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A-Rod still bats 3rd for Yankees, shifted to DH

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A-Rod still bats 3rd for Yankees, shifted to DH

NEW YORK (AP) Slumping Alex Rodriguez kept his No. 3 slot in the batting order for Game 3 of the New York Yankees' AL division series against Baltimore on Wednesday night but was shifted from third base to designated hitter.

There had been some calls for manager Joe Girardi to drop down Rodriguez, just 1 for 9 with five strikeouts as the teams split the first two games in the best-of-five series.

Eric Chavez took over at third base and hit ninth, where DHs Eduardo Nunez hit in Game 2 and Raul Ibanez in the opener. Chavez was 3 for 6 during the regular season against right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, Baltimore's Game 3 starter.

``I trust our guys. I'm with him every day. I'm with their approach every day, and it's important that they trust me,'' Girardi said. ``We played playoff baseball the whole month of September and the first three days of October. And Alex hit third and we won a lot of games with a lineup that we kept consistent and guys knew where they were at every day, and I think there's something to be said for that.''

Rodriguez broke his left hand when hit by a pitch from Seattle's Felix Hernandez on July 24. He returned Sept. 3 and hit .261 with just three home runs and 12 RBIs in 111 at-bats. Including the playoffs, Rodriguez hasn't homered in 77 at-bats since Sept. 14.

Still, Derek Jeter said A-Rod has the confidence of his teammates.

``He's one of the reasons we're here,'' the Yankees captain said.

In 2006, Rodriguez was dropped to eighth in the order for the first time in a decade for Game 4 of the division series against Detroit. The decision by manager Joe Torre didn't help the Yankees avoid elimination, and Rodriguez went 0 for 3 as he finished the series 1 for 14 with no RBIs.

``I think whenever you move a player, it has a chance not only to affect the player, but it could affect the whole team, too,'' Girardi said. ``There are different things that you have to worry about, and sometimes moving one player causes you to move two or three, or maybe even four, because our lineup is built around somewhat protecting our left-handed hitters from matchups. And that's a concern, too. So I know people talk about, `Why don't you just do this?' It's not always so easy as just moving one guy when you change the lineup.''

The rest of New York's batting order was unchanged against Gonzalez, with shortstop Derek Jeter leading off, following by left fielder Ichiro Suzuki, Rodriguez, second baseman Robinson Cano, right fielder Nick Swisher, first baseman Mark Teixeira, center fielder Curtis Granderson, catcher Russell Martin and Chavez. Right-hander Hiroki Kuroda was New York's starting pitcher.

NOTES: Girardi said Phil Hughes (16-13) will be his Game 4 starter win or lose Wednesday. Girardi said he didn't consider bringing back ace CC Sabathia on three days' rest. If he pitched Sabathia on short rest, Andy Pettitte would have been lined up to start Game 5 on short rest after throwing 98 pitches in Game 2, his high since coming back last month from a broken left ankle. Hughes hasn't made a postseason start since losing the sixth and final game of the 2010 AL championship series against Texas. ``Obviously tomorrow is going to be a big game, either playing to stay alive or playing to move on,'' he said.

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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

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USA TODAY Sports

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."

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