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Orioles top White Sox 6-2 to take first two games of series

The Orioles have started a seven-game road trip with back-to-back wins at Chicago after tonight's 6-2 victory. The Orioles end April with a record of 12-13 after going 5-18 through April last year. The Birds have won four of their last five games. Not a bad April record, considering they lost eight in a row at one point in the month. Buck Showalter talks with

Gonzalez, Tillman and Andino come up big as O's lead 2-1 in seventh

Struggling reliever Mike Gonzalez just did a very nice job in the last of the sixth as the Orioles were able to hold onto a lead tonight in their game at Chicago. The O's are up 2-1 in the seventh. Gonzalez came on for starter Chris Tillman with the bases loaded and none out in the sixth. He got Adam Dunn looking and then Alex

Orioles' minor league teams are playing well now

Charlie Sheen would like the Orioles' minor league affiliates these days as they have been doing a lot of winning lately. Triple-A Norfolk has won four of its last six games to get to 7-15 on the season. Double-A Bowie is 6-3 over its past nine games to get to 11-10. Single-A Frederick has won five of six to get to 10-10 and Single-A Delmarva

Check out this audio of Machado's latest homer (updated with minor league moves)

It was the sixth inning last night at Perdue Stadium in Salisbury. The Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds trailed the Savannah Sand Gnats by a 2-1 score. Orioles 2010 first-round draft Manny Machado came up to bat. He had homered the last two nights. The count went to 3-0. Shorebirds broadcaster Bret Lasky then called the play-by-play for what happened next on 960 AM The Sports Animal.

Two managers, two different approaches

Orioles manager Buck Showalter and Terry Francona of the Red Sox seem to be taking different approaches with some hitters in their respective lineups these days. For instance, Showalter is staying the course with his hitters. Even though various players have struggled and slumped this year, most nights the Orioles' lineup has remained the same. Derrek Lee has batted third every game this year and

Is Orioles rotation starting to get on a roll?

Jeremy Guthrie was the latest Orioles starter to put together a solid outing in a stretch where the club is getting some real solid starting pitching. In this series versus Boston, Guthrie and Zach Britton have combined to allow just one run over 12 innings. Over the last eight games, Orioles starters have posted seven quality starts and pitched to an ERA of 3.26. That

O's pull it out but Guthrie gets no decision

The Orioles lost the lead, but not the game. I feel bad for Jeremy Guthrie, who just can't seem to get a win, even when he doesn't give up a run. After losing a late 4-0 lead, the Orioles picked up the tiebreaking run on a Vladimir Guerrero RBI single to center in the last of the eighth to edge Boston 5-4 at Camden Yards.

A bloop and two blasts

The Red Sox wish they could have that short fly ball that Derrek Lee hit back. They failed to catch that pop with one out in the fourth and that should have been an out. Instead, an out later, Luke Scott came up and blasted a Eutaw Street, two-run homer. Adam Jones followed with a solo shot that just made it out to left center.

Battling Beckett

Here is how the hitters in tonight's Orioles' lineup have fared in their careers versus Josh Beckett. Brian Roberts: 12-for-40 (.300), with one homer and 4 RBIs. Nick Markakis: 12-for-39 (.308), with one homer and 5 RBIs. Derrek Lee: 3-for-6 (.500), with two homers and 2 RBIs. Vlad Guerrero: 14-for-47 (.298), with two homers and 6 RBIs. Luke Scott: 9-for-20 (.450), with two homers and

Snyder extends batting streak in Norfolk's loss

Brandon Snyder extended his batting streak to five games today with two hits and two runs scored in Triple-A Norfolk's 7-6 loss this afternoon at Indianapolis. Snyder is 7-for-22 with four RBIs during the hit streak and is now batting .288 on the season. He is hitting .353 with runners in scoring position and has an OPS of .876 through today's game. Nick Green added

With improved changeup, Johnson off to a good start

Jim Johnson is off to a great start with the Orioles. He has an ERA of 2.79 with 11 strikeouts to just two walks over 9 2/3 innings on the year. Over his last four games, he has pitched five scoreless innings with five strikeouts. Johnson has always been a hard thrower, but now an improved changeup has become a real weapon for him. "JJ

Minor league notes on Schoop, Avery and Pelzer

While Manny Machado is the most well-known and most-interviewed Delmarva Shorebird and is playing very well right now in his first full minor league season, the infielder that plays next to him is probably playing as well as anyone on the O's farm right now. Jonathan Schoop was signed as a shortstop but is playing third base with Machado at short at Single-A Delmarva. Schoop

O's hold their own against Boston

Don't look now, but since going a miserable 2-16 versus Boston in 2009, the Orioles are now 10-9 over their past 19 games against the Sox after Tuesday's 4-1 win at Camden Yards. That includes a mark of 6-4 at home in the last 10 versus Boston. It is certainly nice to see the O's hold their own against one of the East's big boys.

