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Tigers announce starters for Division Series

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus told reporters today in Detroit that he’s sending Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, David Price and Rick Porcello to the mound for the Division Series. Mickey Lolich must not be available. Scherzer (18-5, 3.15 ERA in 33 starts) is 3-1 with a 3.92 ERA in six career starts against the Orioles, with nine walks and 45 strikeouts in 39 innings, and 1-0

Quick update on Davis

Chris Davis is making another start at third base today in the instructional league. He’s scheduled to play five innings and receive a minimum of four at-bats in a game against the Red Sox in Sarasota. Davis also started at third base yesterday against the Rays in Port Charlotte. He flied out to right field, lifted a sacrifice fly to right-center, grounded a single into

This, that and the other

The Orioles will conduct the first of their two workouts today at Camden Yards, which is closed to the media. Reporters will have access to the team on Wednesday. Manager Buck Showalter indicated that he may finalize his Division Series roster today rather than wait until the 10 a.m. deadline on Thursday. No sense dragging it out. Showalter doesn’t want to leave players in limbo,

Division Series start times announced through Sunday

Major League Baseball has announced the starting times of the Division Series games through Sunday. Game 1 between the Orioles and Tigers at Camden Yards will start at 5:37 p.m. if the Royals win the American League wild card game, and 6:07 p.m. if the Athletics are victorious. Game 2 on Friday at Camden Yards will begin at 3:07 p.m. if the Pirates win the

Cruz named finalist for Hank Aaron Award

The word on the street is that Major League Baseball won’t announce the starting times for the American League Division Series until Tuesday. I don’t know what time they’re going to announce it. I don’t even now what time it is as I’m typing this entry. I do know that MAVTV, a channel I’ve never heard of until today, is currently showing “Brian’s Song.” I

Esposito wins Gold Glove

Single-A Frederick third baseman Jason Esposito, the Orioles’ second-round pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Vanderbilt University, has been named a Rawlings Gold Glove Award recipient. Esposito, 24, is the first Keys player to win the award, which was reintroduced to the minors in 2011 after a nearly 50-year hiatus. I don’t know what time Esposito will receive it, and I still

Looking back and ahead (with note)

I’m wondering whether fans are in a reflective mood today or focused entirely on the Division Series. My guess is the latter, with maybe a few exceptions. The regular season is over, but the Orioles aren’t done playing. Game 1 is set for Thursday against the Tigers at Camden Yards, with an anticipated start time of 6 p.m. That is not official. Major League Baseball

Today’s lineup could be repeated in Game 1 (O’s win 1-0, to face Tigers in ALDS)

Did Orioles manager Buck Showalter give us a preview today of his Game 1 lineup in the Division Series? He’s not going to say so, but it looks that way to me. Ryan Flaherty has two of the six errors that Orioles third basemen have committed over the last nine games, but he’s regarded as a good defender at every infield position and he’s got

Jones one home run away from milestone

Orioles center fielder Adam Jones has struggled against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey in the past, going 3-for-22 (.136) with one home run. A second home run off Dickey today at Rogers Centre would put Jones in select company in Orioles history and allow him to reach another milestone. Jones hit his 29th homer yesterday in a 4-2 loss to the Blue Jays. With one more, he

Flaherty at third base today (Jays lineup added)

We’ve finally reached the 162nd game of the regular season. The Orioles will try to avoid being swept by the Blue Jays today before taking off Monday. They open the Division Series on Thursday against the winner of the Central Division. The Tigers hold a one-game lead over the Royals. The Orioles have lost three in a row for the second time since May. They

Gonzalez on mound for last regular season game

I don’t suggest that you wager on baseball, but if you can’t resist, make sure to avoid putting any money on Miguel Gonzalez pitching a complete game today. Or still being on the mound for the seventh inning stretch and the “OK Blue Jays” song. You’ve got a diamond You’ve got nine men You’ve got a hat and a bat And that’s not all You’ve

Impact of Casilla on roster (Jones homers, O’s lose 4-2)

Alexi Casilla was a career .500 hitter against Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ as he stepped to the plate today at Rogers Centre for his first at-bat with the Orioles in 2014. No wonder they added him to the expanded roster. It all makes sense. OK, it was one hit in two at-bats. A small sample size. Casilla joined the Orioles due to concerns over

Orioles DFA Guilmet

The Orioles have designated reliever Preston Guilmet for assignment to make room for infielder Alexi Casilla on the 40-man roster. Casilla’s contract was purchased today from Triple-A Norfolk and he’s starting at third base today. Casilla, who’s wearing No. 1, played 34 games at second base and 21 at shortstop with the Tides. He didn’t appear at third base this year. Guilmet, 27, posted a

Casilla in Orioles lineup

Alexi Casilla is leading off and playing third base today in his return to the Orioles. He didn’t play third at Triple-A Norfolk this season and is making just his third start at third in the majors. Christian Walker is playing first base. Jonathan Schoop is starting at second base. Steve Pearce is in right field. Nick Markakis is on the bench. Wei-Yin Chen could

Reading into Casilla’s arrival

If you forgot that Alexi Casilla remained in the Orioles organization, he’s providing a reminder today and it’s anything but subtle. The Orioles are summoning Casilla from Arizona - he had permission to work out there instead of Sarasota - and he’s expected to be in uniform for today’s game against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Manager Buck Showalter is clearly upset with his

More on Davis’ first day in the instructional league

The Orioles lost another game last night. Are they also losing their edge? That’s the question posed to me every couple of hours, and I have no idea. I understand the logic behind resting the veterans and letting guys heal and staying away from certain relievers on certain nights to freshen up the bullpen before the Division Series. However, we can’t measure how much edge

Update on Davis and note on Gonzalez (Tillman’s streak ends, O’s lose 4-2)

Chris Davis made his debut today in the fall instructional league, reaching on an infield hit and drawing a walk in three plate appearances in a game against the Rays at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. Davis flew down to Sarasota on Tuesday. He hasn’t been made available to the media. Davis, who played third base today, hasn’t been in the Orioles lineup since Sept.

Orioles and Blue Jays lineups

Nick Markakis has been lowered to third in the Orioles lineup for tonight’s series-opener against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Alejandro De Aza is batting leadoff. Markakis has batted first in 147 games this season, second in two, third in three and fifth in one. Adam Jones, Nelson Cruz, J.J. Hardy and Steve Pearce are on the bench. Pearce homered last night in his

Tillman attempting to stay unbeaten on the road

The Orioles will show up at Rogers Centre in Toronto later today with plenty of items on their agenda. * Try to win every game while keeping alive their faint hopes of gaining home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and build momentum heading into the Division Series. * Decide on a starter for Sunday afternoon’s finale. Ubaldo Jimenez and Miguel Gonzalez are the primary candidates. *

Orioles can’t let defense rest at third base, Britton on his baby boy

NEW YORK - As soon as Manny Machado underwent surgery on his right knee last month, the Orioles figured to miss his defense at third base more than his production at the plate. Platinum gloves are hard to replace. Chris Davis was an adequate substitute for Machado, but he’s down in Sarasota while serving his 25-game suspension. The Orioles need to stabilize the position as

Showalter: “I’m more concerned right now that we gave them all those runs”

NEW YORK - So much for that 100 percent chance of rain tonight. And Derek Jeter not getting another at-bat as the game moved into the ninth inning. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out... The Angels’ magic number for clinching home field throughout the playoffs is down to one following the Orioles’ 6-5 loss to the Yankees. Jeter got his final at-bat

Orioles go back-to-back to start game (O’s lose 6-5)

NEW YORK - The Orioles lined the railing of the visiting dugout at Yankee Stadium tonight to watch a video tribute to Derek Jeter. Players applauded after it ended, a nice show of respect. The sentimental mood disappeared like baseballs into the night. Nick Markakis hit a ball into the second deck while fans were chanting Jeter’s name as part of the traditional roll call,

Still waiting on Sunday starter

NEW YORK - About 90 percent of the questions directed at Orioles manager Buck Showalter today came from New York writers wanting his thoughts on Derek Jeter. Most of it you’ve already heard. Showalter hasn’t named a starter for Sunday’s game in Toronto, saying Ubaldo Jimenez and Miguel Gonzalez are options. He told reporters yesterday that he was leaning toward Jimenez. Today, he mentioned Jimenez

Orioles and Yankees lineups

NEW YORK - Steve Pearce has returned to the Orioles’ lineup tonight for the first time since being scratched on Friday with a sore right wrist. Pearce, who received a cortisone injection, was used yesterday as a defensive replacement at first base. For the Orioles Nick Markakis RF Alejandro De Aza LF Adam Jones CF Nelson Cruz DH Steve Pearce 1B J.J. Hardy SS Kelly

