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Orioles don't mind being underdogs

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Orioles don't mind being underdogs

The Orioles know that many will probably make them in the underdogs in their ALDS series that starts on Sunday at Camden Yards.
Thats understandable because they are playing the big, bad New York Yankees, and theres still many who follow baseball still scratching their heads over how the Orioles made post-season play this season. Its a five-game series and many who watch baseball will assume the Yankees should be better because, well, theyre the Yankees.
Still, the numbers can tell a different story here.
New York and the Orioles split their 18-game series. Each team won nine games. The Orioles pushed the Yankees right up to the last game of the season before New York clinched the American League East title and won the division by just two games. The Orioles outplayed the Yankees in the second half of the season, but they dont really care what people think.
They know what they believe.
Weve had the quiet confidence all year, first baseman Mark Reynolds said. People doubted us all year. People have written us off all year. Weve got of baseball players in here. We dont have the superstars like a lot of teams. We just have baseball players.
That kind of belief showed up in the first round. Joe Saunders is one of those players people looked past in the first round of this years playoffs. When manager Buck Showalter picked him to start the play-in game at Texas, many were shocked.
Saunders had a 0-6 career record and a 9.38 ERA in Texas, which led many of the experts to assume the Rangers would roll. Instead, Saunders threw a solid 5 23 innings and allowed only one run.
You see all these guys on the networks talking all this Yu Darvish stuff, Yu Darvish stuff and really didnt give me a chance or us a chance, Saunders said. That was all I needed.
Thats the way its been for the Orioles since they began to challenge for the AL East title and the playoffs. The Orioles? They havent won in 15 years and cant possibly battle for post-seasonthat was the general thought in the final two months.
During those final weeks, the Orioles never looked nervous. Instead, they appeared calm, cool and collected. They knew what their goals was and went after it.
At first, people looked at the Orioles having a shot at a wild-card spot. During that time, Showalter and some players quietly kept saying they really wanted the division title. They werent going to be happy just to make it in the playoffs and smilebecause this team believed it could do more.
I wouldnt necessarily say weve proven people wrong, but we have proven ourselves right, pitcher Brian Matusz said. We know we have the talent, the team camaraderie, the coaches and all the pieces.
Adam Jones is one of those whos having lots of fun. He likes the way fans in Baltimore are backing the Orioles in a big way now.
Everybodys enjoying it, Jones said. The citys behind us right nowit took them a while to really believe into what were doing, as it should. But I think weve got them now. Weve got to keep them.
How many people outside Baltimore will believe the Orioles have a shot in this series. Probably not that many. That doesnt bother the Orioles, and theyre looking forward to this best-of-5 series with the Yankees.
Were going to keep playing and keep having fun, Matusz said.

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Orioles' Adam Jones purchases Cal Ripken Jr.'s former estate, per report

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Orioles' Adam Jones purchases Cal Ripken Jr.'s former estate, per report

Cal Ripken Jr.'s 25-acre, 8,545 square-foot home went up for auction this past Saturday and the highest bidder was......Adam Jones? 

The center fielder is purchasing the Orioles legend's former Reisterstown, Md. estate, according to The Athletic

Placed on the market in 2016 for $12.5 million, Ripken reduced the price to $9.7 million last year but was still unable to find a willing buyer. The estate was eventually put up for auction and sold to Jones for an undisclosed amount. 

The six bedroom home has 10 full bathrooms, a movie theater, a gym that overlooks an indoor basketball court, a pool and a baseball field with batting cages, a locker room and soaking tubs. One of the tubs was taken from Memorial Stadium and used by Johnny Unitas and Art Donovan, but Ripken is keeping that one. 

What makes this purchase even more interesting is that Jones will become a free agent at the end of the 2018 season, but that does not mean he plans on re-signing with the team. The 32-year old, who is in his last year of a six-year $85.5 million contract, is known to dip his toes in real estate investments and his wife, Audie Fugett, is a Baltimore native. 

The deal is scheduled to close on June 11. 

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David Price's complete game shuts down Baltimore's offense

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USA TODAY Sports

David Price's complete game shuts down Baltimore's offense

BOSTON -- One strike away from a four-hit shutout, David Price happily settled for a complete game and his strongest outing of the season.

Price struck out eight and held Baltimore to five hits, including two in the ninth when the Orioles broke up the shutout before the Boston left-hander finished them off in a 6-2 victory for the Red Sox on Thursday night.

"He was amazing," Boston manager Alex Cora said. "He was outstanding. You saw it. Bad swings, up, down, in and out, changeup, cutter, sinkers ... that was fun to watch."

J.D. Martinez hit a two-run homer in the first, and Xander Bogaerts homered with two on during a four-run fifth, giving Price more than enough cushion against the struggling Orioles.

Price (4-4) struck out eight and didn't walk a batter while winning consecutive starts for the first time this season. He cruised through the first eight innings before Andrew Susac led off the ninth with a double, the first Baltimore player to reach second base in the game.

Manny Machado spoiled the shutout bid with a two-out homer, but Price finished off Baltimore on Jonathan Schoop's pop-up to center as the Red Sox improved to 4-0 against Baltimore by taking the makeup game that was rained out on Patriots' Day.

"They're a free-swinging team," said Price, who threw just 95 pitches. "You can go out there and do that or you can go out there for three innings and give up a bunch of runs."

Danny Valencia had a pair of hits for the punchless Orioles, who have lost three of four and have the second-fewest wins in the American League. Valencia nearly had a double in the fifth, but got thrown out at second by left fielder Andrew Benintendi, one of several strong defensive plays that helped Price go the distance.

Hanley Ramirez also caught a foul pop on the top step of Boston's dugout in the second and Mookie Betts ran down a fly ball that was headed to the wall in right.

"The defensive plays that I had today, it makes everything a lot easier," Price said.

Kevin Gausman (3-3) went 4 2/3 innings for Baltimore, allowing six runs and eight hits while striking out six and walking two. He was pulled after Bogaerts drove a high fastball out to left with two men on during Boston's four-run fifth.

"We just got into some sticky situations where we just had to dig ourselves out of a hole and we just couldn't," Susac said.

The Orioles also weren't happy with the strike zone, which Susac said forced Gausman to throw some pitches the Red Sox pounced upon.

Manager Buck Showalter agreed with his catcher.

"I'm very biased, but I didn't think he got a fair shake tonight," Showalter said. "There were a lot of pitches that could have and should have gone his way."

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