Quick note on Boston starting pitching

During the Red Sox' recent run of eight wins in nine games, the Sox starting pitchers were tremendous pitching to an ERA of 0.88 during that stretch. They had given up just six earned runs over 61 1/3 in the nine games. Tonight, Boston starter Clay Buchholz allowed four earned runs over 6 2/3 versus the Orioles. Buchholz entered with a career ERA of 2.98

The lefties against the lefty tonight

You don't see this too often. The Red Sox have five left-handed batters in their starting lineup tonight versus Orioles' southpaw starter Zach Britton. Jacoby Ellsbury, Adrian Gonzalez, David Ortiz, J.D. Drew and Carl Crawford all will come to bat against Britton from that side as Boston looks for its ninth win over the last 10 games. The Sox' 8-1 record is the best in

Buck on Markakis: "He'll be there."

With a batting average of at least .293 and OPS of at least .801 the last four years, it is a little strange to see Nick Markakis currently batting .208 with an OPS of .591. But he will take those numbers over 20 games and 77 at-bats into the Boston series that starts tonight here at Camden Yards. Manager Buck Showalter said you can't take

Arrieta gets 2011 off to promising start with four quality starts

Jake Arrieta can't erase his start on April 9 against Texas from his record, but if he could, his ERA would be 2.63 over his other four starts versus Detroit, New York., Minnesota and New York. Arrieta has produced four quality starts in those four outings, giving up just seven earned runs and 20 hits over 24 innings. He feels he has gotten his 2011

The Red Sox get their act together

When the Orioles started 6-1 while Boston was going 0-6, it was quite a reversal of fortunes for the two teams. After the additions of players like Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, Boston was a popular pick to win the American League East, the AL and even the World Series. Then came their worst start since 1945. But predictably, the Red Sox have gotten their

Derrek Lee and slow starts in April

It won't make any fans that are down on Derrek Lee feel any better, but Lee has had slow starts in April before. His start this April is worse than his start last April but better, in some stat categories, than his start in April 2009. In 2009, by the way, he finished with an average of .306 and hit 35 homers with 111 RBIs

Minor league notes on Hoes, Atkins, Mummey and more

A couple of fans have written to ask me about LJ Hoes and why he played left field Sunday for Single-A Frederick. This is not a position change and Hoes is still considered a second baseman. But as I have written many times now, the Orioles plan to have many of the minor leaguers play other positions from time to time. It just makes sense

Not a completely lost weekend

While the Orioles were outscored 21-6 by the Yankees the last two days, is was not all bad. Yesterday's game seemed to featured big play after big play in the final innings. The O's matched the Yankees and looked like they would pull out a huge comeback win that was much needed. After 11 losses in 13 games, fans are predictably down. There were a

Clubhouse quotes after the O's loss to New York

Some postgame comments from the Orioles after their extra-innings loss to New York. Jake Arrieta on settling down after giving up two runs in the first: "Just made good pitches. Even the slider to Granderson (that he homered on) wasn't a bad pitch, he's swinging the bat well now. Had to bear down and make pitches when I needed to. I kept us in the

The rally comes up short: O's fall to Yankees in 11 innings

On a day the Orioles rallied from three runs down to tie the Yankees when they were down to their last out, they still lost the game, falling 6-3 in 11 innings. New York wins both games here in the rain-shortened series. The Orioles fall to 8-12 and are just 2-11 over the last 13 games. Robinson Cano, who had been 0-for-4, doubled to lead

Taking rain-delay questions & comments (play will resume at 5:35p)