A few notes on Jeter and tonight’s pitching matchup

NEW YORK - The Orioles will face Derek Jeter for the final time tonight if the weather allows it. Perhaps you’ve heard. Jeter has two hits in his last 28 at-bats (.071) against the Orioles dating back to August 11, including an infield single Tuesday night but he’s been a nuisance over the years. For example: Jeter has recorded the most multi-hit games against the

Trying to figure out the Division Series roster

NEW YORK - We’ve reached the final home game of Derek Jeter’s career unless rain causes a postponement tonight and Major League Baseball decides to mess with the Orioles again by giving them another scheduling nightmare. Always room for one more, right? “Jeter’s last home game. How long do you think we’ll be here if there’s rain?” manager Buck Showalter asked. “Get comfortable.” I can’t

Hearing from Showalter, Norris, Flaherty and Lough after 9-5 win

NEW YORK - The Orioles posted their 95th victory today, the most since the 1997 team won 98 games. They’re 43-2 in their last 45 games when scoring four runs or more. The Orioles have totaled 14 runs and 32 hits since the one-hitter on Monday night. Don’t poke the bear. They didn’t need any home runs today. So much for being unable to play

Orioles bat around in fourth to take lead (O’s win 9-5)

NEW YORK - Well, that escalated quickly. The Orioles sent 11 batters to the plate in the top of the fourth inning and destroyed a 3-0 deficit, scoring six runs on seven hits and forcing Yankees manager Joe Girardi to go to his bullpen. Girardi may have reacted too late, considering how much he normally enjoys that little stroll to the mound. Shane Greene was

Notes on Steve Johnson, Tillman, Cruz and playoff tickets (O’s down 3-0)

NEW YORK - Chase Headley singled with two outs in the first inning and scored on Mark Teixeira’s double to right field to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead over the Orioles. Steve Johnson underwent surgery this morning in New York to shave down a bone spur behind his right shoulder. Johnson is expected to be full-go for spring training. Earlier today, Chris Tillman talked

More on Division Series roster

NEW YORK - Orioles manager Buck Showalter continues to withhold the official announcement on his Division Series rotation. However, he said today that he’s leaning toward going with 11 pitchers on his staff. Showalter will use four starters in the series, giving him a seven-man bullpen. By using 11 pitchers, Showalter would be able to keep an extra position player. The decision may come down

Orioles lineup vs. Yankees

NEW YORK - With Steve Pearce missing his fifth consecutive game, Steve Clevenger makes a rare start at first base for today’s matinee at Yankee Stadium. Clevenger has played just one inning at first for the Orioles this season and has made 10 appearances there (three starts) in 95 career major league games. David Lough is in left field while Jimmy Paredes is at third

Norris on mound for third game of series

NEW YORK - Bud Norris takes the mound this afternoon at Yankee Stadium unsure of his exact placement in the Division Series rotation. Or maybe he’s been told and manager Buck Showalter has sworn everyone to secrecy. Chris Tillman is starting Game 1. Wei-Yin Chen will be announced at some point as the Game 2 starter. Showalter will use four starters in the Division Series

Hearing from Showalter, Johnson, Markakis and Jimenez after 5-4 win

NEW YORK - Having already clinched their division, the Orioles knew it was time to rediscover their winning ways after losing three of their past four games. Zach Britton picked up his 36th save in 40 opportunities tonight by striking out Derek Jeter on three pitches to strand the tying run and complete the Orioles’ 5-4 victory over the Yankees. The Orioles are 9-2 this

Cruz hits 40th home run (O’s win 5-4)

NEW YORK - Remember when Nelson Cruz stayed on the free-agent market into spring training and it seemed as though nobody wanted him? Remember when fans and media debated whether the Orioles should sign Cruz or Kendrys Morales? Has it really been seven months? Cruz just hit his 40th home run leading off the top of the fifth inning to give the Orioles a 5-1

Kelly Johnson hits first home run as Oriole (Markakis homers)

NEW YORK - To find Kelly Johnson’s last home run before tonight, you’ve got to flip the calendar back to July 11. Back to Camden Yards with Miguel Gonzalez on the mound for the Orioles. It’s a small baseball world, my friends. Try not to flip over it. Johnson was playing for the Yankees, the first of his three teams this season. He’s hit seven

Showalter talks about his decision to start Tillman in Game 1

NEW YORK - Chris Tillman didn’t pitch in the 2012 Division Series against the Yankees. He’s come a long way in two years. Tillman was named the opening day starter and he’s taking the mound for Game 1 of the Division Series on Oct. 2 at Camden Yards - opponent to be determined. “Just like the first game he pitched this year, he carries that

Tillman named Game 1 starter

NEW YORK - Orioles manager Buck Showalter made the expected announcement today, naming Chris Tillman the Game 1 starter in the Division Series on Oct. 2 at Camden Yards. Showalter didn’t reveal the other names, saying again that he’s considering all the matchup possibilities while waiting on the opponent. However, Wei-Yin Chen is likely to start Game 2. It’s just not official. Tillman is 13-5

Orioles and Yankees lineups

NEW YORK - Steve Pearce is out of the Orioles lineup for a fourth straight game with a sore right wrist. Pearce said he expects to play Wednesday after receiving a cortisone injection over the weekend. With Pearce still sidelined, the Orioles are fielding an unusual infield alignment for tonight’s game at Yankee Stadium. Ryan Flaherty is at first base for the third time this

Orioles release 2015 spring training schedule

NEW YORK - We interrupt your obsession with October baseball to bring you the Orioles’ 2015 spring training schedule. The Orioles’ first Grapefruit League game is March 3 against the Tigers in Lakeland. The home opener at Ed Smith Stadium is March 4 against the Tigers. The Orioles will face 10 different teams as part of their 16-game home schedule. They will host the Rays

Orioles have been beasts against the East until recently

NEW YORK - The Orioles lost two out of three games to the Red Sox to conclude the home portion of their regular season schedule, and they dropped the series opener to the Yankees last night. That’s not typically how the American League East has treated the Orioles this season. Quite the opposite. The division used to give the Orioles wet willies and hang their

Showalter, Chen and Hardy speak after 5-0 loss

NEW YORK - The Yankees scored five runs tonight. The Orioles had three baserunners. It’s easy to figure out which team was victorious. The Orioles were held to one hit, J.J. Hardy’s single in the fifth inning, in a 5-0 loss at Yankee Stadium. Michael Pineda retired 22 of 24 batters, and the Orioles lost for the third time in their last four games. Wei-Yin

Showalter confident Chen will return in 2015 (O’s lose 5-0)

NEW YORK - Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen needed only seven pitches tonight to retire the Yankees in order in the first inning. Now, he needs an Orioles rally after giving up two runs in the third. Both runs were unearned after Ryan Flaherty’s throwing error to start the inning. Jose Pirela, making his major league debut, tripled to left-center field, and he scored on Derek Jeter’s

Showalter talks rotations and more

NEW YORK - Orioles manager Buck Showalter hasn’t passed along his rotation for the Division Series, but he confirmed that he’s going to use four starters. Showalter joked that the Game 1 starter is obvious. It’s going to be Chris Tillman. I believe that Wei-Yin Chen will start Game 2, followed by Miguel Gonzalez in Game 3 and Bud Norris in Game 4. However, changes

Pearce: “It feels night and day better”

NEW YORK - The Orioles slowly are regaining their health. Nick Markakis has returned to the lineup after being sidelined with a bruised right shoulder, and Steve Pearce expects to play Wednesday night after receiving a cortisone injection in his right wrist. Pearce was scratched from Friday’s lineup after batting practice. “They said I’ll either play tomorrow or the following day. I don’t know. The

Orioles and Yankees lineups

NEW YORK - Nick Markakis returns to the Orioles lineup tonight after missing four games with a bruised right shoulder. He’s been out since being hit by a pitch from Toronto’s Aaron Loup on Tuesday. He’ll lead off and play right field. Wei-Yin Chen comes into tonight’s start with 16 wins, the most by an Orioles left-hander in a single season since Jeff Ballard went

Jimenez starting Tuesday vs. Yankees

NEW YORK - The Orioles’ starters for the last three games of their series against the Yankees are no longer listed as TBA. Ubaldo Jimenez will take the mound Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium, a game that’s now going to air on ESPN. Bud Norris starts Wednesday afternoon and Kevin Gausman starts Thursday night. (ESPN refers to Tuesday’s matchup as a “Postseason Impact Game,” which

Looking at starter vs. opponent matchups in anticipation of Division Series

The Orioles took a train to New York last night for a four-game series against the Yankees. Four more chances to talk about Derek Jeter. To think about him. To smell his scent. Buck Showalter will be asked again about his memories of Jeter, about being the shortstop’s first manager with the Yankees. Showalter will praise Jeter and immediately point out that the Orioles also

