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Orioles beat White Sox 8-2 at empty Camden Yards

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Orioles beat White Sox 8-2 at empty Camden Yards

BALTIMORE – During the seventh-inning stretch, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and “Thank God, I’m a Country Boy” were played. Three scouts seated behind home plate stood.

Moments later, Jim Misudek, the Orioles manager of media relations announced the official paid attendance: zero.

There was actually a crowd estimated at about 100 gathered on Camden Street peering in to see whatever they could of the empty ballpark.

What they saw pleased them. In between chants of “O-R-I-O-L-E-S” and “Let’s go O’s,” the Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox 8-2 on Wednesday.

There were some familiar touches. Chris Davis, who often tosses balls into the stands at the ends of innings, threw some into the empty stadium.

Chatter could be heard on the field, but the game was devoid of controversy.

“It was still baseball between the lines. It's still that,” manager Buck Showalter said.

The players seemed to enjoy the novelty.

"It never fails, catch a ball to end the inning, it's just reaction. But I thought it would be fun. The first few were in the lower section and then I gave some love to the fans in the upper deck,” Davis said.

Davis has loads of fans in Baltimore, real and like today, imaginary ones. But he and his teammates tried to make light of a situation that they knew was dangerous.

The first baseman’s three-run home run, part of a decisive six-run first inning, did have that empty feeling.
“I’ll take any home run I can get at any time I can get it, but it’s definitely more fun where there are fans in the stands,” Davis said.

The Orioles (10-10) have now won three straight for the first time this season, and both their starting pitching and offense has begun to click.

As Showalter walked to the dugout in the moments before the game began, he reminded himself that this was important.

“You realize that you're a few minutes away from playing a major league baseball game that's going to count. You tried to stay focused on the competition, us trying to get where we want to be at the end of the season. But I also talked to them about the people who are going to be sitting around our city watching this game,” Showalter said.

Besides the self-appointed cheerleaders outside the gates, there were fans who rented a room in the neighboring Hilton Hotel and hung a “Go Orioles” banner outside it.

Adam Jones noticed them.

“A game with no fans, but they were out at the hotel. You could see on the balcony, you could hear them outside the gates. A lot of people were telling me to look up the check-ins on Facebook. So there were people around supporting, just not inside the stadium,” Jones said.

Ubaldo Jimenez (2-1) had another strong start, allowing two unearned runs in seven innings, walking one and striking out six.

“I thought it was pretty important, because what the city is going through right now is hard. I know a lot of people were watching that game on TV, supporting that game for the city. As a player you know that take the mound, you take the field and you know what’s going on outside,” Jimenez said.

On Sunday, in their last game before unrest caused two consecutive postponements, they scored 18 runs, their most in more than nine years scoring six runs in both the third and seventh innings.

They equaled that in the first inning. Eleven batters hit off Jeff Samardzija (1-2). Alejandro De Aza walked, Jimmy Paredes reached on an error and Delmon Young singled to load the bases. De Aza scored on Jones’ fly to right.

Davis hit home run that reached Eutaw Street for a 4-0 lead. Manny Machado and Everth Cabrera doubled, and after Caleb Joseph’s RBI single, it was a 6-0 lead.

Machado’s throwing error led to Chicago (8-10) scoring two runs in the fifth.

Cabrera’s second RBI double in the third scored Machado, and the third baseman hit his fourth homer of the year in the fifth.

Davis was asked what he wants people who watched to remember.

“I hope they see the good side of the city and the people who are out there helping to clean up and rebuild and help get the city back on its feet,” he said. “I hope the win kind of gives us a shot in the arm and picks everybody up.”

NOTES: The team had 10 or more hits for the fourth straight game. … Davis’ reached Eutaw Street for the sixth time. … Chris Tillman (2-2, 7.58) faces Alex Colome (0-0, 0.00) as the Orioles travel to Tampa Bay on Friday. … The game was played in two hours, three minutes, the fastest the team played since Oct. 2, 2010.

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

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

Manny Machado could very well be playing in his final game in an Orioles uniform Tuesday night when he takes the field for the 89th Midsummer Classic at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. 

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Dodgers are now in the driver's seat as a favorite to land the All-Star shortstop. 

Machado, 26, has gone back and forth on what he does and does not know as front office deals develop and speculation continues to grow. One thing he has made clear is that the rumors have not detracted from his enjoyment of being an All-Star.

Machado is signed through the end of the season, but the Orioles intend to deal him before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

For the latest news and conversation surrounding Machado's status and the Orioles, follow along on Twitter

RELATED LINKS: 

2018 MLB All-Star Guide 

Bryce Harper reflects on his baseball career 

Best and worst ASG uniforms 

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Orioles reportedly have deal in place to trade Manny Machado to Dodgers

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USA TODAY Sports

Orioles reportedly have deal in place to trade Manny Machado to Dodgers

When Manny Machado returns from the 2018 MLB All-Star Break, he will not be donning a Baltimore Orioles uniform. 

The All-Star shortstop is expected to be traded from Baltimore to the Los Angeles Dodgers, barring any last-minute changes, according to multiple media reports. 

That being said, the Machado trade talks remain fluid and both the Phillies and Brewers are still trying to work a trade for the 26-year-old third baseman, according to Jon Heyman. The Diamondbacks are also reportedly trying to lure the four-time All-Star to the desert, while the Yankees decided to pull out of the Machado sweepstakes just prior to the All-Star festivities in Washington, D.C. 

While the details of the trade have yet to be revealed, the Dodgers will reportedly include top outfield prospect Yusniel Diaz in the Machado trade, according to Heyman.

According to Jim Bowden, when regular-season play returns, Machado will be in the National League, although which team he plays for is still up in the air.

With the Orioles sitting a historically awful 39.5 games out of first place at the All-Star Break, trading Machado is the first major step toward a complete overhaul. The Orioles drafted Machado out of Brito High School in Miami, Fla., with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft. Since then, Machado has drawn comparisons to iconic third basemen Brooks Robinson and Alex Rodriguez, despite being moved to shortstop full-time this past season, and is widely considered one of the three best position players in professional baseball.

Machado is currently batting .315 with 24 home runs and 65 RBIs.

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