This game is now in a rain delay as of 4:56 with the O's and Yankees tied 3-3 in the top of the 11th. The Orioles rallied from 3-0 down to tie it on a Mark Reynolds' two-run homer in the 7th and a Brian Roberts' two-out RBI double off Mariano Rivera in the last of the ninth. While we wait out the raindrops, feel

Still waiting on the offense

The Orioles are still not scoring runs, oh by the way. They trail today 3-0 after six innings. They have scored all three runs in this series on just one swing, an Adam Jones homer last night. Through six today, they have just two hits off Freddy Garcia, both by Luke Scott. The rest of the lineup is a combined 0-for-18. New York's defense has

Early woes for the O's

Here's a stat for you: Over the first 18 games of this season, Orioles' pitchers had allowed a total of five runs in the first inning. The Yankees have scored five first-inning runs in this series after taking a 2-0 lead in the first today versus Jake Arrieta. Last night, New York took a 2-0 lead four batters into the game on its way to

Jones' bat starts to warm as he takes the team homer lead

Adam Jones took over the Orioles team home run lead with four with his three-run shot last night off CC Sabathia. In recent games, we have seen Jones drop bunts for hits and also pick up key hits by driving the baseball to right and right center field. His homer last night went to right. It provides perhaps a glimpse into a future where Jones

After blowout loss, O's get another chance

Well, at least the Orioles don't have long to stew over this loss. They got hammered 15-3 by the Yankees last night. The beat down featured five New York homers including an A-Rod grand slam and two homers by catcher Russell Martin. Some observations as the Orioles get another chance at New York less than 16 hours after that loss. *Josh Rupe stood at his

Andino on Teixeira, Bergesen on his outing and Wieters on the loss

Orioles shortstop Robert Andino had words with Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira after Teixeira slid into second base with a double ahead of Andino's tag in the first inning of Saturday's game. Andino was asked what happened and what was said on the field. "He came up with like a little shoulder and I told him, 'Relax, I'm just putting down a tag on you.'

Rupe says hitting Martin was not intentional

Minutes after tonight's game, Orioles pitcher Josh Rupe said it was not his intention to hit Yankees catcher Russell Martin with a pitch when he did just that in the top of the ninth inning tonight. Martin had homered in each of his two previous at bats. "Trust me, that's the last thing I want to do is go out there and make that situation

Bronx Bombers live up to their name in romp over the Birds

Alex Rodriguez hit his 22nd career grand slam and had a six-RBI night as the New York Yankees pounded the Orioles 15-3 in the first game of a rain-shortened, two-game series at Camden Yards. His slam, which came on a 2-0 pitch in the eighth off Josh Rupe, was New York's fifth homer of the night and third of that inning. Rodriguez also had a

A pitchers' duel emerges

After the Yankees' early offense, this game has settled into a pitchers' duel. Brad Bergesen gave up four hits to the first five hitters he faced tonight and has allowed just two to the last 17 batters he has faced. Bergesen has really settled in and, after needing 26 pitches to get through New York's three-run first, has needed just 52 pitches from the second

Showalter with a thought on Bergesen as he gets set to face Yankees

Brad Bergesen will make his fourth appearance and third start of the new season tonight versus the New York Yankees here at Camden Yards. Bergesen said this week he continues to work on his sinking fastball and perfecting the pitch that was a key reason he went 7-5 with a 3.43 ERA over 19 starts in 2009. He said that last year he struggled so

Nick Markakis: "I feel like I'm close"

Orioles manager Buck Showalter pointed out today how hard players like Derrek Lee and Nick Markakis are working behind the scenes to get out of batting slumps. He knows fans are wondering when his No. 2 and No. 3 hitters will get it going. Markakis is batting .203 over 18 games with two homers, two doubles, six RBIs and a .327 slugging percentage. So how

Angle to return tonight for Tides

Outfielder Matt Angle, who is on the Orioles' 40-man roster, will return to the Triple-A Norfolk Tides' lineup tonight. Angle has not played since April 13. He tweaked his hamstring earlier against Gwinnett, but will be back in the lineup tonight. I know this because I just asked him on his live chat at NorfolkTides.com. Angle is batting .167 at 4-for-24 through the first seven

Is now the time to drop Lee in the batting order?

