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How many home runs can the Orioles hit?

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How many home runs can the Orioles hit?

While the Orioles have taken some steps to increase their on-base percentage, the way the team scores runs could be remarkably the same this year.

Even in the Orioles’ best year, 2014, their OBP was just .311, the fifth worst in the American League. Last year, it fell further to .307, fourth worst.

The addition of Hyun-soo Kim could help. Kim had a remarkable on-base percentage in South Korea, but it’s an open question of how his .438 will translate to the United States.

In Korea, he actually walked more than he struck out. It would be nothing short of miraculous if he did that here.

Joey Rickard, who was the Orioles’ selection in the Rule 5 draft, also had a great OBP (.427) in the minor leagues last year, but he’s played just 29 games in Triple-A.

Chris Davis (.361) and Manny Machado (.359) have improved their ability to take pitches, but it’s not likely that J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones and Mark Trumbo are going to be much more selective at this advanced stage of their careers.

If that’s the case, there are probably going to be lots of home runs and many more strikeouts this year.

In 2015, the Orioles hit 217 home runs and struck 1,331 times, third most in the American League.

How many home runs can they hit?

RELATED: Orioles, Zach Britton avoid arbitration

Davis was re-signed for his prodigious home run stroke. At last month’s press conference announcing his return, manager Buck Showalter jokingly promised to never pitch him again, so Davis can concentrate on swatting homers. He hit 53 in 2013 and 47 last year.

Machado easily bested his career high with 35. Jones missed 25 game and fell three home runs short of his third 30 home run season.

Jonathan Schoop was out for nearly half the season, but still had 15 homers. Matt Wieters was on a restricted schedule. In his last three full seasons, he hit more than 20 home runs. Hardy hit 25 home runs in 2013, but he’s been restricted by various hurts the last two years.

And then there’s the quietest big acquisition of the off-season. Trumbo averaged more than 30 home runs in a power packed Angels lineup from 2011-13, and at 30, should be able to return to that form in a hitter friendly ballpark.

If Davis, Jones, Machado and Trumbo all hit 30, and Schoop challenges that number, the Orioles could challenge their 1996 club record of 257 home runs.

That year, they had seven players hit more than 20. Could that happen again?

They would need Hardy and Wieters to return to their form, or additional home runs from an unlikely source (Kim, Ryan Flaherty or Caleb Joseph.)

Kim hit 28 home runs last year, but if he hits half that many here, the Orioles will be happy. Flaherty hit nine in 91 games and Joseph 11 in 100 games.

If the regulars are healthy, Flaherty and Joseph won’t play as much as they did last year, but there’s still the possibility of another outfielder coming along.

While the Orioles were negotiating with Scott Boras about Davis, another of his clients, Pedro Alvarez was also on the team’s minds.

Besides the number of competent outfielders still available, might the Orioles snap up Alvarez if he continues to be unsigned? Alvarez hit 27 homers last year and has two seasons of 30 or more in his recent past.

It doesn’t seem likely, and he’d have to DH and Trumbo would have to play right field. That might compromise the team’s outfield defense, but it could give them a lineup with many more home runs—and too many strikeouts to even contemplate.

MORE ORIOLES: How many Orioles are actually homegrown?

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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.