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O's minor leaguer suspended

Orioles minor league shortstop Alfredo Zambrano, a member of the club's Dominican Summer League team, has been suspended for 50 games for testing positive for metabolites of Nandrolone. Don't know much about them, but they're considered a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The suspension begins at the start of next season. Zambrano, 17, batted .140 in 18

Orioles upcoming starters

Chris Tillman will make one more start this season, in Game 1 of tomorrow's doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers. Jeremy Guthrie will start Game 2, which is set to begin 20 minutes after the conclusion of the opener. Left-hander Brian Matusz takes the ball on Saturday, and Brad Bergesen starts Sunday's season finale. Jeremy Bonderman will start Game 1 for the Tigers tomorrow, followed by

Tonight's game postponed; Doubleheader tomorrow

The Orioles just announced that tonight's game has been postponed due to the rain. A single-admission doubleheader is scheduled for tomorrow beginning at 4:35 p.m. The second game will begin 20 minutes after the conclusion of the opener. Both games will be broadcast on MASN2. Tickets for tonight's game may be exchanged for seats of equal value for tomorrow's doubleheader or either of the other

Answering one Koji question

The question doesn't actually come from Koji Uehara. It's about him. Just like any other free agent, Koji Uehara could be offered arbitration after the season. The rules aren't different simply because he came here from Japan. Do I think it will happen? Not at this point, but I once had serious doubts that he'd still be pitching in late September. I did, however suggest

This, that and the other

It's Thursday, it's raining...enough already. Way too soon to pass along postponement information, but I'd be shocked if we have a game tonight. I'd greatly appreciate final word coming before I drive to Camden Yards, but the chances of it happening are pretty slim. There might be a "window" somewhere later tonight. I'd keep it shut so the rug doesn't get wet. See what happens

Closer look at Koji

Koji Uehara picked up his 11th save tonight to preserve a 2-0 victory over the Rays, striking out two more batters while retiring the side in order. Since allowing Alex Rodriguez's three-run homer on Sept. 17, Uehara hasn't given up a hit, run or walk in five appearances covering five innings. He's struck out 11 batters, many of them with the splitter that he abandoned

Millwood saving best for last? (updated twice)

Kevin Millwood made it through the first inning without allowing a run and decided to keep going. Millwood has surrendered only one hit through five scoreless innings, walking one and striking out four. Matt Joyce reached on a two-out error on left fielder Corey Patterson, but Millwood fanned B.J. Upton. What is it about pop ups and shallow fly balls that perplex the Orioles? In

"And now, here's Roch with the weather..."

"IT'S RAINING!" "Thanks, Roch." I know there's some curiosity over tomorrow's dreadful forecast and how it could impact the game against the Detroit Tigers that kicks off the final homestand of the season. It's too early to provide any definitive answers, but after checking around earlier today, I've learned that the two teams would likely play a doubleheader on Friday. Tomorrow night's tilt, meaningless as

Simon update

Orioles reliever Alfredo Simon had his suspension reduced from three games to two, and he'll begin serving it tonight. Simon appealed the original ruling from Bob Watson, MLB's vice president of rules and on-field operations, which stemmed from Sunday's incident in Toronto when Simon was ejected after hitting Jose Bautista with a pitch. Both benches had been warned after Bautista and Luke Scott were hit

Roberts still out of lineup

For the Orioles: LF Corey Patterson 3B Ty Wigginton DH Nick Markakis 1B Luke Scott C Matt Wieters CF Adam Jones RF Felix Pie 2B Robert Andino SS Cesar Izturis RHP Kevin Millwood For the Rays: C John Jaso 2B Ben Zobrist LF Carl Crawford 3B Dan Johnson 1B Carlos Pena RF Matt Joyce CF B.J. Upton DH Brad Hawpe SS Jason Bartlett RHP Jeff

Millwood's last turn

Kevin Millwood will make his final start tonight, and his last as an Oriole. At least, that's the assumption. You know what happens when you assume, but there's virtually no chance that the Orioles attempt to re-sign him over the winter. Millwood will try to avoid his 17th loss. He's been his own worst enemy, but the Orioles haven't exactly rushed to his aid. These

Bell rung up again

Last night's game can be slipped into the "forgettable" file. Not much to review after this one. David Price dominated and the Rays celebrated. Brad Bergesen wasn't sharp, Brian Roberts wasn't feeling well and Julio Lugo wasn't on the bench at the end after being ejected. Good times. Josh Bell made a rare start, his first since Sept. 20, and I'm sure he appreciated that

Taking a walk on the wild side (updated)

Brad Bergesen walked three of the first six batters that he faced tonight, and the lapse in control cost him a run. Bergesen issued free passes to Matt Joyce and Carlos Pena leading off the second inning, and Joyce scored when B.J. Upton lined an 0-2 pitch into center field. Fortunately for the Orioles, Adam Jones caught Reid Brignac's fly ball and cut down Pena

Tonight's lineups (changed)

Brian Roberts has been scratched, apparently because of an illness, and Julio Lugo is taking his place atop the order and at second base. For the Orioles: 2B Julio Lugo SS Robert Andino RF Nick Markakis 1B Ty Wigginton DH Jake Fox CF Adam Jones C Matt Wieters LF Nolan Reimold 3B Josh Bell P Brad Bergesen For the Rays: C John Jaso 2B Ben

More about Bergy

Brad Bergesen has posted a 2.31 ERA in his last 10 starts covering 70 innings, and he's left nine of those games with a lead or the scored tied. Bergesen has allowed three runs or fewer in nine of his last 10 starts and has worked at least seven innings in six of them. He's also won his last three decisions on the road, and

Datz all folks

It's raining, it's Tuesday and I'm fighting the urge to crawl back into bed. Last night's 4-0 win over the Rays improved my mood, but a little sunshine would be nice, too. It also improved the Orioles' record on Mondays to 6-0 after an 0-8 start. Too bad we've run out of Mondays this season. One more victory and the Orioles will avoid losing 100

Matusz dealing tonight (updated)

I'm reminded again that young pitchers don't get stronger this time of the year. Some of them just don't tire as much. Left-hander Brian Matusz is wide awake tonight. Matusz is shutting out the Rays on three hits over seven innings, with two walks and eight strikeouts. He just made it look ridiculously easy in the bottom of the seventh. One knock on Matusz has

Showalter and Simon suspended

Buck Showalter will serve a one-game suspension tonight after being ejected from yesterday's game. Bench coach Jeff Datz will run the show. Showalter also was fined an undisclosed amount. Alfredo Simon was suspended three games and fined an undisclosed amount for throwing at Toronto's Jose Bautista. However, he's appealing the suspension and is available to pitch tonight. Blue Jays pitcher Shaun Marcum was fined an

Orioles lineup (and Rays)

For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 3B Luke Scott 1B Corey Patterson DH Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Felix Pie LF Cesar Izturis SS Brian Matusz LHP For the Rays: B.J. Upton CF Jason Bartlett SS Carl Crawford LF Willy Aybar DH Ben Zobrist RF Kelly Shoppach C Carlos Pena 1B Sean Rodriguez 2B Dan Johnson 3B Wade Davis

J.J.'s role in 2011

It's Monday, it's raining and the Orioles have lost four in a row. That'll put a bounce in your step. The Rays are poised to clinch a playoff berth, needing one more victory or a Red Sox loss. Manager Buck Showalter has suggested that it might do his players some good to watch another team celebrate, providing a reminder of what everyone strives for in

The hits kept coming

Pretty strange that there seemed to be more controversial hits in the Orioles-Blue Jays game than the one that took place at M&T Bank Stadium. Reliever Alfredo Simon and manager Buck Showalter were ejected in the fifth inning today after the right-hander drilled former Oriole Jose Bautista with a pitch. Bautista had been hit earlier in the game by Orioles starter Rick VandenHurk - also

Rotation looks like it's set

Manager Buck Showalter just met with the media in Toronto and indicated that he'll stay with the current rotation for the rest of the season, which concludes on Oct. 3 at Camden Yards. The way it's presently constructed, Rick VandenHurk will start today, followed by Brian Matusz tomorrow, Brad Bergesen on Tuesday, Kevin Millwood on Wednesday, Chris Tillman on Thursday, Jeremy Guthrie on Friday, VandenHurk

