. 

The thing is, when teams tank it makes those rare, illustrious wins that much more fun to watch. (Like when Rio Ruiz hit that walk-off bomb against the Astros on Sunday). And gives fans hope for the future (we're looking at you Adley Rutschman).

Teams already take a hit from tanking. Just look at how much attendance at Rays and Orioles games has declined.

And, as mentioned in the article, creating a system for relegation in MLB isn't really feasible. (The plan SI proposes would involve the three worst teams from the AL and NL each being sent down to Triple-A). 

Sure, that would make it a lot more interesting to see MLB-level (and salary) players face those players who make their careers in the minors. 

But we already see enough of that as is. Just look at that Orioles-Yankees series from earlier this week. 

Even announcer Gary Thorne was fed up with the level of play Baltimore produced. And that level of play in turn provided with one of the funniest moments of announcing this week--that Thorne call of Gleyber Torres' 13th home run against the Orioles.  

So, sure, it's not fun when pro teams tank. But it's also part of the game. And honestly, it can be pretty funny. 

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