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Can the Tigers make World Series competitive


Can the Tigers make World Series competitive

Can the Detroit Tigers come back to win the World Series? Can the Tigers even avoid a four-game sweep?

Baseball fans who don’t want the season to end are rooting for Detroit to extend it. If the Tigers want to play even a fifth game, they’ll have to hit better than in the first three games.

Giants pitchers have held Detroit to just a .165 average. In the Orioles’ five-game loss to the Yankees, they hit just .187.

The great sluggers Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder have combined for a 3-for-19 showing, reminding Orioles fans of Adam Jones’ and Matt Wieters’ Division Series struggles.

Baseball historians are beginning to compare this Series with the Orioles’ four-game sweep over the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1966.
It was the Orioles’ first World Series appearance.

Orioles’ pitchers threw three straight complete game shutouts to clinch the series and the Dodgers were held to a .142 average. The Orioles hit just .200.

The San Francisco Giants are on the verge of the National League’s third consecutive World Series win. It last happened from 1979-1982, a streak started when the Orioles lost to Pittsburgh and ended when they beat the Phillies in 1983.

The Tigers had seven winning streaks of four or more games in 2012, including one to begin the season. They’d like to end the season the same way, but it’s hardly likely.

San Francisco had just two losing streaks of four or more this season.

If you enjoy excellent pitching, it’s been a great World Series. Some of us wouldn’t mind a longer one.

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Orioles' Manny Machado leading all American League shortstops in All-Star Game votes


Orioles' Manny Machado leading all American League shortstops in All-Star Game votes

The Orioles' Manny Machado is the early leader among American League shortstops in the first results of All-Star voting released by Major League Baseball Tuesday.

Machado holds a lead of 110,131 votes over the Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor. 

No other Orioles' player is on the list, and Adam Jones isn't listed among the top-15 of outfielders. 

The Astros' Carlos Correa was last year’s starting shortstop for the American League, but is in fourth place with 206,707 votes, trailing the Yankees' Didi Gregorius who has 208,583.

The next AL voting update will be announced June 19.

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Zach Britton rejoins Orioles after stint on disabled list

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Zach Britton rejoins Orioles after stint on disabled list

BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Orioles left-hander Zach Britton has been activated from the disabled list, six months after undergoing surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Assuming he's finally healthy enough to resume his role as one of the best closers in the big leagues, the question now is: How long will Britton be with the Orioles?

Britton's contract expires after this season, and Baltimore entered play Monday with the worst record in the major leagues (19-45).

So, as he stood in front of his locker and spoke excitedly about his return to the Orioles, Britton conceded that his stay in Baltimore may not extend beyond the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

"I want to pitch well and help the team, regardless of our standing or trade discussions," he said.

Asked if the next few weeks might serve as an audition for other teams, Britton replied, "I guess so, but I'm not going to think of it like that."

Britton made the 2016 AL All-Star team during a season in which he converted all 47 of his save opportunities and compiled a 0.54 ERA in 69 appearances.

He fought forearm and knee injuries last season and had only 15 saves. Then, during the winter, he tore his right Achilles tendon during a workout.

"When I injured myself in December, I was just looking forward to walking again and running again and then to be able to pitch back in the big leagues," Britton said. "There were a lot of hurdles that I overcame."

Surgery and an intense rehab program under Orioles trainer Brian Ebel enabled the 30-year-old to return sooner than many anticipated.

"The thought that he's a pitcher for us on June 11, that's remarkable," manager Buck Showalter said. "He's checked every box to get ready. I don't know what else you could possibly do."

Although Britton will be pitching for a team that's struggled mightily this season, that won't influence the intensity he will bring to the mound.

"I had some injuries the last few years, so I'm looking forward to turning the page on that and just getting back to pitching well," he said. "Everyone in this clubhouse wants to do well at this level, and that's my focus."

To adjust the roster for Britton's return, the Orioles placed right-hander Pedro Araujo on the 10-day disabled list with a right elbow strain and moved outfielder Colby Rasmus to the 60-day DL.