Today's lineups

For the Orioles: 2B Brian Roberts RF Nick Markakis 1B Ty Wigginton DH Luke Scott LF Felix Pie CF Adam Jones C Matt Wieters 3B Robert Andino SS Cesar Izturis RHP Rick Vandenhurk For the Blue Jays: LF Travis Snider 2B Aaron Hill RF Jose Bautista CF Vernon Wells 1B Lyle Overbay C John Buck DH Adam Lind 3B Edwin Encarnacion SS John McDonald RHP

Walk-off this way

The Toronto Blue Jays have hit 241 home runs. Much to my surprise, I just discovered that they haven't all come against the Orioles. Lyle Overbay hit No. 4 today for Toronto leading off the bottom of the 11th inning. He fell behind, 0-1, against left-hander Mark Hendrickson and ended the game on the next pitch. Koji Uehara cruised through the 10th inning on only

Ty unties it (and Encarnacion ties it)

The Orioles gave the Blue Jays a taste of their own medicine in the top of the seventh inning. Ty Wigginton lined a home run to left field with one out and nobody on base to break a 3-3 tie. He's homered twice on this road trip, increasing his season total to 22. The Orioles wasted 16 hits last night, stranding 14 runners in the

Snyder clears Snider (updated)

Brandon Snyder has collected his second RBI double in two games, lining a ball over the head of Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Travis Snider in the top of the second inning to score Adam Jones and give the Orioles a 1-0 lead. Snyder is getting a look in back-to-back games because the Blue Jays started left-handers Brett Cecil and Ricky Romero. He needs to

Lugo resurfaces (updated)

For the Orioles: 2B Brian Roberts DH Julio Lugo RF Nick Markakis 3B Ty Wigginton CF Adam Jones C Jake Fox LF Nolan Reimold 1B Brandon Snyder SS Cesar Izturis RHP Jeremy Guthrie For the Blue Jays: LF Travis Snider SS Yunel Escobar RF Jose Bautista CF Vernon Wells 1B Lyle Overbay 2B Aaron Hill DH Adam Lind 3B Edwin Encarnacion C Jose Molina LHP

Guthrie's ace-like numbers

Jeremy Guthrie needs to play the role of stopper today and end this losing streak at two games. I guess two games constitute a streak. Guthrie is 7-4 with a 2.92 ERA over his last 11 starts dating back to July 23. Only three other pitchers have won more games since that date: Roy Halladay (10), Ervin Santana (nine) and Trevor Cahill (eight). Guthrie has

Mission almost accomplished

The Orioles outhit the Blue Jays, 16-5. Chris Tillman walked only one batter over six innings. So why aren't they celebrating a win? Because, as a reader pointed out earlier today, Tillman didn't need to worry about walks. The Jays come out swinging like Hugh Hefner in a smoking jacket. Unfortunately, they also connect. Jose Bautista homered twice, giving him 52 on the year and

Reimold, Snyder starting tonight

For the Orioles: 2B Brian roberts RF Nick Markakis CF Adam Jones 3B Ty Wigginton DH Jake Fox LF Nolan Reimold C Craig Tatum 1B Brandon Snyder SS Cesar Izuris RHP Chris Tillman For the Blue Jays: LF Dewayne Wise SS Yunel Escobar RF Jose Bautista CF Vernon Wells 1B Lyle Overbay 2B Aaron Hill DH Adam Lind C John Buck 3B Edwin Encarnacion LHP

Canada dry

The Orioles have lost 11 consecutive games in Toronto, and 20 of their last 22. They're 0-6 at Rogers Centre this year. The last time they were winless in a season road series of six games or more was 2003 in Oakland. It won't be easy tonight. A few more notes of potential interest: The Orioles are 12-3 in series openers under manager Buck Showalter.

Showalter balancing winning and evaluating

Almost lost in the euphoria of competitive September baseball is manager Buck Showalter's desire to evaluate players for next season to assist in the roster construction that will take place over the winter. It's worth pointing out that Showalter hasn't closed the book on Josh Bell. He's just taking an extended look at Robert Andino and forming an opinion on whether the infielder fits into

Young at heart

Former Orioles outfielder Mike Young is moving back to Baltimore, and he's bringing one of his charitable endeavors with him. Young is pretty busy these days. He runs "Genesis Fitness Concepts" and is partners with friend Walt McCreary in a foundation called "Motivating Our Kids." If he can still play left field, I think he should report to Sarasota next spring. I'll let Young explain

No. 1 starter No. 1 in losses

Kevin Millwood took a no-hitter into the fourth inning last night. Nothing to get excited about - you don't call your friends to make sure they're tuned into the game - but it seemed to be an indication that he was barreling toward a quality start, not a waterfall. Millwood was charged with six runs and seven hits in five innings, the big blow a

Patton no longer pending

The Orioles accomplished nothing tonight except to reintroduce left-hander Troy Patton to the majors. Patton finally appeared in a game, his first since 2007 with the Houston Astros. He worked two-thirds of an inning after replacing David Hernandez in the seventh and gave up a hit and walk. He also struck out David Ortiz, who drove in four runs against starter Kevin Millwood. Ryan Kalish

Tying one on again (updated)

Let's review Ty Wigginton's last four games: He singles in the winning run on Sunday, preventing a Yankees sweep. He lifts a sacrifice fly on Monday that gives the Orioles a lead. He belts a three-run homer last night that gives the Orioles a lead. He doubles tonight to give the Orioles a lead. Probably a good idea to keep him in the lineup. Wigginton's

Tonight's lineups

For the Orioles: 2B Brian Roberts RF Nick Markakis 1B Ty Wigginton DH Luke Scott C Matt Wieters CF Adam Jones LF Felix Pie 3B Robert Andino SS Cesar Izturis RHP Kevin Millwood For the Red Sox: CF Ryan Kalish RF J.D. Drew C Victor Martinez DH David Ortiz 3B Adrian Beltre 1B Mike Lowell 2B Bill Hall LF Josh Reddick SS Yamaico Navarro RHP

Taking notes

You already know that the Orioles will attempt to complete their first three-game sweep of the Red Sox in Boston since June 10-12, 1994. Reliever Mike Oquist got the win in relief in the first game. Mike Mussina won the second game. Ben McDonald allowed three runs over eight innings to finish up the sweep. Brady Anderson went 4-for-4 with a triple, two RBIs and

Bucking the 100-loss trend

Jets receiver Braylon Edwards was arrested this week for DWI. Knowing Edwards, the charges also will be dropped. Now, back to baseball... Did you know that Catonsville native and former major league pitcher Jeff Nelson recently bought a home in Sykesville? Well, he did. Nelson is doing some work for XM radio and MLB.com. It was nice to see Julio Lugo back in the Orioles'

Don't adjust your sets

I really feel bad for Jonathan Papelbon. Oh wait...I actually feel the exact opposite for Jonathan Papelbon. The Orioles just tagged him for four runs on five hits in the top of the ninth, increasing their lead to 9-1. Let me type the last part of that line again: Increasing their lead to 9-1. This game is being played in Fenway Park. In September. And

Praising hustle and power

Let's start with the hustle. Adam Jones scored all the way from first base when Boston second baseman Marco Scutaro dropped Felix Pie's pop up with two outs in the top of the sixth inning. Jones could have assumed that Scutaro would make the catch, but he ran full-speed and delivered the tying run. Maybe it's odd to praise hustle - it should be a

Waiting for Arrieta to decide

When we last left Jake Arrieta, he was prepared to undergo surgery tomorrow to have a bone spur removed from his right elbow. Now he's getting a second opinion from orthopedic specialist Dr. Lewis Yocum. Arrieta told reporters in Boston yesterday that he's leaning toward not having the procedure, though it's relatively simple in nature and gives him plenty of time to recover. I don't

Tonight's lineups

For the Orioles: 2B Brian Roberts RF Nick Markakis 1B Ty Wigginton DH Luke Scott CA Matt Wieters CF Adam Jones LF Felix Pie 3B Robert Andino SS Cesar Izturis P Brad Bergesen For the Red Sox: 2B Marco Scutaro RF JD Drew CA Victor Martinez DH David Ortiz 3B Adrian Beltre SS Jed Lowrie CF Ryan Kalish LF Daniel Nava 1B Lars Anderson P

Just when it's getting fun...

