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Chen strikes out 12 as Orioles beat Athletics 6-1

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Chen strikes out 12 as Orioles beat Athletics 6-1

When the Orioles signed Wei-Yin Chen they were hoping for a solid major league starter. Hes been more than that.On Sunday, Chen befuddled the Oakland Athletics for nearly six innings, striking out 12 as the Orioles beat Oakland 6-1 before 19,698 at Oriole Park.Chen bested Chien-Ming Wang, who once struck out 10, for most strikeouts by a Taiwanese-born pitcher. He gave up three hits and an unearned run in 5 23 innings.He struck out the side in the first inning, added two more in the second and struck out the side again in the fourth.Chens 12 strikeouts were the most by an Orioles pitcher since Erik Bedard struck out 15 on July 7, 2007. Hes also the first Orioles pitcher to strike out 10 or more in fewer than six innings.In Chens previous 20 starts, he had struck out more than five just twice, and hes the only member of the starting rotation whos been in it throughout the season.Chen (9-6) was aided by some unexpected co-stars. In his first major league game in nearly five years, Lew Ford threw out Yoenis Cespedes when he tried to stretch a single into a double in the first, Omar Quintanilla, had a single, double and homer, and Matt Wieters broke out of a 1-for-31 slump with a three-run home run in the fourth inning.The Orioles (53-49) scored four runs in the third off Travis Blackley (3-3).Quintanilla led off with a base hit, advanced to third when Blackleys pickoff throw was muffed by first baseman Chris Carter and after J.J. Hardy walked, scored on Adam Jones RBI double. Wieters, who missed two days with a sore right biceps followed with his three-run homer to make it 4-0.Wieters drove in his fourth run on an infield out in the fifthChen took a 5-0 lead into the sixth, and after a walk, an error by Quintanilla at second, an RBI single by Cespedes and another single by Brandon Inge, he accepted the thanks of the crowd.Darren ODay relieved him and pitched a scoreless inning, Troy Patton retired the only batter he faced to end the seventh, and Pedro Strop threw a scoreless eighth. Luis Ayala pitched the ninth against Oakland (55-46).Quintanilla hit his first home run since joining the Orioles on July 20 in the sixth to give Baltimore a 6-1 lead.NOTES:-Jim Thome missed his second game with neck spasms. He said he was feeling better and hoped to play on Monday or Tuesday.-Dana Eveland cleared waivers and was outrighted to Norfolk for the third time this season.-The Orioles begin a three-game series in New York on Monday. Miguel Gonzalez (2-2, 4.28) pitches against Freddy Garcia (4-4, 5.16) at Yankee Stadium.

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

The 2018 Major League All-Star Game is less than a month away. Fan votes are well underway and early frontrunners are close to locking their position in the Midsummer Classic.

Yesterday, we projected how the National League roster will play out. Today it is time to look at the American League roster projection.

For five straight seasons, the AL has had the upper hand in the MLB All-Star Game. In 2018, it does not appear that will change as the American League roster will be loaded from top to bottom.

As a reminder, here is how the process shakes out, first with the fan vote, players’ ballots, and the MLB Commissioner’s Office:

  • Fan vote: nine position players in AL (DH)/ eight in NL; plus final vote for each league
  • Player’s ballots: next 17 players in AL/ 16 players in NL; (five starting pitchers, three relievers must be chosen)
  • MLB Commissioner’s Office: five AL players (four pitchers, one position player) and seven NL players (four pitchers, three position players)

One player from each team must make the initial roster (before injury withdraws, etc.). Below is how it looks the American League roster will play out, considering the latest fan vote returns:

American League All-Star Roster Projection:

C – Wilson Ramos, Rays (Fan Vote), Gary Sánchez, Yankees (Player Ballot)
1B – José Abreu, White Sox (Fan Vote), Joey Gallo, Rangers (Player Ballot)
2B – Jose Altuve, Astros (Fan Vote), Jed Lowrie, Athletics (Player Ballot)
3B – José Ramírez, Indians (Fan Vote), Yangervis Solarte, Blue Jays (Player Ballot), Mike Moustakas, Royals (Commissioner’s Office)
SS – Manny Machado, Orioles (Fan Vote), Jean Segura, Mariners (Player Ballot),
OF – Mookie Betts, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Mike Trout, Angels (Fan Vote), Aaron Judge, Yankees (Fan Vote), Michael Brantley, Indians (Player Ballot), Eddie Rosario, Twins (Player Ballot), Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees (Player Ballot),
DH – J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Shohei Ohtani, Angels (Player Ballot)

SP – Justin Verlander, Astros (Player Ballot), Luis Severino, Yankees (Player Ballot), Corey Kluber, Indians (Player Ballot), Chris Sale, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Gerrit Cole, Astros (Player Ballot), Blake Snell, Tampa Bay (Commissioner’s Office)

RP – Edwin Díaz, Mariners (Player Ballot), Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Aroldis Chapman, Yankees (Player Ballot), Joe Jiménez, Tigers (Commissioner’s Office), Delin Betances, Yankees (Commissioner’s Office), Chris Devenski, Astros (Commissioner’s Office)

Manager: Jeff Luhnow, Astros

Based on this projection, the New York Yankees will have the most representatives with six. The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox will both have four.

Ensuring no snubs, there will be five players selected for the final fan vote to get one more All-Star into the game for a total of 32 for the American League. As you can see, no matter how the AL roster plays out, it will be a dominant team once again as they look for six straight All-Star wins.

Four of those five wins were inside a National League stadium and that will not change as the Washington Nationals will host this season.

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2018 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Manny Machado maintains big lead among A.L. shortstops

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2018 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Manny Machado maintains big lead among A.L. shortstops

Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado took an even larger lead in the latest update for 2018 MLB All-Star Game voting.

The superstar shortstop maintained his position at the top of American League shortstops in the second round of All-Star voting updates, released Tuesday morning. 

After the first ballot was released, Machado led the shortstops category by over 100,00 votes.

This week, he now holds north of a 200,000-vote lead over last year’s American League starter, Carlos Correa.

The Astros’ Correa jumped from fourth to second this past week while the Indians’ Francisco Lindor dropped to third.  

Machado now has 671,133 votes, seventh among all American League players. For the second straight week, Machado remained the only Orioles player on the list.

Through 69 games in 2018, Machado is batting .310 with 18 home runs, 15 doubles and 53 RBIs. He is posting his best OPS (.945) and on-base percentage (.377) in his career, a bright spot for the O’s, who sit dead last in MLB with a 20-50 record.

The All-Star voting will be open until July 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET and fans can vote five times every 24 hours.

The next AL voting update will be announced June 26.

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