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Five can't miss dates on your Orioles calendar


Five can't miss dates on your Orioles calendar

Opening Day is still more than four months away, and it’s still 11 weeks until spring training. It’s never too early to think about the 2013 season, so let’s look at five dates to circle on next season’s calendar.

1) April 5 vs. Minnesota

The 2012 season began on Apr. 6 against the Twins. It was the 20th anniversary of the Opening of Oriole Park. Jake Arrieta pitched magnificently, and the Orioles won their first three games.

Next season, the Orioles begin with three games at Tampa Bay and return for three games with Minnesota before playing six at Boston and New York.

Buck Showalter and the Orioles will be greeted warmly, and while Jason Hammel or Wei-Yin Chen are good bets to start the Apr. 3 opener at Tampa Bay, perhaps Miguel Gonzalez or Chris Tillman will start the home opener.

The Orioles will take part in three Opening Days: Tampa Bay’s, their own and on Apr. 8 at Boston.

2) April 19 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

Thanks to the new schedule, there will be at least one interleague game each day. The Orioles have never played a National League opponent this early in the season, and it’s the first meeting between the teams since 2004 and the first visit to Baltimore by the Dodgers since 2002.

The Orioles host San Diego for two games on May 14-15. In the past, interleague games were generally played in June. Due to Houston’s move to the American, there are 15 teams in each league and the Orioles will play 20 games against the rival league next year.

2013 will be the Orioles’ turn to play the National League West. From Aug. 5-19, the Orioles will visit San Diego, San Francisco and Arizona before hosting Colorado.

3) May 20 vs. New York Yankees

The Orioles play three games at Yankee Stadium in early April, but the Yankees don’t come to call until later in May. New York plays three weeknight games, May 20-22, then three weekend games at Oriole Park on June 28-30. The Yankees play four more games in Baltimore from Sept. 9-12.

The Red Sox, who probably won’t be as big a draw as they were in the past, don’t come to Baltimore until June 13. They play the last three games of the season in Baltimore on Sept. 27-29. Boston also plays a visit from July 26-28.

4) May 29 vs. Washington Nationals

The new schedule eliminates three game home-and-home series with natural rivals, but inaugurates two game home-and-home series. In the past, the Orioles and Nationals played a series in May, usually on Preakness weekend, and then another in June.

In 2013, the Orioles will play two games at Nationals Park on May 27-28 and two more on May 29-30. The teams will see four different starting pitchers.

By the way, the first game at Nationals Park will be on Memorial Day, and as usual, the Orioles won’t be home on any of the three summer holidays: Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day.

In 2015, it will the Orioles turn to play the National League East, and they should again play three game home-and-home series with the Nationals.

5) July 30 vs. Houston Astros

It will be the Astros’ third visit to Baltimore, but their first as an American League team. Houston has had back-to-back 100 loss seasons and is managed by Bo Porter, who last year coached third base for the Nationals. Porter’s third base coach is one Dave Trembley, who managed the Orioles from 2007-10.

After the Astros leave, the Seattle Mariners arrive, and fans can warmly welcome back Robert Andino, who was traded on Tuesday to Seattle.

Perhaps later in the winter, other dates will become prominent, but for now, these look like fun.


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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."