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Orioles deal Hunter for minor league outfielder

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Orioles deal Hunter for minor league outfielder

BALTIMORE – Fifteen minutes before the 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline, Tommy Hunter joked with a large group of reporters in front of his locker about the possibility of being traded. Fifteen minutes later, Hunter found out he was headed to the Chicago Cubs for minor league outfielder Junior Lake.

“It’s always surprising, but if your name has been in it all day, it’s not as surprising at the last second,” Hunter said. “I’m going to Chicago. See you guys.”

Hunter was 21-20 with a 4.28 ERA with the Orioles. He was acquired along with Chris Davis from Texas in exchange for Koji Uehara on July 30, 2011.

“You definitely build friendships in this game,” Hunter said. With the Orioles, he was part of two playoff teams.

“If you don’t win a World Series, you kind of failed a little bit. That’s how we think as athletes,” Hunter said. “There is some unfinished business. I wish them the best. I threw some jokes out there so it wasn’t too somber.”

He came to the Orioles as a starter, and late in 2012 was converted to a reliever. This year, he was 2-2 with a 3.63 ERA in 39 games.

Lake, a 25 year-old outfielder, is a .241 hitter in parts of the last three seasons with the Cubs. He hit .224 with a home run and five RBIs in 21 games for Chicago this year. He will be optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

Hunter will be a free agent after the season, and didn’t rule out a return.

“If they want me back…there’s not going to be any shut doors,” Hunter said. “I’m not going to stomp out of here like I didn’t like it because I loved it here.”

Hunter will report to the Cubs in Milwaukee on Saturday. The Orioles are two games out of the second wild card spot, and Chicago is battling with San Francisco for the second NL wild card spot.

“They’ve got some a chance to do some special things over here. You wish them the best and hopefully they’ll remember you when playoff shares start coming around,” Hunter said.

MORE ORIOLES: SAY GOODBYE TO BUD 

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The most unbelievable catch of the Orioles' dismal season came in the team's final game

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The most unbelievable catch of the Orioles' dismal season came in the team's final game

It's not how you start, it's how you finish, and boy did Orioles right fielder Steve Wilkerson make sure the team went out with a bang against the Boston Red Sox.

Bottom of the eighth, game knotted at four, Jackie Bradley Jr. sent what seemed to be a moonshot to right field...

But what happens next is arguably the best catch of the entire MLB season. 

This catch by Wilkerson is nothing less than spectacular. Not only did he possess the focus to track the ball beyond the wall, but the athleticism to make the catch while almost tumbling over backwards into the crowd. 

This year may have been a huge let down for Baltimore, but here's to a bright spot heading into the offseason. 

MORE MLB COVERAGE:

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Orioles Roundup: Baltimore topples Blue Jays, 11-4

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Orioles Roundup: Baltimore topples Blue Jays, 11-4

The Orioles are now five games better than last season's woeful 47-115 record. While they continue to win meaningless games late in the season, their poor season won't go away. 

Player Notes:

Dylan Bundy gave up only two runs in seven innings pitched against the Blue Jays, bringing his season's ERA down to 4.79. 

Also, Trey Mancini went a perfect 5-5 in the Orioles win Tuesday night. He's now batting .373 against Toronto, hitting 25 of his 94 RBI this season against Toronto. Dwight Smith Jr. also impressed with a 3-4 showing, hitting a homer and three RBI of his own. 

Injuries: 

OF Mason Williams, knee, out indefinitely

RP Hunter Harvey, biceps, sidelined, day-to-day

RP Josh Rogers, elbow, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely 

SP Alex Cobb, back, 60-Day IL, 2020

Coming Up: 

Wednesday, Sept. 25: Orioles at Toronto, 7:07 p.m. at Rogers Centre

Thursday, Sept. 26: Orioles at Boston, 7:10 p.m. at Fenway Park

Friday, Sept. 27: Orioles at Boston, 1:05 p.m. at Fenway Park