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Orioles fall season-high 5 games back of Boston

Orioles fall season-high 5 games back of Boston

BALTIMORE—Five games out with 11 to play. That’s the Orioles’ story. 

After playing gallantly this season, the Orioles have fallen flat the last two nights against the Boston Red Sox and now face a gigantic deficit in the American League East. 

The Orioles are five games behind the Boston after their 5-2 loss on Tuesday night before 20,387 at Oriole Park. 

With 11 games left and two against the Red Sox, the Orioles (82-69) will need a miraculous finish to overtake Boston (87-74). The five-game deficit is the largest of the season. 

The Orioles began the evening tied with Toronto for the first wild card, but they’ll have to stave off Detroit, Houston and Seattle to make sure they play in the Oct. 4 single-elimination game. 

“It’s just math. We know how many opportunities there are and there’s still an opportunity for us. They are a good team, like all the teams are at this level, but especially a team having as good of a year as they are.  It’s one thing to want to do it, as much as our guys want to, but you get a couple pitching performances against us like we’ve had the last two nights it’s a challenge,” manager Buck Showalter said. 

Eduardo Rodriguez (3-7) became the second Boston starter in as many nights to retire the first 11 Orioles hitters, and he didn’t allow a hit until Trey Mancini hit a home run in his second major league at-bat in the fifth. 

“It was a really special moment, something that I’ve definitely been waiting for my whole life. It was especially cool for my family. I didn’t say this before the game, but my grandfather was a 20-year season ticket holder here for the Orioles and today would’ve been his 79th birthday. He passed away four years ago, so I just found that out the other day that today would’ve been his birthday. That’s a big reason why it was so special and part of the reason why my mom so pumped out there to,” Mancini said. 

Mancini became the third Oriole to hit a home run in his first major league game. Larry Haney (1966) and Jonathan Schoop (2013) are the others. 

“It was cool that it broke up a no-hitter. I’m glad it could spark the offense a little bit there but the most important thing about tonight is that we lost the game and we’ve got to comeback these next two days and find a way to split this series because it’s a big one,” Mancini said. 

Kevin Gausman (8-11) allowed five runs on 10 hits, equaling a career high, in 6 1/3 innings. 

The destructive Mookie Betts didn’t homer, but had three singles and scored two runs. Betts scored the first run in the third when Hanley Ramirez hit into a force play. Betts is 16-for-31 (.516) in Baltimore this season with eight home runs. 

Jackie Bradley’s 26th home run put Boston ahead 2-0 in the fourth, and David Ortiz slammed his 36th homer in the seventh, a three-run shot that put the Red Sox lead at 5-1.

Manager Buck Showalter didn’t even wait until Ortiz crossed home plate before removing Gausman, who broke a five-game winning streak. 

“I was trying to go down and away. He’s a tough hitter, so I was trying to switch things up, go down and away. Was kind of going at him with fastballs in and fastballs up. The second at bat, I was trying to throw him a lot of splitters. I was trying to throw that pitch off the plate, and hoping he’d kind of go after it, but obviously he’s the hitter he is because he can do that with pitches like that,” Gausman said. 

The Orioles scored in the bottom of the seventh on a double by Schoop who came home on a two-out infield single by J.J. Hardy. 

Hyun Soo Kim followed Hardy’s hit with a single, but Adam Jones flied to deep center, ending the last Orioles threat. 

Rodriguez allowed two runs on four hits in 6 1/3 innings. 

Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 28th save. 

Fortunately for the Orioles, there are two more games left in the series, and if they win both, they’ll be three games behind Boston, which is where they were when the series began.

“We have to win and everything else will take care of itself. When it comes down to it, yeah it's nice when we get a win and some of the teams that we're chasing or are chasing us lose, or visa versa. But first and foremost we have to focus on winning, and the rest will take care of itself,” Matt Wieters said. 

NOTE: Clay Buchholz (7-10, 5.20) faces Ubaldo Jimenez (7-11, 5.94) on Wednesday night. 


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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.


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.


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.


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.