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Opposite dugout: Mariners take majors' best pitching staff into series with O's

Manager: Lloyd McClendon, first year Record: 53-48 Last 10 games: 4-6 Who to watch: 2B Robinson Cano (.332/.389/.455, 23 doubles, 7 HR, 57 RBIs); 3B Kyle Seager (.277/.346/.486, 23 doubles, 16 HR, 66 RBIs); RHP Felix Hernandez (11-2, 2.02 ERA, 0.90 WHIP); RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (8-4, 2.95 ERA, 0.99 WHIP) Season series vs. O's (2013): 4-2, 35 runs scored, 29 runs allowed Pitching probables July

Zach Wilt: J.J. Hardy's puzzling season

While Adam Jones, Nelson Cruz and even Steve Pearce have deservedly been credited with leading the Orioles' march to the top of the American League East, it's important to recognize the role that J.J. Hardy has played this season. If you glance quickly at the power numbers, Hardy's season may appear to be a disappointment. The Orioles shortstop has hit four home runs this year

Daniel Clark: Through adversity, Machado shows he's gaining maturity

At times, it's very easy to forget that Manny Machado is just 22. The 2014 season has presented a number of significant challenges for the talented young third baseman, but despite the troubles, it appears that he has come through it for the better. Starting the season on the sidelines after a horrific knee injury last September, Machado's rehab took slightly longer than Orioles fans

Opposite dugout: Red-hot Angels match big bats with O's

Manager: Mike Scioscia, 15th year Record: 59-38 Last 10 games: 8-2 Who to watch: CF Mike Trout (.313/.400/.612, 29 doubles, 23 HR, 74 RBIs, 69 R); 1B Albert Pujols (.276/.326/.483, 20 doubles, 20 HR, 65 RBIs, 59 R); LF Josh Hamilton (.293/.372/.440, 18 XBH, 27 RBIs); RHP Jered Weaver (10-6, 3.43 ERA, 1.14 WHIP) Season series vs. O's (2013): 2-5, 27 runs scored, 30 runs

Andrew Stetka: Time for trade rumors to fly

A quick check of your calendar will serve as a simple reminder that this is the season of the rumor in baseball. Sure, there's that little period in December called the Winter Meetings, but in terms of in-season action, this is when it starts to get good. Everything is leading up to about 11 days from now when the non-waiver trade deadline hits and we

The best plays from the Orioles' first half

From walk-offs to diving plays and more, the Orioles have made their 52 first-half wins exciting to watch. Without further ado, let's relive some of our favorite plays from the Birds' first half of the season. Nick Markakis made a great diving catch, then threw to second to complete the double play. Your browser does not support iframes. Chris Davis smashed three home runs in

National buzz surrounding O's after first half of the season

Although teams have technically played more than half of their games, the All-Star festivities serve as a clean break in the season, offering a time for players, managers, front offices, spectators and national writers to evaluate teams' seasons so far. And for the O's, all seems well when looking at their record. The Orioles, who in the offseason were projected to sit toward the bottom

Matthew Taylor: Where O's record is concerned, no apologies necessary

Baseball's intermission is over. The second act of the 2014 season is about to get under way. Before we dim the house lights and take in the rest of the show, let's be clear about one thing: Orioles fans don't need to apologize for the team's success. The Orioles have their share of critics despite leading the American League East at the All-Star break for

Opposite dugout: Major league-leading A's give O's plenty to handle coming out of break

Manager: Bob Melvin, fourth year Record: 59-36 Last 10 games: 7-3 Who to watch: 1B Brandon Moss (.268/.349/.530, 17 doubles, 21 HR, 66 RBIs); 3B Josh Donaldson (.238/.317/.449, 20 HR, 65 RBIs, 61 R); RHP Jeff Samardzija (3-8, 2.78 ERA, 1.14 WHIP); RHP Sonny Gray (10-3, 2.79 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) Season series vs. O's: 2-1, 18 runs scored, 10 runs allowed Pitching probables July 18:

Matthew Taylor: The hits just keep coming

The Orioles had two batters log five hits in a game within the course of two days this past week. Nelson Cruz went 5-for-5 in a 7-4 win against the Red Sox. Manny Machado then followed suit with a 5-for-6 night at the plate in Monday's 8-2 win against the Nationals. Both players fell one hit short of the team record, which Cal Ripken Jr.

