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The 'Pride of Pigtown' says goodbye to the Orioles


The 'Pride of Pigtown' says goodbye to the Orioles

Steve Clevenger fit with the Orioles. As a child, he lived in the section of Baltimore called “Pigtown,” named for all the slaughterhouses that were once there.

Clevenger could walk to the ballpark, and did. Later on, his family moved out of the West Baltimore neighborhood. Clevenger went to Mount St. Joseph’s high in Southwest Baltimore and played in what was then the “Crown All-Star Game” at Oriole Park.

He was drafted by the Cubs, and then sent home along with Scott Feldman for Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop. Please don’t hold that against him.

Clevenger is a fun guy to be around, disarmingly honest. He freely admitted he didn’t know that the grand slam he hit on Sept. 11 against the Kansas City Royals was the Orioles’ second of the inning, tying a record.

RELATED: A dizzying day ends with three new Orioles

In parts of three seasons with the Orioles, Clevenger got to play in only 69 games. He thought that in 2014, he would get his chance, and he did.

Clevenger made the Opening Day roster, but after Matt Wieters was hurt and Nick Hundley acquired, the Orioles sent him down and kept Caleb Joseph, a decision he seethed about.

But, he worked hard on his defense, and it improved, especially in 2015, and hit .287 in 30 games.

When the Orioles made a qualifying offer to Wieters last month, and he surprisingly accepted, it was clear that Clevenger wouldn’t get many opportunities to catch, and on Wednesday was sent to Seattle for Mark Trumbo and C.J. Riefenhauser.

“No, I wouldn’t say it was a surprise. I had a feeling with Matt signing back, the Orioles, to me, weren’t interested in carrying three catchers, and I kind of figured they’d probably shop me around a little bit and try and get something they could use for the team this year,” Clevenger said on Wednesday night.

“I’m very disappointed I didn’t get to play, but I’m always going to look at my time in Baltimore as a highlight. Getting a chance to play for your hometown team is a dream come true. All my moments here, I’ll always cherish. There’s no bad feelings towards the Orioles. It’s good for me and my family. I get to go to Seattle and hopefully establish myself as a big league player.”

Clevenger played with Nelson Cruz last year, so he won’t be alone with the Mariners. He knows Kyle Seager from playing against him in the minor leagues, and Seattle has a reliever, Tony Zych, he knows from the Cubs organization.

In August, Clevenger became the first player born in Baltimore to homer at Oriole Park, and he has another big day he remembers.
On May 10, 2014, Clevenger had three hits, including the game-winner in a 10th inning win over Houston.

“I always think about the walkoff hit I had in 2014 against Houston, getting pied by Adam [Jones]. It was a fun day, running down the orange carpet on Opening Day. I would say they were my two best memories,” Clevenger said.

MORE ORIOLES: Orioles settle with Reimold, offer eight contracts

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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.