I've had this discussion in the press box with a friend and fellow scribe on multiple occasions. OCJ touched on it in his most recent comment. The last month of the season usually brings pain and suffering. It's like jamming toothpicks underneath your fingernails, watching Sidney Ponson dress at his locker or taking the Saints -5 1/2 last night. (Who dat? The team that didn't

Matusz settles into groove (updated twice)

I guess that 38-pitch first inning didn't take too much out of left-hander Brian Matusz. Matusz blanked the Red Sox over the next four innings. He's allowed three hits, walked three and struck out four. Unfortunately, his pitch count is up to 102 because of that early workload and David Hernandez has replaced him. Matusz falls an inning short of a quality start. If you

Deep thoughts in first inning (updated)

All three outs recorded by Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka in the first inning came on long fly balls into a strong wind. Ty Wigginton looked like he had a three-run homer, but the ball died near the wall in left-center field as Brian Roberts tagged up and took third base. Luke Scott followed with a drive to center field that scored Roberts and produced

Tonight's lineups

For the Orioles: 2B Brian Roberts RF Nick Markakis 1B Ty Wigginton DH Luke Scott C Matt Wieters CF Adam Jones LF Felix Pie SS Cesar Izturis 3B Josh Bell LHP Brian Matusz For the Red Sox: 2B Marco Scutaro RF Darnell Mcdonald 1B Victor Martinez 3B Adrian Beltre DH Mike Lowell SS Jed Lowrie LF Bill Hall C Jason Varitek CF Ryan Kalish RHP

Taking notes

Since B.J. Ryan allowed a three-run walk-off homer to David Ortiz on June 2, 2005, the Orioles are 10-36 at Fenway Park and have lost 17 of their last 20 on Yawkey Way. No way! The Orioles have not won consecutive games at Fenway Park since taking four in a row from Sept. 23, 2004 to May 30, 2005. In Brian Matusz's last five starts

Looking back and ahead

Maybe there's no such thing as a big win on Sept. 19 when you're in last place, but it sure felt like one yesterday. Rather than being swept by the Yankees with a nine-game road trip approaching, the Orioles had an extra bounce in their collective steps as they headed out the door. They lost the series to the Yankees, but it didn't seem that

Buck shots

The Orioles won a game that Andy Pettitte started. A game that Mariano Rivera tried to close out. A game against the New York Yankees in September that prevented a sweep as they hit the road for a three-city trip. Luke Scott tied it up with his leadoff home run off Rivera in the ninth. And he scored the winning run on Ty Wigginton's single

Koji makes a statement (Gonzo makes us nervous)

We don't need an interpreter for this one. Coming off his second blown save against the Yankees, which left him unable to stand, Koji Uehara struck out the side in the top of the 10th inning. It wasn't a save situation, but he had to feel some pressure in a tie game, and following the steady diet of fastballs he fed Alex Rodriguez that ended

Once is not enough (updated)

The Orioles were down by two runs entering the bottom of the eighth inning. It felt like 20 for some reason. Corey Patterson reaches on a bunt single, Matt Wieters singles to right field and pinch-hitter Felix Pie scores Patterson with a single into left-center field. Down by one. Feels like one. Brian Roberts laid down a great sacrifice bunt to advance pinch-runner Josh Bell

Andino at the hot corner

Today's attendance: 39,537. Robert Andino finally got to field his first ground ball at third base. Andino handled two pop ups and a line drive in his first two major league starts at the hot corner. He finally had a chance today on Ramiro Pena's bouncer in the hole with one out in the sixth inning, but he pulled back his glove at the last

Tillman's troubles

When we spoke to Jake Arrieta yesterday, he talked about the importance of refining his mechanics if he wants to become an established major league pitcher. I later suggested in this blog that he also needed to throw more strikes and improve his tempo. Here's my unsolicited advice for Chris Tillman: Throw more strikes. You don't need an extensive background in pitching to figure out

Lugo still unavailable; VandenHurk start on hold

Infielder Julio Lugo still hasn't been cleared to play, increasing the possibility that he'll be shut down for the last few weeks. The Orioles aren't ready to make that concession, but Lugo told me that he'll probably visit another specialist tomorrow. Lugo, who's been diagnosed with sinusitis, added that he feels "a lot better" today and was smiling as he passed me in the hallway

Orioles lineup (and Yankees)

For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Robert Andino 3B Nick Markakis RF Adam Jones CF Jake Fox DH Ty Wigginton 1B Corey Patterson LF Matt Wieters C Cesar Izturis SS Chris Tillman RHP For the Yankees: Gardner LF Jeter SS Berkman 1B Cano 2B Swisher DH Posada C Granderson CF Kearns RF Pena 3B Pettitte LHP

While waiting for the lineups...

The clubhouse is pretty much empty except for a few players who are grabbing an early breakfast - and it counts as early when you're playing a 1:35 p.m. game. The door to manager Buck Showalter's office is closed. He'll meet with the media at noon. In other words, I'm early again. A few stats to consider while we wait: The Orioles are 11-3 in

Girardi complains about Guthrie - again

Joe Girardi doesn't like Jeremy Guthrie. It's not a reach to suggest that the Orioles' right-hander is Girardi's least favorite pitcher in baseball, though I'm not privy to his list and we're not Facebook friends. Guthrie's first pitch of tonight's game nailed Derek Jeter on the left elbow, further irritating Girardi, who hasn't forgotten the two hit batters in a spring training contest in Tampa

Buck shots

The Orioles gave up 11 runs tonight. They had allowed 11 runs combined in their last four games. Robert Andino is the first Oriole to homer in consecutive games since Luke Scott on July 23-24 against Minnesota. Andino is batting .364 in his last five games, with three doubles and two homers. Manager Buck Showalter didn't talk about any of that, but I wanted to

Triple short of the cycle

Tonight's attendance: 48,775, the second sellout of the year. Robert Andino has homered again, connecting off CC Sabathia in the bottom of the fifth inning and reducing the Yankees' lead to 6-3. He also extended his hitting streak to five games. He's only appeared in six with the Orioles. Don't even pretend that you envisioned an Andino home run in September while this season played

What's going on? (updated)

The Orioles just introduced first-round pick Manny Machado to the Camden Yards crowd after the top of the third inning. Joe Jordan, director of scouting, stood on the field with Machado, who acknowledged the fans' applause with a wave and a smile. If the Orioles are going to have 10 quality starts in their last 11 games, Jeremy Guthrie will have to blank the Yankees

One pitch, one HBP (and two runs)

Jeremy Guthrie's first pitch of the game drilled Derek Jeter on the left elbow. Jeter tried to spin away from it. No such luck. Jeter dropped his bat and trotted to first base. The benches and bullpens didn't empty. But the crowd certainly reacted. At least this one was legit. No foul ball. Keep in mind that Guthrie has hit 14 batters this year, second

Arrieta to undergo surgery (updated)

Another Jake Arrieta update: The rookie is scheduled to undergo surgery on Wednesday to remove a bone spur from his right elbow. Team physician Dr. Andrew Cosgarea will handle the surgery. Arrieta wants to remain with the team, though he might not travel. "I think it's going to be for the best," Arrieta said. "I've talked to the doctors and trainers and we decided I'm

Showalter talks about Arrieta

Manager Buck Showalter said he was still 50-50 whether he would shut down Jake Arrieta until the club decided to schedule an MRI on the rookie's right elbow, which followed his admission that he felt "a little tightness" after his last start. Arrieta was fine the next day, but the Orioles decided to be cautious. "He's 20, 23 innings over where he's been. He's in

Arrieta shut down; VandenHurk replaces him

The Orioles have decided to shut down Jake Arrieta, primarily because of a bone spur in his right elbow that might require surgery after the season. Arrieta said he's been pitching with the spur since college and it only has a slight effect on his flexibility. Arrieta insisted that it doesn't influence the way he pitches. The surgery isn't considered a serious procedure, but there's

Reimold, Andino, Tatum in lineup

For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Robert Andino 3B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Jake Fox DH Adam Jones CF Nolan Reimold LF Craig Tatum C Cesar Izturis SS Jeremy Guthrie RHP

About last night...

Still hurts. I thought I could sleep it off, as if that ever works, but just the idea of being down a game in this series with CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte taking the ball makes my body ache. One more strike and we'd be discussing the possibility of a sixth consecutive series win. It could still happen, of course. I'm talking mathematically. But as

Showalter speaks

One strike away from victory. "We may have had it, too," manager Buck Showalter said. Asked again about Koji Uehara's 1-2 pitch to Alex Rodriguez, Showalter replied, "It was close. It was obviously a better pitch than strike one to Matt Wieters. I'll tell you that." Uehara was visibly upset that he didn't get the call from plate umpire Ted Barrett, and practically inconsolable after

One strike away...

