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Orioles swept by Blue Jays, lose 13-3 in final game of series

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Orioles swept by Blue Jays, lose 13-3 in final game of series

The Baltimore Orioles never recovered after blowing the opening game of a four-game set against the Blue Jays.

Curtis Granderson had four hits and a career-high six RBIs, Marco Estrada pitched six innings to snap an eight-start winless streak and Toronto routed the struggling Orioles 13-3 on Sunday to complete a four-game sweep.

Baltimore arrived in Toronto after sweeping a two-game set against the Mets and took a 3-1 lead into the ninth inning Thursday, but closer Brad Brach blew the save as the Orioles lost 4-3 in 10 innings.

It was all Toronto after that. The Blue Jays had 56 hits in the series and scored 27 runs.

"That first loss here was a kick in the pants," manager Buck Showalter said." We had some things going that were positive for us."

The Orioles have lost four straight and 11 of 13. Baltimore is 9-27 on the road and 19-45 overall, both worst in the majors.

"I don't really know how to describe it," outfielder Trey Mancini said. "It's like the `Twilight Zone' almost the last couple of months, just the way things have gone. A lot of us are struggling."

Granderson walked in the first, hit a two-run double in the second, a three-run homer in the fourth, an RBI double in the fifth and a single in the sixth. He struck out swinging in the eighth.

"It's really cool to be able to do that," Granderson said.

Teoscar Hernandez hit a two-run home run and Kendrys Morales and Kevin Pillar each added solo blasts as the Blue Jays finished with a season-high 19 hits. Toronto had 17 hits in an 11-inning win at Cleveland on May 3.

Baltimore has allowed 10 or more runs nine times this season.

"We gave up 19 hits and only scored three runs," Showalter said. "That's not a very good recipe for success."

Showalter disputed the suggestion that his team needs some tough love.

"It's not a time to be pointing fingers," he said. "It's pretty obvious where we're struggling."

The Blue Jays had lost seven of eight before facing the Orioles. The sweep gives Toronto its third four-game winning streak of the season.

"Our guys put it together, especially today, and swung the bats really well," Estrada said. "We've just got to keep doing what we've been doing as of late."

Estrada (3-6) allowed two runs and four hits, leaving after Jonathan Schoop homered to begin the seventh. The right-hander won for the first time since April 20 at Yankee Stadium.

Orioles right-hander Alex Cobb (2-8) matched a career-worst by allowing nine runs. Cobb gave up a season-high 11 hits in 3 2-3 innings. Cobb has allowed 10 or more hits five times in 11 starts.

"They really capitalized when I fell behind in the count," Cobb said.

The ugly outing raised Cobb's ERA by more than a run, from 6.19 to 7.23.

BULLPEN SHUFFLE

Toronto optioned LHP Tim Mayza to Triple-A Buffalo to open a roster spot for RHP Preston Guilmet, who was claimed off waivers from St. Louis on Saturday. Guilmet will join the team Monday at Tampa Bay.

HIT PARADE

Catcher Russell Martin was the only Blue Jays starter to be held without a hit. Shortstop Aledmys Diaz had one hit and all seven other Toronto starters had two or more.

NEEDED THAT

Schoop's homer snapped an 0 for 18 slump.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: 1B Chris Davis returned after sitting out the previous two games. Davis went 1 for 4 with two strikeouts. His hit was an infield single to third that beat the shift. "Certainly the results weren't as good as you'd hope but Chris is going to keep working and hopefully he can find the answer," Showalter said.

Blue Jays: 3B prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will miss at least four weeks because of a strained patellar tendon in his left knee. Guerrero Jr. has 11 home runs and 55 RBIs in 53 games at Double-A New Hampshire this season. ... 2B Devon Travis (right knee) sat for the second straight game. ... RHP Marcus Stroman (shoulder) is set to pitch again Wednesday, but the location for his outing has not been determined. Stroman pitched a three-inning simulated game at Toronto's spring training facility in Florida on Friday.

UP NEXT

Orioles: RHP Dylan Bundy (4-7, 4.04 ERA) gets the start as Baltimore returns home to begin a three-game series against Boston. Bundy pitched seven shutout innings to beat the Mets in his previous start. RHP Steven Wright (2-0, 1.57) starts for the Red Sox.

Blue Jays: RHP Sam Gaviglio (2-1, 2.51) starts the opener of a three-game series at Tampa Bay. Gaviglio pitched seven shutout innings against the Yankees in his previous start. The Rays have not named a starter.

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Manny Machado pens goodbye to O's fans on Instagram

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Manny Machado pens goodbye to O's fans on Instagram

Days after being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a deal that captivated much of Major League Baseball, former Oriole Manny Machado took to Instagram to thank the only organization he's ever known. 

The 26-year-old's contract expires at the end of this season, which the Orioles chose not to renew as the last-place club enters a rebuilding phase. 

Machado put up big numbers in the team's first 97 games totaling career-highs in home runs (24), RBIs (65), OBP (.387) and OPS (.962). 

He is expected to play shortstop for a Dodgers club which finished the first half of the season 10 games above .500 in a competitive, tight NL West. 

The Dodgers will pay Machado $6.3 million. 

