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Orioles finally snap losing streak to win in New York

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Orioles finally snap losing streak to win in New York

NEW YORK -- The Baltimore Orioles had been waiting a while for a big hit. Adam Jones was glad to step up and deliver.

Jones lined a go-ahead home run, Andrew Cashner pitched six strong innings and the Orioles snapped a five-game losing streak, beating the New York Yankees 5-2 on Thursday night.

Baltimore had been held to under three runs in four of their five losses. The Orioles then sent nine batters to the plate during a five-run seventh inning to put away a previously dominant Masahiro Tanaka.

"It's huge," said Jones, who has half of the Orioles' six homers this season. "Then it started back over after I hit the home run. Bases got empty and then we put up three more runs."

"I said it, when we're all swinging the bat good, we just pass the baton to the next guy. When you got a guy in front of you who hits the ball hard, it's an incentive to yourself that you want to do the same thing," he said.

Giancarlo Stanton, making just his fourth big league start in left field, made a nice leaping attempt in front of the fence but wasn't able to haul in Jones' homer.

Aaron Judge had given New York a 1-0 lead in the sixth with his second home run of the year.

Cashner (1-1), who was hit hard in his first start of the season, held the Yankees to just one hit before serving up Judge's home run.

The righty allowed two hits and struck out five as Baltimore bounced back from a three-game sweep at Houston.

Facing the power-hitting Big 3 -- Stanton, Judge and Gary Sanchez -- Cashner kept them at bay, holding them to just one hit in eight at-bats.

Judge's fence-clearing shot was the 58th of his career in 189 games, making him the quickest to get there in MLB history.

Cashner then left it up to his offense to take care of the rest.

"I think more than anything, it's guys sticking with the process and just trusting," he said. "It's been a tough go for us to start, but with Adam hitting that big homer, you know he had the big homer on opening day, I think it kind of let some guys breathe a little bit."

Brad Brach pitched the ninth for his first save of the season in two chances.

Tanaka (1-1) had won his last six home starts, including two in the 2017 postseason. He cruised during his first six innings before the Orioles chased him in the seventh.

After serving Jones' homer on a slider, the New York right-hander retired Chris Davis before giving up a single to Tim Beckham.

"I knew it was not an ideal pitch and as soon as it left, I knew he got the barrel of the bat but I thought maybe it was 50/50," Tanaka said through a translator.

Reliever Chad Green gave up consecutive singles and Anthony Santander hit an RBI double. Trey Mancini added a two-run single extended the lead 5-1.

Neil Walker hit an RBI double in the bottom half, but Darren O'Day then entered with two on and got Miguel Andujar to pop out to end the inning. The Yankees loaded the bases in the eighth before Walker grounded back to O'Day.

New York had the potential tying run on deck after Tyler Wade walked with one out in the ninth, but Brach struck out Brett Garner to end it.

"If we can get it to Judgie we've got a chance, right?" Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "And that's kind of what you hope for in that ninth inning."

RELATED: 2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS

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Orioles star shortstop Manny Machado traded to Los Angeles Dodgers

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Orioles star shortstop Manny Machado traded to Los Angeles Dodgers

"It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all."

"What we've got here is failure to communicate."

"I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse."

I can't decide which quote best applies today. No, it didn't take a "Godfather" offer to pry Manny Machado away from the Orioles. Everyone and their mother knew this day was coming. Machado, he of the .315 batting average, 24 home runs and 65 RBIs, was too big a fish to swim in a last-place pond on the final year of his contract.

Still, the front office in Baltimore knew they had to get this one right, so they held out as long as you could. Depending on who you ask, you might hear that they waited this long to allow Machado to represent the O's in the 2018 MLB All-Star Game as their lone player. I'm sure that was a nice bonus, but the truth is that waiting this long allowed them to net the greatest possible return.

With every twist and turn in the story, new leaders in the sweepstakes emerged and more and more (and better) prospects were added to team's offers. The Yankees wanted to create the most fearsome lineup since the '27 Murderer's Row. The Brewers wanted to show they were aggressive, much like their acquisition of CC Sabathia exactly a decade ago. The Phillies needed to replace the struggling J.P. Crawford at short. The Braves wanted to legitimize their division title chances. The Indians wanted to form the greatest infield in recent memory. The Cubs aren't afraid to turn a strength into a super strength.