Koji Uehara just blew another save to the Yankees, and it almost brought him to his knees. Actually, it caused him to squat in front of the mound, his back turned to home plate, as catcher Matt Wieters tried to console him. Uehara served up a three-run homer to Alex Rodriguez on a 2-2 pitch with two outs in the top of the ninth, giving

Quality stuff from Millwood (updated twice)

That 34-pitch second inning looked like it would force Kevin Millwood to make an early exit tonight. He wasn't sharp and the Yankees were poised for that one big inning that would knock him out. Not so fast. Millwood has cleared seven innings and holds a 2-1 lead. Jim Johnson was warming in the seventh as Millwood escaped a two-on, two-out jam created by walks

Mr. Jones and me

Adam Jones tied his career high for home runs while breaking a tie. Jones' solo shot over the center field fence gave the Orioles a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth. He's hit 19 homers this season, moving him one behind Ty Wigginton for second place on the team. Kevin Millwood has settled down and retired eight of nine batters. He threw 19

Millwood struggles in second (updated)

Alex Rodriguez has given the Yankees a 1-0 lead with a 412-foot shot into the Orioles' bullpen leading off the second inning. Rodriguez is 11-for-31 with three homers and five RBIs lifetime against Millwood. Millwood has surrendered a career-high 28 homers this year. He entered the night tied for the sixth-most in the majors. Robinson Cano followed with a single. You'll recall that he began

Matusz and Arrieta updates (plus machado)

Brian Matusz threw his bullpen session today and said his left arm felt "real good." Matusz is still scheduled to start Monday night in Boston. "I'm good to go," he said. Arrieta played long toss today, but still has no idea whether he'll make another start for the Orioles. "I aired it out and I feel great. If it's up to me, I'll pitch," he

Talking rotation, Andino and Reimold

Manager Buck Showalter's plans for the rotation should become more clear after today, and especially after left-hander Brian Matusz's bullpen session. Matusz is slated to start Monday in Boston. Jake Arrieta's turn falls on Tuesday, but he could be shut down. Arrieta still hadn't been told anything as he headed to the field to play catch this afternoon. Showalter, pitching coach Rick Kranitz and president

Andino at third

For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Luke Scott DH Felix Pie LF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Robert Andino 3B Cesar Izturis SS Kevin Millwood RHP

Did you know...

The Orioles need to go 3-13 in their final 16 games to guarantee a winning record under Buck Showalter. Davey Johnson was the last Orioles manager to end the season with a winning record (98-64 in 1997). MASN's Kal Patel did a little digging and discovered that Earl Weaver is the only Orioles manager to post a winning record while starting midway through a season

Start spreading the news: Orioles aren't fading

The media already made a big fuss over Buck Showalter's return to New York, though he did it plenty of times while managing the Rangers. Now he'll see the Yankees for the first time from the home dugout at Camden Yards. It's not often that the Yankees have genuine concerns about facing the Orioles in September. Things really have changed around here. The Orioles are

Izzy or isn't he?

Camden Yards should be rockin' this weekend. The Orioles are expecting a crowd of 35,000 or more tomorrow night, depending on the walk-ups, and they'll exceed 40,000 on Saturday. Could be a near-sellout for Guthrie vs. Sabathia that night. You won't recognize the place. Manager Buck Showalter mentioned earlier this week that he doesn't think any players are counting down the days until the season

Cleaning out my notebook

The Orioles haven't won five straight series, something they'll try to accomplish this weekend, since Aug. 4-18, 1998. They went 2-0 vs. Detroit, 2-1 at Minnesota, 2-1 at Tampa Bay, 3-1 at Cleveland and 2-0 versus Minnesota. We tend to remember it being all bad when Ray Miller managed. I mentioned last night that the Orioles hadn't played a nine-inning game in under two hours

Showalter time

Tonight's game was completed in 1 hour, 55 minutes. The anthems took longer. The Orioles hadn't played a nine-inning game in under two hours since May 25, 2005 vs. Seattle. That game also lasted 1:55. Showalter joked about all the smiling faces in the interview room. We're easy to please. Showalter wasn't going to yank Brad Bergesen after eight innings, though he played all the

Pushing those buttons (updated)

Manager Buck Showalter wanted to get Corey Patterson in the lineup tonight. That was his primary motivation for starting Luke Scott at first base. Move Ty Wigginton to third and free up the DH spot for Patterson. Showalter knew that the Yankees were expected to start left-handers CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte this weekend. He also knew that Patterson had one at-bat since Sept. 6.

Bautista strikes again (updated)

Jose Bautista just homered into the Orioles' bullpen with two outs in the first inning, giving the Blue Jays a quick lead. Bautista has tied the Blue Jays' single-season record of 47 homers, originally set by George Bell in 1987. And I still can't wrap my head around it. Jose Bautista? Really? If he still played for the Orioles, he'd be a nugget. Brad Bergesen

Scott, Bell, Lugo, etc.

Luke Scott had no idea that he was starting at first base until heading for the field to take batting practice. He took a quick glance at the lineup as he passed manager Buck Showalter's office and said, "Wow, I'm 3." That number indicates first base. He's used to seeing the letters DH. Scott dropped his bat and raced back to his locker to exchange

Matusz: "I'm ready to make my next start on schedule"

Brian Matusz says the inflammation is down in his left arm and he's only dealing with a slight bruise. He played long toss with Jeremy Guthrie and is ready to take his normal turn in the rotation. It's up to manager Buck Showalter whether Matusz makes his next start on Monday in Fenway Park, but the rookie says he's physically fit. "I felt good and

Chances of Arrieta pitching "50-50"

Whether Jake Arrieta makes his next start depends on a couple of factors, according to manager Buck Showalter. Showalter will monitor the rookie's workout days and wait until Brian Matusz's next start becomes official. Matusz is playing catch today to test his left arm, which is sporting a bruise after being hit by a line drive. "Try to get a feel for where Brian would

Roberts in lineup

Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 3B Luke Scott 1B Felix Pie LF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Corey Patterson DH Cesar Izturis SS Brad Bergesen RHP

Still no word on Arrieta

We'll have to wait on the Orioles lineup again because of Brian Roberts' uncertain status. Jake Arrieta is still waiting to find out whether he'll make his next start. He expects manager Buck Showalter to broach the subject during batting practice or right before the game. At this point, it appears that Showalter is leaning toward shutting him down. Brian Matusz says his arm feels

Revisiting Sept. 15, 1977

My entry this morning that included the box score from the forfeited game in Toronto 33 years ago stirred a minor debate over manager Earl Weaver's actual beef with the umpiring crew. I didn't recall every detail and relied on baseball-reference.com's explanation before taking advantage of a job perk and placing a few calls. "I remember that the issue was a tarp down in the

Weaving a connection between Earl and Buck

From the moment Buck Showalter put on his Orioles cap and first took a seat on the bench or brought out the lineup card to home plate, his resemblance to Earl Weaver sparked conversation on this blog and in the press box. How many times has he heard it? "That's the first one" he said yesterday. Well, now he can join the club, because it

Was this Arrieta's last start?

Jake Arrieta has accumulated 173 1/3 innings this year, including his Triple-A starts. His previous high was 150 2/3. Did Arrieta make his final start tonight? "Ask me tomorrow," manager Buck Showalter said. "It's possibly my last one, it's possibly yours. "He's at 176-ish right now, and 180-ish is probably the limit you take him. He's about 20-plus over, so that's a real quality question.

Vote of confidence for Pedro

The Orioles trusted Pedro Viola with a nine-run lead with a runner on first base and two outs in the eighth inning. That must make him feel pretty good. Making his Orioles' debut, Viola walked Lyle Overbay on a full count and served up a three-run homer to Aaron Hill. A fan sitting in the left field seats threw the ball back onto the field.

This and that (and other)

Did the Rays really hang seven runs on the Yankees in the bottom of the fifth to wipe out a 6-0 deficit? I mentioned Jake Arrieta's improved control in my last entry. He's walked two and struck out 13 in his last three starts. That's critical to his development. Arrieta still needs to improve his tempo, but there's a lot to like about him, including

Mid-game update (w/update)

The Orioles have a chance to win their fourth straight series. When's the last time that happened? I'm really asking. I don't feel like looking it up. Wouldn't even know where to start. I'm sure that information will become available shortly. It requires going through the day-by-days, working backward, until you find four in a row. Nothing to it. First, the Orioles need to hang

Orioles release 2011 schedule

I'm in a cut-and-paste kind of mood, so here you go: For the second consecutive year, the Orioles will begin their 2011 season on the road in Tampa Bay. The teams will meet on Friday, April 1 at Tropicana Field, the 18th time in 58 years the Orioles will have opened their schedule away from Baltimore. After two more games in Tampa, the 2011 team

On this date...

