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Orioles offense is absent in 2-1 loss to Phillies

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Orioles offense is absent in 2-1 loss to Phillies

PHILADELPHIA –- After three wins in four games against the frightful Philadelphia Phillies, the Orioles can turn their attention to the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Orioles and Blue Jays play three games this weekend at Rogers Centre, where Toronto won all three in April.

Those games may be emotional, and they’re likely to be more competitive than the four games were against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Actually one game was competitive, and the Orioles lost it 2-1 on Thursday before 26,220 at Citizens Bank Park.

In the first three games the teams played this week, the Orioles outscored the Phillies 29-7.

Manny Machado hit a leadoff home run against Sean O’Sullivan, but the Orioles (34-32), who had won 11 of 13, never scored again.

"It's been a tough four games, four days. Anytime you play a team four times in a row, you never like to see that on a schedule. We all know they're capable of a lot better baseball and today was a good example of that,” manager Buck Showalter said.

Not until the seventh inning did they get a runner to third, and that was because Chase Utley’s throwing error allowed David Lough to get there. Jimmy Paredes grounded to Utley, and it looked like a double play, but the error put runners on first and third with one out.

Machado and Travis Snider struck out. Snider struck out four times, and counting the last at-bat on Wednesday night, has fanned five times in a row.

J.J. Hardy, who extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a first inning double, singled with two outs in the eighth, but Ryan Flaherty grounded sharply to Ryan Howard for the third out.

Howard’s two-run home run off Bud Norris (2-5) was the game. Norris allowed three hits and two walks in the first five innings. In the sixth, Ben Revere singled, stole second and moved to third on an infield out.

With the Orioles in the exaggerated shift, Howard could have bunted and tied the score, but on a 1-2 pitch, he lined his 12th home run to right field.

“In the past couple of games I made one mistake with the fastball and deeper in the game,” Norris said. “It’s hard to get in that situation, but I know I can make those pitches to execute and get out of it, so I need to build off it and execute a little better in that situation.”

Philadelphia (23-45) broke a nine-game losing streak. The Orioles (34-32) had won 11 of their previous 13.

“It’s hard to take right now because obviously I want to win games and we’ve been playing good ball, so this one we’ll kind of let it be. We played really well against these guys. It was a big series win against them, took two there and one here. We’ll take it as it is. We know we have a tough task here. We’re playing good baseball. We just have to pick our heads up and get going tomorrow,” Norris said.

Jake Diekman (1-1), who was recalled earlier in the day got the win. He retired all three batters in the sixth. Diekman, Luis Garcia, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon combined to limit the Orioles to two hits in four innings.

In the ninth, Papelbon retired Nolan Reimold on a foul pop, Lough on a grounder to first, and struck out Matt Wieters, and he had his 13th save.

A year ago, the Orioles won five of nine in Toronto, the first time they’ve won a season series there since 2005. They must win five of the remaining six to repeat it.

“It’s a big series. All series are big at this point. We just gotta continue doing what we’re doing and I think we’ll be all right,” Hardy said.

NOTES: Miguel Gonzalez (strained groin) threw on the side and will go to Bowie to start on Saturday. ”I need to get back on the mound, get back to pitching. Hopefully I can go five [innings] or 75 pitches, either or. I’m feeling good about myself right now. The bullpen went really well,” Gonzalez said. He is eligible to return on June 25.

-The Orioles signed six more draft choices. The biggest name was ninth-rounder CF Jaylen Ferguson, who was scouted by Nathan Showalter. Others signed were 2B Drew Turbin (14), RF Mike Odenwaelder (16), RHP Juan Echevarria (21), 1B Steve Laurino (25) and C Stuart Levy (27). The Orioles have now signed 23 of their 41 draft choices.

-Machado’s 14th home run and 10th stolen base put him on a pace for 35 home runs and 25 stolen bases.

-The Orioles hadn’t lost in Philadelphia since July 4, 2004.

-Mike Wright (2-2, 4.13) pitches against Marco Estrada (4-3, 4.24) on Friday night in Toronto.

[MORE ORIOLES: Showalter says 'never was' controversy with Chen]

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Showalter fired as Orioles manager after 115-loss season

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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."

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

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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.