To my Baltimore family, I’ve spent the last few days trying to figure out how I would say goodbye but there wasn’t an easy way to do it. I first joined this organization at the age of 17 and these past eight years have far exceeded anything I ever could’ve imagined. Throughout the ups and downs, you embraced me unconditionally and you took a kid from Miami and brought me up as one of your own. I’ve enjoyed my time here and you all have played a big part in that!! Thank you Birdland! You are forever in my heart! To the Baltimore Orioles, it has truly been a blessing to put on that uniform every day. To the Angelos Family & Dan Duquette, thank you for making my dreams come true!!! To Buck and the coaching staff, thank you for your commitment and dedication to making me the best player and teammate I can possibly be…I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of you. To my teammates, we’ve shared some amazing times with lots of memories & friendships that I’ll cherish forever. Schoopy, I love you bro and I know you will carry the torch!!! ! Much love always, Manny #13

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

Orioles star shortstop Manny Machado traded to Los Angeles Dodgers 

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What exactly did the Orioles get in return for Manny Machado?

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What exactly did the Orioles get in return for Manny Machado?

So, the Orioles made some headlines earlier this week. I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but minor league pitcher Asher Wojciechowski exercised his opt-out clause and is no longer with the organization. Please keep Orioles fans in your thoughts during this trying time.

As everyone reading this is undoubtedly already aware, the Orioles *also* made a trade yesterday, sending 26-year old superstar Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers. In return for their once-in-a-lifetime talent, the Orioles received a whopping five prospects from the Dodgers’ minor league system.

Yusniel Diaz, OF, 21

It’s fitting that this trade is being compared to the Erik Bedard trade, which was also a five-for-one, because Diaz could be a poor man’s Adam Jones. He’s not the prospect Jones was, but he could end up being a really nice player.

Talent evaluators are split on his ultimate ceiling. Some describe him as a bona fide stud, and others leave him off their top 100 lists. I’ve seen him ranked as high as 31st overall (by Baseball Prospectus), which, if accurate, is a terrific main piece in a package for a star rental. 

Most consider Diaz’s main flaw as a prospect to be his in-game power, though anyone watching the 2018 MLB Futures Game would be confused by that, as he became the second player ever to hit multiple home runs in the game. It’s possible that more power develops as he matures, and he certainly wouldn’t be the first player to hit for more power once reaching the Majors, but for now, it’s not a strength. I wouldn’t expect him to top 20 home runs in most seasons.

His bat-to-ball ability is his clearest strength, as he projects to consistently hit for a high average. His batting eye, while formerly a weakness, has become a strength in 2018, as he’s actually walked more times than he’s struck out (a rarity in this day and age). That will play well with O’s fans who are tired of seeing their players challenge strikeout records.

Dean Kremer, RHP, 22

Kremer isn’t a major name, which is a disappointment for O’s fans and one of the reasons their haul felt so uninspiring. Compared to more highly-touted prospects like Dustin May, Kremer looks like the team settled.

That said, he’s currently sporting the best K/9 ratio in the minors, and could end up being a diamond in the rough. He’s come a long way since being a 14th-round pick two years ago, and you have to wonder if the Orioles’ much-maligned pitching development can pick up where the much more successful Dodgers instructors left off.

Kremer is also notable for being the first Israeli-born player ever drafted in Major League Baseball.

Rylan Bannon, IF, 22

Bannon was an 8th-rounder last year and is having somewhat of a breakout this season. He’s leading the league in home runs, though playing in a notorious band box of a home park is skewing those numbers.

Bannon is undersized, but has a reputation of a good, if not elite, fielder. He’s a third baseman, but will likely spend some time at second as well. If the power breakout is real, he could end up a solid starter for the Orioles down the road. Again, that’s about all you can hope for in trades of this nature.

Zach Pop, RHP, 21

Pop has been described as potentially a future “right-handed Zach Britton,” which every O’s fan would take in a heartbeat. Of course, he’s not ranked like a future All-Star, as even in the weaker Orioles farm system he’s likely no better than around 25th. 

Still, the filler players in big trades like this are just lottery tickets, and considering his lack of pedigree, Pop seems like a relatively “safe” pitcher with projectability. He strikes out a lot of batters and gets a lot of ground balls, and at the very least can likely become a decent middle reliever.

Breyvic Valera, IF, 26

In a best-case scenario, Valera becomes the Orioles’ Ryan Flaherty replacement. If you squint, you can see somewhat decent upside in each of the other returning players, even despite their modest prospect rankings, but Valera is a clear utility player. 

He gets on base and hits for contact well enough to stick around and has proven capable of defending multiple positions, so there actually might be a spot for him at the end of the Orioles bench.

Overall

This trade has been described as anywhere from adequate and somewhat deflating to a great haul O’s fans should be excited about. Four of the five players have decent ceilings, though the chance of all four (or even just two of them) reaching those ceilings is highly unlikely. It’s just the nature of baseball.

Ultimately, this trade will be judged on the success or failure of Yusniel Diaz, who is the clear centerpiece of the package. Whether or not he succeeds will be partially up to him, and partially up to the front office and player development team.

If this trade is the beginning of the core for the next competitive Orioles team, then it’ll have to be considered a success. If these players each bust out of the league, then it was still the correct decision to trade Machado instead of settling for draft pick compensation, but it will still sting all the more for O’s fans seeing Manny soar to new heights elsewhere.