Showalter speaks after 3-2 loss

The Orioles started slowly at home this season before finishing 50-31. The record is paired nicely with their 43-31 mark on the road. “You try to trust the people and kind of the long haul of what you think will be, but it’s always something,” said manager Buck Showalter following a 3-2 loss to the Red Sox. “There’s always something you get a little better

Game update and more notes and quotes (O’s lose 3-2)

Mookie Betts led off today’s game with a home run off Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead at Camden Yards. Gonzalez had surrendered just one home run in his last three starts. The Red Sox had three hits in the inning and Gonzalez threw 23 pitches, 17 for strikes. The choice of Nelson Cruz as Most Valuable Oriole naturally

Showalter provides updates on Markakis and Pearce

Earlier today, Orioles manager Buck Showalter was asked whether he’s concerned about Nick Markakis and Steve Pearce being available for the Division Series. “Not at this point,” he replied.” “Nick came in today when I first saw him and he was going to play. ‘I’d like to play if it’s OK with you.’ Whatever. And then I said, ‘Why don’t you go down to the

Notes on Markakis, Pearce, Cruz, the playoff rotation and more

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he expects Nick Markakis and Steve Pearce to play in the four-game series in New York that starts Monday. Pearce won’t be ready before Tuesday, though he wants to play. He needs an extra day after receiving a cortisone injection yesterday in his right elbow. Markakis tried to get into the lineup today, but his right shoulder remained sore while

Cruz named MVO, Orioles and Red Sox lineups

Nelson Cruz has been chosen Most Valuable Oriole by members of the media who cover the team. Adam Jones finished second and Zach Britton third. Cruz enters today’s game leading the major leagues with 39 home runs, and he’s surpassed the 100-RBI mark for the first time in his career. His 39 homers are the second-most by a first-year Oriole in club history, trailing only

Wrapping up the home portion of the schedule

We’ve reached the final regular season home game of the 2014 season. In past years, boxes would be stacked in front of lockers as players gathered their belongings and said their goodbyes. Reporters would circle the room collecting contact information - phone numbers, e-mail addresses, whatever a player is willing to give. Manager Buck Showalter calls it the saddest time of the year. It’s a

Pearce, Jones, Tillman and Walker after tonight’s 7-2 win

The Orioles haven’t lost consecutive home games since June 28-29. They’ve got one remaining in the regular season, so the streak will remain intact. The 93 wins this year match their 2012 total. Steve Pearce didn’t play in tonight’s 7-2 victory over the Red Sox. He’s expected to miss the next few games after receiving a cortisone injection in his right wrist. Pearce said he

Update on Pearce and Showalter comments following 7-2 win

Steve Pearce had his right wrist X-rayed and received a cortisone injection after being removed from tonight’s lineup. The X-ray didn’t reveal any structural damage, but Pearce will take off a few days to allow the shot to ease his discomfort. “I didn’t like some of the feedback I was getting from him with his right wrist during batting practice,” manager Buck Showalter said following

Walker hits first home run, Jones homers twice (O’s win 7-2)

Welcome to the majors, Christian Walker. The kid is having quite a night. Walker wasn’t in the lineup until the Orioles scratched Steve Pearce after batting practice due to a sore right wrist. Walker replaced him at first base and responded with a single and his first major league home run, which broke a 2-2 tie. Don’t be too surprised. It often works out that

Game update and more notes (Jones homers, we’re tied)

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he intends to give Chris Tillman an extra day of rest before each start leading into the playoffs. The goal tonight is to avoid sending Tillman to the showers early. Four of the first five Red Sox reached against Tillman in the top of the first inning, with Mookie Betts drawing a leadoff walk, David Ortiz hitting a two-run homer

Pearce scratched from lineup (updated)

The Orioles have scratched Steve Pearce from tonight’s lineup due to soreness in his right wrist. It’s a precautionary move, and Pearce could start Sunday’s series finale against the Red Sox that also concludes the home portion of the regular season schedule. Pearce recently had ice wrapped on the wrist, but he continued to play. He started in right field last night with Nick Markakis

Jimenez to make another start, and more notes

Orioles manager Buck Showalter confirmed today that Ubaldo Jimenez will make at least one more start before the regular season ends on Sept. 28. Showalter left open the possibility that Jimenez could start twice. Jimenez won Tuesday night’s division-clinching game, allowing two runs over five innings against the Blue Jays. Showalter said he wants to give each starter an extra day of rest before the

Markakis remains out of Orioles’ lineup

Nick Markakis is missing from the Orioles lineup tonight for the third consecutive game after being hit Tuesday night behind the right shoulder. Steve Pearce moves back to first base, with Nelson Cruz playing right field and Delmon Young serving as the designated hitter. Chris Tillman is 4-5 with a 2.54 ERA in 17 home starts this season. He’s allowed three earned runs or fewer

Lough: “I felt like I was at a low point in my career...”

David Lough started in center field last night and could be back on the bench tonight. He isn’t used to extended stays in the lineup. Lough hasn’t started back-to-back games since June 9-10. Adam Jones will return to center field tonight, so Lough’s only shot is if Alejandro De Aza is rested. De Aza has become the regular left fielder since joining the Orioles following

Hearing from Showalter, Gausman and De Aza after 5-3, 10-inning loss

The Orioles’ four-game winning streak came to an end tonight with a 5-3, 10-inning loss to the Red Sox before 39,079 at Camden Yards. The Orioles lost for only the second time in their last 12 games. Tonight’s crowd raised the season total to 2,383,129. The Orioles drew 2,357,551 last year. Pitcher Kevin Gausman developed a small blister on his right hand during the game.

Young delivers triple off bench and O’s tie game (O’s lose 5-3 in 10 innings)

If you had Sept. 19 as the date when Delmon Young would hit his first triple as an Oriole, go to the window and collect your money. Young delivering as a pinch-hitter has become routine, but the triples are scarce. Young’s three-bagger with two outs in the seventh inning scored Alejandro De Aza, and shortstop Xander Bogaerts’ throwing error allowed the Orioles to tie the

Showalter on Paredes, Gausman and more (O’s down 3-1)

The Orioles currently lead the American League East by 14 games. They could become the first team to win the division by double digits since the 2006 Yankees (10). The Orioles’ next home run will be their 200th of the season. Steve Pearce has hit three homers in the last two games. He’s in right field again tonight while Nick Markakis receives treatment on his

Updates on Davis, Machado, Leyva and more

Chris Davis will report to the Sarasota complex on Tuesday while serving his 25-game suspension and will be available to play in fall instructional league games. Davis wouldn’t be eligible to play for the Orioles again until their ninth postseason game. Manny Machado will join the Orioles on Sept. 29 and likely stay with the team for the first two games of the Division Series

Markakis, Jones, Hardy out of Orioles lineup

Nick Markakis was expected to start tonight in right field, but he remains out of the lineup due to soreness after being hit by a pitch Tuesday night behind his right shoulder. “I’m glad it wasn’t my left arm because I wouldn’t be able to throw right-handed right now,” Markakis said. He hopes to play tomorrow, but will not rush back to the lineup. He

Gausman on mound for last home series opener before playoffs

The Orioles begin their final home series of the regular season tonight by sending Kevin Gausman to the mound. Will they send Gausman to the bullpen for the Division Series or slot him in the rotation? The only guarantee so far is Chris Tillman pitching Game 1 on Oct. 2 at Camden Yards. Confirmation may come before the Orioles fly to Toronto for the final

More details on Fan Appreciation Celebration

The Orioles are down to their last three home games of the regular season. Usually, that means lockers are emptied, boxes are loaded and players go their separate ways. Not so fast. The Orioles are hosting Game 1 of the Division Series on Oct. 2. Before that date, the club will hold its annual Fan Appreciation Celebration this weekend while hosting the Red Sox. According

This, that and the other

The Orioles have reached their last scheduled off-day of the regular season, which means there’s only a 50-50 chance that one of them gets drilled by a Blue Jays pitcher. What’s next includes “Fan Appreciation Weekend,” with the announcement of the Most Valuable Oriole, and a road trip to New York and Toronto. Nelson Cruz will be the MVO. I’m not going out on a

Showalter speaks after 6-1 win

The Orioles are 32 games above .500 and they lead the American League East by 14 1/2 games. Who saw it coming in March? Who thought back in December that they might end up 32 games below .500? The Orioles completed their sweep of the Blue Jays tonight with a 6-1 win before 37,537 at Camden Yards. They’re now 31-19 in series finales. The Orioles

More on Walker’s major league debut (Pearce homers again, O’s win 6-1)

First baseman Christian Walker received a standing ovation in the bottom of the second inning tonight as he walked to the plate for his first major league at-bat. Facing Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ with runners on the corners and one out, Walker struck out on five pitches - four fastballs and a curveball. The Orioles decided to select Walker’s contract from Triple-A Norfolk today

