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Can O's pull another surprise?


Can O's pull another surprise?

When talking in a post-game TV interview following Wednesday's 4-1 loss in Tampa Bay, Orioles manager Buck Showalter ended it with one short phrase.
"To be continued," the skipper said.
To be continued, indeed. Just not exactly the way the Orioles or their fans wanted.
The Orioles had a shot at getting at least one playoff game at home this week. All they needed was a win in Tampa Bay. But the Rays' pitchers silenced the Baltimore bats over the last three games -- and so the Orioles head to Texas for the one-game, winner-take-all wild-card play-in game versus the slumping Rangers.
A win for the Orioles lets them host the first two games of the ALDS series with the Yankees on Sunday and Monday.
This, however, is one of those situations when the gods of baseball were a bit mean to the Birds.
The Orioles had a shot at forcing the Yankees into a tie-breaking game for the AL East title Thursday. Instead, the Yankees get a three-day break, and the Orioles need to go to Texas to play the Rangers Friday.
A win could have guaranteed that home playoff game. It was right in their hands, but the Orioles couldn't finish the job.
And also, who's going to pitch? Joe Saunders could go on four days' rest, but he's gotten torched in Texas. The Orioles might have to go with rookie Steve Johnson. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention.
Right now, if the Orioles are going to continue their season, they're going to have to wake up their slumbering bats. They struck out 25 times in the last two games and scored a total of five runs in the last three.
The good news is balls really fly in Texas. That should help the Orioles. They've lived and died by the home run this year. They'll have a better shot at making noise on offense there than in Oakland. No question about it.
They've made the post-season. They don't want to be a one-and-done team. They had their chance to get a home playoff game but couldn't do it.
Now, the Orioles want it all to be continued.
The question is how long it will go.

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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


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."