Do you remember what happened on Sept. 14, 1987? Did you happen to catch the Orioles-Blue Jays game at the old Exhibition Stadium? Toronto hit 10 home runs en route to an 18-3 victory over the Orioles. Ernie Witt mashed three of them and drove in five runs. Rance Mulliniks and George Bell each hit two. Fred McGriff, Rob Ducey and Lloyd Moseby also homered.

Roberts out of lineup (updated)

Brian Roberts won't start tonight after receiving treatment on his right knee and hitting in the indoor cage. We haven't received the lineup, but Robert Andino will start at second base. Ty Wigginton is playing first, Cesar Izturis is the shortstop and Josh Bell is the third baseman. The outfield consists of Felix Pie, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis. Matt Wieters is catching and Luke

More pre-game Showalter

Jake Arrieta is expected to be the first Orioles pitcher shut down this month. Maybe he gets one more start after tonight. Probably two at the most. Manager Buck Showalter doesn't have firm dates to pass along. Showalter refers to it as "a moving target." "I think we're getting closer every time he pitches," Showalter said. "We'll see how he pitches and how many innings

Still waiting on Roberts

Brian Roberts is receiving treatment on his right leg and will hit in the indoor cage before the Orioles make a decision on his status tonight. The lineup might not be posted until 5:30 p.m. Julio Lugo underwent on MRI because of his recurring headaches, which "ruled out some things," according to manager Buck Showalter. Lugo is unavailable again "until we find out exactly what

Blue Jays lineup

Still waiting for manager Buck Showalter to post his lineup. He's got to check on Brian Roberts' availability. Also, Julio Lugo underwent an MRI earlier this afternoon. For the Blue Jays: Snider LF Escobar SS Bautista RF Wells CF Overbay 1B Hill 2B Lind DH Buck C Encarnacion 3B Hill RHP

Mariners sink below Orioles

Did you feel different when you woke up this morning? It might have something to do with the AL standings. Or the cocktail dress and blonde wig you were inexplicably wearing. Let's focus on the standings. The Orioles no longer are the worst team in the league. Their 56-88 record puts them a game ahead of Seattle, which fell to 55-89 with last night's loss

Great Scott

We might still be playing if Luke Scott hadn't singled to center field off Blue Jays left-hander Brian Tallet in the bottom of the 11th inning to score Nick Markakis with the winning run. The Blue Jays have roughly 147 relievers in their bullpen since rosters expanded, so they could go all night. "Get a pitch to hit and stay in the middle of the

Showalter updates three injuries

Not everything was good tonight. Brian Matusz and Brian Roberts were forced out of the game early after being hit by a line drive and fastball, respectively. Josh Bell was batting leadoff. Players were changing positions and dropping pop-ups. It wasn't clean and it wasn't pretty, but it ended with the first win over the Toronto Blue Jays in 13 tries. "It means we get

A world of hurt

Jim Johnson gave up a two-out, two-run single to Yunel Escobar in the eighth inning that erased the Orioles' 3-1 lead and denied Rick VandenHurk a much-deserved win. Johnson had replaced Mark Hendrickson after Adam Lind's leadoff single and surrendered his second hit of the inning. Pain comes in many forms. Some of it is accompanied by a bruise. Brian Roberts was drilled on the

VandenHurk gets some work

Nice outing by Rick VandenHurk. And by "nice," I mean "spectacular." VandenHurk held the Blue Jays to one run and two hits in 5 1/3 innings, with no walks and three strikeouts, before Mark Hendrickson replaced him with one out in the seventh and the Orioles leading, 2-1. VandenHurk, acquired from the Marlins in the Will Ohman trade, had thrown one inning in the last

Turning a negative into a positive (updated)

The Orioles didn't want to lose Brian Matusz after one inning tonight, but they removed him as a precaution after he blocked Yunel Escobar's liner with his left triceps. Something good came out of the bad, however. His name is Rick VandenHurk. VandenHurk has retired all 12 batters he's faced since entering the game in the second. Pitching for the first time since Sept. 2,

More on Matusz (and Snyder update)

Brian Matusz left the game with a left triceps contusion. That's a bruise to you and me. The replays didn't provide much help, but we're told that Yunel Escobar's liner nailed Matusz behind the left arm. We assume that he was removed as a precaution. Shouldn't be anything too serious. Rick VandenHurk struck out the first two batters in the second inning, including Adam Lind

Matusz avoids injury - we think (updated twice)

Nice promotion at Camden Yards tonight. Every fan gets a vendor. Brian Matusz stayed in the game and completed the first inning after being hit on the left side by a line drive from Yunel Escobar. Matusz took a few practice throws before convincing manager Buck Showalter that he could continue. Showalter was late checking on Matusz. He had to dispute the call at first

When do wins matter?

How much emphasis should the Orioles place on winning games over these last three weeks? Is there an actual goal for number of victories? Is that basically the same question? Let's go with No. 2: "It depends on whether you're talking to me or Joe Jordan," manager Buck Showalter said jokingly, referring to the Orioles' director of scouting. "We were kidding about it. That has

Pre-game notes

Manager Buck Showalter wanted to give Brandon Snyder and Robert Andino consecutive starts. That's pretty much the reason why they're playing again tonight. He didn't mention any injuries. "I think it's important to give them two days in a row, kind of get the adrenaline down to a manageable level a little bit," Showalter said. "I said earlier when we were playing Tampa and New

Orioles lineup

Brian Roberts 2B Robert Andino SS Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 3B Jake Fox DH Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Nolan Reimold LF Brandon Snyder 1B Brian Matusz LHP

Stop the madness tonight

You want me to truly believe that the Orioles are a different team under Buck Showalter? Let them beat the Blue Jays. I'm not pushing for a sweep, though that would be terrific. Just beat this team one time and stop making it look like the '27 Yankees. Or the '92-'93 Jays. I'd feel better about tonight if Brian Matusz wasn't 0-2 with a 22.85

Game takes a U-turn

I began listening to the game on 105.7 The Fan on my ride home from Ocean Pines with the Orioles leading, 2-1. Manager Buck Showalter had pushed the right buttons again. He started Jake Fox behind the plate, and Fox delivered an RBI triple and scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch. He started Robert Andino at shortstop, and Andino singled. The easy part

Snyder gets first start

Brian Roberts 2B Ty Wigginton 3B Nick Markakis RF Luke Scott DH Adam Jones CF Felix Pie LF Jake Fox C Robert Andino SS Brandon Snyder 1B Chris Tillman RHP Snyder gets his first start against Justin Verlander. Best of luck. Josh Bell is out of the lineup after taking a shot off his bare hand at third base last night that turned into a

Tigers lineup

Still waiting for the Orioles lineup. In the meantime... For the Tigers: 2B Will Rhymes RF Ryan Raburn LF Don Kelly 1B Miguel Cabrera SS Jhonny Peralta DH Brennan Boesch 3B Brandon Inge CF Casper Wells C Alex Avila RHP Justin Verlander

Hoping to break out the brooms

The Orioles picked up their first series win at Comerica Park since August 5-7, 2008 and have won back-to-back games at the ballpark for the first time since June 4-5, 2005. So far, so good. The Orioles are looking for their first sweep in Detroit since May 28-30, 2004. They've won 11 of their last 17 road games after winning 14 of their first 54.

Hail Cesar (updated)

Cesar Izturis struck out to end the fourth inning and leave the bases loaded. He also left the game scoreless. Probably not a big surprise, but how about the way he made up for it in the sixth? Izturis contributed a two-run triple to a four-run inning that also included doubles by Adam Jones and Felix Pie, and a long sacrifice fly by Ty Wigginton.

Tonight's lineups

For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Ty Wigginton 1B Nick Markakis RF Luke Scott DH Matt Wieters C Adam Jones CF Felix Pie LF Josh Bell 3B Cesar Izturis SS Jeremy Guthrie RHP For the Tigers: Austin Jackson CF Ryan Raburn RF Johnny Damon DH Miguel Cabrera 1B Don Kelly LF Jhonny Peralta SS Brandon Inge 3B Alex Avila C Ramon Santiago 2B Max Scherzer

A few notes

Jake Fox's home run last night was the 10th by a first baseman this season, making the Orioles the last team in the majors to reach double figures at that position, according to Elias. I'm sure that was all part of manager Buck Showalter's plan. You already know that the Orioles are 22-14 under Showalter. Did you also know that they're tied with the Colorado

From worst to not worst?

