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Orioles' feud with Red Sox continues in 5-2 defeat

Orioles' feud with Red Sox continues in 5-2 defeat

BOSTON -- Adam Jones received extended applause from Fenway Park fans a night after he was racially taunted, both teams were warned after Boston ace Chris Sale threw behind Manny Machado's legs in the first inning and the Red Sox went on to beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 Tuesday night.

Machado homered out of Fenway Park for the second straight night, a seventh-inning drive, and the Orioles turned an unusual triple play in the eighth inning on a popup to short left field.

Machado was still furious after the game over Sale's pitch.

"I lost my respect for that organization, Boston and how they're handling that whole situation," he said. "If they're going to hit me, hit me. Go ahead. Get it over with. Don't keep lingering it around and doing that. I've lost mad respect for that team and that organization."

Machado was not sure whether there would be any carry-over.

"We'll just have to find out tomorrow and see," he said. "They're probably going to try to hit me tomorrow again, once again. I'm just going to have to wear it and see what happens. And if I've got to take care of business on my own, then I'm going to have to do something."

Before the game Jones received an apology from Red Sox president Sam Kennedy on behalf of the club. Many fans stood during a lengthy round of applause in the first inning, and Sale stepped off the mound to extend the reception.

But one batter later the game turned testy when Sale's first pitch to Machado, a 98 mph fastball, went to the backstop. Emotions have been elevated since Machado injured Red Sox star Dustin Pedroia on a slide April 21 at Baltimore. Pedroia missed the next three games. Baltimore's Dylan Bundy hit Mookie Betts near the left hip with a fastball in Monday's series opener.

Plate umpire D.J. Reyburn immediately issued a warning after Sale's pitch to Machado, and Orioles manager Buck Showalter came out for a lengthy discussion with Reyburn.

Hanley Ramirez homered twice, Mookie Betts hit a two-run double and Sale struck out 11 over eight innings.

The triple play came in the eighth inning with Mitch Moreland on second and Pedroia on first. Jackie Bradley Jr. blooped a fly to shallow left and shortstop J.J. Hardy called for the ball, but allowed it to fall just behind him.

Hardy picked up the ball and threw to second where Jonathan Schoop tagged Moreland and stepped on the base to force Pedroia. Schoop then threw to first to retire Bradley at first. Baltimore's triple play was the 13th for the franchise, the first time Sept. 1, 2000, against Cleveland, and it was the first against the Red Sox since Aug. 6, 2011, against Texas.

Sale (2-2) allowed two runs and three hits, and Craig Kimbrel got three straight outs for his AL-leading ninth save in 10 chances.

Orioles starter Alec Asher (1-1) gave up three runs and six hits in six innings.

Pedroia singled in a run in the second, and Ramirez led off the fourth with a drive that cleared the light tower on the left side of the Green Monster. Ramirez homered out of the ballpark again in the sixth for a 3-1 lead.

Trey Mancini had an RBI double in the fifth.

MORE ORIOLES: Adam Jones gets lengthy applause at Fenway Park following racial taunts

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Orioles have four Top-100 prospects in MLB.com’s new rankings; Adley Rutschman ranks fourth

Orioles have four Top-100 prospects in MLB.com’s new rankings; Adley Rutschman ranks fourth

The Orioles have four Top 100 prospects in baseball, according to MLB.com’s new prospect rankings released this week.

To no one’s surprise, catcher Adley Rutschman leads the way as the fourth-ranked prospect in all of baseball. The former Oregon State Beaver and No. 1 pick from a year ago is currently at the team’s alternate site at Double-A Bowie. He’s played just 37 games in the Orioles farm system at no level higher than Single-A.

Pitcher Grayson Rodriguez followed at 40th, as a standout 2019 in Single-A Delmarva boosted him up the rankings. 

He threw 94 innings, allowed 57 hits and 36 walks with 129 strikeouts. His ERA was 2.68 and his WHIP was 0.99. With a fastball that tops out at 97 mph and a good slider to go with it, Rodriguez is currently on-track to make the major leagues in 2022.

The Orioles’ newest addition to the list, outfielder Heston Kjerstad, was the second-overall pick from June. A surprise selection in the draft, Kjerstad came in at 68th on the list.