Some fans are already asking if the Orioles should consider dropping Derrek Lee in the batting order. He has had every at-bat this year at the third spot in the lineup and is batting just .209 with one homer, two doubles and two RBI over 18 games. Lee has certainly not been productive in that third spot. He has gone 13 consecutive games without an

Pondering some Orioles and Yankees stats

Checking in on a few Orioles and Yankees stats and notes as they begin a three-game series tonight at Camden Yards. * CC Sabathia is 14-2 with an ERA of 2.86 in 20 career starts versus the Orioles. He went 5-1, 3.56 ERA against Baltimore last year. He is 8-1 with an ERA of 2.97 in 10 career Camden Yards starts, with his only loss

Lee on his slump: "I don't think it's from bat speed."

If Orioles fans want to get on new first baseman Derrek Lee for his lack of production right now, get in line. Behind Lee himself. Several times this year he has already said he takes responsibility for his lack of hits and RBIs. Batting just .209 in 18 games with one homer and two RBIs, Lee readily acknowledges he has to get his bat going.

Orioles' measuring stick: Yankees come to town

As the Orioles begin another series versus the New York Yankees tonight, O's fans are probably quite aware of the Birds' struggles against this club. The Orioles are 0-2 this year and went 5-13 last season versus New York. They have lost 26 of the last 33 in this series and the Yankees are 16-6 in their last 22 games against the O's at Camden

Bergesen looks to recapture his good sinker as he gets set to face Yankees

It's been an interesting few weeks for O's pitcher Brad Bergesen. Late in spring training, he took a line drive off his right forearm and he had to battle back from that. For four days, he was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk even if he never actually physically was with that team. Now Bergesen is trying to regain the form that made him the best Orioles

Still not worrying about Markakis

So we are now 18 games into the season and Nick Markakis is batting .203 with two homers and six RBIs. He has a slugging percentage of .319 and OPS of .592. Last night he went 0-for-4 and twice failed to come up with the clutch hit when batting with two men on base. He has just three hits over his last 28 at-bats for

O's try to beat Twins to end three-series losing streak

It's a little early in the season to call any single game that big or important, but this would be a nice night for an Orioles' victory. They are playing the Twins who still are without some key players like Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer. Also, the Twins have scored the fewest runs in the majors this year and have a major league low six

Who will be the next Oriole to break out on offense?

In recent days the Orioles have seen Matt Wieters' bat come to life, Vladimir Guerrero homer in back-to-back games and Brian Roberts and Adam Jones extend hitting streaks. Who is next to break out on offense? Not just because I wrote about his defense earlier today, but I predict we will soon see hits coming from Derrek Lee's bat. I've been thinking that for a

The art of the scoop: D. Lee is making all the plays at first base

There is a lot more to the game of baseball than offense and Derrek Lee is an example of that right now with the Orioles. They don't keep a stat for "runs saved" or "errors saved" but if they did, Lee would rank high in that category. He seems to have an amazing ability to scoop low throws out of the dirt and he has

A couple of notes from Delmarva

The Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds play their 15th game of the new season tonight at Augusta trying to snap a four-game losing streak that has dropped their record to 5-9. The Birds have given up 41 runs over those four games. The Shorebirds lost a wild one, 11-10 at Augusta in 10 innings last night in a game that featured 21 runs, 28 hits and nine

Gregg will be a key to the Orioles bullpen

While Kevin Gregg may have already fallen out of favor with some fans, I'm sure Orioles manager Buck Showalter looks at the situation differently, He knows Gregg will be an important piece in his bullpen and that he has to get him right. Showalter has to help him to start pitching well. Maybe last night was a start. Despite a loud out that ended the

Some postgame notes after the O's latest win

Checking in with some notes after the Orioles' 5-4 win over Minnesota. Matt at bat: Matt Wieters drove in one run in the first game of the series Monday, then had four RBIs Tuesday and two more last night. Over the three games of this series, he is 4-for-9 with a double, two homers and seven RBIs. Wieters' six RBIs over his last two games

Two in a row: O's post narrow win over Twins

The Orioles didn't get any runs after the third inning tonight, but they got just enough by then to win and they've now posted back-to-back victories after an eight-game losing streak. Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer and Zach Britton picked up his third win as the Orioles edged Minnesota, 5-4, to improve to 8-9 on the year. It was just the second one-run game