If the sting from Koji Uehara's blown save on Wednesday still hasn't subsided, you might want to consider making an appointment with a dermatologist. Also consider that the Orioles have won five of their last six games and nine of their last 13. That's a pretty good stretch from the team with the worst record in the American League. How much longer will the Orioles

Have a Coke and a smile

Matt Wieters dropped a pop up that preceded Miguel Cabrera's two-run homer off Kevin Millwood in the sixth inning. Earlier in the game, he failed to block a pitch in the dirt, allowing the ball to roll away from him for a wild pitch. Just as I was complaining about him to a friend via text message, he lifted a sacrifice fly to deep right

Sly as a Fox

Pretty sly move by manager Buck Showalter to put Jake Fox in tonight's lineup. Showalter knew that Fox was 4-for-4 with a double, home run and three RBIs lifetime against Tigers starter Armando Galarraga. You can't keep that stuff a secret. Didn't matter that it was right-hander vs. right-hander. Didn't matter that Fox has been glued to the bench. Tonight was the right time to

Lineups

For the Orioles: 2B Brian Roberts 3B Ty Wigginton RF Nick Markakis DH Luke Scott CA Matt Wieters CF Adam Jones LF Felix Pie 1B Jake Fox SS Cesar Izturis P Kevin Millwood For the Tigers: CF Austin Jackson 2B Will Rhymes DH Johnny Damon 1B Miguel Cabrera LF Ryan Raburn RF Brennan Boesch SS Jhonny Peralta 3B Brandon Inge CA Alex Avila P Armando

Looking ahead

Just to avoid any controversies later in the game, umpire Jim Joyce already has given the Orioles an infield hit tonight. Mark it down in your scorebooks. Joyce actually will be working the plate tonight with Armando Galarraga on the mound in Detroit. It'll be another tearful reunion, with more reminders of Joyce's blown call on June 2 that denied Galarraga a perfect game. My

Vote for Pedro

Brandon Snyder could make his debut in Detroit this weekend. It's a little easier to project a position player. The manager tends to dictate it more than the game - certainly while writing out the lineup in his office. If you're staring at the ceiling each night wondering about left-hander Pedro Viola...well, that's pretty odd. I won't sugar-coat it. You need help. Viola pitched in

The Full Montanez

As you know, outfielder Lou Montanez cleared waivers earlier this week and was outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. Because he'll be a minor league free agent, he's free to leave the organization and basically make this transaction nothing more than a paper move. Judging from the following e-mail that I received from Montanez, I'd say he's already gone. Take a look: "Again I'm standing at the

We know who's closing (updated)

You might be tempted to run Jim Johnson back out to the mound in the bottom of the ninth. He's retired the last four batters he's faced and thrown 16 pitches in 1 1/3 innings. But that's not how manager Buck Showalter rolls these days. Koji Uehara is warming in the bullpen. He'll take the ball as the Orioles try to take the final game

Bergesen holding on

My daughter just announced that she doesn't have school tomorrow and she doesn't know why. I'll explain it to her later. Brad Bergesen has held the Yankees to one run and three hits over six innings, and he continues to cling to a 2-1 lead. He's thrown 91 pitches, two of them resulting in fly balls to the warning track in the sixth. You can

Putting out the welcome Matt

It took a while - an uncomfortable amount of time - but the Orioles finally broke through against Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova. Adam Jones opened the fifth inning with an infield hit, took second on a wild pitch - Nova's first in the majors - and scored on Matt Wieters' two-run homer to left. Orioles 2, Yankees 1. Wieters went to the opposite field on

Today's lineups

For the Orioles: 2B Brian Roberts RF Nick Markakis 1B Ty Wigginton DH Luke Scott LF Felix Pie CF Adam Jones C Matt Wieters SS Cesar Izturis 3B Josh Bell RHP Brad Bergesen For the Yankees: LF Brett Gardner SS Derek Jeter DH Mark Teixeira 3B Alex Rodriguez 2B Robinson Cano RF Nick Swisher 1B Lance Berkman CF Curtis Granderson C Francisco Cervelli RHP Ivan

Where were you in June 1986?

Former USC running back Reggie Bush will reportedly be stripped of his Heisman Trophy. Bush says he was promised that any stripping would include one of the Kardashian sisters. I want to begin my morning by wishing a very Happy Birthday to good friends and former colleagues Jeff Zrebiec and Peter Schmuck. They were born on the same day, but I'm not sure if they're

See see ya later

The Orioles ran up CC Sabathia's pitch count tonight and watched him walk off the mound in the seventh inning. Sabathia is gone after 6 1/3, with Nick Markakis' RBI single the final blow. Sabathia will win 20 games this season, but he won't reach that milestone tonight. What a sweet piece of hitting by Markakis, who again slapped the ball to the left side

Ambushing CC in the first (and third)

Did that just happen? The first five batters reached against Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia, as the Orioles bolted to a 3-0 lead. Four of them singled, including Adam Jones, who drove in two runs. Third base coach Gary Allenson aggressively sent Nick Markakis, who looked like he would be an easy out. The ball arrived in plenty of time, but catcher Jorge Posada couldn't hold

Montanez update

Lou Montanez cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. What's next for Montanez? Minor league free agency. It's not a real important transaction because Norfolk's season is over and Montanez is free to go. And you have to assume that he'll test the waters and try to hook on with another club, since he seems to be boxed out here. Montanez had never been

Patton among call-ups; Reimold & Andino starting

The Orioles activated David Hernandez from the disabled list and recalled left-hander Troy Patton from Triple-A Norfolk and left-hander Pedro Viola from Double-A Bowie. Maybe Patton will get a chance to pitch this time. Hernandez will wear No. 29, Patton No. 40 and Viola No. 47. For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Felix Pie LF Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Adam Jones CF Nolan

Sweet music from Viola?

I don't know when Pedro Viola will pitch for the Orioles or how he'll fare, but he won't be making his major league debut. Viola appeared in nine games with the Cincinnati Reds last year, allowing four runs and seven hits in seven innings, with three walks and five strikeouts. He surrendered two home runs, including the first for Colorado's Eric Young Jr. You can

Because You Asked - Judgment Day

You ask and I answer. And you ask again. It's our little dance here at School of Roch, and it's the only cardio I get, so I'm not complaining. My responses often get lost in the comments section, so better to post them here. "Why do the Orioles keep pitching Kevin Millwood when he isn't part of the future?" They couldn't trade him and aren't

Viola joining Orioles

Pedro Viola will join the Orioles in New York as an extra bullpen arm, further expanding their September roster. Viola is on the 40-man roster, so no corresponding move is necessary. Double-A Bowie's season ended today with a loss to Richmond. Viola was notified after the game that the Orioles had recalled him. Viola went 0-2 with a 17.65 ERA, 10 walks and eight strikeouts

Koji closes out another one

0-2. 0-2. 0-2. Koji Uehara got ahead of all three batters he faced in the ninth inning today. Throw strikes, work quickly, go out to dinner. Uehara recorded his seventh save in pretty routine fashion, getting a fly ball and two strikeouts to complete a 4-3 victory over the Yankees. Pinch-hitter Colin Curtis saw three pitches and froze on the last one to end the

50 ways to lose a lead (updated)

I won't detail all 50, but the Orioles covered a few of them in the sixth inning. They didn't slip out the back, but they definitely should have made a new plan. A leadoff walk. A wild pitch. The catcher's failure to block a ball in the dirt. The failure to catch a fly ball in shallow left field. That'll do it. Brian Matusz walked

B-Rob: A hurting hero (updated)

Brian Roberts just gave the Orioles a 2-1 lead with a two-out single in the fifth that scored Cesar Izturis from second base. I thought we'd have a close play at the plate, but Alex Rodriguez cut off Marcus Thames' throw from left field and gunned down Roberts at second for the final out. Roberts is clearly in pain, wincing and staying bent over as

One isn't enough (updated)

The Orioles have put runners on the corners with one out in the second inning and no outs in the third and settled for a 1-0 lead. Good, but not nearly good enough. Corey Patterson popped up and Cesar Izturis struck out to end the rally in the second. Josh Bell scored on Felix Pie's double play grounder in the third, moving the Orioles ahead

Today's lineups

For the Orioles: 2B Brian Roberts LF Felix Pie RF Nick Markakis DH Luke Scott C Matt Wieters 1B Ty Wigginton CF Corey Patterson SS Cesar Izturis 3B Josh Bell LHP Brian Matusz For the Yankees: SS Derek Jeter RF Nick Swisher 1B Mark Teixeira 3B Alex Rodriguez 2B Robinson Cano LF Marcus Thames DH Jorge Posada C Francisco Cervelli CF Brett Gardner RHP A.J.

