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Orioles win Wild Card, beat Rangers 5-1


Orioles win Wild Card, beat Rangers 5-1

ARLINGTON, Tex. The Orioles finally got to celebrate. As soon as their improbable Wild Card win was complete, the Champagne flowed.The New York Yankees could wait. The partying began and the first time partyers doused each other.Jim Thome, whos been through more of these celebrations than anyone, ran around the Orioles clubhouse, goggles on, spraying everyone in sight.The Orioles advanced to the American League Division Series with a 5-1 win over the Texas Rangers before a stunned crowd of 46,831 at Rangers Ballpark on Friday night.On Sunday night at 6:15 p.m., the Orioles will try and stun the Yankees, against whom theyve split 18 games this season.The Yankees are next, but weve going to enjoy tonight. Well worry about the Yankees tomorrow. We need to enjoy this, Adam Jones said. This teams special. Its a special feeling.Jones is the teams most visible player, but even some nonparticipants joined in the celebration.Nick Markakis, whose broken thumb prevented him from playing the last four weeks, didnt let that stop him for celebrating. Markakis and Brian Roberts, out after hip surgery, whove endured 17 years of losing, joined the team party.Ten minutes after the final out, the floor was covered in plastic, Champagne and beer. Pedro Strop and Robert Andino led the team in dance and song, and in his first year in the U.S., Wei-Yin Chen sang along the loudest.This is a terrific team because they can win the games when they need to be won, Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said.Moments earlier, Duquette and manager Buck Showalter, shared a long embrace. Duquette, out of the game for a decade before his surprise hiring nearly a year ago and Showalter, who won his first postseason game since 1995 were drenched by countless Orioles.Showalter defeated the team that fired him in 2006, sending him into a nearly four-year managerial exile. Now he faces the team that he managed from 1992-95.Im all for irony, Showalter said.Youve got to seize the opportunity. We dont get many.Against a team which outscored them by more than two to one during the regular season, the Orioles held the highest scoring team in baseball to just a run and no extra-inning hits to capture the first American League Wild Card game.Joe Saunders with an 0-6 record and a 9.38 ERA in his six previous starts in Rangers Ballpark, pitched into the sixth inning, and the bullpen again was outstanding.I was due, Saunders said.Nobody believes in us, but we believe in ourselves.The win sets up the Orioles first home playoff game in 15 years when they host New York on Sunday.The second game is Monday night, and then the best-of-five AL Divisional Series will shift to New York on Wednesday.Saunders left with a 2-1 lead after two were out in the sixth. Darren ODay retired six of his seven hitters in two innings. Brian Matusz struck out Josh Hamilton to end the eighth. Hamilton is now 0-for-10 against Matusz with six punchouts.Jim Johnson loaded the bases in the ninth and got Daniel Murphy on a fly to Nate McLouth in left to end it.The Orioles started quickly in the first against Yu Darvish. McLouth reached on an error by first baseman Michael Young. He stole second and scored on J.J. Hardys single.In the bottom of the first, Saunders walked leadoff batter Ian Kinsler. He moved to third on Elvis Andrus single and scored when Hamilton hit into a double play.Hardy and Chris Davis singled to begin the sixth. Jones sacrifice fly scored Hardy to make it 2-1.Saunders reversed his awful record in Arlington, allowing a run on six hits in 5 23 innings. He walked one and struck out four.In the seventh, Ryan Flaherty singled with one out. Robert Andino pinch-ran and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Derek Holland relieved Darvish, and McLouth singled for a 3-1 lead.ODay allowed just an infield single in the eighth, equaling his season high by pitching two innings.
The Orioles added two runs in the ninth against Joe Nathan. Thome walked, and with one out, Andino doubled him to third. Lew Ford ran for Thome and scored on Manny Machados single. McLouths sacrifice fly scored Andino.Texas beat the Orioles in five of seven games and handily led the AL West for most of the season before losing seven of their last nine.
The Orioles sent them home.

After 15 years, postseason baseball returns to Baltimore.This is something I needed to see, Roberts said. I would have hated to miss it and not to be a part of it.

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Machado hits 2-run HR in 15th as Orioles beat Braves 10-7


Machado hits 2-run HR in 15th as Orioles beat Braves 10-7

ATLANTA -- For Braves manager Brian Snitker, playing the matchups meant pitching to Manny Machado with first base open and a marathon game on the line.

The Orioles slugger made that strategy look foolish.

Machado hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the 15th inning, lifting Baltimore to a 10-7 win over Atlanta on Friday night after each team staged dramatic ninth-inning rallies.

The Braves surrendered six runs in the ninth, and then scored four times in the bottom of the inning.

Peter Moylan, Atlanta's eighth pitcher, hit Craig Gentry to open the 15th. Gentry moved to second on Austin Wynns' sacrifice.