Home field advantage vs. resting the regulars

I’ve been asked the same question multiple times today in a variety of ways. Are the Orioles more focused on gaining home field advantage throughout the playoffs or resting some of their veterans before the Division Series? Yes. The Orioles trail the Angels by three games for the best record in baseball. They finish up their series against the Blue Jays tonight, play three at

Notes on Machado, Markakis and the rotation, Stroman on suspension

Orioles third baseman Manny Machado was supposed to fly into Baltimore tonight, but he’s going to stay in Los Angeles for another week while continuing to rehab his right knee. Machado is expected to join the Orioles on Sept. 29. Machado’s knee is fine. No red flags. Apparently, his doctor suggested that he stay in Los Angeles a little longer and stay on his current

Walker making major league debut

Christian Walker, whose contract was selected today from Triple-A Norfolk, will bat seventh and play first base tonight in the Orioles’ final game against the Blue Jays at Camden Yards. Steve Pearce is in right field and Nick Markakis is on the bench. Jimmy Paredes is leading off for the Orioles. Jonathan Schoop, who broke an 0-for-17 slump with a single last night, is starting

Orioles make roster move official, select Walker’s contract

The Orioles announced this afternoon that they selected the contract of first baseman Christian Walker from Triple-A Norfolk. It’s official. Walker will wear No. 18, which still reminds me of first baseman Jeff Conine. Walker, 23, was named the 2014 Brooks Robinson minor league Player of the Year after hitting a combined .288/.357/.489 with 53 extra-base hits, 96 RBIs and 73 runs scored in 139

Orioles adding Walker to expanded roster

With the division title in hand and an opportunity to rest key players heading into the postseason, the Orioles will select the contract of first baseman Christian Walker from Triple-A Norfolk and add him to their expanded roster. Walker should be at Camden Yards before tonight’s game. It’s a relatively short flight from Sarasota, where he’s been part of the taxi squad at the Ed

Orioles remember Monica Barlow on the day they clinch

There will be another game tonight at Camden Yards, another lineup to post and more matchups to dissect. The regular season hasn’t ended. It just felt that way last night. Bud Norris opposes J.A. Happ, and this game also counts in the standings. The Orioles are vying for home-field advantage. There’s still a carrot dangling in front of them before they sink their teeth into

Duquette: “We’re going to party like it’s 1969”

The party started in the outfield at Camden Yards, spilled onto the infield, moved to the clubhouse and returned to the field. Players sprayed champagne and beer. Adam Jones pied pretty much everyone in sight and finally got a taste of his own confection. It was pure bedlam, as you’d expect after the Orioles won their division for the first time since 1997 and clinched

Hearing from Showalter after division-clinching win

I’ve got plenty of quotes to pass along from my champagne-soaked recorder. Here’s a sampling from manager Buck Showalter, who truly loved every minute of the time he spent on the field - exchanging hugs with players, coaches and family members, and waving to fans as they kept chanting his name. “You get older, you want to get a good angle and a good seat

Jimenez in line for the win (O’s win 8-2, clinch AL East)

If you told Orioles manager Buck Showalter before tonight’s game that he’d get five innings of two-run ball out of starter Ubaldo Jimenez, he probably would have signed up for it in blood, to borrow one of his favorite expressions. Jimenez threw 30 pitches in the first inning and 30 more in the second. He faced 12 batters in two innings and issued four walks,

More notes and quotes as Orioles try to clinch division (O’s lead 4-2)

The 2014 Orioles are the 20th team in club history to win at least 90 games. A win tonight gives the Orioles their ninth American League East title. They’ve clinched at home only twice, in 1979 and 1969. They clinched in Washington in 1970, New York in 1971, Milwaukee in 1973, Detroit in 1974 and Milwaukee again in 1983 and 1997. The Orioles have clinched

Pregame on clubhouse mood, Jimenez, Steve Johnson and more

On the surface, the players inside the home clubhouse at Camden Yards this afternoon are going about their business in the usual manner. It’s just another day, right? “That may be the way it looks to you,” said Orioles manager Buck Showalter, “but that ain’t right.” OK, maybe they just mask their excitement better than most. “Let’s face it, the locker room for quite a

Orioles lineup vs. Blue Jays

The Orioles will try to shave off the final game of their magic number tonight and celebrate their first division title since 1997 - and the first clinched at home with a win in 45 years. Ubaldo Jimenez is making his first start since Aug. 16. He’s 2-3 with a 4.89 ERA in seven career starts against the Blue Jays. Toronto right-hander Drew Hutchison is

More details on how Davis helped accident victims

I’m sitting here wondering how many waterproof garments I can stuff into my laptop bag before heading to Camden Yards this afternoon. I may scotchgard my entire body. I’m too big to be laminated. I already checked. I’m also contemplating what’s worse: Rookie Marcus Stroman’s fastball behind Caleb Joseph’s head last night or the Blue Jays trying to defend it. I’ll go with the fastball.

Steve Johnson to undergo surgery to remove lesion behind shoulder

As the Orioles gradually expanded their September roster and assigned pitchers and position players to their taxi squad in Sarasota, right-hander Steve Johnson was one of the more prominent names missing from either list. He wasn’t coming to Camden Yards and he wasn’t working out at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. Johnson, 27, was bothered this summer by tendinitis in his shoulder that forced him

Showalter on Chen, the chance to clinch and Stroman’s pitch

The Orioles’ magic number for clinching the American League East is Al Bumbry. The Orioles held their composure tonight and defeated the Blue Jays 5-2 before 25,061 at Camden Yards. A win on Tuesday night gives Baltimore its first division title since 1997. The Yankees lost tonight and were eliminated from the race. Wei-Yin Chen won his 16th game, Zach Britton earned his 35th save,

Tempers flaring at Camden Yards (O’s win 5-2, magic number is one)

The Orioles are trying to win a game tonight while not losing their composure. This is going to be a challenge. Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes became angry at catcher Caleb Joseph in the top of the fifth inning after diving across the plate to score on Danny Valencia’s two-out single. Reyes’ left hand slammed into Joseph’s foot, leaving him in obvious pain. Reyes apparently

Showalter on walk-off wins and team chemistry (Flaherty homers)

As Wei-Yin Chen takes the mound tonight for the Orioles, let’s point out that the rotation has registered a 1.59 ERA and 11 quality starts in the last 13 games. No pressure. Last night, Kelly Johnson delivered the Orioles’ 10th walk-off win of the season. The 10 walk-offs, against seven teams, are tied for fourth in the majors with the Pirates and Angels. They trail

Showalter one win away from tying Martin on all-time list

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Chris Davis will report to the Sarasota complex between Friday and Monday. Davis is flying back to Texas first before heading to Florida for workouts and instructional league games. The Orioles also can set up simulated games. Showalter may adjust the rotation following Thursday’s off-day. He already met with Chris Tillman after last night’s game. Also, the Orioles could add

Orioles lineup vs. Blue Jays

Kelly Johnson remains at third base tonight as the Orioles open a three-game series against the Blue Jays at Camden Yards. Johnson hit a walk-off double last night to beat the Yankees 3-2 and lower the Orioles’ magic number to three. The number will go down to one if the Orioles win tonight. The Orioles lead the season series 7-6, going 3-4 in Baltimore and

Learning more about De Aza

As we continue to speculate about the Orioles’ postseason roster, making the bold assumption that they wrap up the division, it’s obvious that outfielder Alejandro De Aza must be included on it. Of course, that’s assuming he avoids an injury or a suspension, and that he doesn’t vaporize. De Aza hit safely in his first eight games with the Orioles, batting 13-for-33 (.394) with a

Showalter on Tillman and a 3-2 win

The Orioles’ magic number is three following tonight’s dramatic 3-2 walk-off win over the Yankees at Camden Yards. The Blue Jays come to town, and the Orioles can clinch the division by taking two of the three games. Kelly Johnson delivered a walk-off double in the ninth off Yankees closer David Robertson, who was pitching in his third consecutive game. “It feels like a first-place

Tillman ties Pappas (O’s win 3-2)

Chris Tillman won’t get a win tonight against the Yankees. One run allowed in 6 2/3 innings gets you a no-decision with the Orioles also held to one. Tillman has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 19 consecutive starts to tie Milt Pappas (1965) for the third-longest streak in franchise history. Manager Buck Showalter removed him from tonight’s game with two outs in the

Updating Davis, Jeter’s gifts and a few more notes (we’re tied)

I’m told that Chris Davis is allowed to play in instructional league games in Sarasota. Not surprising, but it was worth checking. The first game is Monday vs. the Rays. The schedule concludes on Oct. 7. Manager Buck Showalter will let us know when Davis plans on heading down to Florida. To honor Derek Jeter before his final game at Camden Yards, the Orioles presented