On this date... (updated)

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of 2,131, I think we should all run a lap around our houses at exactly the same time. If you're stuck at work, I'm sure your boss will understand if you circle the building. As I've written in the past, I attended the two games that allowed Cal Ripken to tie and break Lou Gehrig's unbreakable record. I was still

Showalter time

The official scorer exercised his right to award the win to Alfredo Simon, judging that Jim Johnson and Michael Gonzalez were too ineffective in brief appearances. Once Johnson was skipped, you pick the guy who was the most effective out of the remaining group. It's not real common, but it happens. Simon turned in a perfect eighth, and Koji Uehara did the same in the

Koji closes it out

Koji Uehara took the ball again today, less than 24 hours after giving up back-to-back home runs. Uehara closed out an 8-7 victory, earning his sixth save, but he's not the closer. Just the guy who protected a one-run lead in the ninth. That's all. No need to slap a label on him. This one was easy. Strikeout, pop up and strikeout. Fans were chanting

Attacking the Rays' bullpen (updated twice)

The Orioles have retaken the lead in the sixth, and the bottom third of the order spirited the comeback. Admit it, you didn't see that one coming. Craig Tatum and Cesar Izturis walked with one out against reliever Dan Wheeler. Chad Qualls replaced him and gave up Josh Bell's single to center field on an 0-2 pitch that tied the game. This was especially significant

Tillman's done for the day (updated)

Chris Tillman gave up six hits today. Two were triples. Two were home runs. Not the extra-base ratio he sought in his return to the majors, but the Rays managed only three runs in 5 1/3 innings and he stood to be the winner if the bullpen could hold onto a 4-3 lead. It didn't. Pinch-hitter Reid Brignac greeted reliever Jim Johnson with a single

Ripken reflects on Machado

Cal Ripken has watched first-round pick Manny Machado at Aberdeen and offers the following scouting report on the young shortstop: "I like the size, I like the strength. He made a couple of plays in the field really easy, and I like the way the ball jumped off his bat. He's definitely got some good size to him." A big guy like that can play

Showalter reflects on Ripken

Cal Ripken's ceremonial first pitch was a perfect strike to Jake Fox. Knowing Cal, that shouldn't come as a surprise. Seeing Fox behind the plate was the shocker. But I digress... It was nice of the Rays to stand and applaud Ripken as he walked to the mound. They moved to the top step of the dugout. They stopped playing catch. Evan Longoria stood the

Orioles lineup (and more)

Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Luke Scott DH Felix Pie LF Corey Patterson CF Craig Tatum C Cesar Izturis SS Josh Bell 3B Chris Tillman RHP For the Rays: Jaso DH Zobrist 1B Crawford LF Longoria 3B Joyce RF Rodriguez 2B Upton CF Navarro C Bartlett SS Davis RHP Cal Ripken will throw out the ceremonial first pitch to celebrate the

More post-game chatter

Tonight's attendance: 18,943. Buck Showalter has won more games as Orioles manager this year (18) than Dave Trembley and Juan Samuel. They don't hand out trophies for that accomplishment, but it's worth noting. Jeremy Guthrie set a season high with seven strikeouts tonight. He matched his season high with 116 pitches. He's gone at least six innings in 10 straight outings, with eight quality starts

Showalter notches No. 900

Buck Showalter won his 900th game as manager, a feat that didn't leave a lump in his throat. More like a shrug in his shoulders. "My daughter called me a couple nights ago and left me a message, so she made me aware of it and I'd forgotten it a little bit," he said. "It means I've had some good players and someone's given me

Let's go to the tape (updated)

Luke Scott thought he hit a home run in the fifth inning. The umpires ruled that he hit a double. Scott wasn't convinced, and neither was manager Buck Showalter. Instant replay came into play at Camden Yards for the second time this season, and Scott lost his argument. He had to settle for a double on a ball that hit the orange AT&T sign in

One batter, one deficit (updated)

That didn't take long. John Jaso, the rare leadoff-hitting catcher, got hold of a 93 mph fastball from Jeremy Guthrie and drove it 436 feet into the seats in right-center field. So much for back-to-back scoreless outings. You'll recall that the Angels couldn't push across a run against Guthrie in 8 1/3 innings. The Rays did it in one batter. Guthrie has posted a 2.51

Talking Tillman and Hendrickson

Chris Tillman hasn't been promised a specific number of starts over these final weeks of the season. He takes the ball tomorrow for the first time in the majors since July 19. That's the only guarantee. "He's going to get an opportunity to pitch tomorrow," manager Buck Showalter said. "I haven't seen him pitch other than on tape and everybody here has, so I'm kind

Jones update

Still no Adam Jones, who continues to receive treatment on his sore upper back. He's also allowing the cortisone injection that he received Thursday night to work its magic. Head athletic trainer Richie Bancells is upbeat about the progress that Jones has made, according to manager Buck Showalter, but don't look for the center fielder in tomorrow's lineup. He probably won't be there. "He's a

Orioles lineup (and Rays)

Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Luke Scott DH Felix Pie LF Matt Wieters C Julio Lugo 3B Corey Patterson CF Cesar Izturis SS Jeremy Guthrie RHP Here's Tampa Bay's lineup: Jaso C Zobrist 2B Crawford LF Longoria 3B Pena 1B Joyce RF Hawpe DH Upton CF Bartlett SS Shields RHP

Buck's seeing it all

I've got a busy morning ahead of me, which includes a three-hour stint on "Wall to Wall Baseball" with Tom Davis and Dave Johnson. The first hour, beginning at 11 a.m., will air on MASN. You can catch the entire show on ESPN Radio 1300. Or you can sleep late. Depends what you did last night. Do you get the feeling that Orioles manager Buck

Post-game Showalter

Tonight's attendance: 13,507. Welcome to the first three-game losing streak under manager Buck Showalter. "(Matt) Garza's got good stuff, but there's some things we've got to do better," Showalter said. "We missed the cutoff man, cost us a run. And a couple other things we'll correct." How about that 5-32 record against AL East opponents besides the Red Sox? Kevin Millwood lost his 15th game,

Garza's not making any friends

It's one thing to tick off the opposing team. It's quite another to rile your own manager. Matt Garza was upset that Rays manager Joe Maddon removed him from tonight's game with two on and two outs in the sixth. He had just issued his second walk of the inning, losing Corey Patterson on four pitches, but still held a 4-1 lead. Garza began to

In-game updates

This game is getting away from the Orioles. The Rays scored twice in the third inning and twice in the fourth to stake Matt Garza to a 4-0 lead. If you still feel good about this one, I admire your loyalty. Or you're still at Happy Hour. Either way, props to you. Just root and drink responsibly. Rick VandenHurk was warming in the bullpen, but

Scoreless first for Millwood

It's that time again when I remind everyone how Kevin Millwood usually gives up runs in the first inning. He didn't run into the run problem in his last start, blanking the Angels on six hits over eight innings, and he stranded Carl Crawford on third base and Evan Longoria on first tonight. Millwood retired Carlos Pena on a popup to shortstop Cesar Izturis, leaving

More pre-game notes

Rays pitcher Matt Garza doesn't lack for confidence and he doesn't worry about firing up the opposition. He challenged the Orioles today in a St. Petersburg Times notebook item, still fuming over the four home runs he surrendered against them on July 20, which prompted this response from manager Buck Showalter: "There are a lot of people who feel that way that just don't say

Tillman on his way (updated)

Chris Tillman has been summoned from Triple-A Norfolk and will join the Orioles later tonight or tomorrow. Kevin Millwood is starting tonight, and Jeremy Guthrie goes tomorrow. Sunday's slot is being left open, and Tillman is going to fill it. He'll be working on normal rest. Everyone else in the rotation gets pushed back, bringing the expected six-man rotation. The names will likely change over

Orioles lineup

Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Luke Scott DH Felix Pie LF Corey Patterson CF Matt Wieters C Cesar Izturis SS Josh Bell 3B Kevin Millwood RHP

While waiting for the lineup...