With first base open, the Braves pitched to Machado and he responded with his 19th homer, a drive into the Orioles' bullpen in left.

Snitker said the right-handed Moylan is tough on right-handed hitters but acknowledged "you hate like hell (Machado) is one of them."

Machado said an intentional walk "crossed my mind at first. I thought they were. In that situation they probably had faith in Moylan out there that he could get some ground balls to the left side of the infield."

Machado hit a 0-2 slider Moylan said was "supposed to be middle in." Moylan said the pitch "slipped out of my hand and ended up middle middle."

Moylan (0-1) gave up another run on singles by Colby Rasmus and Jonathan Schoop.

Mike Wright Jr. (1-0), Baltimore's seventh pitcher, threw two scoreless innings.

The game lasted 5 hours, 21 minutes.

The Orioles trailed 3-1 heading into the ninth, and the Braves rallied against closer Zach Britton in the bottom of the inning. Braves closer Arodys Vizcaino was not used while Dan Winkler allowed four runs while recording only one out.

Snitker said he rested Vizcaino because of shoulder soreness and he might be available on Saturday.

Chris Davis hit a drought-breaking homer and drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly as Baltimore opened a 7-3 lead.

Britton got one out and was charged with four runs and five hits. He gave up a single to Johan Camargo and a double to Danny Santana before hitting Ender Inciarte to load the bases.

Ozzie Albies' bases-loaded single drove in Camargo. Freddie Freeman's two-run single cut the lead to one before Nick Markakis tied the game with a double to right field.

Atlanta had jumped in front on Charlie Culberson's tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth.

Davis, making his first start since June 11, hit his first homer since May 9 in the fifth. Camargo tied the game with his run-scoring double in the seventh.

Braves left-hander Sean Newcomb allowed five hits in seven innings.

Orioles right-hander Alex Cobb permitted four hits in seven innings

The start of the game was delayed 11 minutes by rain.

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

The 2018 Major League All-Star Game is less than a month away. Fan votes are well underway and early frontrunners are close to locking their position in the Midsummer Classic.

Yesterday, we projected how the National League roster will play out. Today it is time to look at the American League roster projection.

For five straight seasons, the AL has had the upper hand in the MLB All-Star Game. In 2018, it does not appear that will change as the American League roster will be loaded from top to bottom.

As a reminder, here is how the process shakes out, first with the fan vote, players’ ballots, and the MLB Commissioner’s Office:

  • Fan vote: nine position players in AL (DH)/ eight in NL; plus final vote for each league
  • Player’s ballots: next 17 players in AL/ 16 players in NL; (five starting pitchers, three relievers must be chosen)
  • MLB Commissioner’s Office: five AL players (four pitchers, one position player) and seven NL players (four pitchers, three position players)

One player from each team must make the initial roster (before injury withdraws, etc.). Below is how it looks the American League roster will play out, considering the latest fan vote returns:

American League All-Star Roster Projection:

C – Wilson Ramos, Rays (Fan Vote), Gary Sánchez, Yankees (Player Ballot)
1B – José Abreu, White Sox (Fan Vote), Joey Gallo, Rangers (Player Ballot)
2B – Jose Altuve, Astros (Fan Vote), Jed Lowrie, Athletics (Player Ballot)
3B – José Ramírez, Indians (Fan Vote), Yangervis Solarte, Blue Jays (Player Ballot), Mike Moustakas, Royals (Commissioner’s Office)
SS – Manny Machado, Orioles (Fan Vote), Jean Segura, Mariners (Player Ballot),
OF – Mookie Betts, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Mike Trout, Angels (Fan Vote), Aaron Judge, Yankees (Fan Vote), Michael Brantley, Indians (Player Ballot), Eddie Rosario, Twins (Player Ballot), Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees (Player Ballot),
DH – J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Shohei Ohtani, Angels (Player Ballot)

SP – Justin Verlander, Astros (Player Ballot), Luis Severino, Yankees (Player Ballot), Corey Kluber, Indians (Player Ballot), Chris Sale, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Gerrit Cole, Astros (Player Ballot), Blake Snell, Tampa Bay (Commissioner’s Office)

RP – Edwin Díaz, Mariners (Player Ballot), Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Aroldis Chapman, Yankees (Player Ballot), Joe Jiménez, Tigers (Commissioner’s Office), Delin Betances, Yankees (Commissioner’s Office), Chris Devenski, Astros (Commissioner’s Office)

Manager: Jeff Luhnow, Astros

Based on this projection, the New York Yankees will have the most representatives with six. The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox will both have four.

Ensuring no snubs, there will be five players selected for the final fan vote to get one more All-Star into the game for a total of 32 for the American League. As you can see, no matter how the AL roster plays out, it will be a dominant team once again as they look for six straight All-Star wins.

Four of those five wins were inside a National League stadium and that will not change as the Washington Nationals will host this season.