Kjerstad was a power hitter who Orioles general manager Mike Elias the best left-handed hitter in the draft. In just six games in 2020 at Arkansas, he hit six home runs and slashed .448/.513/.791. He was one of 13 first-round selections from this year that made their debut on the list.

The final member of the list was pitcher DL Hall at 77th overall. Last year in Frederick, Hall threw 80 ⅔ innings with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. He’s expected to reach the major leagues in 2021, though that timeline can be changed as the effects of COVID-19 reverberate for years. 

Before the season, the Orioles also had four prospects on the list, but first baseman/outfielder Ryan Mountcastle was on the list at 94th overall. Mountcastle wasn’t on the latest edition of prospects. Instead, the Orioles just basically replaced Kjerstad for Mountcastle on the list.

In terms of prospect points, which assigns a 100-point value to the No. 1 prospect, 99 points to second and so on, the Orioles ranked 10th on the list with 215 prospect points. 

The Tigers led the way with 380 points, followed by the Padres, Mariners, White Sox and Braves.

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ESPN’s Karl Ravech: ‘I don’t think the Orioles have staying power in that division’

ESPN’s Karl Ravech: ‘I don’t think the Orioles have staying power in that division’

Baseball, on occasion, lets people’s imaginations run wild. 

From the time the first pitch of a game happens until the final out is recorded, anything — theoretically — is possible. That notion stays relevant even as it’s expanded upon to an entire season. Or, in 2020’s case, a 60-game season. 

And after a 5-3 start to the season, which is now a 5-4 start, some people let their thoughts run free about how likely the Orioles were to make a serious playoff push. 

But some, like ESPN’s Karl Ravech, don’t think the Orioles can sustain their stellar hitting and sturdy-enough bullpen for the entire season.

“I don’t think the Orioles can over the course of 60 games,” Ravech said on NBC Sports Washington’s Nationals Talk Podcast. “I do think over the course of 10, maybe 20, be in it. But a lot of times during a baseball season, the first couple of weeks out of the gate you’re surprised by it. Similarly out west, and I don’t mean to dismiss the Orioles, the Rockies are off to a really good start. To me, the Rockies have better players than the Orioles do.”

After an embarrassing loss to the Red Sox on Opening Day, expectations for the Orioles, which were already low to begin with, cratered amongst the fanbase. But they rebounded to win the next two, and after two-straight losses to the Yankees, swept the Rays in a three-game set at Camden Yards. 

RELATED: ESPN NOT CONVINCED BY ORIOLES’ HOT START, PUTS THEM LAST IN FIRST POWER RANKINGS

With so many questions surrounding every team in the division aside from the Yankees, some hypothesized that, if a miraculous season for the Orioles were to happen, this is the script for such a year to occur.

The Rays were just swept by the Orioles, the Red Sox have an atrocious pitching staff and the Blue Jays still have yet to settle into a permanent home for the season. With an expanded playoff format, the season started in the right way for the Orioles.

“I don’t think the Orioles have the staying power in that division, and playing against the two divisions that they do,” Ravech said.

But while an impressive start was a bit surprising, especially considering some individual achievements across the roster, it’s still not terribly early to think about a playoff race with nearly one-sixth of the season complete.

Yet, despite blazing starts at the plate for Rio Ruiz, Jose Iglesias and Hanser Alberto, and strong performances on the mound from John Means, Miguel Castro and Alex Cobb, the Orioles still have a lot to prove to show the league they are even capable of staying in the playoff chase. 

After all, this team was projected by many to barely, or not even at all, reach the 20-win plateau. 

For now, though, the Orioles having any realistic, no matter to what degree, conversations about a playoff run are a very welcome sign in Baltimore.

“To me, this was always going to be, for better more than worse, but for better or worse, the most memorable baseball season that I’ve ever experienced,” Ravech said. “I think a lot of the baseball fans at home for a million reasons will look at it that way as well. Especially if your team is in it. If you’re rooting for the Orioles, what you think would be a throwaway year, at least for the first month, you’re not throwing anything away.”

Stay connected to the Orioles with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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