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Twilight time in Bronx, no Cards speech in DC

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Twilight time in Bronx, no Cards speech in DC

Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter was a bit confused by the unusual starting time for Game 5 of the AL division series.

Finishing off a pregame answer about leaving slugger Jim Thome out of his starting lineup for the all-or-nothing matchup against the New York Yankees, Showalter veered off topic.

``Is this a day or night game? What are we calling it? Twilight?'' Showalter asked.

Showalter said he asked the 6-foot-4, 250-pound Thome whether he ate breakfast or lunch before the 5:07 p.m. EDT start.

``He goes `both.' A dumb question.''

The Orioles also tried to alter batting practice to tailor it a little more to their liking. Perhaps tired of the constant stream of advertising and Yankees highlights that blare on the main video board when the visitors hit, they placed their own stereo system next to the batting cage.

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HOMERS ON HOLD: Alex Rodriguez wasn't the only slugger with over 600 homers to be kept out of the starting lineup for Game 5 between the Yankees and Orioles.

Jim Thome took a seat, too.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter chose to start light-hitting Lew Ford over the 612-homer man.

``It gives us some good options on the bench,'' Showalter said. ``Lew has done some good things for us.

Ford was hitting .256 and has two homers in 43 at-bats against Yankees starter CC Sabathia. He's also 2 for 5 with a double in the series while Thome is 1 for 12 with four strikeouts.

Thome missed almost seven weeks with a neck injury, returning Sept.. 21, and Showalter wants to protect the 42-year-old designated hitter.

``I have a little concern with Jimmy, try not to throw what he's gone through physically with his neck and back out the window,'' Showalter said. ``Trying not to overextend him some. But he's got a good at bat in him today at some point if we need it.

When asked what he thought about Rodriguez and his 647 career homers not starting, Thome said, ``I prefer not to talk about that situation.''

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THINKING AHEAD: Davey Johnson won the World Series as a player and a manager, but he went 15 years without a trip to the postseason until returning this October with the Washington Nationals.

So during all that time away, did he wonder about getting another chance to be a skipper in a win-or-go-home game?

``I never really thought about it,'' the Nationals' manager said before Game 5 of their NL division series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night.

He did, however, have something running through his mind while watching baseball playoff games on TV in the decade and a half since he took the Baltimore Orioles to the 1997 postseason.

``I'd think, `Oh, I can imagine the question he's going to get from the writers after that game. I'm glad it's him and not me,''' Johnson said with a smile.

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NO SPEECH HERE: After a dramatic victory in Game 4 of their NL division series to extend their season, some Washington Nationals pointed to a rousing pregame speech quoting President Teddy Roosevelt delivered by veteran Mark DeRosa, who isn't even on the playoff roster.

St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said before Game 5 on Friday night that he didn't feel the need to come up with any special sort of motivational words to help his players rebound from losing 2-1 on Jayson Werth's game-ending homer in the bottom of the ninth inning a day earlier.

``As far as a Knute Rockne deal, that's not what this club does,'' Matheny said. ``This club shows up to play baseball every day. Now there have been times through the season where it's been needed, but today is not one of those times.''

The first-year manager, who replaced the retired Tony La Russa after St. Louis won the 2011 World Series, continued: ``These guys played a good, hard baseball game yesterday. We ended up on the short end of it, and it's not the first time it's happened to them, and they have responded well by just coming back and playing the game.''

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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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