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Orioles watch homers sail out of park in 8-6 loss


Orioles watch homers sail out of park in 8-6 loss

BALTIMORE --- For the second straight night, balls were flying out of Oriole Park with alarming frequency. The Orioles hit three, but the Texas Rangers again hit four.

Those long balls doomed the Orioles to their second straight loss to the Rangers 8-6 before 27,370 at Oriole Park on Tuesday night.

Texas (40-38) hit three home runs off Miguel Gonzalez. A night before, they smacked four against Bud Norris.

“We scored, what, six runs? There was enough to win a baseball game. They just did a better job, pitched a little better,” manager Buck Showalter said.

Mitch Moreland, who hit two against Norris, had a long two-run shot in the second, his 13th. It scored Josh Hamilton, who was activated from the disabled list before the game.

Robinson Chirinos led off the fifth with his ninth, a line drive to left, and two batters later Robinson Chirinos his 10th. That gave Texas a 6-4 lead.

In between the home runs, the Rangers loaded the bases with none out in the third. Prince Fielder’s single scored Chirinos, and Rougned Odor came home when Adrian Beltre hit into a double play.

Gonzalez (6-5) allowed six runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings.

“Really the first two innings I felt good and then after that, I just lost it. Tried to get back to it, but it wasn’t really working. I was flying open. The mechanics weren’t there today. I felt really good in the pen, but it just didn’t work out today,” Gonzalez said. 

Moreland added a two run, opposite-field shot off Chaz Roe, giving him four homers in two games.

“You’ve got to make good pitches and Miggy got behind a lot tonight and I called some pitches that didn’t quite go as I planned. At the same time, probably the one home run that cost us the most was Moreland’s second one. I don’t think he thought he hit it good. I thought it was going to be a pop-up and it’d been a different game, maybe one run (deficit) instead of three,” Wieters said.

Gonzalez has given up three home runs twice in his last four starts, and Texas has gotten hot.

“The last couple games, they have been swinging it really well. This is an aggressive team. They are going to be hacking anything you throw around the plate,” Gonzalez said. “We have been swinging it really good, too. I feel bad that we couldn’t win this game because I didn’t do my job.”

Chris Davis hit a pair of two-run home runs off Colby Lewis, both to center. Adam Jones reached on an error by Odor with two outs, and Davis hit number 17. He hit his 18th, also with two outs, in the third. Jones, who had singled, scored on that one, too.

“I feel good at the plate, just trying to have good at-bats. I think it’s kind of contagious once one or two guys start feeling well, guys start swinging the bats throughout the lineup, putting up runs early and trying to give ourselves a little bit of a lead. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough tonight,” Davis said.

Manny Machado led off the fifth with a home run, his 16th, and the Orioles (41-36) trailed 6-5.

Lewis (7-4) allowed five runs on six hits in six innings.

After Machado’s home run, Lewis, Keone Kela, Tanner Scheppers and Shawn Tolleson retired 14 straight Orioles before J.J. Hardy walked with two outs. After taking second without a throw, Hardy scored on Travis Snider’s single. Snider stole second and Ryan Flaherty struck out as Tolleson recorded his 11th save.

Brad Brach pitched 2 2/3 innings, his longest of the season, and the Orioles may need to add an arm to shore up their bullpen for Wednesday.

“We have to kick it around whether we've got to make a move because we really don't have much length tomorrow,” Showalter said.

The Orioles could option Gonzalez and bring him back just before the All-Star break. Two possible relievers to recall are Jorge Rondon and Tyler Wilson.

Rondon could give the Orioles length for one day and then be optioned for Kevin Gausman. Wilson, who is Norfolk’s scheduled starter on Wednesday, has proven he can give the Orioles multiple innings.

“With a six-man pen you kind of have to manage it a little differently. You have to keep people out of harm's way but also present your best opportunity to win a game,” Showalter said

NOTES: The Orioles turned a season-high four double plays. … Machado extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Davis has a 10-game streak. … Wei-Yin Chen (3-4, 2.90) faces Nick Martinez (5-4, 3.39) on Wednesday night. … The Orioles signed outfielder Tristan Graham, their 22nd draft pick. They’ve signed 35 of their 41 picks.


MORE ORIOLES: Phillies fans will have to be patient with MacPhail

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Orioles' Manny Machado leading all American League shortstops in All-Star Game votes


Orioles' Manny Machado leading all American League shortstops in All-Star Game votes

The Orioles' Manny Machado is the early leader among American League shortstops in the first results of All-Star voting released by Major League Baseball Tuesday.

Machado holds a lead of 110,131 votes over the Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor. 

No other Orioles' player is on the list, and Adam Jones isn't listed among the top-15 of outfielders. 

The Astros' Carlos Correa was last year’s starting shortstop for the American League, but is in fourth place with 206,707 votes, trailing the Yankees' Didi Gregorius who has 208,583.

The next AL voting update will be announced June 19.

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Zach Britton rejoins Orioles after stint on disabled list

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Zach Britton rejoins Orioles after stint on disabled list

BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Orioles left-hander Zach Britton has been activated from the disabled list, six months after undergoing surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Assuming he's finally healthy enough to resume his role as one of the best closers in the big leagues, the question now is: How long will Britton be with the Orioles?

Britton's contract expires after this season, and Baltimore entered play Monday with the worst record in the major leagues (19-45).

So, as he stood in front of his locker and spoke excitedly about his return to the Orioles, Britton conceded that his stay in Baltimore may not extend beyond the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

"I want to pitch well and help the team, regardless of our standing or trade discussions," he said.

Asked if the next few weeks might serve as an audition for other teams, Britton replied, "I guess so, but I'm not going to think of it like that."

Britton made the 2016 AL All-Star team during a season in which he converted all 47 of his save opportunities and compiled a 0.54 ERA in 69 appearances.

He fought forearm and knee injuries last season and had only 15 saves. Then, during the winter, he tore his right Achilles tendon during a workout.

"When I injured myself in December, I was just looking forward to walking again and running again and then to be able to pitch back in the big leagues," Britton said. "There were a lot of hurdles that I overcame."

Surgery and an intense rehab program under Orioles trainer Brian Ebel enabled the 30-year-old to return sooner than many anticipated.

"The thought that he's a pitcher for us on June 11, that's remarkable," manager Buck Showalter said. "He's checked every box to get ready. I don't know what else you could possibly do."

Although Britton will be pitching for a team that's struggled mightily this season, that won't influence the intensity he will bring to the mound.

"I had some injuries the last few years, so I'm looking forward to turning the page on that and just getting back to pitching well," he said. "Everyone in this clubhouse wants to do well at this level, and that's my focus."

To adjust the roster for Britton's return, the Orioles placed right-hander Pedro Araujo on the 10-day disabled list with a right elbow strain and moved outfielder Colby Rasmus to the 60-day DL.