ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Wei-Yin Chen allowed five hits in seven innings, Chris Davis had two RBIs, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-0 on Saturday. Chen (10-6) struck out four and walked one, improving to 4-1 in his past six road starts. After Pedro Strop gave up a single in the eighth, closer Jim Johnson pitched the ninth in a non-save situation to complete a six-hitter. The Orioles took a 4-0 lead on Davis' two-run single in the fourth off Jeremy Hellickson (6-7). Davis has driven in 12 runs during a nine-game hitting streak. Hellickson lasted just four innings, allowing four runs and eight hits. The right-hander struck out four and walked four. Matt Wieters put the Orioles ahead 1-0 on a first-inning RBI single. Baltimore had gone 0 for 22 with runners in scoring position in its previous two games. Nick Markakis made it 2-0 with a run-scoring single in the second. He drove in Nate McLouth, who had a leadoff double. McLouth had his contract purchased from Triple-A Norfolk before the game. Tampa Bay had two on with one out in the fourth, but Chen struck out Carlos Pena and got a foul pop fly from Sean Rodriguez. Wieters walked and swiped second for his second stolen base of the game and third this season with two outs in the third. He was thrown out by right fielder Sam Fuld attempting to score on Wilson Betemit's single. Notes: Orioles manager Buck Showalter said season-ending surgery performed on 2B Brian Roberts to repair a torn labrum in his right hip went well and that the infielder could ready for spring training next year. ... Tampa Bay 3B Evan Longoria, out since May 1 because of a partially torn left hamstring, will be evaluated Monday. Rays manager Joe Maddon has not ruled out Longoria rejoining the team during a three-game series against Toronto that starts on Tuesday. ... Baltimore RHP Jason Hammel (right knee) could resume throwing off a mound in about 10 days. ... To make room on the roster for McLouth, the Orioles designated OF Endy Chavez for assignment.
Let’s not do this, guys.
It’s fun to have players to cheer against. Baseball certainly needs more villains in the sport, and Manny Machado looks like he could fill that role for the league.
But not in Baltimore. Not on his return.
It’s popular to boo players who have gone on to greener pastures, especially when they’re still talented enough to be coveted by their original teams. But Manny Machado is no longer an Oriole because of the Orioles themselves, not Machado.
This isn’t the Bryce Harper return, after he turned down a legitimate offer from the Nationals to sign with their most hated rivals. Machado was traded away, and then wasn’t offered a contract last offseason. Furthermore, the Orioles, unlike the Nationals, have no designs on competing in the next few years. It never would have made sense for Machado to waste his prime years on a team starting over from scratch.
He knew it, the Orioles knew it, and thankfully, fans in Baltimore knew it too.
I’ve never been one to tell fans how to spend their time at the ballpark, or whether or not they are “real” fans based on whether they choose to jeer or cheer. It’s their money and their fandom; I have no place to judge it.
That said, please don’t boo Machado.
To be clear, it’s not immunity from all boos in perpetuity. If Machado ever comes out and throws his bat at Trey Mancini or charges the mound at Dylan Bundy, then by all means, deafen him.
But that doesn’t sound like the Manny Machado Orioles fans came to know and love over the years, does it?
Machado gave Baltimore everything he had for more than half a decade, and the city loved him for it. He provided violent home run swings and graceful plays in the field. He filled the memories of Orioles fans with literal countless unbelievable moments.
He was the most purely talented player the Orioles have ever employed, and he did something no player was able to do from 1998-2011: Get the O’s to the postseason again.
If for no other reason, the magical 2012 run cements Machado as a player with too strong a legacy in Charm City to get booed in his first game in the city as a visitor.
Thankfully, much of this probably doesn’t need to be said. Baltimore fans are a smart bunch, and they understand the situation Machado was in. Besides, who among us would turn down $300 million to live in San Diego?
When Machado steps to the plate Tuesday night, give Machado the sendoff he never got after his trade. Remind him how much joy he brought to the city for such a long time. Remind yourselves that, in rare situations, it’s okay to give an ovation to an opposing player. Remind everyone of what makes Baltimore fans special, by reminding Manny Machado of what made him so special to us.
Do this however you choose. Make a sign. Ask for an autograph. Wear his jersey. Cheer.
Just don’t boo.
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BALTIMORE (AP) -- The Baltimore Orioles have signed the top overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft, catcher Adley Rutschman of Oregon State.
The 21-year-old Rutschman, a switch-hitter, batted .411 with 17 home runs as a junior for the Beavers this year. He won the Golden Spikes Award, which recognizes the top amateur baseball player in the United States.
His reported record-breaking $8.1 million signing bonus would top a previous high set by Gerrit Cole ($8 million) when the Pittsburgh Pirates selected him No. 1 in 2011.
Baltimore had not had the first draft pick since 1989, when it selected pitcher Ben McDonald out of LSU.
The Orioles announced the signing on Monday. The deadline to sign draft picks is July 12.
The team plans to introduce him to the crowd at Camden Yards on Tuesday during a game against the San Diego Padres.
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