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Orioles offense handcuffed by Hamels in another loss


Orioles offense handcuffed by Hamels in another loss

ARLINGTON, Tex. – At a most critical time of the season, the Orioles’ offense is producing almost nothing. The result was their eighth loss in nine games.

Cole Hamels, in his fourth start since his acquisition by the Texas Rangers at the trading deadline, totally shut down the Orioles.

Hamels allowed two hits in eight innings, none after the third, and struck out 10 as the Rangers beat the Orioles 4-1 on Friday night before 28,337 at Globe Life Park.

The loss puts the Orioles (63-65) 3 ½ games behind the Rangers (66-61) for the second wild card spot.

In the eight losses, the Orioles have scored just 19 runs. Against Hamels, just one.

“We’ve been struggling offensively and that is compounded (by Hamels). That’s the type of guy you get for six prospects,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He was good and we weren’t, so that’s a bad combination. We’re just not stringing much together offensively.

Matt Wieters singled in the first and Paul Janish doubled in the third off Hamels (2-1), and at one point retired 14 consecutive hitters.

The Orioles struck out 14 times on Thursday in Kansas City and 12 more times against Hamels and Shawn Tolleson.

“It’s been a challenge for us most of the year and will continue to be. You live with them if the run production is there, but it hasn’t been there. That’s a tough part of that,” Showalter said.

Kevin Gausman allowed two home runs to take the loss. He allowed four runs on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings.

“It’s tough for me to fault many of our pitchers when you are going out there knowing that runs are going to be at a premium. Especially with Hamels out there and you compound that with some of our offensive woes right now,” Showalter said.

Gausman knows it’s harder to pitch now with the offense lagging.

"I kind of knew that going into the night, especially with the guy I was facing. He's been great all year and continues to be. He kind of settled in. I think he was a little sporadic early on, but he definitely settled in and put a pretty good start together,” Gausman said.

“It's tough. We like to win and that's kind of what we've been doing the last couple of years, so to have a skid like this obviously doesn't feel good. But we're one hit away, one pitch away, and I think that's the biggest frustrating thing.”

Making his major league debut, Dariel Alvarez quickly saved a run for the Orioles. With runners at first and third with none out in the second, Elvis Andrus lined to Alvarez in right, who threw a one-hopper to the plate to easily retire Adrian Beltre.

“He's kind of always like that down in Norfolk. He throws guys out left and right. He has probably one of the best outfield arms I've ever seen. Yeah, obviously that was huge. I don't think Beltre looked at the scouting report on the outfielders before the game. Yeah, he's definitely kind of a freak athlete. He swings hard and runs hard. He plays the game the right way. He has a really good arm out there in right,” Gausman said.

Alvarez was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.

In the top of the third, the Orioles scored on a one-out double by Janish and walks to Manny Machado, Steve Pearce and Chris Davis. Davis’ bases-loaded walk was his 92nd RBI of the season.

After Davis’ walk, Hamels retired 14 straight until Machado walked with one out in the eighth, but Pearce quickly hit into a double play.

Shin-Soo Choo’s 16th home run off Gausman (2-6) to lead off the fourth, tied the score at 1.

"I thought I threw a pretty good pitch to Choo. I probably should have stayed away from him 3-1 but I tried to go fastball in. He put a good swing on it. It's pretty short down the right field line here. He just kind of got me, I guess,” Choo said.

Prince Fielder followed with a drive to center, but Adam Jones threw Fielder out trying for second.

Chris Gimenez’s one-out homer in the fifth, put Texas ahead 2-1. HHanser Alberto and Delino DeShields each singles, and Alberto scored on Choo’s infield out, and the Rangers led 3-1.

DeShields’ seventh-inning triple scored Will Venable and finished Gausman.

Tolleson allowed a ninth-inning single to Jones, then recorded the final three outs for his 27th save.

The final out was Jonathan Schoop’s fourth strikeout of the game.

“It’s really tough. Trying to go out and win, and things don’t go our way right now,” Schoop said.

COMING UP: Ubaldo Jimenez (9-8, 4.26) faces Martin Perez (1-3, 5.30) on Saturday night.

MORE ORIOLES: Orioles hoping for a rebound against Rangers

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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."