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Pearce's home run gives Orioles 4-3 comeback win


Pearce's home run gives Orioles 4-3 comeback win

BALTIMORE --- There was one welcome sign for the Orioles on Monday, and another that wasn’t welcome at all.

Steve Pearce hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning to give the Orioles a rare come-from-behind win.

Then, moments later, J.J. Hardy was pulled from the game after seven innings with back tightness. Manager Buck Showalter walked onto the field after the inning to check on Hardy, and the shortstop walked off. He was hampered last year with a back injury that hampered his power.

The 4-3 win over the Houston Astros before 28,909 at Oriole Park came on another busy day. There weren’t any personnel moves, but Brian Matusz got the expected news. He was suspended eight games for having a foreign substance on his arm in Saturday night’s game in Miami. He will appeal.

Hardy said that he didn’t expect his back to be an important issue.

“I think just kind of protecting it a little bit,” Hardy said. He said his hotel room bed in Miami bothered it.

“Buck saw it and he just wanted to get me out of there.”

Right after Pearce homered, Hardy singled and on the bases, he looked bothered.

“I was going at 100 percent of what I had and I think he saw it and he just took me out. I think it was the way I was running. If anything, I was just kind of protecting my back and apparently it didn’t' look very good. It was probably the right decision, but I didn't want to come out of the game. But I'd say it already feels better than it did there in the seventh,” Hardy said.

There haven’t been many big comeback wins for the Orioles this season, certainly not as many as in the past three years.

In the two losses in Miami this weekend, the Orioles scored just two runs in 22 innings. Pearce’s home run dealt Dallas Keuchel (6-1) his first loss since Aug. 21, 2014. Keuchel allowed two home runs, and had only given up one in his first nine starts.

“We just capitalized on his mistakes and we hadn’t been doing that all year. Hopefully today is the start of something. We have a good team, we have a good hitting team. We just haven’t had consistency all year. Right now is a good time to get hot as any,” Pearce said.

Pearce homered in the first two games of the season, then went 22 games without a homer. In his last nine games, he’s hit three.

Wei-Yin Chen allowed 11 hits, one short of his career high in five innings. He allowed the first two hitters to reach base on singles in both the first and second.

George Springer led off the third with his seventh home run.

In the fifth, Houston had four singles and scored two runs on Chris Carter’s single to right.

It was Chen’s second shortest start of the season.

“All I can say is there were a lot of hits today, some were hard hits, some were not,” Chen said through his translator.

Keuchel allowed a leadoff single to Delmon Young in the second, and with two outs, Caleb Joseph hit his seventh home run, a two-run shot to left field, his seventh.

Manny Machado singled with one out in the third, but was quickly erased when Jimmy Paredes hit into a double play. Keuchel retired 11 straight until Young singled with one out in the seventh. Pearce lined a home run to center field on the first pitch, his fifth.

Brad Brach (2-0) pitched two perfect innings in relief of Chen for the win. Oliver Drake, in his second major league appearance, threw a perfect eighth, and Zach Britton worked a spotless ninth for his 11th save.

Last year, Brach was often able to get an opportunistic win.

“This was the kind of the time last year when we made our run. It starts to get a little bit hotter. Our hitters will get going here. Yeah, I don’t know what it is. I just seem to be in the right place at the right time a lot, so hopefully I can continue doing that,” Brach said.

Showalter is hoping there are more exciting wins coming up.

“I hope so. Even if you do it one day, the momentum is always the next day's pitcher. To beat a good pitcher like [Keuchel] it's really a challenge. But in order to beat him, you have to pitch well. That's what our four guys did,” Showalter said.

NOTES: Scott Feldman (3-4, 5.17) faces Chris Tillman (2-5, 6.10) on Tuesday night. … The Orioles hadn’t played at home on Memorial Day since 2009. … Dylan Bundy has been scratched from Tuesday’s start at Bowie because of shoulder tightness.

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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."