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Orioles home run barrage overshadows Jimenez's bad inning

Orioles home run barrage overshadows Jimenez's bad inning

BALTIMORE—The Orioles had to forget about Ubaldo Jimenez’s rocky start. He teased them, throwing five scoreless innings before things came apart in the sixth.

That storyline may be familiar. But, there’s another one that’s becoming just as familiar, and that’s the Orioles offense bailing out a substandard start with a basket full of runs. 

It’s happened twice in a row, and on Thursday night, the Orioles hit a season-high seven home runs to make everyone forget about Jimenez for a while. 

Mark Trumbo and Adam Jones each hit two homers, and Manny Machado hit a three-run home run to give the Orioles the lead in a 12-7 win over the Boston Red Sox before 21,534 at Oriole Park on Thursday night.

“It was nice to score that many runs regardless because our guys just decided they were going to outscore them,” manager Buck Showalter said. 

After two losses, the Orioles (30-22) won the final two games of the four-game series from Boston (32-22). The series ends how it started with the Orioles trailing the Red Sox by a game in the AL East. 

In the seventh, Ryan Flaherty led off with a walk off Robbie Ross, Jr. (0-1). Francisco Pena, in his first game with the Orioles, singled, and Machado hit his 14th home run off Junichi Tazawa, and it was an 8-5 lead. 

Mychal Givens (4-0) pitched two innings in relief of Jimenez for the win. 

In the eighth, the Orioles scored four more on home runs by Pedro Alvarez, a two-run shot by Pena, his first major league home run, and Jones’ second of the game.

On Wednesday night, the Orioles scored 13 runs without a home run. They followed that by scoring 12—all on home runs.

“Ubaldo gave us five strong innings and then it got away from us and our guys figured out a way to win the ballgame,” Showalter said. 

Christian Vazquez led off the sixth with a double. Mookie Betts walked, and Dustin Pedroia singled to load the bases. 

Xander Bogaerts drove in two runs with a single to center, and after pitching coach Dave Wallace visited Jimenez, David Ortiz hit a three-run home run to right, and Boston led 5-4. 

“They just came out swinging. They hit pretty much everything I threw. I threw a couple fastballs up. In the first five innings, everything was down. I just got hit in that inning,” Jimenez said.

After not making it through two innings against Cleveland, Jimenez said that overall this was a better performance.

“The first five innings, of course it is. The last inning, it's not something that I wanted to do,” Jimenez said. “I have to look for the positive things. I was able to improve.” 

The Orioles took a 2-0 lead in the fourth when Machado led off with a single. Machado slid hard into Bogaerts on Chris Davis grounder, but after a review, Machado’s slide was not ruled out of bounds, and the call stood. 

Trumbo hit a long two-run home run to left off Rick Porcello, his 16th., 

Flaherty led off the fifth with a single, and Jones hit his first home run as a leadoff hitter, and the lead was 4-0.

Trumbo hit his 17th homer, tying him for the major league lead to tie the score at 5 in the sixth inning. His two home runs were estimated at 899 feet.  

“I’ve seen him play for five, six years now. I’ve been able to see a lot of his home runs, and now I’m glad they’re for us instead of against us,” Jones said. 

Jones’ second home run was the 200th in his Orioles career. He’s just the seventh to do that. Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray, Boog Powell, Brooks Robinson, Rafael Palmeiro and Brady Anderson are the others. 

“It means I’ve been here a long time and been fortunate enough to stay healthy,” Jones said. 

Jones is getting used to batting leadoff.

“I think it’s something different. I don’t know. Get a fastball first pitch sometimes,” Jones said.

NOTES: Showalter said that J.J. Hardy, who is on the disabled list with fracture in his left foot had a CT scan in Sarasota, Fla., and his foot is improving, but he’s not yet on the field and won’t be returning to the club yet. …With his next RBI, Jones will tie Cal Ripken for most RBIs at Oriole Park. Jones has 367. … Brian Duensing, whose contract was purchased earlier in the day from Norfolk, pitched the ninth, allowing two runs. … Relievers currently on the Orioles roster are 16-4. … The New York Yankees arrive for a three-game series that begins Friday night. Nathan Eovaldi (6-2, 3.71) faces Chris Tillman (7-1, 2.92). 

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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.