Davis will head to Sarasota

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he spoke again today with first baseman Chris Davis, who is serving a 25-game suspension for using Adderall without a therapeutic use exemption. Davis will head to Sarasota “before long,” Showalter said. The Orioles will check whether Davis is allowed to play in fall instructional league games. Showalter didn’t provide an exact date for Davis’ arrival at the Ed Smith

Orioles lineup vs. Yankees

Kelly Johnson is playing third base for the Orioles tonight and Nick Hundley is behind the plate in the series finale against the Yankees. Alejandro De Aza continues to start in left field. Derek Jeter will play his final game at Camden Yards. For the Orioles Nick Markakis RF Alejandro De Aza LF Adam Jones CF Nelson Cruz DH Steve Pearce 1B J.J. Hardy SS

Tonight’s game and wondering about the Division Series roster

A doubleheader on Friday, a day game on Saturday and a night game on Sunday. No wonder I’m always confused. Friday felt like a Saturday to me, and yesterday felt like a Sunday. Tuesday has no feel. #Seinfeld Chris Tillman is 4-5 with a 2.62 ERA in 16 starts at Camden Yards, tying him with Bud Norris for the lowest single-season ERA in the ballpark’s

Showalter speaks after 3-2 loss

The Orioles’ magic number holds at five after today’s 3-2 loss to the Yankees before a sellout crowd of 44,261 at Camden Yards. Miguel Gonzalez allowed runs in one of his six innings. The Yankees scored three times in the second and never trailed. “I’ve got to tell you, in a lot of ways that’s one of the more impressive outings of the year from

Markakis ties club multi-hit record (Pearce homers, O’s lose 3-2)

The Orioles trail the Yankees 3-1 after three innings, and Nick Markakis continues to leave his mark in the team’s record book. Markakis has singled twice today, leaving him 37 hits behind Boog Powell for fifth place on the Orioles’ all-time list. I’m still counting. I’m also going somewhere else with this blog entry. Stay with me. Markakis has registered 50 multi-hit games for the

Gonzalez has rare lapse in second inning

Miguel Gonzalez allowed his first run in his last three starts today when Brian McCann homered with one out in the second inning to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. McCann drove the sixth pitch from Gonzalez, an 82 mph changeup, onto the flag court in right field. Gonzalez permitted three runs in the inning, a highly unusual occurrence over a full game. He walked

Today’s game will be delayed, more quotes from Showalter

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. today, but the tarp remains on the field and rain continues to fall, along with my hopes of avoiding another delay. The Orioles just announced that the game won’t start on time due to storm activity in the area. Not a good day for the Blue Angels, either. They’ve been grounded. Manager Buck Showalter chose Ubaldo Jimenez to

Notes on Walker, Jimenez and more

The tarp is on the field and rain continues to fall at Camden Yards. I have no idea if the start of today’s game will be delayed, though the odds are pretty strong. We’ll see. The Orioles have no current plans to bring up a position player from Sarasota to replace suspended first baseman Chris Davis. Manager Buck Showalter said the Orioles will “let the

Orioles lineup vs. Yankees

Jonathan Schoop, scuffling at the plate, is out of the Orioles lineup today as they continue their series against the Yankees at Camden Yards. Ryan Flaherty is starting at second base for Schoop, who is 1-for-28 with 11 strikeouts in his last seven games. J.J. Hardy said his back felt good after Game 1 of yesterday’s doubleheader, and he’s in the lineup today. For the

Thoughts on Davis’ suspension and today’s game

The Orioles didn’t have much time yesterday to digest the news of Chris Davis’ suspension. They had to focus on a split doubleheader, and they’re back on the field this afternoon for a 1:05 p.m. game against the Yankees that airs on FOX. The games keep going and no one feels sorry for you, as manager Buck Showalter continues to preach. There was an uncomfortable

Showalter on a doubleheader sweep

The Orioles’ magic number was Cal Ripken Jr. to start the day and Brooks Robinson to end it. It’s been that kind of season. The news of Chris Davis’ 25-game suspension didn’t slow them down. They completed their doubleheader sweep of the Yankees with a 5-0 victory in Game 2 before 43,707 at Camden Yards. The Orioles are 29 games above .500 and 11 1/2

De Aza stays hot in Game 2 (O’s win 5-0)

The Aug. 30 trade that brought outfielder Alejandro De Aza to the Orioles is the gift that keeps on giving. De Aza has hit safely in eight straight games with the Orioles, including an RBI triple in the fourth inning tonight in Game 2 of a doubleheader with the Yankees. Ryan Flaherty doubled to score David Lough, who led off with a walk, and De

Showalter on the Game 1 win and more

The Orioles now lead the season series against the Yankees 9-3, including a 5-1 record at Camden Yards. They seemed to be headed toward an 11-inning loss before Jimmy Paredes’ two-run walk-off double - the Orioles’ ninth walk-off win of the season. Two of them have come against the Yankees. The Orioles have 5,000 victories in club history. Manager Buck Showalter earned his 1,250th this

O’Day, Markakis and Jones comment on Davis suspension

Before we get to the jubilation of the Orioles’ 2-1, 11-inning victory over the Yankees in Game 1 of today’s split doubleheader at Camden Yards, it’s necessary to take the pulse of the clubhouse following news of Chris Davis’ 25-game suspension. Team union representative Darren O’Day was the first Oriole to address the media. “I was very surprised,” he said. “I know how much Chris

No longer scoreless in the 11th (O’s win 2-1 in 11 innings)

Eighteen innings weren’t enough today. The Orioles and Yankees were locked in a scoreless tie in Game 1 of their doubleheader until Chris Young homered off Brad Brach with two outs and the bases empty in the top of the 11th inning. The bullpen had tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings with six strikeouts before Young homered for the second consecutive game. Zach Britton issued a

Updating Gausman and Hardy (free baseball!)

The next Orioles victory will be the 5,000th in club history, including the postseason. The Orioles’ last doubleheader sweep of the Yankees came on Sept. 24, 1984 in Baltimore, but they’ve gone 0-4-5 in the last nine twinbills. Two Blue Angels made a couple of test runs over Camden Yards in the top of the fifth in preparation for this weekend’s Star Spangled Celebration, but

More from Showalter on Davis suspension

Chris Davis comes off the 40-man roster during his 25-game suspension, creating an opening for the Orioles. The Orioles lost catcher Matt Wieters to ligament-reconstructive surgery on his right elbow. They lost third baseman Manny Machado to knee surgery. Davis is done in 2014 unless the Orioles play more than eight games in the postseason. Who loves a challenge? “What’s the old thing? Harmony’s not

Davis issues statement

Chris Davis issued a statement today regarding his 25-game suspension for testing positive for an amphetamine in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The suspension begins immediately and covers the last 17 games of the regular season and eight playoff games if the Orioles advance that far. This is Davis’ second positive test. He’s not allowed to be with his

Orioles lineup for Game 1

With Chris Davis beginning his suspension today, Kelly Johnson is starting at third base and Steve Pearce at first for Game 1 of today’s doubleheader against the Yankees. J.J. Hardy has returned to the lineup after receiving a cortisone injection in his lower back while the Orioles were in Boston. For the Orioles Nick Markakis RF Alejandro De Aza LF Adam Jones CF Nelson Cruz

Davis suspended 25 games for amphetamines

Chris Davis has been suspended 25 games without pay, effective immediately, after testing positive for an amphetamine, a violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The 25 games include postseason play. With the Orioles having just 17 regular season games remaining, Davis would be out for eight playoff contests. Davis is batting .196/.300/.404 with 26 homers and 72 RBIs one season

Gausman on the mound for Game 1

What’s better than one game? Try two. The Yankees can’t be thrilled about playing at home last night and flying to Baltimore for today’s doubleheader. And there isn’t a device small enough to measure the amount of sympathy they’re going to receive from the Orioles, who have been abused by the schedule all season. Last night’s walk-off victory moved the Yankees 10 1/2 games behind

Game 1 of ALDS set for Oct. 2

Major League Baseball announced its postseason schedule today, including the date for the opening game of the American League Division Series. That one may especially interest you. The AL Wild Card game is scheduled for Sept. 30 on TBS, followed by the NL Wild Card game that airs on ESPN on Oct. 1. This is the first time that ESPN will be part of baseball’s

Voting for the Most Valuable Oriole

I received an e-mail today inviting me to vote for Most Valuable Oriole, and it got me to thinking about how much I’d appreciate the input of my blog readers. Also, there’s no game today and I’d like to file a second entry. Members of the media who cover the team make three selections, with the first-place finisher receiving five votes, second place three and

This, that and the other

BOSTON - For Orioles fans, there’s no baseball today. You might prefer that I start you off with the magic number. OK, here goes ... Eight is enough. The Blue Jays and Yankees won last night. It’s mathematically possible that the Orioles clinch the division during the homestand that begins Friday with a doubleheader against the Yankees. I haven’t ventured inside a champagne-soaked clubhouse at

Showalter, Chen, Joseph and Flaherty after 10-6 victory

BOSTON - Don Werner, the Orioles minor league catching instructor who’s been fighting cancer since he left the club in spring training, returned to the field today in the instructional league in Sarasota. Manager Buck Showalter eagerly passed along the news to reporters following today’s 10-6 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park. “That’s pretty cool,” Showalter said. “That’s the highlight of the day.”

