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Season over, Orioles head back to Baltimore


Season over, Orioles head back to Baltimore

NEW YORK – Their jet was ready, their bags packed. The Orioles were convinced they were heading to Detroit to begin the American League Championship Series on Saturday.

Instead it was a quick flight to Baltimore and a head start on winter.

The Orioles hardly hit against the New York Yankees in their American League Division Series. The Yankees hit just a little bit more and will host the Tigers in the ALCS beginning on Saturday.

CC Sabathia’s complete game sent them home. New York won the Division Series 3-2, and Sabathia won two of the games.  He won 3-1 on Friday before 47,081 at Yankee Stadium.

The Orioles batted just .187 in these five games, with all their big hitters—Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, Mark Reynolds, J.J. Hardy and Manny Machado hit below that. Chris Davis hit just .200.

“It’s unfortunate that five guys got cold at the wrong time,” Jones said.

Only Nate McLouth, who went 7-for-22, could have been considered a threat.

“We're disappointed we didn't get to where we wanted to be,” Davis

“But we made a lot of strides. We felt like we had a good team coming out of spring training no matter what everybody else told us. I feel like we defied all odds and played some good baseball this year. It's something to be proud of."

The Orioles, who had long been irrelevant on the national scene, had hoped to win more than they lost for the first time in 15 years. Not only did they do that, but won 93 games and three more in the postseason.

“We'll see them again.  It's been about as much fun as I have had in the big leagues watching how they play the game every day, the standard they held themselves to and the way they raised the bar in Baltimore with each other,” manager Buck Showalter said.

While the Orioles markedly improved, they weren’t good enough to beat the Yankees.

The teams split the season series 9-9 and the first four of the Division Series.

In the fifth, Sabathia threw a complete game four-hitter. He allowed just one hit in the first seven innings. The Orioles pieced together a run on three hits in the eighth, but left the bases loaded.

“We could have won the other three games.  He didn't pitch all five, but it certainly felt like it, didn't it?” Showalter said.

Jason Hammel worked 5 2/3 innings, giving up an RBI single to Raul Ibanez in the fifth and a run-scoring double by Ichiro Suzuki in the sixth.

“The way the games played out I don't think experience played into it too much at all,” Hammel said

“It was everybody just playing the best they could, and we came out on the losing end unfortunately.”
Curtis Granderson hit a home run in the seventh for the third run.

Sabathia plowed through the Orioles in order, retiring the first nine batters before McLouth singled to start the fourth.

Hammel retired 12 straight before Mark Teixeira led off the fifth with a base hit. With Reynolds not holding him on, Teixeira stole second. He had just two steals in the regular season. Ibanez singled to score Teixeira.

In the sixth, McLouth hit a long fly ball to right that was called foul. After Showalter argued, the umpires reviewed the call, and affirmed it. Television replays showed that the ball may have ticked the foul pole, but the call stood. On the next pitch, McLouth struck out.

“I couldn’t tell. I was satisfied. I still have not seen the replay but he was a lot closer than I was. They took a look at it and I was satisfied after they took a look at it that it was foul,” McLouth said.

In the bottom of the sixth, Derek Jeter walked with one out and scored on Suzuki’s double for New York’s second run.

Wieters singled to start the eighth.  Machado walked and Reynolds was struck out. Lew Ford singled to score Wieters. Robert Andino reached on an infield hit to load the bases. McLouth struck out and  Hardy grounded to short, ending any Orioles hope.

Jones, who was just 2-for-26 in the postseason, flied out to start the ninth. Chris Davis struck out and Wieters grounded back to Sabathia as many of the Orioles stayed at the railing to watch the Yankees celebrate.

“We made it to the playoffs and nobody expected that. We pushed the Yankees to five games. Nobody expected us to beat Texas on the road. Overall, it's not the final result we wanted, but we're going to regroup and get ready for another 162," Reynolds 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


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."