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Jimenez, Tillman help Orioles pull out double shutout

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Jimenez, Tillman help Orioles pull out double shutout

BALTIMORE –- No one likes to play doubleheaders, Buck Showalter says. If the Orioles have to play two, the outcome couldn’t be any better than Sunday.

The Orioles not only swept the Cleveland Indians, they recorded shutouts in both games of the day/night doubleheader. The 4-0 win in the afternoon game and the 8-0 win in the night game were the first doubleheader shutouts by the Orioles since Sept. 6, 1974 in Cleveland, according to STATS.

Many of the 40,006 who came to Oriole Park on Sunday night were there to collect Buck Showalter Garden Gnomes.

They saw Chris Tillman allow just four hits in seven innings. Tillman bounced back from a horrible start in Toronto a week ago when he recorded just four outs and was charged with six runs.

Tillman and the first game starter, Ubaldo Jimenez, combined to throw 15 shutout innings, allowing eight hits, striking out 13 without a walk.

Showalter, who has tried to ignore the publicity surrounding the gnome, conceded that managing was better when starting pitching is that dominant.

“It's a lot easier. I don't take for granted how hard that is.” Showalter said.

T.J. McFarland, who served as the 26th man in the second game and was returned to Norfolk after the game, pitched two scoreless innings to finish the shutout.

The Orioles (41-34) have won four straight and are 18-4 since June 4.

Toru Murata, recalled to serve as the 26th man for the second game retired the first five Orioles hitters before Travis Snider reached on an error by second baseman Jason Kipnis. J.J. Hardy doubled, and both scored when Ryan Flaherty slapped a single to right field.

Chris Davis hit his 16th home run to lead off the fourth, and with one out Travis Snider hit his third for a 4-0 lead.

After Murata (0-1) walked J.J. Hardy, Marc Rzepczynski walked David Lough with two outs, and former Orioles reliever Ryan Webb served up a two-run double to Manny Machado and a two-run home run by Chris Parmelee for an 8-0 lead.

Snider also starred with the glove, robbing Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor with a sensational, sprawling catch for the second out of the sixth inning. He punctuated the catch by thrusting his glove in the air.

“I feel bad for the left center field grass,” Snider said. “I think I was the most surprised person in the stadium that I caught the ball, so I had to kind of soak it in for a second, make sure it was still in there.”

After the third out, Tillman waited on the field to publicly congratulate him.

“It was awesome, it really was. I was trying let him enjoy that standing O he got, but given the circumstances of the game, these guys had a rough go of it, I want to get back on the mound and show respect to the other team. I talked to him about it. It was fun, it really was fun to watch. He was pumped up about it, and I think all of us were,” Tillman said.
Cleveland is 33-41.

Jimenez (7-3) has won four straight starts and for the only time in his two seasons with the Orioles Jimenez allowed neither a run nor a walk, and it equaled his deepest start with the team.

Jimmy Paredes, who had his fifth straight multi-hit game, hit a two-run home run off Trevor Bauer (6-5) in the third, his ninth of the season.

In the sixth, Machado hit his 15th home run, and the Orioles scored on doubles by Paredes and Davis.

The Orioles move into first place by two percentage points over Tampa Bay for the first time since the season’s early days.

“It's a return for that (good play) but it can be very fleeting. The only thing I look at is the loss column every now and then. I don't pay much attention to the other part of it. See if you can stay engaged and roll the dice in September,” Showalter said.

NOTES: Machado has hit in 10 straight. … Indians manager Terry Francona was ejected in the ninth inning of the second game. … The first game was the 5,000th win in Orioles history. … The Orioles recorded their third sellout of the season in the afternoon game, 45,675… … Adam Jones, who started in center field in the first game for the first time since June 15, didn’t play in the second game. … The Orioles have won seven of their last eight series. They split the other series. … Jimenez has won four straight games for the first time since he won seven straight from May 15-June 17, 2010. …The Orioles open a four-game series with Texas on Monday. Wandy Rodriguez (4-3, 4.06) faces Bud Norris (2-6, 6.70).

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Manny Machado pens goodbye to O's fans on Instagram

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Manny Machado pens goodbye to O's fans on Instagram

Days after being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a deal that captivated much of Major League Baseball, former Oriole Manny Machado took to Instagram to thank the only organization he's ever known. 

The 26-year-old's contract expires at the end of this season, which the Orioles chose not to renew as the last-place club enters a rebuilding phase. 

Machado put up big numbers in the team's first 97 games totaling career-highs in home runs (24), RBIs (65), OBP (.387) and OPS (.962). 

He is expected to play shortstop for a Dodgers club which finished the first half of the season 10 games above .500 in a competitive, tight NL West. 

The Dodgers will pay Machado $6.3 million. 

