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Gonzalez, fielding both superb in Orioles 6-1 win


Gonzalez, fielding both superb in Orioles 6-1 win

BALTIMORE –- Miguel Gonzalez is at his best when pitching against the Toronto Blue Jays. After allowing just an unearned run and three hits in 7 2/3 innings, Gonzalez is 5-0 with an 0.98 ERA in his last six starts when facing the Blue Jays.

Gonzalez’s superb outing gave the Orioles a 6-1 win over Toronto before 24,654 on Wednesday night.

It was just the Orioles’ third win in in nine games over the Blue Jays (17-18) this season.

For seven innings it appeared that Gonzalez (4-2), who threw the last complete game for the Orioles (15-17) on Sept. 3, 2014, would thrown another. In one stretch, he retired 13 straight.

“Miggy doesn't shy away from a big stage,” manager Buck Showalter said. You go through your career and you've had a lot of people tell you you couldn't do something, he doesn't take a pitch for granted up here."

In their first 32 games, the Orioles played 29 against American League East opponents. Next comes a stretch where they’ll play out of their division in 21 of 24.

“Nobody is going to or will relax. You’ve seen the schedule. You’ve just seen people you’re going to face it seems, half the season,” Showalter said.

The Orioles scored five in the second. Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy led off with walks off Aaron Sanchez. David Lough bunted them along, and both scored on Caleb Joseph’s double over third base.

Manny Machado’s double drove in Joseph, and Alejandro De Aza’s double scored Machado. After Sanchez (3-3) threw a wild pitch, De Aza scored as Jimmy Paredes beat out an infield hit.

In the third, Ezequiel Carrera was hit by a pitch, and Devon Travis singled to right. De Aza’s throw sailed to third base, and Travis took second. Josh Donaldson grounded to third and Machado made a nice pickup and dove toward the bag and tagged a leaning Carrera.

Machado, who declared “that wasn’t us,” after watching his team commit three errors on Tuesday night, ended the third by starting a 5-4-3 double play.

The snappy defense continued in the fourth when De Aza made a nice running catch on Edwin Encarnacion’s drive in right and Navarro snared Russell Martin’s liner.

“It's more what we're capable of. It was a good defensive night,” Showalter said.

Donaldson was the final Blue Jays baserunner until Kevin Pillar walked in the eighth. Ryan Goins singled, and after Danny Valencia struck out, Travis flied to right. Gonzalez walked Donaldson, and as the ball got away from Joseph for this second passed ball in as many nights, Pillar scored.

Gonzalez allowed five runs in four innings against the Yankees six days ago.

“My last outing wasn't the greatest, but this time around, I worked well and I worked hard and it paid off,” Gonzalez said.

Darren O’Day who has a running feud with Jose Bautista got him to tap out to the box, ending the inning. They ignored each other they left the field. O’Day picked up the save.

Rey Navarro homered to start the eighth, his first career homer.

“I just feel like it was something out of this world. That’s the dream coming true. Playing in the big leagues and then you hit your first career home run. It was great,” Navarro said.

Navarro, who was recalled on Tuesday when Ryan Flaherty was put on the disabled list, got his first postgame pie from Adam Jones.

“Yeah, it was a good one. And it tastes great,” Navarro said.

The Orioles get Thursday off and get to see their first AL West opponents of the season, the Los Angeles Angels on Friday.

After two weeks of tumult and travel, Showalter thinks things are returning to what passes for normal.

“It was good to win a series in our first series at home after being gone forever, it seems like. Take a day tomorrow and start up against the Angels,” Showalter said.

NOTES: Hunter Harvey, the Orioles first round draft pick in 2013, had an MRI on his right elbow Wednesday.”It was pretty good news, all things considered, I thought. I know they're going to take some time off and we'll see if he wants to get a second opinion,” Showalter said. “He's not going to be throwing for a little while. He's going to take some time, but don't feel like there's anything else but rest prescribed at this point."

Showalter said Harvey is expected to pitch this season.

"There's nothing that we feel like requires surgery,” Showalter said.

Matt Wieters will catch nine innings in an extended spring game on Thursday. … Paredes has a 12-game hitting streak and Machado a 19-game on-base streak. … The Orioles had a season-high five doubles. … On Friday. Jered Weaver (1-4, 4.98) faces Wei-Yin Chen (1-1, 2.52).


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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.


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.


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.


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.