The Orioles haven't posted their lineup yet. Still checking on the wounded. Outfielder Corey Patterson told me that he swung in the indoor cage earlier and is "good to go." He's been receiving treatment for a sore neck that restricted him to bunting duties last night.

Orioles might need another position player

A few items from my conversation this morning with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail, who was returning from his visit to Delmarva: * MacPhail hadn't intended to add any more position players to the expanded roster, but injuries to Adam Jones and Corey Patterson could force another move. Jones (back) is expected to miss at least a few more games. Patterson (neck) was available

Looking at last night and Reimold

We love to second-guess here, and the ninth inning allowed us to work our craft. Should Corey Patterson have been sent up to pinch-hit for Nolan Reimold? Should you bunt with Cesar Izturis on deck? Should Izturis be allowed to hit in that situation? What about Josh Bell? Reporters were kicking around suggestions after the game. We basically agreed that manager Buck Showalter's options were

Bergy speaks

Brad Bergesen gained some satisfaction from working into the sixth inning tonight, but it was a small victory - and one that didn't count in the standings or on his record. The five-run second inning was a killer. "It is what it is and you've got to put it behind you and go from there," he said. "I was able to do so tonight and

Bad bounces in rubber games

The Orioles are 1-12 in games that decide the winner of a three-game series, including 1-7 at Camden Yards. Their only victory came on May 13 against Seattle. Better execution in the field might have changed tonight's outcome. Ty Wigginton committed a costly error at first base and couldn't field Brian Roberts' one-hop throw on a potential double play. Josh Bell threw behind Roberts, which

Just a cruel tease

But enough about my love life. The Orioles put the potential tying runs on base in the ninth inning against Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon. Too bad the bottom of the order was coming up. Pinch-hitter Corey Patterson laid down a nice bunt to advance Felix Pie and pinch-runner Julio Lugo, who entered the game for Matt Wieters (3-for-4, two RBIs). Patterson's neck must be

A VandenHurk sighting & rally (updated)

Rick VandenHurk is appearing in his third game with the Orioles. Call off the search. VandenHurk replaced Brad Bergesen with one out in the sixth and coaxed a double-play grounder from Victor Martinez. Two pitches and he was done. We'll see him again in the seventh. VandenHurk tossed a scoreless inning against Texas, striking out two, in his Orioles' debut on Aug. 22. He gave

Losing track of the outs

Brad Bergesen got into another jam in the third inning with a one-out single and two-out walk. I stress that it was a two-out walk. Marco Scutaro sent a grounder up the third base line. Josh Bell fielded the ball and stepped on the bag. The inning was over, except Bell forgot the number of outs. He went for the unnecessary double play, firing the

Night shift (updated twice)

A very underrated movie. Also a keen strategy by the Orioles that got Brad Bergesen through the first inning without any real damage. The Orioles shifted their infield with two outs in the first inning, Victor Martinez on first base and left-handed slugger David Ortiz at the plate. A typical maneuver that worked perfectly as Ortiz sent a sharp grounder past first baseman Ty Wigginton.

The pre-game Showalter must go on

Breaking news: Jake Arrieta shaved off his mustache. Double-A Bowie outfielder Xavier Avery has been added to the Scottsdale Scorpions' roster in the Arizona Fall League. He'll join pitchers Kam Mickolio, Wynn Pelzer, Oliver Drake and Pat Egan, infielders Ryan Adams, Greg Miclat and Tyler Townsend, and catcher Caleb Joseph. Single-A Frederick pitching coach Blaine Beatty will serve as pitching coach for Scottsdale. Manager Buck

Jones, Patterson still hurting (updated)

Adam Jones doesn't think he'll be cleared to play for a few more days because of soreness in his upper back. Felix Pie is starting in center field tonight. "He had that one swing that really bit him last night," manager Buck Showalter said. Update: Jones was given the option of receiving a cortisone injection, but he's undecided. He's never had one. For now, he

Tonight's lineups (w/Matusz update)

For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Luke Scott DH Felix Pie CF Matt Wieters C Nolan Reimold LF Cesar Izturis SS Josh Bell 3B Brad Bergesen RHP For the Red Sox: Scutaro SS Drew RF Martinez C Ortiz DH Beltre 3B Lowrie 2B Lowell 1B Nava LF Kalish CF Matsuzaka RHP Update: Brian Matusz was named AL Rookie of

New month, same Bergy?

Brad Bergesen might not have flipped the page on his calendar. Bergesen was 3-0 with a 2.72 ERA in five starts last month. In his most recent outing, he held the Angels to one run over eight innings, and it scored on a questionable balk call. He doesn't look like a pitcher who needs to be shut down. Tonight, Bergesen faces the Red Sox in

Shutdown mode

September means roster expansion. It also means shutting down the occasional player. It also means shopping for school supplies, which ranks in the top three of my least-favorite tasks in life. I'd rather remove my appendix with a melon baller. But I digress... We already know that the Orioles are going to add more players from the minors, including pitcher Chris Tillman. At least one

The 'pen wasn't mightier (w/ Showalter quotes)

The Orioles' bullpen gave up six runs in the seventh inning. That equals the total it allowed in the previous nine games spanning 18 innings. Alfredo Simon, who hadn't pitched since Aug. 24, has surrendered home runs in five of his last eight outings. Mark Hendrickson hadn't pitched since Aug. 22, and it's strange that I didn't notice the layoff. That's what happens when your

Just like old times (updated twice)

Tonight's attendance: 16,210. It's loud here, and only because the Red Sox have taken a 9-5 lead. Mark Hendrickson is charged with three runs in the seventh, and Alfredo Simon served up three more on Adrian Beltre's homer. Simon hasn't pitched since Aug. 24, when he gave up a run and three hits in one inning against the White Sox. Manager Buck Showalter told reporters

If the Orioles win tonight... (updated twice)

A victory tonight would give the Orioles their first five-game winning streak since June 17-21, 2009. Jake Arrieta has allowed three runs and six hits in five innings. He hasn't walked a batter, but he's sitting on 95 pitches. Mark Hendrickson has been warming up for a while. David Ortiz is leading off the sixth. We're facing a pitching change. Down on the farm, Triple-A

So far, so really good (updated)

The Orioles must be taking advantage of the soft spot in Jon Lester's start. They scored four runs on four hits, a hit batter and a wild pitch in the bottom of the first to take a 4-1 lead. As you know, the Orioles have tallied more than three runs against Lester only once in his 12 victories against them. In three previous starts against

Pre-game Showalter

And lots of it. Manager Buck Showalter went with the front office's recommendations when it came to adding Nolan Reimold, Robert Andino and Brandon Snyder to the expanded roster. "I leaned on what everybody told me. It wasn't me," Showalter said. "That's who everybody felt like we should get a look at." Showalter is using Reimold as the designated hitter tonight. Keep in mind that

Significant progress for Hernandez

Reliever David Hernandez threw 30 pitches during today's batting practice session in Sarasota, and manager Buck Showalter said the reports were favorable. Showalter sounds encouraged, and it's possible that Hernandez, who's recovering from a badly sprained left ankle, could rejoin the Orioles within a week to 10 days. Hernandez will take two days off and report to Double-A Bowie, which is closing the regular season

Reimold in lineup

Brian Roberts 2B Julio Lugo SS Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Adam Jones CF Felix Pie LF Matt Wieters C Nolan Reimold DH Josh Bell 3B Jake Arrieta RHP

Montanez designated for assignment; O's call up three

The Orioles have designated outfielder Lou Montanez for assignment to make room for infielder Robert Andino on the 40-man roster. Montanez is batting .289 with five doubles, two triples, two homers and 20 RBIs in 24 games at Triple-A Norfolk. He's missed a significant chunk of the season with an oblique injury. Montanez has batted .223 in 93 games over parts of the last three

Looking back at J.J., ahead to Lester

Jim Johnson has made two appearances since coming off the disabled list, and they've been under drastically different circumstances. He entered a 5-0 game in the ninth inning, manager Buck Showalter's way of easing him back into major league competition. And he replaced Brian Matusz last night with the potential tying run on first base and no outs in the seventh. The easing process didn't

Expanded thoughts

Manager Buck Showalter needs to go 0-24 to match Juan Samuel's record. The pressure's on. I like how Showalter walks into the interview room after the final out and asks for the time of game, as if he's hoping that his club took care of us. "Stay under three, right?" Exactly. Anything under three hours is good. And 2 ½ will make us do a

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