Schoop's hit streak for Delmarva

Delmarva Shorebirds infielder Jonathan Schoop, a 19-year-old from Curacao, takes a seven-game hitting streak into tonight's game at Augusta. Schoop, who went 3-for-4 with 4 RBI last night, is batting .467 during the streak with 14 hits over 30 at bats and just three strikeouts in that stretch. His play has been a bit overshadowed by Manny Machado's South Atlantic League rookie season, but the

Britton takes the ball as O's starters hope to get on a roll

When the Orioles got off to that 6-1 start, they were getting brilliant starting pitching. While they can't expect it to be like that a lot, they can hope as the games start coming every day now, that their rotation can get into a little groove, stay healthy and start cranking out more solid outings. Over the first seven games, when the O's did go

Wieters delievers clutch hits as his bat gets going

Here is an impressive stat for O's catcher Matt Wieters: After driving in four runs last night, he is now 5-for-5 on the season hitting with runners in scoring position. Four of the hits, including two last night, came with two outs. He has a double, homer and eight RBIs with RISP. That's very solid stuff for Wieters. The switch-hitter recently made an adjustment to

Nick note

If fans are going to be concerned about any struggling Orioles hitters, probably the guy that should be last on that list is Nick Markakis. I'm pretty sure the hits will be coming soon. But for now, Markakis is slumping. He had six hits in the season's first four games and has had six hits in the 12 games since. He has just one hit

Hoey's long road back took him to Camden Yards to face his former team

When the tall right-hander came into the game for the Minnesota Twins on Monday night at Camden Yards, there were some in the O's organization that must have been experiencing mixed emotions. While they wanted the Orioles to win, they must have also felt really good for pitcher Jim Hoey. His long road back to the majors had culminated in Hoey facing his former team,

Roberts the RBI machine

Brian Roberts is off to quite a start driving in runs. After his three RBI night in the 11-0 win Tuesday over Minnesota, Roberts now has a team-leading 14 RBI. Contrast that to the 2010 season, when Roberts had 15 RBI all season. He had 15 RBI in 59 games and 230 at bats a year ago and now has 14 RBI in 16 games

Eight was enough: O's end streak with blowout win

After not hitting much and not winning for eight games, the Orioles' offense broke out Tuesday night at Camden Yards as the Birds beat Minnesota, 11-0 to end the eight-game losing streak. Brian Roberts and Matt Wieters combined for seven RBI, and Vladimir Guerrero added a three-run home run as the Orioles evened the series with the win and improved to 7-9 on the year.

Quick Mahoney update

While there was some talk that first baseman Joe Mahoney could return from the disabled list and play tonight, he is not in the Bowie Baysox lineup and has still not been activated off the DL. Mahoney has been out since he played on April 9th for Double-A Bowie with a quad injury. It doesn't appear that the O's 2010 minor league Player of the

Getting an early clutch hit

After they went 0-for-9 the last two games and 2-for-20 the past three games with runners in scoring position, the Orioles got some big hits early tonight to lead Minnesota 3-0 in the third. After Carl Pavano breezed through a quick first inning on just seven pitches, the Orioles got to him for three runs on three hits in the last of the second. The

Arrieta can take more than a good fastball to the mound

In the major leagues, it can take more than quality pitches for a starting pitcher to succeed. He may need poise, confidence, solid mound presence and a short memory to forget a bad outing as he navigates his way through a long season, hoping to make 32 or 33 starts and pitch over 200 innings. Jake Arrieta looks like a pitcher that might score well

Checking in with another struggling O's reliever

Kevin Gregg is not the only Orioles reliever looking to put up better numbers right now. Lefty Michael Gonzalez, who spent time on the DL with a strained left shoulder last year, said he is healthy and throwing fine right now. Still, he has been scored upon in four of his five outings and is 0-1 with a 10.38 ERA through five appearances. "I'm definitely

Minor league notes on Snyder, Adams and Avery

After a slow start, Brandon Snyder's bat is suddenly stirring at Triple-A Norfolk. Snyder is now batting .324 with a homer and eight RBIs after an impressive three-game batting surge. He had just three hits over his first six games, but has had eight in the past three contests. After batting just .150 in those first six games, Snyder had two homers among his three

Tillman's outing was encouraging (with Wieters audio)