Orioles complete sweep and lower magic number to eight

BOSTON - The Orioles currently lead the American League East by 10 1/2 games over the Blue Jays and 11 1/2 over the Yankees, who play later tonight. They’ve moved 27 games above .500. They’re making a mockery of the pennant race. The Orioles’ magic number is down to eight following today’s 10-6 victory over the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Andy Etchebarren or Cal

Orioles bat around in third and take six-run lead (O’s lead 8-1)

BOSTON - Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen has a pretty big margin for error this afternoon at Fenway Park. The Orioles staked him to a 6-0 lead in the third inning, sending 11 batters to the plate and making life real uncomfortable for Boston right-hander Brandon Workman. Ryan Flaherty had two hits and an RBI in the inning, which didn’t include any home runs. The Orioles

Showalter on rotation and the chance to celebrate at home

BOSTON - Orioles manager Buck Showalter still hasn’t confirmed his starter for Tuesday night’s game against the Blue Jays at Camden Yards. The field, however, has been narrowed to T.J. McFarland, Joe Saunders and Ubaldo Jimenez. Yesterday, Showalter mentioned minor leaguers Mike Wright and Tyler Wilson as possibilities in extreme circumstances. Showalter is expected to make the announcement on Saturday. My guess is McFarland. There’s

Orioles and Red Sox lineups

BOSTON - The Orioles are using almost the same lineup as Tuesday with a change at catcher being the only exception. Caleb Joseph is behind the plate after Nick Hundley caught last night’s win. Alejandro De Aza is back in left and batting second after recording three extra-base hits yesterday, including his first two Orioles homers. Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen is on the mound seeking his

Taking the rotation for another spin

BOSTON - Does everyone remember the Orioles’ magic number for winning the American League East? Number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine. Hope that helps. Chris Tillman wasn’t particularly sharp last night - 108 pitches in five innings offered a clue - but he escaped a jam in the fifth and held the Red Sox to one run. Not a quality start, but a

Showalter, De Aza, Jones and Tillman after 4-1 win

BOSTON - The Orioles’ magic number is down to nine. Single digits. Don Buford’s uniform number. Brady Anderson’s number, too, for younger fans. Chris Tillman lasted only five innings and threw 108 pitches, but he’s held opponents to three earned runs or fewer in 18 consecutive starts to tie Steve Barber for the fourth-longest streak in club history. Alejandro De Aza hit his first two

De Aza hits first home run as Oriole (O’s win 4-1)

BOSTON - Alejandro De Aza hit his first home run as an Oriole tonight, depositing a 91 mph fastball from rookie Anthony Ranaudo into the Red Sox’s bullpen after Nick Markakis drew a leadoff walk. Orioles 2, Red Sox 0. De Aza has six home runs on the season, the first five with the White Sox before the Aug. 30 trade. Nelson Cruz doubled with

Revealing the rotation

BOSTON - Orioles manager Buck Showalter announced his rotation through Monday’s game at Camden Yards. Kevin Gausman will start Game 1 of Friday’s doubleheader against the Yankees, followed by Bud Norris in Game 2. Miguel Gonzalez will start Saturday afternoon and Chris Tillman will pitch Sunday night on ESPN. Wei-Yin Chen, who closes out the Red Sox series at Fenway Park, will start Monday night

Good news on Hardy (with quotes)

BOSTON - Orioles manager Buck Showalter passed along a favorable update today on shortstop J.J. Hardy. Hardy underwent an MRI on his back that didn’t reveal any structural damage. Team orthopedist Dr. Michael Jacobs told Showalter that the result matched the one in April. Nothing has changed to raise concerns in the organization. Hardy received a cortisone injection in the sacroiliac joint that’s located in

Orioles and Red Sox lineups

BOSTON - Ryan Flaherty continues to start at shortstop in place of the injured J.J. Hardy as the Orioles continue their series at Fenway Park against the Red Sox. Right-hander Chris Tillman opposes Boston righty Anthony Ranaudo. For the OriolesNick Markakis RF Alejandro De Aza LF Adam Jones CF Nelson Cruz DH Chris Davis 3B Steve Pearce 1B Nick Hundley C Ryan Flaherty SS Jonathan

A few early notes from Fenway Park

BOSTON - Rather than early hitting today, the Orioles are focused on fielding drills involving their new double play combination. Third base coach Bobby Dickerson, who works with the infielders, has been hitting ground balls to shortstop Ryan Flaherty and second baseman Jonathan Schoop. One player fields the ball and the other covers the bag. Flaherty was getting a lot of work to his backhand

About last night and tonight ...

BOSTON - It doesn’t seem that long ago when playing at Fenway Park was excruciating for the Orioles. A cup-splitting kick that doubled them over for days. Not anymore. The Orioles are 19-9 in Boston since Sept. 20, 2011. Overall, they’re 32-19 against the Red Sox since 2012. The Orioles have won 11 of their last 15 games since being swept at Wrigley Field. They’re

Hearing from Pearce, Hunter, Showalter and Gonzalez after 4-0 win

BOSTON - The Orioles’ magic number is down to 11 and their lead in the American League East is up to 10. Try wrapping your arms around this one: The Orioles haven’t led by that many games since Sept. 22, 1979. None of the current Orioles were born. “We hear it, we hear what’s going on, but it doesn’t feel like that,” said first baseman

Gonzalez hanging up more zeros (O’s win 4-0)

BOSTON - Miguel Gonzalez may never give up another run as long as he lives. That’s probably extreme, but his scoreless innings streak has reached 14. Gonzalez is shutting out the Red Sox on three hits over five innings tonight and he continues to hold a 1-0 lead. He’s retired nine of the last 10 batters he’s faced. Gonzalez has thrown 77 pitches, 22 coming

Showalter on Hardy, Cruz on latest honor (O’s lead 1-0)

BOSTON - Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy is flying to Baltimore around 8:40 p.m. tonight, and he has a 1 p.m. appointment Tuesday with team orthopedist Dr. Michael Jacobs. Hardy is expected to undergo an MRI, and he also could receive another cortisone injection. Manager Buck Showalter confirmed that Hardy will stay in Baltimore rather than fly back to Boston. Showalter is hopeful that Hardy will

Hardy says he’s not concerned about his back

BOSTON - The Orioles are waiting to hear back from team orthopedist Dr. Michael Jacobs to determine when shortstop J.J. Hardy will undergo an MRI on his back. Hardy is returning to Baltimore and most likely will miss the remainder of the road trip. “Dr. Jacobs, we have a call there and I doubt that he’s going to be able to see him today, though

Hardy to undergo MRI on back

BOSTON - Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy is flying to Baltimore tonight and will undergo an MRI on his back Tuesday morning. Hardy said he’s still bothered by some soreness in his back, but he added that he’s not experiencing spasms and the muscles aren’t tightening, which leaves him encouraged that it’s nothing serious. Hardy added that he’d probably play under different circumstances, but it’s not

Cruz named AL co-Player of the Week, plus Hardy out of lineup

BOSTON - Nelson Cruz has been named American League co-Player of the Week with Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera. Cruz batted .407 (11-for-27) with a double, a triple, four homers, 12 RBIs and six runs scored in seven games to earn his third career weekly award and his second of the season. He also was named Player of the Week on June 2. Cruz led the majors

A closer look at the Orioles’ 2015 schedule

BOSTON - Major League Baseball released the 2015 schedule today, which includes the Orioles’ season opener April 6 against the Rays at Tropicana Field and their home opener April 10 against the Blue Jays. The first off-day on April 9 separates those two series. The Orioles host the Yankees April 13-15 and make their first visit to Fenway Park from April 17-20. They’re in Boston

Looking back and ahead

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles have left Tropicana Field. No ’80s hair band promotions, no dogs barking in the upper deck, no Wiggles concerts, no kids introducing batters over the PA system, no rap-artist felines spinning records. The series against the Rays will be remembered for some costly mistakes by the Orioles and its overall weirdness. And if there’s one thing The Trop can

Cruz, Hundley, Showalter and Norris following 7-5, 11-inning win

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles’ magic number is down to 12. Their lead in the American League East is 9 1/2 games, exactly where it stood before they arrived at Tropicana Field. Was it pretty? Absolutely not. Is it a requirement? Absolutely not. Nelson Cruz drove in all seven runs for the Orioles in their 7-5, 11-inning win over the Rays. Cruz became the

