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Hicks hits 2 HRs, Montgomery pitches Yankees past O's 8-2

Hicks hits 2 HRs, Montgomery pitches Yankees past O's 8-2

NEW YORK -- Aaron Hicks homered twice and rookie Jordan Montgomery pitched seven stellar innings to lead the New York Yankees over the Baltimore Orioles 8-2 on Friday night.

Starlin Castro also connected for the AL East leaders in the opener of a three-game series between division foes. New York has won three straight, outscoring rivals Boston and Baltimore 25-3 over the last three nights.

Jonathan Schoop hit an early two-run homer for third-place Baltimore, which dropped 4 1/2 games behind the Yankees. Dylan Bundy (6-5) tossed six solid innings but lost for the fourth time in his past five starts.

Bundy beat Montgomery 3-2 on May 29 in Baltimore, where the Orioles took two of three from New York. It was a different story in the latest matchup between two promising 24-year-old arms.

Montgomery (4-4) set a career high with eight strikeouts in the longest outing of his 11 major league starts. He was coming off six innings of three-hit ball in a 7-0 win at Toronto.

The left-hander struck out three batters in the first inning and pitched out of trouble in the second following Schoop's 454-foot homer into the elevated bleachers beyond Baltimore's bullpen in left-center. He retired 17 of his final 18 hitters, helped by Trey Mancini's fifth-inning lineout to drawn-in shortstop Didi Gregorius, pinning a runner at third.

Castro homered leading off the second. Gary Sanchez doubled and scored on Chase Headley's deep sacrifice fly to tie it.

Subbing for injured center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, Hicks opened the sixth with a go-ahead homer into The Judge's Chambers section at the back of the lower level of right-field bleachers, where fans dressed in black robes rejoiced.

New York scored three unearned runs in the seventh following a throwing error by reliever Edwin Jackson. Hicks hit a two-run shot into the second deck in right for his 10th home run, giving him 34 RBIs. It was his third career multihomer game and second this year.

Hicks batted .217 with eight homers and 31 RBIs last season, his first in New York.

Aaron Judge then walked and scored from first on Matt Holliday's double off the left-center fence. Austin Romine added a two-run single in the eighth.

Bundy was charged with three runs and five hits. He struck out six and walked two.

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Orioles finally hire Brandon Hyde as new manager

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Orioles finally hire Brandon Hyde as new manager

The Orioles have finally found their man.

After entering the Winter Meetings without having yet hired their new manager, a rarity in this era of baseball, the Orioles announced Friday that they had hired Brandon Hyde to fill the role.

Hyde joins the organization after spending half a decade in Chicago under Joe Maddon, and many years prior with the Marlins. He has a long background in player development, something that was important to new Orioles GM Mike Elias, which makes sense considering the state of the organization and their upcoming rebuilding process.

Hyde is 45, so he’ll have the opportunity to stick in Baltimore for a long time if he finds success, however, Elias defines it, in the next few seasons. Many times, the manager leading a team as it embarks on an organizational rebuild is not the same one who leads them back into contention, but the Orioles front office will certainly hope Hyde is up to both tasks.
 
“After conducting an intensive search, I believe that we have found the ideal leader for the next era of Orioles baseball,” said Mike Elias, Orioles Executive Vice President and General Manager, in a statement released Friday.

“Brandon’s deep background in player development and Major League coaching, most recently helping to shape the Cubs into a World Champion, has thoroughly prepared him for this job and distinguished him throughout our interview process. I look forward to introducing him to our fans next week and to working together with him to build the next great Orioles team.”

Elias was thought to have preferred someone with Major League experience, so as to avoid saddling an up-and-coming manager with multiple 90-plus loss seasons inevitably on the horizon in Baltimore. Hyde technically has experience coaching in the big leagues, though it comes in the form of a single game. The Marlins lost his one game as acting manager 2-1 to the Rays, and Jack McKeon was named interim manager the next day.

Maddon has developed a reputation as a stellar communicator and somebody open to analytics, and it stands to reason that Hyde would follow a similar style of leadership, especially considering how critical those traits are in the eyes of Elias.

Hyde replaces Buck Showalter, a beloved figure in Baltimore after his 8 ½ seasons at the helm brought winning baseball back to a city desperate for relevancy. Showalter’s contract was not renewed at the end of this past season, an understandable decision given his age and how long it will be until the franchise is ready to compete again.

Reports swirled about Hyde being named the 20th manager in franchise history as early as Tuesday at the Winter Meetings, though Elias and the front office were quick to emphasize that nothing was official at the time. In the end, Hyde does end up accepting the job, and he’ll be introduced at a press conference Monday.

Nationals bench coach Chip Hale was, along with Hyde, one of six finalists who interviewed for the position, so the Nats won’t be losing a valuable piece of their staff.

The Orioles are in the honeymoon phase of the rebuild, where hope springs eternal and the losses to come haven’t set in yet. Hyde checks all the boxes for what Elias was looking for, and despite his relative inexperience, he’s someone who should excite, if not necessarily inspire, the fanbase in Charm City.

Orioles fans won’t have many exciting acquisitions to cheer on in the near future, but they may have just made one of their most impactful. The O’s finally have their GM-Manager combination set for the foreseeable future, and they’ll hope to experience as much success and more as the previous regime.

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Orioles GM Elias calls reports of Brandon Hyde being next manager "premature"

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USA Today Sports

Orioles GM Elias calls reports of Brandon Hyde being next manager "premature"

Orioles new general manager Mike Elias is a busy man out in Las Vegas. Not only is he looking to add much needed talent to Baltimore's roster but he is also searching for a new manager. Elias interviewed six candidates, including Nationals bench coach Chip Hale, for the vacancy. On Monday, Elias said they were “pretty far along in the process.”

Then the reports surfaced on Tuesday that the Orioles had found their man. 

For a second straight year, Joe Maddon's bench coach has landed a managerial job (Davey Martinez). 

But, in the words of College Gameday's Lee Corso "Not so fast my friend!"

Does that mean Hyde is not the manager? Not necessarily. It likely means Elias wants the news to come out on his terms.