O's catcher Matt Wieters said before the game that Chris Tillman can pitch well at his current velocity and then Tillman went out and proved that to be true. We can all debate where Tillman's velocity went and why he doesn't throw low- to mid-90s more often now, but he doesn't. It doesn't mean he can't win consistently or pitch well if he gets ahead

Yet another night where the runs were not plentiful

It was another night of not much offense for the Orioles. The losing streak reached eight and the O's have scored a total of 20 runs during the skid. The last four games they have scored a total of 10 runs. Several individuals throughout the lineup continue to struggle. Vlad Guerrero went 0-for-4 in the loss and grounded into a double play. Guerrero just is

Tillman's outing so far (updated with final line)

Chris Tillman, trying to bounce back from that early exit at New York last week, is off to a mixed start so far tonight. He and the Orioles trail the Twins 2-0 after three innings. Tillman has pitched two scoreless innings in the first and third, but gave up two runs in the second inning. Of the four hits he has allowed, three came consecutively

Wieters said he's not concerned with Tillman's velocity

O's right-hander Chris Tillman will take the mound tonight for the first time since he gave up nine hits and six runs over just 1 2/3 innings last Wednesday in New York. There has been a lot of talk about Tillman's velocity being down. Catcher Matt Wieters admits he has seen Tillman throw harder than he has this year, but also feels Tillman's current velocity

Wieters: "Everyone in the lineup believes in what they can do."

As the Orioles continue to struggle to score runs, the players tend to preach patience and say it is not time for them to make any drastic changes in their approach. "I don't think you can really change anything," catcher Matt Wieters said. "It's still early. Not everyone is swinging like they want to right now, but the big thing is, you can't press and

Twins AL East-like schedule continues in Baltimore

The Minnesota Twins have not moved to the American League East, but it just seems like they are always playing someone from this division. Of the Twins' 15 games this season, 10 have come against AL East clubs and they will add to that total by starting a four-game series tonight in Baltimore. Minnesota is 5-10 and lost two of three versus New York and

Will the Orioles make any lineup changes?

With the Orioles struggling to hit and mired in a seven-game losing streak where they have scored just 17 total runs, some fans have said they think it is time to shake up the lineup. I don't expect to see manager Buck Showalter do that. It would surprise me if it happened this early in the year. Just because someone bats in a different spot,

Feel good story: Former Oriole Hoey returns to majors with Twins

The last few seasons, Jim Hoey pitched in the Orioles' minor leagues, battling back after two surgeries to try to get back to Baltimore and the major leagues. Hoey will make that return to the majors in Baltimore, but not with Baltimore. Traded by the Orioles to the Twins in December with Brett Jacobson in the deal for shortstop J.J. Hardy, Hoey began this year

Swept away in Cleveland: O's losing streak reaches seven

For the Orioles, this was another day when they fell behind early and were frustrated on offense. The Birds lost, 4-2, at Cleveland this afternoon as they were swept in the three-game series and their losing streak reaches seven games. The Orioles completed a winless road trip, going 0-5 in New York and Cleveland with one rain out. Things have gotten so bad for the

The O's have earned their way to six straight losses

Maybe that old baseball saying that "you are never as good as you look when you are winning and never as bad as you look when you are losing," applies to these Orioles. They sure looked good during a 6-1 start. We can only hope they are not as bad as they have looked during the 0-6 run since. They sure have looked bad. In

Are Lee and Guerrero usually slow starters?

I was wondering today if Derrek Lee and Vlad Guerrero have been slow starters in their careers. They have not hit much so far and maybe they are just not good hitters in early-season games. Well, both do have some good stats hitting in April. Lee has a career .270 average and .852 OPS in the month with 51 homers. But maybe the good news

The O's offense: Mostly dormant through 12 games

Last year, when the Orioles had a pretty mediocre offense, they averaged just 3.8 runs per game. So far this year, with an offense that is expected to be greatly improved, they are averaging 3.8 runs per game. The Orioles just are not hitting much right now and I'm sure some fans are getting restless to see some runs at this point. It's too early

Britton takes first loss as O's skid reaches five

After starting the year at 6-1, the Orioles have now lost five in a row to fall back to 6-6. Zach Britton took his first major league loss as Cleveland scored four in the third inning to beat the lefty and the Orioles 8-2 in the start of a three-game series. Britton gave up five runs and eight hits over six innings in falling 2-1