Free baseball at The Trop (Cruz homers again, O’s win 7-5)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - We’re headed to the 10th inning today after another miscue in the ninth burned the Orioles. Zach Britton is charged with his fourth blown save after converting 18 in a row, but the tying run is unearned after Ryan Flaherty’s error on Evan Longoria’s ground ball leading off the inning. Flaherty made a high throw that pulled Chris Davis off the

Series gets weirder with inside-the-park home run (O’s lead 5-4 in 9th)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - We said it wouldn’t get weird. This series has included some odd moments, such as yesterday’s walk-off passed ball. Today brings us an inside-the-park home run by Tampa Bay’s David DeJesus in the fourth inning that increased the Rays’ lead to 3-0. Bud Norris hadn’t allowed more than three home runs in any start this season. All three today have come

Norris has rare lapse with home run ball

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Dogs are barking in the upper deck today at Tropicana Field. Pets must be part of the Rays’ promotion. They’ve got a few baseballs to retrieve. The Rays hit two home runs off Orioles starter Bud Norris in the bottom of the first inning, with Evan Longoria and James Loney going back-to-back with two outs. Longoria jumped on a first-pitch 93

Showalter on lineup decisions

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles need a win today to avoid being swept in consecutive road series for the first time since July 4-10, 2011 in Texas and Boston. The Orioles have lost five straight road games for the first time since losing seven in a row Sept. 13, 2013 to April 5, 2014. They’ve been held to two runs or fewer in their

O’s lineup missing three regulars (with Rays lineup)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles are looking to avoid the sweep vs. the Rays this afternoon, but the starting lineup doesn’t include Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and J.J. Hardy. Jones and Markakis say they’re just using the opportunity to rest, both of them welcoming the idea to get off the turf at Tropicana Field. Likewise, Hardy, who experienced back spasms Friday night, said he

Wieters has eyesight set on 2015 season

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Nick Hundley was behind the plate for the Orioles yesterday after Caleb Joseph started Friday night’s series opener against the Rays. He had two hits, missing a home run by inches, but the walk-off passed ball defined his day. Baseball, like life itself, isn’t always fair. We could flip a coin to decide today’s starter, though manager Buck Showalter may have

Hundley: “We lose a game because I didn’t catch a ball”

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles have lost back-to-back games for the first time since being swept at Wrigley Field. They’ve dropped their last five road games. Today brought a first, however. A walk-off passed ball. Nick Hundley missed Andrew Miller’s fastball and Yunel Escobar raced home with the winning run. The Rays are assured of winning the series following today’s 3-2 victory over the

O’Day: “I’m ready to go” (O’s lose 3-2 on passed ball)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - If the Orioles carry a slim lead into the late innings or are tied today, will Darren O’Day be summoned from the bullpen at Tropicana Field? He won’t be hard to find. The bullpens are situated in foul territory. Right out in the open, in prime line drive territory. O’Day says he’s ready. The left hamstring is feeling better and he

Showalter on Hardy, Davis and O’Day

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter explained why shortstop J.J. Hardy was out of today’s lineup, why Chris Davis returned to it and why Darren O’Day hadn’t pitched in the past three games. Let’s stay in that order. On Hardy “Just trying to stay ahead of it. Trying to be a little proactive instead of reactive. Turf. Another thing that turf does. He

Quick updates on Hardy and O’Day

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - I have a batch of quotes to pass along in my next blog entry, but let’s first catch up on today’s news. J.J. Hardy is out of the Orioles lineup. Manager Buck Showalter said the club is trying to “stay ahead” of the shortstop’s back issue. Showalter suggested that Hardy is available today and will return to the lineup on Sunday.

Hardy sits with Pearce, Young in lineup for Orioles vs. Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles are 8-1 after being shut out this season. They’ve won six in a row. Can they make it seven today? They’ll do it with shortstop J.J. Hardy at least starting the day on the bench. He’s out of today’s lineup with Delmon Young at designated hitter, getting his first start since Monday, and Steve Pearce at first, playing for

Questions about the bullpen and an update on Wieters

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Will the Orioles have most of their relievers available for today’s game against the Rays? I doubt that you’ll see Ryan Webb or Evan Meek unless there’s an emergency. Ubaldo Jimenez wasn’t going to be rushed into a scoreless game last night, but we know that he’s rested. Andrew Miller is nearing a return after tweaking his left leg Monday, but

Showalter, Webb and Chen following a 3-0 loss

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles lost tonight and still reduced their magic number. It’s down to 14. The Yankees and Blue Jays also lost. The Orioles still hold a 9 1/2-game lead in the American League East. Orioles manager Buck Showalter wasn’t going to use five relievers tonight, which explains why he turned to Ryan Webb and Evan Meek in a scoreless game. Webb

Chen still chugging along after sputtering in second inning (O’s lose 3-0)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - In five innings tonight, Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen has thrown 14, 36, 14, 16 and nine pitches. I’ll save you from the task of removing your shoes to count. This isn’t the security line at BWI Airport. That’s 89 pitches in five scoreless frames against the Rays, whose offense already has packed up for the winter. The Rays didn’t score in

Young returns to the lineup Saturday, and other notes

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Delmon Young will return to the lineup for Saturday’s game against the Rays at Tropicana Field. Young hasn’t started since Monday. Showalter has been using plus-defenders Alejandro De Aza and David Lough in left field. Lough is in left tonight, with Nelson Cruz again serving as the designated hitter. The Rays are starting left-hander Drew Smyly

Pearce and Miller provide updates, Orioles sign Cuban pitcher Leyva

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Orioles first baseman Steve Pearce remains optimistic that he will return to the lineup Saturday afternoon at Tropicana Field. Pearce, diagnosed with a strained right abdominal muscle, took early batting practice today and ran sprints in the outfield. “It felt good,” he said. “Everything is good. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow and I should be ready to go. “There’s no

Orioles and Rays lineups, update on Miller

ST. PETERSBURG - The Orioles have David Lough in left field and Ryan Flaherty at third base for tonight’s series opener against the Rays. With Chris Davis at first and Nelson Cruz at designated hitter, the club has a bench led by Delmon Young, Alejandro De Aza and Kelly Johnson. Lough makes his second start in three games, but first in left since Aug. 31.

Chen vs. Cobb at The Trop (with Pearce update)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Over his last 20 starts, Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen has lost a grand total of two games. This is going back to May 3. Twenty starts, two defeats. Chen takes the mound tonight in the series opener against the Rays at Tropicana Field, where it’s always 72 degrees. Good thing the roof doesn’t open here. It’s 400 degrees outside and we

O’Day and Markakis can feel the postseason pain of their teammates

Orioles reliever Darren O’Day can relate to how right fielder Nick Markakis felt in 2012. Markakis, in turn, can relate to how catcher Matt Wieters and third baseman Manny Machado feel in 2014. It’s a connection they wish had never started and didn’t stretch this far. Wieters and Machado underwent season-ending surgeries this year, making them spectators in the playoffs. Assuming that the Orioles don’t

Showalter: “I’m not looking for pretty, I’m looking for W”

The Orioles’ magic number is down to 15. I’ll keep going. Three straight winning seasons, which hasn’t happened in Baltimore since 1992-94. They’re 25 games above .500 and have won nine of 11 following tonight’s 9-7 victory over the Reds. The sweep at Wrigley Field seems so long ago and so unimportant. Here’s Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who took a question about J.J. Hardy’s latest

Orioles erupt for six runs in first inning (Hardy breaks tie, O’s win 9-7)

I’m trying to resist posting that the Reds sprung a Leake in the first inning. I’m trying... The Orioles scored six runs off Reds starter Mike Leake, with Nelson Cruz and Nick Hundley hitting home runs, and players circling the bases as kids are allowed to do as a postgame promotion. Leake faced nine batters and threw 34 pitches. Forget his shoulder. He needed to

More notes and quotes before tonight’s game

Updating what I’ve heard about the 2015 schedule, the Orioles definitely will open against the Rays at Tropicana Field. That’s the word coming out of St. Petersburg, Tampa and the surrounding areas. See you there. The home opener is April 10 against the Blue Jays. The Orioles begin tonight trailing the Angels by two games for the best record in the American League. The Athletics

Pearce nearing return to lineup (updated)

First baseman Steve Pearce is hoping to get back into the Orioles lineup for Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rays at Tropicana Field. Pearce was scheduled to hit off a tee today and take batting practice on Friday. Manager Buck Showalter confirmed that Pearce could be “a player” by Saturday. Reliever Andrew Miller remains day-to-day after tweaking his left leg in the eighth inning of

Orioles and Reds lineups

With a victory tonight, the Orioles will clinch their third consecutive winning season for the first time since 1992-94. The Orioles are 11-8 in interleague games, including a 7-2 record at home. Their 11 wins tie the club record for the sixth time. Kelly Johnson remains at third base tonight as the Orioles go for the sweep over the Reds. Alejandro De Aza is batting

Walker, Wilson win top organizational awards

The Orioles have chosen first baseman Christian Walker as the organization’s minor league Player of the Year and right-hander Tyler Wilson as the Pitcher of the Year for 2014. Walker receives an award named after Brooks Robinson, while Wilson takes home an award that honors Jim Palmer. The Orioles will introduce them to fans at Camden Yards during tonight’s game against the Reds. An award

A little information on 2015 schedule and tonight’s pitching matchup

The Orioles will release their 2015 schedule later this month. That’s the way it usually happens. I wrote a few days ago that there will be a week-long series in New York, with games against the Yankees and Mets divided by an off-day. Just like Chicago last month, but the train runs underground. I’m destined to get confused, with my incredibly poor sense of direction.

