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Adam Jones begins 2018 Orioles season in dramatic fashion

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Adam Jones begins 2018 Orioles season in dramatic fashion

BALTIMORE -- Adam Jones homered on Fernando Rodney's first pitch starting the bottom of the 11th inning, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Minnesota Twins 3-2 Thursday for their eighth consecutive opening day victory.

After working out of trouble in the 10th, Rodney's debut with the Twins came to an abrupt end when Jones went deep to left.

Richard Bleier (1-0) worked one inning for the Orioles, who made the most of five hits.

Minnesota has lost nine of its last 10 openers, including three against Baltimore. 

RELATED: OFFSEASON GRADES FOR EVERY TEAM 

Baltimore missed a chance win it in the 10th when Jonathan Schoop bounced into a double play against Rodney (0-1) with the bases loaded after the Twins stacked the infield with five players, leaving just two outfielders.

An opening day that featured brilliant pitching by starters Dylan Bundy and Jake Odorizzi took a sharp turn as a result of bullpen breakdowns by both teams.

Minnesota lefty Zach Duke notched four strikeouts in the seventh inning, but he also threw two wild pitches and yielded a two-run triple to Caleb Joseph.

Not long after that, the sellout crowd of 45,469 stood in unison as Brad Brach -- the anointed closer for injured Zach Britton -- attempted to seal the victory in the ninth. With two outs, however, pinch-hitter Robbie Grossman blooped a two-run single to tie it.

Bundy gave up five singles, walked one and struck out seven in seven innings. He allowed only two runners past first base, and no one advanced to third.

Odorizzi was exceptionally sharp in his Twins debut, allowing two hits and two walks with seven strikeouts over six innings.

As soon as he left, however, Baltimore broke through against Duke, who was also pitching in his first game with Minnesota after signing as a free agent in December.

Duke began by striking out Trey Mancini, who reached when the wild pitch got past catcher Jason Castro and went to the screen.

Another wild pitch moved Mancini to second base. Duke then struck out Tim Beckham, issued an intentional walk to pinch-hitter Danny Valencia and struck out Craig Gentry before Joseph tripled to right-center.

Duke ended the uprising with a baseball rarity: his fourth strikeout of the inning, against slugger Chris Davis.

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Trumbo homers twice, drives in 5 as Orioles beat Rangers 9-6

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Trumbo homers twice, drives in 5 as Orioles beat Rangers 9-6

 Mark Trumbo could have looked around the diamond at his Orioles teammates and wondered, "Who are these guys?"

With veterans Adam Jones and Chris Davis out of the starting lineup, Trumbo alone represented experience on a young, struggling team.

The slugger homered twice and drove in five runs, and Baltimore beat the Texas Rangers 9-6 in a back-and-forth game Sunday to avoid a four-game sweep.

"There's a few of us guys that have been around a little longer than most," Trumbo said. "The production comes and goes, but the mindset is the big thing, and I think these guys are doing a good job."

Entering the series, Trumbo hadn't gone deep since July 9. He completed the four games 7 for 16 with three homers and nine RBIs as Baltimore totaled 21 runs.

Austin Wynns and Jonathan Villar also homered for the Orioles.

Trumbo singled home a run in the first inning. His two-run homer in the third put Baltimore ahead to stay at 6-5 against starter Drew Hutchison (1-2), who was making his Rangers debut.

"Just pitch execution, poor command, too many balls up in the zone," Hutchison said. "When you do things like that, those are the results that you're going to have."

Both of Trumbo's homers came with two strikes.

"I've been getting to two strikes a lot lately and still getting some hits," he said. "I hit a changeup (from Hutchison), and I put some good wood on it."

The teams had scored in every half-inning before that, with the lead changing hands in four of those.

Trumbo left the game after his two-run homer against Matt Moore in the seventh.

"(Trumbo) almost didn't play today," Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "His knee's been a little sore. I noticed running around the bases on the second home run."

Another difference was Baltimore's beleaguered bullpen, which allowed only one run and one hit in 7 1/3 innings.

Tanner Scott (2-2), the second of six Orioles pitchers, shut out Texas for 2 1/3 innings, which tied his longest major league outing. He relieved starter Yefry Ramirez with the bases loaded and two outs in the second and struck out Ronald Guzman.

Mychal Givens retired the final four batters for his second save.

Jace Peterson led off the game with a single and scored on Trumbo's single for a short-lived 1-0 lead.

Ramirez retired the first two Rangers hitters but gave up a triple to Elvis Andrus. After two walks loaded the bases, Robinson Chirinos singled home two runs.

The Orioles regained the lead at 4-2 in the second on a three-run homer by Wynns, the No. 9 batter.

The Rangers scored three runs in the bottom half on Shin-Soo Choo's sacrifice fly, Andrus' groundout and a broken-bat single by Joey Gallo for a 5-4 advantage.

Gallo and Rougned Odor homered in each of the first three games of the series, but their streaks were stopped on Sunday.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: Davis didn't play for a second straight game. Showalter said, "He's banged up a little bit. We're going to give him the benefit of another day and the off day Monday." ... Showalter said it's likely that OF Craig Gentry, who has missed six weeks because of a fractured rib, will begin a rehab assignment Tuesday at Double-A Bowie. ... INF Steve Wilkerson (strained left oblique), who hasn't played since July 1, could go on a rehab assignment Thursday.

UP AND DOWN AGAIN

To make room for Hutchison on the roster, the Rangers optioned RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx to Triple-A Round Rock for the third time this season.

JUST KEEP HITTING

Andrus extended his hitting streak to 16 games, equaling a career best. It's also the longest current run in the majors.

UP NEXT

Orioles: Begin a three-game series at Tampa Bay on Tuesday. Alex Cobb (3-14, 5.83 ERA) will start against Rays newcomer Tyler Glasnow (1-2, 4.27).

Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (2-4, 6.50) pitches Monday as Texas hosts Seattle and LHP Wade LeBlanc (6-2, 3.95) to begin a three-game series.

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Adam Jones helps Little League team with $8.5K donation

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Adam Jones helps Little League team with $8.5K donation

Adam Jones continues to be one of baseball's Good Dudes. 

Jones, who's been recognized before for his philanthropic efforts around Baltimore, made headlines recently when he donated $8.5 thousand dollars to the Mamie Johnson Little League team. 

Mamie Johnson are headed to the Mid-Atlantic Finals of the Little League World Series qualifying tournament but needed $10k in travel assistance to get there. That's where Jones, who orginally learned of the team on Twitter, stepped in: 

When asked about his donation, Jones said, "I want to see the next generation get an opportunity to succeed. Me being a black man trying to integrate more African-Americans into baseball, this was a no-brainer.''

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