To my Baltimore family, I’ve spent the last few days trying to figure out how I would say goodbye but there wasn’t an easy way to do it. I first joined this organization at the age of 17 and these past eight years have far exceeded anything I ever could’ve imagined. Throughout the ups and downs, you embraced me unconditionally and you took a kid from Miami and brought me up as one of your own. I’ve enjoyed my time here and you all have played a big part in that!! Thank you Birdland! You are forever in my heart! To the Baltimore Orioles, it has truly been a blessing to put on that uniform every day. To the Angelos Family & Dan Duquette, thank you for making my dreams come true!!! To Buck and the coaching staff, thank you for your commitment and dedication to making me the best player and teammate I can possibly be…I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of you. To my teammates, we’ve shared some amazing times with lots of memories & friendships that I’ll cherish forever. Schoopy, I love you bro and I know you will carry the torch!!! ! Much love always, Manny #13

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Manny Machado trade rumors are dominating headlines at All-Star Game 

Orioles star shortstop Manny Machado traded to Los Angeles Dodgers 

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What exactly did the Orioles get in return for Manny Machado?

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What exactly did the Orioles get in return for Manny Machado?

So, the Orioles made some headlines earlier this week. I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but minor league pitcher Asher Wojciechowski exercised his opt-out clause and is no longer with the organization. Please keep Orioles fans in your thoughts during this trying time.

As everyone reading this is undoubtedly already aware, the Orioles *also* made a trade yesterday, sending 26-year old superstar Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers. In return for their once-in-a-lifetime talent, the Orioles received a whopping five prospects from the Dodgers’ minor league system.

Yusniel Diaz, OF, 21

It’s fitting that this trade is being compared to the Erik Bedard trade, which was also a five-for-one, because Diaz could be a poor man’s Adam Jones. He’s not the prospect Jones was, but he could end up being a really nice player.

Talent evaluators are split on his ultimate ceiling. Some describe him as a bona fide stud, and others leave him off their top 100 lists. I’ve seen him ranked as high as 31st overall (by Baseball Prospectus), which, if accurate, is a terrific main piece in a package for a star rental. 

Most consider Diaz’s main flaw as a prospect to be his in-game power, though anyone watching the 2018 MLB Futures Game would be confused by that, as he became the second player ever to hit multiple home runs in the game. It’s possible that more power develops as he matures, and he certainly wouldn’t be the first player to hit for more power once reaching the Majors, but for now, it’s not a strength. I wouldn’t expect him to top 20 home runs in most seasons.

His bat-to-ball ability is his clearest strength, as he projects to consistently hit for a high average. His batting eye, while formerly a weakness, has become a strength in 2018, as he’s actually walked more times than he’s struck out (a rarity in this day and age). That will play well with O’s fans who are tired of seeing their players challenge strikeout records.

Dean Kremer, RHP, 22

Kremer isn’t a major name, which is a disappointment for O’s fans and one of the reasons their haul felt so uninspiring. Compared to more highly-touted prospects like Dustin May, Kremer looks like the team settled.

That said, he’s currently sporting the best K/9 ratio in the minors, and could end up being a diamond in the rough. He’s come a long way since being a 14th-round pick two years ago, and you have to wonder if the Orioles’ much-maligned pitching development can pick up where the much more successful Dodgers instructors left off.

Kremer is also notable for being the first Israeli-born player ever drafted in Major League Baseball.

Rylan Bannon, IF, 22

Bannon was an 8th-rounder last year and is having somewhat of a breakout this season. He’s leading the league in home runs, though playing in a notorious band box of a home park is skewing those numbers.

Bannon is undersized, but has a reputation of a good, if not elite, fielder. He’s a third baseman, but will likely spend some time at second as well. If the power breakout is real, he could end up a solid starter for the Orioles down the road. Again, that’s about all you can hope for in trades of this nature.

Zach Pop, RHP, 21

Pop has been described as potentially a future “right-handed Zach Britton,” which every O’s fan would take in a heartbeat. Of course, he’s not ranked like a future All-Star, as even in the weaker Orioles farm system he’s likely no better than around 25th. 

Still, the filler players in big trades like this are just lottery tickets, and considering his lack of pedigree, Pop seems like a relatively “safe” pitcher with projectability. He strikes out a lot of batters and gets a lot of ground balls, and at the very least can likely become a decent middle reliever.

Breyvic Valera, IF, 26

In a best-case scenario, Valera becomes the Orioles’ Ryan Flaherty replacement. If you squint, you can see somewhat decent upside in each of the other returning players, even despite their modest prospect rankings, but Valera is a clear utility player. 

He gets on base and hits for contact well enough to stick around and has proven capable of defending multiple positions, so there actually might be a spot for him at the end of the Orioles bench.

Overall

This trade has been described as anywhere from adequate and somewhat deflating to a great haul O’s fans should be excited about. Four of the five players have decent ceilings, though the chance of all four (or even just two of them) reaching those ceilings is highly unlikely. It’s just the nature of baseball.

Ultimately, this trade will be judged on the success or failure of Yusniel Diaz, who is the clear centerpiece of the package. Whether or not he succeeds will be partially up to him, and partially up to the front office and player development team.

If this trade is the beginning of the core for the next competitive Orioles team, then it’ll have to be considered a success. If these players each bust out of the league, then it was still the correct decision to trade Machado instead of settling for draft pick compensation, but it will still sting all the more for O’s fans seeing Manny soar to new heights elsewhere.