Showalter on Gonzalez and a 6-0 win

The magic number is 16. Should I stop here or keep going? Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he had four relievers that he didn’t want to use tonight. Turns out, he never had to tap into his bullpen. Miguel Gonzalez posted his first career complete game and shutout, and the second by an Oriole this season. Chris Tillman blanked the Royals on May 16. “I

Schoop dials long distance again (O’s win 6-0)

The Orioles got into the Reds bullpen early tonight. It’s another Jonathan Schoop home run ball. For the second time in two nights, the rookie second baseman has homered into the visiting ‘pen at Camden Yards. He crushed a 90 mph fastball from Dylan Axelrod to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead in the third. Axelrod had retired the first eight Orioles, striking out three,

A few pregame notes from Camden Yards

Not much news to report this afternoon from Camden Yards. Adam Jones is serving as the designated hitter, just as Nick Markakis did last night. It’s a chance to “rest” the regulars. Jones had an ice pack wrapped on his left knee today. A night removed from center field may be beneficial. “He gets a lot of things treated,” said manager Buck Showalter. Jones is

Hardy returns to lineup

Shortstop J.J. Hardy is batting sixth tonight in his return to the Orioles lineup after being sidelined by a spasm in his lower back. David Lough is starting in center field and Adam Jones is serving as the designated hitter. Last night, Nick Markakis was given some rest by being the DH. Kelly Johnson will start at third base tonight. For the Orioles Nick Markakis

Leftovers for breakfast

The Orioles have won three straight series openers and 12 of their last 14. They’re 29-17 in series openers, including a 16-7 record at home. Keep that in mind when you’re deciding which games to attend the rest of the month. The Orioles added September speed by trading for Alejandro De Aza and selecting Quintin Berry’s contract from Triple-A Norfolk. “It’s just another tool that

Showalter on delay, Norris and 5-4 victory

Good morning from Camden Yards, where the grounds crew is watering the infield following a 5-4 victory over the Reds. It hasn’t rained in a while. The Orioles were delayed but not denied, posting their 80th win and improving to 38-18 since June 30. Zach Britton recorded his 32nd save, with Jonathan Schoop turning a 4-3 double play on Todd Frazier’s grounder after the Reds

Rain doesn’t wash away Norris’ quality start (O’s win 5-4)

Bud Norris waited through a 1 hour, 46 minute rain delay tonight and went about his business. No excuses. Take the ball and get outs. Reds starter Matt Latos is out of the game after five innings and 79 pitches. The five runs allowed ties his season high. The 10 hits ties his career high. Norris shut out the Reds on four hits over six

Another rain delay for Norris (O’s lead 5-0)

Poor Bud Norris. Norris pitched two innings against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Aug. 23 before a 3 hour, 9 minute rain delay ended his afternoon. His next start went uninterrupted, but he’s back in the clubhouse tonight after allowing an infield single to Reds leadoff hitter Billy Hamilton. A heavy rain began to fall with a 2-2 count on Todd Frazier. Time was

Pearce: “I think we’re just being extra-cautious right now”

Orioles first baseman Steve Pearce said he’ll attempt to swing a bat in the next few days while recovering from a strained right abdominal muscle. He’s been playing catch as the only approved baseball activity. Pearce is aiming for a return this weekend against the Rays at Tropicana Field. “I think we’re just being extra-cautious right now,” Pearce said. “Just want to make sure there’s

Notes on call-ups, Hardy, Pearce, lineup and more

The Orioles are done with their September call-ups unless an injury necessitates another roster move. Infielder Garabez Rosa, who batted .282 with 27 doubles, 11 home runs and 69 RBIs in 124 games at Double-A Bowie, will join the taxi squad in Sarasota. Manager Buck Showalter said he expects shortstop J.J. Hardy to start Wednesday night against the Reds. Hardy is available tonight. Showalter added

Hardy on back: “I’d say it’s as close to 100 percent as possible”

Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy said his back feels much better and he expects to return to the lineup Wednesday night at Camden Yards. Hardy left yesterday’s game after the seventh inning with a spasm in his lower back. Asked how the back feels today, Hardy replied, “Normal.” “I’d say it’s as close to 100 percent as possible,” he added. “I think it’s just kind of

Orioles and Reds lineups

J.J. Hardy isn’t in the Orioles lineup for tonight’s series opener against the Reds at Camden Yards. Hardy is day-to-day after leaving yesterday’s game with a lower back spasm. Ryan Flaherty is starting at shortstop tonight. Alejandro De Aza is in left field. Nick Markakis is serving as the designated hitter tonight, with Nelson Cruz in right field. The Orioles made their roster moves official,

Observations on the expanded roster, a missing person and team chemistry

The clubhouse is getting more crowded today with the arrivals of reliever Ryan Webb, outfielder Quintin Berry and catcher Steve Clevenger. Left-hander T.J. McFarland returned yesterday, but he won’t be recalled until this afternoon. Berry is the only real newcomer. The trade for Alejandro De Aza, another left-handed hitting, plus defensive outfielder with speed didn’t impact Berry as the Orioles expanded their roster. You’ve seen

Hardy expects to play on Tuesday

Orioles manager Buck Showalter confirmed that outfielder Quintin Berry will have his contract selected from Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday. Relievers Ryan Webb and T.J. McFarland and catcher Steve Clevenger will be recalled. Infielder Alexi Casilla is expected to join the taxi squad in Sarasota. The Orioles were checking on reliever Andrew Miller, who had a slight limp walking off the mound following the top of

Hardy leaves game after Hundley ties it (O’s lose 6-4)

Another Oriole has gone to the trainers room with a physical ailment. Shortstop J.J. Hardy left today’s game after the seventh inning with a spasm in his lower back. An update will be made available after the final out. Hardy reached in the bottom of the seventh on Minnesota third baseman Trevor Plouffe’s throwing error and scored on Nick Hundley’s two-out, game-tying home run to

Paredes continues roll and Showalter talks about Jimenez (O’s down 3-0)

Jimmy Paredes grounded a single into left field in the second inning, his sixth hit in 12 at-bats with the Orioles. I scrambled to research the guy after the Orioles claimed him from the Marlins on Feb. 15, laughed two days later when they lost him to the Royals, shrugged when the purchased him from the Royals on July 24, and envision him as a

Berry joining Orioles

Orioles manager Buck Showalter told reporters earlier today that the club would add another position player to the expanded roster on Tuesday. As expected, it’s outfielder Quintin Berry. I’ve received confirmation that Berry is headed to Baltimore and will be placed on the 40-man roster. Berry was hitting .285/.382/.367 in 112 games with Norfolk. He had 19 doubles, one triple, three homers, 35 RBIs and

More on the call-ups, Pearce and the taxi squad

The Orioles added to their roster today by recalling reliever Evan Meek and purchasing left-hander Joe Saunders’ contract from Triple-A Norfolk. They’re not finished. The Orioles will recall reliever Ryan Webb on Tuesday if his right shoulder passes today’s test at Norfolk. Webb hasn’t pitched since Aug. 27 due to tenderness in the shoulder and the Orioles want him to work an inning this afternoon.

Orioles adding Saunders and Meek

The Orioles have lockers set up today for left-hander Joe Saunders and right-hander Evan Meek. The bullpen will have two new additions. Saunders, converted to a reliever, will wear No. 51. Meek will wear No. 47. Alejandro De Aza and Kelly Johnson are on the bench for today’s series finale against the Twins. De Aza is 4-for-13 (.308) with a double and home run against

Today’s new arrivals, and Norris offers his scouting report on Paredes

Welcome to Sept. 1 and the always popular, always unforgettable roster expansion. I liken it to wearing your stretchy pants on Thanksgiving. Two pitchers are joining the Orioles today from Triple-A Norfolk, according to manager Buck Showalter. He hinted that one may not be on the 40-man roster. I’ll repeat that Ryan Webb and Joe Saunders are pretty strong candidates to find a locker inside

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