Tribe gets four-spot off Britton in the third

After giving up just one run over his first 15 2/3 major league innings, Zach Britton allowed four in the last of the third at Cleveland tonight as the Tribe took the lead on the Orioles. Britton looked sharp at the start tonight, retiring the first six batters with three strikeouts. But Cleveland, which is 8-4 and tied for first in the AL Central, broke

Mahoney hopes for a Sunday return to the Bowie lineup

It was the second game of the season for the Double-A Bowie Baysox. That's when first baseman Joe Mahoney, the Orioles' 2010 minor league Player of the Year, came up injured running the bases. The quad injury has forced Mahoney to the seven-day disabled list and he has missed the last five Baysox games. "It happened in Harrisburg, when I got my first hit, a

Next Britton challenge: Stop a losing streak

For his first act, Zach Britton beat the defending American League East champions on the road in his major league debut. For his second act, he beat the Texas Rangers, who were 6-0 at the time and had scored 42 runs in those six contests. Britton calmly pitched 7 2/3 scoreless against that tough Texas lineup at Camden Yards in an impressive home debut. For

Trying to sort it all out

I guess back on opening day, we would have been pleased with an Orioles' 6-5 start. But it doesn't seem as promising when it follows a 6-1 start and your team just suffered a blown lead at Yankee Stadium. Last night on my postgame radio show, "Baltimore Baseball Tonight" on 105.7 the Fan in Baltimore, it was pretty much a two-hour vent session. By the

Early impressions as O's grab the lead at NY (Update)

A few early observations as the Orioles lead the Yankees 2-0 in the 4th tonight. Jake Arrieta needed just 33 pitches to get the first nine outs. *Nick Markakis picked a good time for his second home run. His two-run shot gives the O's a 2-0 lead at New York as they look to break a 3-game losing streak. Markakis' blast to right snapped a

An early look at the O's minors

Yes, it is a very small sample size, but to date only one O's minor league team is playing .500 ball. Thanks in part to Norfolk's 1-6 start, the four clubs' overall record is 8-16. Norfolk is 1-6 Bowie is 2-4 Frederick is 2-2 Delmarva is 3-4 Only Single-A Delmarva, led by Manny Machado and Kipp Schutz, has hit much. The Shorebirds' team average of

Steve Johnson moves to Triple-A, Mahoney to DL

It could turn out to be just for a start or two, but Baltimore native Steve Johnson today has moved from Double-A Bowie to Triple-A Norfolk. Also today, Bowie has placed first baseman Joe Mahoney on the minor league seven-day DL, retroactive to April 12. Mahoney has missed the last few games with a quad injury. The O's were hoping he would avoid the DL.

Another check of the RISP stat

It is not hard to figure out how the Orioles have lost three straight games by a combined score of 23-5. Not when you see their starting pitching ERA in those three games is 12.27 and they have hit just 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position in those games. As pointed out in my previous post, the O's need a starter not named Zach Britton

Is this three-game losing skid a bump in the road or a sign of bigger trouble?

Let's see, the Orioles have lost one of their best starting pitchers to injury, their starting shortstop to injury and now they've lost three games in a row. A record of 6-4 after 10 games sounds pretty good - and is pretty good. The Birds still own a share of first place after losing Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium. But during a three-game slide in

Tillman's time was short tonight

Whether it was a lack of velocity or a lack of quality pitches, this was basically a disastrous outing for Chris Tillman tonight at New York. He got ahead of the first batter he faced, Brett Gardner at 0-2, but then threw a fastball right down the middle that went for a base hit. The Yankees kept hitting after that. Over just 1 2/3 innings,

Checking in with some stats and notes before the NY series opener

Some stats, facts and notes to ponder as the Orioles and Yankees hope to begin their rain-delayed series tonight in The Bronx. *The Orioles are 40-26 since Buck Showalter took over as manager. They are six games better than the Yankees during that stretch. *Mark Reynolds is 5-for-9 on the year (.556) when batting with runners in scoring position. His career average is .266 when

Denny Hocking with some candid comments on Rowell and Mahoney

One of the pleasures of this job as it relates to the minor leagues has been the chance to get to know and interview some interesting people. That includes coaches and players. I have met many in the minors that would classify as a great interview. I can now add Bowie Baysox coach Denny Hocking to that list. I had talked to him on the

