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Two late Ibanez home runs shock Orioles


Two late Ibanez home runs shock Orioles

NEW YORK – It was shocking.

The Orioles were two outs away from taking a 2-1 lead in their American League Division Series.

Shock No. 1 was when Alex Rodriguez was pinch-hit for in the bottom of the ninth and a moment later, the second shock came when his stand-in Raul Ibanez tied the game at 2 with a home run to right field off Jim Johnson

The game continued  into the 12th inning, and Ibanez hit the game –winner  off Brian Matusz, and the New York Yankees had a 3-2 win before 50,497 howling fans at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Orioles are a game away from elimination, and must win on Thursday and Friday to earn a chance at the American League Division Series.

“It’s pretty much win or go home tomorrow, isn’t it?” Adam Jones said.

The Orioles have scored just seven runs in three games. Jones and  Matt Wieters are a combined 3-for-26.

“We’ve got to get some base hits, some guys on base,” Jones said. “We’ve got to create runs.”

Johnson allowed three home runs in the regular season. He’s given up two to the Yankees in three games. In Sunday’s first game, Johnson allowed five runs in a third of an inning.

“If you make your pitch, it really doesn’t matter,” Johnson said.

“The home runs were pretty much over the plate.”

Miguel Gonzalez pitched seven wonderful innings. Darren O’Day pitched a great eighth, and Johnson got Ichiro Suzuki to fly to left for the first out in the ninth.

Then, A-Rod, who’s just 3-for-30 in his last two postseasons, was yanked.

"That caught me off guard. Pinch hitting for a guy who's half a billionaire,” Jones said. “I guess they pushed the right button today.”

In the 12th, Ibanez hit the first pitch from Matusz into the right field stands, and the Orioles were a game away from going home.

“I just left the pitch up,” Matusz said. “We’re still in this.”

On Thursday, Joe Saunders will start against Phil Hughes.

Manager Buck Showalter chose Saunders over Chris Tillman. Saunders won Friday’s Wild Card Game in Texas.

“Joe is a guy that gives you a chance to win, and he’ll compete, and he knows we feel good with him out there,” Showalter said.

Saunders declined comment after the game.

The Yankees won the game with both A-Rod and Derek Jeter out of the game with a bone bruise to his left foot. Jeter fouled a ball off the foot and then tripled to center to drive in New York’s first run.

Jones got a poor jump on the ball and Russell Martin easily scored from second.

“I point-blank missed the ball. I don't know what happened. I thought it was where it was going to be and thought wrong at that time. It cost
us a run," Jones said.

In the regular season, the Orioles won 16 straight extra-inning games after losing their first two—both to the Yankees.

David Robertson got the win with two scoreless innings.

Johnson’s work undermined a wonderful start by Miguel Gonzalez, who allowed just one run on five hits in seven innings, walking none and striking out five.

After Gonzalez finished, Darren O’Day retired New York in the eighth in order. After O’Day struck out Jeter, he left the game.

Then, Ibanez tied it and won it.

“You never picture anything like that happening,” Wieters said.

“It's a tough situation and I'll still take our guys out there on the mound every time against them."

Showalter said he wasn’t stunned by the abrupt turn.

“Stunned left me a while ago,” he said.

“One pitch, that’s the world we live in.”

The Orioles’ two runs came on home runs hit by rookies. Ryan Flaherty hit a homerun with one out in the top of the third. It landed in the lower deck in right field.

Manny Machado led off the fifth with a home run to left field for a 2-1 lead. Prior to this game, the Orioles never had a rookie homer in a postseason game. Now, they have two. According to STATS LLC, it’s the first time rookie teammates have ever homered in a postseason game.

Both were hit off Hiroki Kuroda, who pitched 8 1/3 innings, giving up the two home runs, five hits, walking one and striking out three. He hit two batters.

If Saunders struggles, Chris Tillman will be in back of him as Showalter tries to salvage the season. Johnson, who also pitched the 10th will be available, too.

“I got to get over it quick,” Johnson said.


-Machado was the second youngest player to hit a postseason home run. The youngest is New York’s Andruw Jones, who is not on the active list for this series.

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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."