Orioles

Quick Links

Jimenez wins 100th game, Orioles beat Nationals 4-1

usatsi_8764826_141983962_lowres.jpg

Jimenez wins 100th game, Orioles beat Nationals 4-1

WASHINGTON –– Ubaldo Jimenez walked out for his postgame interviews dripping with shaving cream. He had something to celebrate.

Jimenez became the 11th pitcher born in the Dominican Republic to record 100 wins on Tuesday night.

His win wasn’t especially artful, but statistically it didn’t look bad. Jimenez walked five, but allowed just three hits and an unearned run in six innings as the Orioles beat the Nationals 4-1 before 27,338 at Nationals Park.

Jimenez (12-9) won his third straight decision and had an RBI single, but it was his milestone win he was eager to talk about.

“It doesn’t matter how you look at it, it’s not easy. You have to go through a lot of tough times, a lot of good times and times you’re probably going to enjoy a lot. Once you get that number, you take a break and you look back and it seems like yesterday when I got to the big leagues. I already have eight years and 100 wins. It’s been a really enjoyable moment,” Jimenez said.

Manager Buck Showalter was happy for Jimenez.

“It’s a big moment for him,” Showalter said. “Sometimes we forget how long and good a career he’s actually had.”

The Orioles (74-76), who were rained out on Monday, had the backing of much of the crowd in this late season “Battle of the Beltway”, but the sense of fun that surrounds these games when they’re played in the warm weather, was absent as fall arrives.

Brad Brach pitched two hitless innings and Darren O’Day got his fourth save. O’Day was used where Zach Britton would normally pitch.

Britton revealed after the game he was suffering from a strained left lat muscle, one he hurt last week against Boston, and Showalter, pitching coach Dave Wallace and bullpen coach Dom Chiti have been monitoring the injury.

“Tried to come back and pitch in Tampa and it just kind of fired up again. The thing with Buck and Dave and Dom is they maintain the health of their pitchers probably better than anyone in the game. He doesn't want to risk my health or anybody's health right now at this point in the season. We're coming in every day expecting to be able to pitch and just kind of going day by day,” Britton said.

“But it's been a little bit of a challenge the last few outings to kind of get it to where I want it to be. So trying to nip it in the bud. It shouldn't be anything that lasts for a long time. Everything we've heard from the doctors is it's just a couple days. Kind of go day by day, really. It could just disappear the next day.”
 
The Orioles scored two runs in the second off Gio Gonzalez. With one out, Caleb Joseph and J.J. Hardy walked. Joseph took third on Junior Lake’s fly ball to right and scored when Jimenez singled to right-center.

It was Jimenez’s second hit and RBI of the season.

Nolan Reimold’s run-scoring single made it 2-0.

A horribly played half-inning by the Orioles led to a Washington (78-72) run in the fourth. Lake playing center in place of the injured Adam Jones, muffed Clint Robinson’s fly ball for a two-base error. Ian Desmond’s infield single put runners on first and third.

Michael A. Taylor popped to short right. Jonathan Schoop, who nearly collided with right fielder Steve Pearce, caught the ball with his back to the infield, wheeled and threw home, holding Robinson at third.

Jose Lobaton bounced to second where Schoop bobbled the ball for an error. Instead of a double play to end the fourth, Robinson scored, and the lead was 2-1.

Manny Machado singled with one out in the fifth and scored on a great slide after Chris Davis’ double. Pearce’s double drove in Davis, and the Orioles led 4-1.

It was Machado’s 500th hit, an impressive accomplishment for a player who turned 23 in July.

“It’s great that it came. I worked hard to get here,” Machado said. “Hopefully, I’ve got many more hits to come. Right now it’s just keep playing baseball. If more hits come, just gonna help the team in whichever way possible. Hopefully I can get more of them.”

Gonzalez (11-8) was removed after 4 2/3 innings. He allowed four runs on six hits.

The Orioles are five games behind Houston for the second wild card.

“I think we have a lot of things going our way. I think everyone’s clicking, everyone’s doing what they need to do, doing their job. I think that’s what it takes to get to where we want to go,” Machado said.

NOTES: The Orioles tied a season high by committing three errors. … Chris Tillman (9-11, 5.19) faces Max Scherzer (12-11, 2.90) on Wednesday night.

MORE ORIOLES: Rainout complicate Orioles' travel plans

Quick Links

Showalter fired as Orioles manager after 115-loss season

usatsi_11088837.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

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."

Quick Links

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

usatsi_11312711.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

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.