Philadelphia was the favorite, until they weren't.

In the end, it was the Dodgers, looking to replace their own injured star shortstop, who made the offer which couldn't be refused.

Yusniel Diaz, Dean Kremer, Rylan Bannon Zach Pop and Breyvic Valera are headed to Baltimore in exchange for Machado and no additional cash, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. 

The Dodgers were one of the best matches with the O's in terms of prospects. Los Angeles is adept at identifying and developing talent, meaning their farm system has a wealth of talent to draw from. Their fourth-best prospect would be number one or two on many team's lists, so the Orioles were able to extract more value without the Dodgers feeling like they were giving up too much for a rental.

Many fans who think the O's would have to basically give Machado away want to remind you that he is just that; a rental. This brought his value down, though it's arguable how much. Machado isn't your average three-month player. He is a generational defender at third base and a passable defender at shortstop, all while providing a middle of the order bat. If we were ranking players on pure talent level alone, Machado would likely be in the top three in all of baseball, and at age 26 he's only now entering his prime. This is a quality of "rental" rarely, if ever, seen in baseball history.

The Dodgers didn't make this move for the next three months (though it can't be overstated how important it's become to win your division ever since the advent of the Wild Card Game and they are locked in a tight battle atop the NL West). They made this move for October.

The National League has many quality teams, but with no super teams in the ilk of the Red Sox or Astros, a move like this can serve to separate them from the pack. Los Angeles is now probably, at worst, tied with the Cubs as the prohibitive favorites to return to the Fall Classic.

For better or worse, this trade will likely come to define the next decade of Orioles baseball. They needed to nail the prospects they got back, and if nothing else, they should be commended for handling this professionally over the last few weeks. This is a quality package, representing a much-needed infusion of talent into their barren farm system.

It doesn't excuse the previous three years, in which they bungled the situation so badly they somehow managed to go 1,000 days without even talking to their most accomplished player in a generation about a potential contract extension. It's been a laughable, unacceptable, truly embarrassing failure to communicate between a decision maker and his best player.

The one silver lining to the Orioles finding themselves on a historic pace to have one of the worst seasons in Major League Baseball history is that the decision to trade Machado and officially kick off the long rebuilding process was an easy one. In previous seasons, during which the front office could have received much greater value in return for one of their stars, the team has inexplicably been unable to evaluate their own postseason chances and chosen to be buyers when they should have been sellers. 

69 losses at the All-Star break is a clear message that the roster needs a reboot, and it allowed the team to not hesitate in jettisoning their most talented player in decades. The fact that the team has been bad since Opening Day has given fans plenty of time to resign themselves to this move, and hopefully they can focus on the excitement of adding a fun, talented young core, instead of the sorrow of losing a beloved figure on your favorite team. 

In the coming years, as the team fights for the top spot in the draft and finds themselves looking up at the hated Red Sox and Yankees in the AL East, hopefully they can look back on some of Manny's greatest hits in Baltimore and appreciate what they had in the superstar from Miami.

After all, it is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.

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Manny Machado trade rumors are dominating headlines at All-Star Game

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Manny Machado trade rumors are dominating headlines at All-Star Game

Manny Machado could very well be playing in his final game in an Orioles uniform Tuesday night when he takes the field for the 89th Midsummer Classic at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. 

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Dodgers are now in the driver's seat as a favorite to land the All-Star shortstop. 

Machado, 26, has gone back and forth on what he does and does not know as front office deals develop and speculation continues to grow. One thing he has made clear is that the rumors have not detracted from his enjoyment of being an All-Star.

Machado is signed through the end of the season, but the Orioles intend to deal him before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

For the latest news and conversation surrounding Machado's status and the Orioles, follow along on Twitter

RELATED LINKS: 

2018 MLB All-Star Guide 

Bryce Harper reflects on his baseball career 

Best and worst ASG uniforms