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Gallardo hit hard in Orioles' 8-7 win over Phillies

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Gallardo hit hard in Orioles' 8-7 win over Phillies

SARASOTA, Fla. – Yovani Gallardo watched three home runs sail out of Ed Smith Stadium. Tyler Goeddel hit his third pitch of the game out, and two batters later, spring training home run leader Makiel Franco hit one, and two innings later, another one, a three-run shot.

By the time Gallardo left with game, a batter after Franco’s second home run, the Orioles were trailing 5-0, but ended up with an 8-7 win over the Philadelphia Phillies before 7,909 overheated fans on Monday.

Paul Janish’s two-run single in the eighth inning gave the Orioles their second win in three games, putting their record at 2-11-2.

Even though they gave up seven runs, they managed to reduce their team ERA slightly from 7.28 to 7.26—by far the worst in baseball.

The best news of the day came from the MRI orthopedic surgeon Dr. Leigh Ann Curl performed on Matt Wieters’ sore right elbow.

“It looked good," Showalter said. "Dr. Curl, she's been with us a long time, said it looked good structurally, so that was encouraging. Just get some of whatever's left in there, the soreness, but pretty positive. I know Matt felt good about it today."

Gallardo made his second start since signing. Both have come against the Phillies, and he’s allowed four home runs. Overall, Gallardo has given up eight runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings.

“It’s just tough. It’s one of those things, I’m not trying to say that it’s easier for a hitter to prepare, but I think for a hitter, once you get that timing down, it seems like you can ask any hitter. Once you get that, they feel comfortable with it. For a starting pitcher, pitcher in general, it’s going out there for an inning, coming back, sitting down. Back and forth until your 90-pitch pitch count. The thing about it too is if you look at it, you haven’t pitched in a game in like six months,” Gallardo said.

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Gallardo could be the Orioles’ No. 2 starter, and it will be interesting to see if Showalter will allow him to face Tampa Bay on Saturday.

Showalter often likes to limit his pitcher’s exposure to teams they might be facing regularly and early season opponents.

On Thursday when the Orioles are playing the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins in a split-squad doubleheader, Vance Worley and Mike Wright, two pitchers not projected among the first five will be the starters. Ubaldo Jimenez, who faced the Twins in his last two starts, will be pitching in a Triple-A game at Twin Lakes Park.

Gallardo, who has been with Milwaukee and Texas, is training in Florida for the first time.

“The most important thing is feeling comfortable, thinking your rhythm and your mechanics are right. It takes time. That’s why you see a lot of guys who are out there. It’s frustrating for sure, but when you see a lot of guys going out there struggling with their command a little bit or the mechanics aren’t right, it’s tough. You’re facing big league hitters and you’re trying to get yourself ready with your mechanics. The most important thing is try not to get frustrated. It is tough, but you’ve just got to remember it’s spring and you’ve got a long ways to go.”

Manny Machado had a two-run home run, Adam Jones a solo shot.

Hyun Soo Kim and Joey Rickard, who have the most at-bats on the team, were given the day off. Mark Trumbo played right field, and Pedro Alvarez, who was hitless in three at-bats, was the designated hitter.

Alvarez will play at Dunedin on Tuesday against Toronto, Showalter indicated.

NOTES: Last year’s Rule 5 draft choice Jason Garcia was optioned to Double-A Bowie.

"We're all excited about that," Showalter said. "He's going to get ready to be a starter. This guy basically skipped full-season A last year. He just happened to spend it in Baltimore all summer, and that was the idea. We're going to give Jason the ball every fifth day with a work day."

Outfielder Henry Urrutia was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. Earlier in the day, left-hander Chris Jones was also optioned to the Tides and Hunter Harvey was reassigned to minor league camp. There are 47 players remaining.

-The Orioles recorded their fifth sellout of the spring. … Chris Tillman makes his first start of the spring in Dunedin on Tuesday against Toronto’s Jesse Chavez.

-Former Oriole pitcher Steve Johnson was released by Texas.

MORE ORIOLES: MRI on Orioles C Matt Wieters' elbow scheduled

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Showalter fired as Orioles manager after 115-loss season

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Showalter fired as Orioles manager after 115-loss season

Buck Showalter has been fired as manager of the Orioles, who made three playoff appearances under his guidance but this year staggered through the worst season since the team moved to Baltimore in 1954.

Showalter confirmed the dismissal Wednesday in a text message to The Associated Press.

A three-time AL Manager of the Year, Showalter ranks second on the Orioles' career list with 669 victories, trailing Earl Weaver. He took over in August 2010 and orchestrated the resurgence of a team that suffered through 14 straight losing seasons.

Once hailed for making baseball in Baltimore relevant again, the 62-year-old Showalter is out of a job after a season in which the Orioles finished 47-115, 61 games behind Boston in the AL East. His contract expired at the end of October, and the Orioles opted against a renewal as they continue a major rebuild that began in late July, when they traded stars Manny Machado, Zach Britton, Jonathan Schoop and Kevin Gausman for minor league prospects.

Those deals were made by Dan Duquette, the executive vice president of baseball operations, whose future with the organization is up in the air.

