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Orioles lose 4-3 to Twins after giving up lead in the eighth


Orioles lose 4-3 to Twins after giving up lead in the eighth

BALTIMORE— The Orioles looked as if they were in excellent position heading into the eighth inning. They had a two-run lead, and the normally infallible Darren O’Day on the mound. When leading after seven innings, the Orioles had been 51-1.

Then, it all came apart. O’Day quickly loaded the bases, and gave up three runs for the first time this season, and the Orioles were sent off to a painful 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins before 32,025 at Oriole Park on Friday night.

It unraveled quickly for O’Day. Miguel Sano walked, Trevor Plouffe blooped a single down the right field line and O’Day (5-2) hit Torii Hunter with a pitch.

Opposing players were 1-for-12 against O’Day with the bases loaded, and in his first three tries with three runners on and none out, he retired each batter.

Eddie Rosario’s fly to right scored Sano, and Kurt Suzuki’s pop fell into short right bring home Plouffe and Hunter, and Minnesota (61-61) led 4-3.

“Leadoff walk is never good, so that’s not good. Plouffe hits a ball; didn’t hit it hard, could have been caught. It’s in a tough spot. That happens. I can’t hit Torii Hunter to load the bases. Hits happen like that. They didn’t smoke any balls,” O’Day said.

“I made some good pitches, but it didn’t turn out. Late innings, sometimes you’ve got to be able to strike guys out. I wasn’t able to do that when I needed to.”

Jonathan Schoop made a long run to try and catch Plouffe’s ball, and kicked it. Gerardo Parra overthrew the cutoff man, allowing Hunter to advance to second.

“I think I tipped it. It was a bad route by me because when I was running over there and when I looked up the ball was a little bit back. But it happens,” Schoop said.

O’Day knows he’s not going to pitch out of every bases loaded jam.

“You’re raising the stakes. Any hit scores two runs and ties it up there. I’m not scared to pitch with the bases loaded, but it’s not ideal. In that situation, you’ve got to get some strikeouts, and I wasn’t able to do that,” O’Day said.

Nunez and Buxton singled to load the bases, and O’Day struck out Dozier before giving way to Brian Matusz.

Trevor May pitched a perfect eighth, and with Glen Perkins hurt, Kevin Jepsen picked up his sixth save in the ninth, striking out Adam Jones, Davis and Matt Wieters.

“Darren's a pretty tough critic of himself, but he's performed at such a high level, as good as any relief pitcher you want to see. I was kind of happy they finally hit the one line drive to left field, in a way. But that's the way it goes. We've had some of the benefit of that, also. Last night, there were obviously a lot of hard-hit balls, but sometimes you go through periods where those things happen for you and happen against you. You've got to overcome them. But we were close,” manager Buck Showalter said.

In the first three innings, Wei-Yin Chen allowed three singles without a run. Chen was scored upon in the fourth when Sano led off with a single, and with one out Hunter walked. Suzuki singled to load the bases with two outs, and Nunez walked to score Sano.

Chen thought he had Nunez struck out, and was upset when home plate umpire Eric Cooper didn’t give him the call he thought he deserved.

Adam Jones singled and Chris Davis walked in the first against Tommy Milone, but then the left-hander retired 13 straight.

In the sixth, Nolan Reimold and Manny Machado led off with singles, and Parra homered to right field, his fifth since joining the Orioles three weeks ago, and Baltimore (62-59) led 3-1.

After Davis singled, Casey Fien replaced Milone and ended the inning by picking Davis off.

Fien (3-5) recorded five outs for the win.

“We didn't do much offensively other than the sixth inning, we put together a little something there. We were hoping to try to make it stand up,” Showalter said.

Chen gave up one run on seven hits in six innings. Until the eighth, he was on the way to winning his third straight start for the first time this season.

“Today’s loss we lost to another team that is going for the wild card. Of course it hurts a lot. But all we can do now is try to play better and try to play better than our opponents. And that’s how we can get into the playoffs,” Chen said through his translator.

Brad Brach pitched a scoreless seventh, but O’Day found trouble in the eighth.

“If you look at the little things that happened, it’s a real interesting game. Those bounces go my way usually, but it didn’t tonight,” O’Day said.

COMING UP: Kyle Gibson (8-9, 3.99) faces Chris Tillman (9-7, 4.54) on Saturday night.

MORE ORIOLES: Orioles relieved Flaherty's hitless streak over

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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


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."