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Gallardo's rough first inning leads to Orioles 7-6 loss

Gallardo's rough first inning leads to Orioles 7-6 loss

BALTIMORE—After Yovani Gallardo gave up three runs in the first inning, the Orioles quickly answered back with four of their own. 

Perhaps this was going to be another night where the Orioles took advantage of an inexperienced pitcher and continued their strong September run. 

Instead the four runs represented most of their offense, and they dropped a 7-6 decision to the Tampa Bay Rays before 19,233 at Oriole Park on Thursday night.

While the Orioles lost, the Boston Red Sox scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the New York Yankees 7-5. The Orioles lost a game, and they’re two games in back of Boston in the AL East. 

The Orioles (80-66) were 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position, and just 1-for-13 in the final eight innings. 

“It’s a tough loss because we fought back and had a chance there at the end, but we left a lot of opportunities out there today, but to have a chance there in the ninth inning, it’s all you can ask for. Didn’t come through today, we’ll look for tomorrow,” Matt Wieters said. 

For the fourth consecutive start, Gallardo (5-8) allowed a home run in the first inning. Gallardo walked Logan Forsythe and Kevin Kiermaier and Evan Longoria hit his 33rd home run for a 3-0 lead. 

“Just falling behind guys. That’s the No. 1 thing, can’t start the game walking the first two guys and then making the mistake there to the No. 3 hole hitter. It’s never a good start. Every time you make a mistake to a hitter like that, he’s going to make you pay,” Gallardo said. 

With six starters for the moment, manager Buck Showalter can mix and match, and he kept Gallardo out of the series at Fenway Park, and may again bypass him when the Orioles play four games with the Red Sox here again next week.

Gallardo was pitching for the first time in nine days, and for the fourth consecutive start gave up a first-inning home run.

“No, I’m not going to look too much into that,” Wieters said. “The greatest thing about Yovani is even when he gets backed into some tough situations, he can work his way out of it. The home run can kind of make that null and void. He’s good with guys in scoring position in leaving them out there. But one thing is keeping the ball in the ballpark is big for him because he can get out of jams when he needs to.” 

Blake Snell quickly coughed up the lead in the bottom of the first. Wieters‘ two-run single and J.J. Hardy’s two-run double gave the Orioles a 4-3 lead. 

Forsythe’s RBI single in the top of the second tied the score at 4 and Steven Souza, Jr.’s run-scoring double an inning later gave Tampa Bay (63-83) a 5-4 lead. 

Longoria’s two-run single in the fourth stretched Tampa Bay’s lead to 7-4. 

“It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating for sure. I’ve been feeling really good. I was feeling really good coming into this start today. It just wasn’t there. The command wasn’t there. For whatever reason it was, it can’t happen,” Gallardo said. 

Gallardo was removed after 3 1/3 innings. He gave up six runs on seven hits, walking two. He struck out a season-high seven. 

“We knew he’d be a little bit stronger with added rest. You see the strikeouts, but you also see him getting some balls where he didn’t want to get them. He didn’t have a real good feel for anything off-speed. I thought he was going to find his step a couple times, but he never really got into a rhythm, it seemed like,” Showalter said. 

Snell made it into the fifth inning when Adam Jones walked to lead off. Jonathan Schoop doubled Jones to third, and when Manny Machado struck out, Snell was removed for Brad Boxberger.

Boxberger (4-1) retired Mark Trumbo on a foul pop to first and Chris Davis grounded out to the pitcher. 

In the bottom of the eighth, Dana Eveland walked Davis and gave up a double to Wieters. Danny Farquhar grounded to first to score Davis, and Michael Bourn grounded to second, scoring Wieters, and it was 7-6. 

Alex Colome allowed singles to Schoop and Machado with one out in the ninth, but ended the game by striking out Trumbo and Davis to earn his 33rd save. 

“You can look at a lot of reasons why we didn’t win that game. It’s a team loss, and we’ll take it as that, but at the same time, we can’t dwell on that because tomorrow we might have the same situations and we have to have the confidence to go out there and hit the ball hard,” Wieters said. 
 

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Showalter fired as Orioles manager after 115-loss season

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Showalter fired as Orioles manager after 115-loss season

Buck Showalter has been fired as manager of the Orioles, who made three playoff appearances under his guidance but this year staggered through the worst season since the team moved to Baltimore in 1954.

Showalter confirmed the dismissal Wednesday in a text message to The Associated Press.

A three-time AL Manager of the Year, Showalter ranks second on the Orioles' career list with 669 victories, trailing Earl Weaver. He took over in August 2010 and orchestrated the resurgence of a team that suffered through 14 straight losing seasons.

Once hailed for making baseball in Baltimore relevant again, the 62-year-old Showalter is out of a job after a season in which the Orioles finished 47-115, 61 games behind Boston in the AL East. His contract expired at the end of October, and the Orioles opted against a renewal as they continue a major rebuild that began in late July, when they traded stars Manny Machado, Zach Britton, Jonathan Schoop and Kevin Gausman for minor league prospects.

Those deals were made by Dan Duquette, the executive vice president of baseball operations, whose future with the organization is up in the air.