Showalter earned AL Manager of the Year honors in 2014 after taking the Orioles to the AL East title and a berth in the Championship Series. He was also named Manager of Year with the Yankees in 1994 and Texas in 2004. His career record is 1,551-1,517, including 669-684 with Baltimore.

"I just think ever since he came here, the franchise just gained a little more accountability, gained an edge for some time," Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said before the final game of the season. "It's the end of an era. A great manager, a great tenure. I don't know if he's going to coach or manage again, but he's got grandchildren. Go golf. Relax and go sit on the golf course."

With his future in doubt, Showalter appeared undaunted during the final series of the regular season.

"You know how good they've been to me? I'm not ever going to forget that, regardless of what happens," he said.

Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin was asked before his team's playoff game against the Yankees on Wednesday night whether Showalter was victimized by the trend toward analytics.

"I don't think Buck was a guy that ignored analytics," Melvin said. "I think it was probably a combination of how they did this year and maybe some relationships."

After the Orioles brought Showalter out of retirement, he offered renewed hope by fashioning a 34-23 finish in 2010 for a team that was 32-73 upon his arrival.

Baltimore ended a 14-year playoff drought in 2012, advancing to the AL Division Series following a victory over Texas in the wild-card game. Playoff appearances in 2014 and 2016 followed.

Last year, however, the Orioles fell to 75-87 after losing 19 of their final 23 games. Baltimore hoped the addition of starters Alex Cobb and Andrew Cashner would enable the team to be a contender this year, but a horrid start quickly dispelled that notion.

The Orioles' deficit in the AL East reached double digits by April 18 and they were 8-27 on May 8. By the end of July, Baltimore fully entered rebuilding mode, leaving Showalter with the dubious distinction of overseeing a team that finished with the poorest record in the majors and one that surpassed the 1939 St. Louis Browns for most losses in franchise history.

Showalter never offered an excuse. He just grinded forward, working to prepare the team for 2019 even though he knew he might not be around to follow through.

At the outset of a season-ending series against Houston, Showalter was asked if he was thinking these might be his final days in the Baltimore dugout.

"We all have some private thoughts and emotions about that, but I don't think it serves the organization well for me to be worried about that right now," he said. "We've got some things to do these last four games that need to get done."

Showalter has a reputation as a no-nonsense manager, but his players appreciated his baseball knowledge and skill at handling a team. He made a point of talking to each of them on a regular basis, almost always offering encouragement.

"He gave me a chance," said catcher Caleb Joseph, who played six-plus years in the minors before arriving in Baltimore. "He believed in me in 2014, ran me out there and gave me a chance to be part of a championship team. He's really vouched for me ever since. I owe a lot to Buck and his loyalty. He's been a main figure here for a long time."

Sensing the end was near for the only big league manager he had ever played for, first baseman Trey Mancini said: "It's been an absolute honor to play for Buck. He's been incredible."

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Red Sox beat Orioles 6-2 to clinch home field through Series

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Red Sox beat Orioles 6-2 to clinch home field through Series

The Boston Red Sox broke a 106-year-old franchise record with their 106th victory on Monday night, clinching home-field advantage through the postseason by beating the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 thanks to a pair of hits from major league batting leader Mookie Betts.

Nathan Eovaldi struck out 10 hapless Orioles batters to assure the Red Sox of the best record in baseball this season and home-field advantage through the World Series, if they make it that far. For now, they know they will open the Division Series at Fenway Park on Oct. 5 against the winner of the AL wild-card game between the New York Yankees and mostly likely Oakland.

The 1912 Red Sox won 105 games in their first season at Fenway Park.

The Orioles (45-111) became the sixth AL team and the first since the 2003 Tigers to lose 111 games, falling 60 games behind Boston (106-51) in the division. It's the first time since 1939 that teams separated by 60 wins in the standings have played each other.

Boston scored four in the second inning, getting back-to-back doubles from Steve Pearce and Brock Holt, an RBI single from Christian Vazquez and Betts' two-run homer over the Green Monster. It was the 32nd homer of the season for Betts, a new career high.

Betts also singled and scored in Boston's two-run fourth, moving him into the major-league lead with 125 runs scored. In his last three games, he is 10 for 16 with three homers and four doubles, and he leads teammate J.D. Martinez (.328) in the AL batting race.

Renato Nunez had three hits for the Orioles, who fell to 2-15 against Boston and 18-61 on the road this season.

FOR STARTERS

Six days after throwing six scoreless innings against the Yankees, Eovaldi (6-7) allowed one run on four hits in five innings, walking none but uncorking a pair of wild pitches.

Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy (8-16) gave up four runs on five hits and three walks in three innings, striking out five.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: RHP Yefrey Ramirez is scheduled to start on Wednesday, but manager Buck Showalter said he wanted to give him an extra day or two. "I think Yefrey will pitch again, I just don't know when," Showalter said.

Red Sox: SS Xander Bogaerts was back in the lineup after feeling soreness in his left shoulder during a swing and leaving Sunday night's game. ... INF Eduardo Nunez ran on Sunday to test his hamstring and was scheduled to run again on Monday with the goal of having him back in the lineup by Wednesday or Friday.

UP NEXT

LHP David Price (15-7) tries to bounce back from a rough start in Yankee Stadium in the second game of the series in what could be his last start of the regular season.