Opposite dugout: Tanaka-less Yankees look to close in on first-place O's

Manager: Joe Girardi, eighth year Record: 46-45 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: 1B Mark Teixeira (.241/.339/.466, 17 HR, 47 RBIs); LF Brett Gardner (.285/.359/.426, 25 XBH, 36 RBIs, 54 R, 15 SB); CF Jacoby Ellsbury (.284/.348/.403, 27 XBH, 41 RBIs, 24 SB); RHP Hiroki Kuroda (6-6, 4.20 ERA, 1.26 WHIP) Season series vs. O's: 2-4, 19 runs scored, 38 runs allowed Pitching probables

Yard Talk: Battle of the Beltways

This season's Battle of the Beltways kicked off on Monday in D.C. A lot of Orioles fans made the trip south to make sure there was a lot of orange at Nationals Park. On Wednesday, the battle made its way up 295 to Camden Yards. While there were Nationals fans in the stands, Baltimore fans represented to keep the Yard orange. We had Kevin Stanfield

Zach Wilt: Machado heating up for first-place Orioles

Make no mistake about it, with the American League East wide open for the taking, I fully expect that the Orioles will be aggressive at the trade deadline. Despite falling 6-2 to the Nationals on Wednesday night, the O's still find themselves in first place in the American League East, 2 1/2 games ahead of the free-falling Toronto Blue Jays, who have lost six of

Daniel Clark: Bottom of O's lineup providing a spark

The Orioles have had a successful past nine days, winning seven of eight games and moving themselves into first place in the American League East, 2 1/2 games clear of the Toronto Blue Jays. As with any wining period, there have been a number of elements working well for the Birds and one of them has been the extremely impressive performances from the bottom third

Opposite dugout: Nats bring majors' top pitching staff into Battle of the Beltways

Manager: Matt Williams, first year Record: 48-39 Last 10 games: 7-3 Who to watch: 1B Adam LaRoche (.294/.401/.482, 12 HR, 45 RBIs); 2B/3B Anthony Rendon (.282/.340/.483, 21 doubles, 12 HR, 50 RBIs); RHP Doug Fister (7-2, 2.93 ERA, 1.05 WHIP); RHP Tanner Roark (7-6, 3.12 ERA, 1.17 WHIP) Season series vs. O's (2013): 1-3, 17 runs scored, 20 runs allowed Pitching probables July 7: Stephen

Andrew Stetka: Time to let Gausman pitch uninterrupted

It's no secret that the Orioles' Achilles heel this season has been starting pitching. It's a team with flaws, but more than anything, you can point to an inability to have starters go deep enough in games as one of the biggest reasons for a struggle. The offense has sputtered at times, the bullpen has seen its hiccups (like blowing a large lead on Sunday

Opposite dugout: Red Sox still scuffling on offense entering big series vs. Birds

Manager: John Farrell, second year Record: 38-47 Last 10 games: 4-6 Who to watch: DH David Ortiz (.252/.351/.483, 19 HR, 53 RBIs); 1B Mike Napoli (.277/.397/.460, 10 HR, 32 RBIs); LHP Jon Lester (9-7, 2.92 ERA, 1.18 WHIP); RHP John Lackey (9-5, 3.62 ERA, 1.21 WHIP) Season series vs. O's: 5-5, 32 runs scored, 39 runs allowed Pitching probables July 5 (Game 1): Jon Lester

Matthew Taylor: Hearing the call of Orioles Magic

Baseball in Baltimore doesn't involve near the level of mythology that it does in bigger cities. We don't have ghosts in our stadium and the only curses fans express involve neither the Bambino nor goats. If there's any bit of enduring mystical lore around this team, it's Orioles Magic, which has taken on different forms the past few seasons to be about something other than

Zach Wilt: A well-rounded approach at the plate

I'm no meteorologist, but it's getting hot in Baltimore. I don't need my car thermometer, which hit triple digits on Wednesday afternoon, to convince me. All I have to do is look at the balls flying out of Camden Yards. After a slow start to the season, the Orioles' power bats have started producing in a big way. In April, the O's hit just 16

Jon Shepherd: Do minor league players deserve minimum wage salaries?

Professional baseball players are pretty lucky. They have been granted amazing talent from genetics and probability. They have taken that talent and applied considerable amounts of hard work. The recent draft will result in about 750 new professional baseball players. Roughly a third of those new hires will have received a signing bonus greater than $100,000 before taxes. The remaining two thirds have a mean

Cake competition on July 13 will honor Yankees-Orioles rivalry

You already know what the rivalry between the Yankees and Orioles looks like on the baseball diamond. But what shape will this heated battle take in the kitchen? Mary Smith from Charm City Cakes and TV's "Ace of Cakes" will host a cake class and competition on Sunday, July 13 at 11 a.m. at its Baltimore headquarters, 2936 Remington Ave. After Smith demonstrates how to

Daniel Clark: Inconsistency and missed opportunities marked O's month of June

The month of June has flown on by and the Orioles walked away with a winning record of 16-12. Despite the wins though, the final week of the month may come back to haunt them later in the season as the Birds missed numerous opportunities against sub-.500 opponents in the White Sox and Rays. This failure to seize the opportunity cost them the chance to

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