Showalter earned AL Manager of the Year honors in 2014 after taking the Orioles to the AL East title and a berth in the Championship Series. He was also named Manager of Year with the Yankees in 1994 and Texas in 2004. His career record is 1,551-1,517, including 669-684 with Baltimore.

"I just think ever since he came here, the franchise just gained a little more accountability, gained an edge for some time," Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said before the final game of the season. "It's the end of an era. A great manager, a great tenure. I don't know if he's going to coach or manage again, but he's got grandchildren. Go golf. Relax and go sit on the golf course."

With his future in doubt, Showalter appeared undaunted during the final series of the regular season.

"You know how good they've been to me? I'm not ever going to forget that, regardless of what happens," he said.

Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin was asked before his team's playoff game against the Yankees on Wednesday night whether Showalter was victimized by the trend toward analytics.

"I don't think Buck was a guy that ignored analytics," Melvin said. "I think it was probably a combination of how they did this year and maybe some relationships."

After the Orioles brought Showalter out of retirement, he offered renewed hope by fashioning a 34-23 finish in 2010 for a team that was 32-73 upon his arrival.

Baltimore ended a 14-year playoff drought in 2012, advancing to the AL Division Series following a victory over Texas in the wild-card game. Playoff appearances in 2014 and 2016 followed.

Last year, however, the Orioles fell to 75-87 after losing 19 of their final 23 games. Baltimore hoped the addition of starters Alex Cobb and Andrew Cashner would enable the team to be a contender this year, but a horrid start quickly dispelled that notion.

The Orioles' deficit in the AL East reached double digits by April 18 and they were 8-27 on May 8. By the end of July, Baltimore fully entered rebuilding mode, leaving Showalter with the dubious distinction of overseeing a team that finished with the poorest record in the majors and one that surpassed the 1939 St. Louis Browns for most losses in franchise history.

Showalter never offered an excuse. He just grinded forward, working to prepare the team for 2019 even though he knew he might not be around to follow through.

At the outset of a season-ending series against Houston, Showalter was asked if he was thinking these might be his final days in the Baltimore dugout.

"We all have some private thoughts and emotions about that, but I don't think it serves the organization well for me to be worried about that right now," he said. "We've got some things to do these last four games that need to get done."

Showalter has a reputation as a no-nonsense manager, but his players appreciated his baseball knowledge and skill at handling a team. He made a point of talking to each of them on a regular basis, almost always offering encouragement.

"He gave me a chance," said catcher Caleb Joseph, who played six-plus years in the minors before arriving in Baltimore. "He believed in me in 2014, ran me out there and gave me a chance to be part of a championship team. He's really vouched for me ever since. I owe a lot to Buck and his loyalty. He's been a main figure here for a long time."

Sensing the end was near for the only big league manager he had ever played for, first baseman Trey Mancini said: "It's been an absolute honor to play for Buck. He's been incredible."

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Red Sox beat Orioles 6-2 to clinch home field through Series

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Red Sox beat Orioles 6-2 to clinch home field through Series

The Boston Red Sox broke a 106-year-old franchise record with their 106th victory on Monday night, clinching home-field advantage through the postseason by beating the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 thanks to a pair of hits from major league batting leader Mookie Betts.

Nathan Eovaldi struck out 10 hapless Orioles batters to assure the Red Sox of the best record in baseball this season and home-field advantage through the World Series, if they make it that far. For now, they know they will open the Division Series at Fenway Park on Oct. 5 against the winner of the AL wild-card game between the New York Yankees and mostly likely Oakland.

The 1912 Red Sox won 105 games in their first season at Fenway Park.

The Orioles (45-111) became the sixth AL team and the first since the 2003 Tigers to lose 111 games, falling 60 games behind Boston (106-51) in the division. It's the first time since 1939 that teams separated by 60 wins in the standings have played each other.

Boston scored four in the second inning, getting back-to-back doubles from Steve Pearce and Brock Holt, an RBI single from Christian Vazquez and Betts' two-run homer over the Green Monster. It was the 32nd homer of the season for Betts, a new career high.

Betts also singled and scored in Boston's two-run fourth, moving him into the major-league lead with 125 runs scored. In his last three games, he is 10 for 16 with three homers and four doubles, and he leads teammate J.D. Martinez (.328) in the AL batting race.

Renato Nunez had three hits for the Orioles, who fell to 2-15 against Boston and 18-61 on the road this season.

FOR STARTERS

Six days after throwing six scoreless innings against the Yankees, Eovaldi (6-7) allowed one run on four hits in five innings, walking none but uncorking a pair of wild pitches.

Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy (8-16) gave up four runs on five hits and three walks in three innings, striking out five.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: RHP Yefrey Ramirez is scheduled to start on Wednesday, but manager Buck Showalter said he wanted to give him an extra day or two. "I think Yefrey will pitch again, I just don't know when," Showalter said.

Red Sox: SS Xander Bogaerts was back in the lineup after feeling soreness in his left shoulder during a swing and leaving Sunday night's game. ... INF Eduardo Nunez ran on Sunday to test his hamstring and was scheduled to run again on Monday with the goal of having him back in the lineup by Wednesday or Friday.

UP NEXT

LHP David Price (15-7) tries to bounce back from a rough start in Yankee Stadium in the second game of the series in what could be his last start of the regular season.