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Do Orioles really need a No. 1 starter to contend?


Do Orioles really need a No. 1 starter to contend?

If you’re reading this, you’re probably exhausted from staying up past one watching the wonderful Game 1.

While the rest of the World Series isn’t guaranteed to be as exciting as Tuesday night’s game was, it was a great start.

And, no we aren’t guaranteed six more games just because the first one was close.

The Royals are starting Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Yordano Ventura and Chris Young against the Mets’ terrific four young starters, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz.

Kansas City’s four starters combined for 41 wins this season. (I’m counting Cueto’s four with the Royals. He had seven with the Reds before his July trade).

Ventura and Volquez tied for the team lead with 13.

The Orioles top four starters: Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez, Ubaldo Jimenez and Chris Tillman won 43.

In 2014, the Orioles four top starters: Chen, Gonzalez, Tillman and Bud Norris had 54 wins.

I had predicted the Royals to win the World Series in five games, and I wasn’t bothered by their lack of a true No. 1 starter.

They made it to the World Series without one.

There aren’t many true No. 1 starters in baseball. The Dodgers have two in Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, but they’ve yet to make it to the World Series.

Baseball’s only 20-game winners, Jake Arrieta and Dallas Keuchel pitched for the Cubs and Astros, who didn’t make it to the World Series, either.

While it would be nice for the Orioles to take a shot at David Price, who is an unquestioned No. 1 starter, it’s probably best to try and build four or five pitchers who can win in double digits.

That’s what the Orioles did a year ago.

While the Orioles will try to get another starter to help, big seasons from Tillman and Kevin Gausman will be necessary for them to contend next season. Gonzalez is going to have to be the pitcher he was from 2012-14.

It’s fashionable for other teams to copy what the World Series winning team has done, but even if the Royals don’t win it, the Orioles should concentrate on building up a solid staff and hope that a No. 1 emerges.

NOTES: Adam Jones will be honored with the Brooks Robinson Community Service Award by the Major League Players Alumni Association on Nov. 10.

Jones is gathering well-deserved attention for his community involvement in Baltimore.

-The Orioles signed left-handed pitcher Adam Kolarek to a minor league contract. Kolarek, who went to Catonsville High and attended Maryland, spent six seasons in the Mets organization. He went 18-14 with a 3.56 ERA.

Infielder Corban Joseph, who played for Bowie in 2015, has been re-signed by the Orioles. Caleb’s brother played two games for the Yankees in 2013.

[RELATED: Orioles need a better 2016 from Tillman to contend]

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Trumbo homers twice, drives in 5 as Orioles beat Rangers 9-6

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Trumbo homers twice, drives in 5 as Orioles beat Rangers 9-6

 Mark Trumbo could have looked around the diamond at his Orioles teammates and wondered, "Who are these guys?"

With veterans Adam Jones and Chris Davis out of the starting lineup, Trumbo alone represented experience on a young, struggling team.

The slugger homered twice and drove in five runs, and Baltimore beat the Texas Rangers 9-6 in a back-and-forth game Sunday to avoid a four-game sweep.

"There's a few of us guys that have been around a little longer than most," Trumbo said. "The production comes and goes, but the mindset is the big thing, and I think these guys are doing a good job."

Entering the series, Trumbo hadn't gone deep since July 9. He completed the four games 7 for 16 with three homers and nine RBIs as Baltimore totaled 21 runs.

Austin Wynns and Jonathan Villar also homered for the Orioles.

Trumbo singled home a run in the first inning. His two-run homer in the third put Baltimore ahead to stay at 6-5 against starter Drew Hutchison (1-2), who was making his Rangers debut.

"Just pitch execution, poor command, too many balls up in the zone," Hutchison said. "When you do things like that, those are the results that you're going to have."

Both of Trumbo's homers came with two strikes.

"I've been getting to two strikes a lot lately and still getting some hits," he said. "I hit a changeup (from Hutchison), and I put some good wood on it."

The teams had scored in every half-inning before that, with the lead changing hands in four of those.

Trumbo left the game after his two-run homer against Matt Moore in the seventh.

"(Trumbo) almost didn't play today," Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "His knee's been a little sore. I noticed running around the bases on the second home run."

Another difference was Baltimore's beleaguered bullpen, which allowed only one run and one hit in 7 1/3 innings.

Tanner Scott (2-2), the second of six Orioles pitchers, shut out Texas for 2 1/3 innings, which tied his longest major league outing. He relieved starter Yefry Ramirez with the bases loaded and two outs in the second and struck out Ronald Guzman.

Mychal Givens retired the final four batters for his second save.

Jace Peterson led off the game with a single and scored on Trumbo's single for a short-lived 1-0 lead.

Ramirez retired the first two Rangers hitters but gave up a triple to Elvis Andrus. After two walks loaded the bases, Robinson Chirinos singled home two runs.

The Orioles regained the lead at 4-2 in the second on a three-run homer by Wynns, the No. 9 batter.

The Rangers scored three runs in the bottom half on Shin-Soo Choo's sacrifice fly, Andrus' groundout and a broken-bat single by Joey Gallo for a 5-4 advantage.

Gallo and Rougned Odor homered in each of the first three games of the series, but their streaks were stopped on Sunday.


Orioles: Davis didn't play for a second straight game. Showalter said, "He's banged up a little bit. We're going to give him the benefit of another day and the off day Monday." ... Showalter said it's likely that OF Craig Gentry, who has missed six weeks because of a fractured rib, will begin a rehab assignment Tuesday at Double-A Bowie. ... INF Steve Wilkerson (strained left oblique), who hasn't played since July 1, could go on a rehab assignment Thursday.


To make room for Hutchison on the roster, the Rangers optioned RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx to Triple-A Round Rock for the third time this season.


Andrus extended his hitting streak to 16 games, equaling a career best. It's also the longest current run in the majors.


Orioles: Begin a three-game series at Tampa Bay on Tuesday. Alex Cobb (3-14, 5.83 ERA) will start against Rays newcomer Tyler Glasnow (1-2, 4.27).

Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (2-4, 6.50) pitches Monday as Texas hosts Seattle and LHP Wade LeBlanc (6-2, 3.95) to begin a three-game series.

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Adam Jones helps Little League team with $8.5K donation

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Adam Jones helps Little League team with $8.5K donation

Adam Jones continues to be one of baseball's Good Dudes. 

Jones, who's been recognized before for his philanthropic efforts around Baltimore, made headlines recently when he donated $8.5 thousand dollars to the Mamie Johnson Little League team. 

Mamie Johnson are headed to the Mid-Atlantic Finals of the Little League World Series qualifying tournament but needed $10k in travel assistance to get there. That's where Jones, who orginally learned of the team on Twitter, stepped in: 

When asked about his donation, Jones said, "I want to see the next generation get an opportunity to succeed. Me being a black man trying to integrate more African-Americans into baseball, this was a no-brainer.''

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