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Orioles woes continue in 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay


Orioles woes continue in 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The normally reliable Darren O’Day had a most unusual inning. For the first time in nearly two years, he allowed three hits, and in a shocking turnaround, the Orioles went from holding a tight one-run lead to a three-run loss.

The Tampa Bay Rays’ 3-1 win over the Orioles before 17,838 at Tropicana Field was disheartening because for the second straight start, Chris Tillman was nearly unhittable.

Tillman took a 1-0 lead into the eighth. After allowing just one hit and retiring the final 23 batters in a row last Saturday, Tillman gave up just two hits in seven innings.

After walking the leadoff batter in the eighth, Kevin Kiermaier, he was out of the game, and O’Day, who allowed two hits in just three of his previous 36 appearances, had his roughest inning of an All-Star season.

“He’s so much better than tonight. He gets many mulligans with us,” manager Buck Showalter said.

O’Day’s ERA rose from 1.04 to 1.51.

Joey Butler flied to center, and Kiermaier stole second. Steven Souza struck out, and John Jason singled to right-center, scoring Kiermaier.

Evan Longoria’s single to shallow center put runners on first and third and James Loney was walked intentionally.

Tim Beckham’s single to center hopped off the front of the mound and drove in Jaso and Longoria, and suddenly it was 3-1.

"I made some good pitches. Made a couple really bad pitches. The one to Jaso was pretty bad and the one to Beckham, 0-2, I have to be better than that. Can't leave anything close to the zone where he can win the game like that. Longoria didn't hit the ball hard, but he did his job. He got his bat on the ball with two strikes and extended the inning,” O’Day said.

The Orioles (46-49) have lost four straight and 15 of 20, and for the seventh time in the last eight games, scored three runs or fewer.

“The story is we just haven’t scored any runs,” Showalter said.

The Orioles had a 1-0 lead and Tillman looked to be on the way to his sixth straight win.

Tillman became the first Orioles pitcher since Matt Riley in 2004 with consecutive starts of seven innings, one run and two hits.

“I’m just executing better and when I do get in trouble I’m able to make a pitch to get out of it.  It’s been there for a while now, just kind of carried over from the last couple starts from the first half and we are taking advantage of it,” Tillman said.

Manny Machado, who batted third for the first time in his major league career, had two singles, a walk and was hit by a pitch. He scored the Orioles’ only run in the fourth on Chris Davis’ double.

“We’re just a couple of hits away. We’re just a couple of innings away. We’ve just got to clean it up. It’s just part of the game, it’s part of the grind that we’ve got to get. This is where champions are made right here,” Machado said.

Alex Colome (4-4) got the win for Tampa Bay (49-49) with a scoreless eighth. Jake McGee got his fifth save.

Machado was hit in the left shoulder by Colome in the eighth. He yelled at Colome that the pitch was too close to his head. Colome wagged his finger, saying “no, no, no” to Machado.

Home plate umpire John Tumpane, a fill-in from Triple-A, warned both benches because Beckham had been hit an inning earlier by Tillman.

“I just saw the ball up and in. Nobody likes to get thrown at at the head, but it wasn’t intentional like I said. It’s just part of the game. I’ve got to go out there and take a hit by pitch, go to first base like I did and just move on,” Machado said.

Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer allowed a run on five hits in six innings, striking out nine.

The Orioles remain seven games behind in the American League East, and their clubhouse was perhaps the quietest all season.

Asked to assess the clubhouse’s mood, O’Day said: “Look around.”

Tillman said his teammates’ mood won’t change, said the team will stay upbeat.

“Clubhouse is fine. I’ve never seen it change, win or lose, rain or shine it’s always the same. We got a lot of veteran guys in there that do the job and that’s what’s going on now as well. We are not playing bad baseball. We just aren’t getting the timely hits and timely pitches,” Tillman said.

The one-run losses shouldn’t eat at the Orioles.

“You’d rather be in a close game than a blowout,” Tillman said.

COMING UP: Miguel Gonzalez (8-6, 4.21) faces Erasmo Ramirez (8-3, 3.54) on Saturday at 6:10 p.m.

MORE ORIOLES: Showalter not listening to rumors

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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.