Talking with Tillman and the subject is his velocity

When Chris Tillman takes the mound in New York tonight, there may be some fans checking the radar gun readings almost as much as they check the ball and strike count. There has been a lot of discussion among the fans that Tillman's velocity may be down and they are wondering if that impacts his pitching and not in a good way. Some fans cited

Buck made the call and Britton will miss NYY series

Orioles rookie pitcher Zach Britton faced the Yankees in spring training, but his first outing against them that counts will have to wait. Manager Buck Showalter had two choices for a starting pitcher for the Thursday game in the Bronx because both Jake Arrieta and Britton pitched in the Saturday doubleheader and would be on normal rest for Thursday. But Showalter said Arrieta will start

Joe Mahoney out with quad injury

The Orioles' 2010 minor league Player of the Year, Joe Mahoney, is not in the lineup for Double-A Bowie tonight due to a quad injury. He missed Sunday's game and is not playing this evening as Bowie is at Richmond. Mahoney went 1-for-7 with a double and two walks in the first two Baysox games of the season at Harrisburg. The injury is considered day-to-day.

Triple-A Tides look to avoid 0-5 start tonight

Like their parent club, the Triple-A Norfolk Tides have not gotten their offense going much this year. But unlike the Orioles, Norfolk is winless and is last in the league in batting. The Tides scored just five runs in going 0-4 in their season-opening series at Charlotte. The Tides' team batting mark of .165 is last in the International League. Norfolk plays at Gwinnett tonight

A look at CF depth in the O's minors

The Orioles, like any organization, would like to create a situation where they have solid depth throughout their minor leagues with prospects at both the lower and higher levels. While some fans right now would question the Orioles' minor league depth and may well be right about that, at certain positions the Orioles are becoming well stocked. Center field is one of those positions. When

Markakis: "The first week we did pretty damn good."

One year after dealing with a miserable 2-16 start, these are better times for the Orioles. Even after losing the last two games against Texas, the club is off to a 6-3 start and in first place in their division. "I say it's good," O's outfielder Nick Markakis said of the club's start. "We've got a winning record and we just played a really good

Guthrie talks about his outing vs. Texas

Pitching just a couple of days after getting out of the hospital, O's right-hander Jeremy Guthrie threw well versus Texas Sunday, even if he didn't feel 100 percent or have some of his usual velocity. "Legs felt good, but it's a strange feeling. I don't breathe very well and I get tired," said Guthrie, who had a form of pneumonia. "It's like you running a

Guthrie returns, but Rangers beat O's to take series finale

Jeremy Guthrie returned to the mound for the first time since the O's season opener today. He pitched well, but it did not lead to a win. Texas takes two of three from the Orioles, winning 3-0 today behind Derek Holland in front of 21,452 at Camden Yards. The Orioles, who begin a series Tuesday in New York, fall to 6-3 while the Rangers are

Will Britton face the Yankees?

The never-ending saga of the changing Orioles rotation will play out next in New York as the O's begin a series at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night. All the starters for that series are officially listed right now as TBA. Manager Buck Showalter said today that Chris Tillman will pitch either Tuesday or Wednesday. It could be that Brad Bergesen's time in the minors will

The RISP stat

The Orioles entered today with a team batting average of just .220, but they were batting .400 with runners in scoring position at 18-for-45 through eight games. You can't keep that pace up and they haven't. Today they are 0-for-2 with RISP and Mark Reynolds has been the guy up both times. Reynolds, after getting several clutch hits the last few days, today struck out

Manny Machado gets off to a good start with Delmarva

O's top shortstop prospect Manny Machado has gotten his first full season of minor league baseball off to a good start. He is 3-for-7 through three games with Single-A Delmarva with a triple and three RBIs. He has already walked five times in the three games and has an OPS of 1.381. He served as the DH in Game Two of their twin bill last

Matusz gets set to take the next step in Sarasota

Brian Matusz said he is optimistic about his rehab process, which will continue starting tomorrow at the Orioles' spring home in Sarasota, Fla. Matusz went on the disabled list April 3, retroactive to March 30, with a strained left intercostal muscle. He said he has not had any pain for the last four days, yet he has not yet been cleared to throw or even

Arrieta on his night: "When I did miss, they didn't."

After Zach Britton had pitched so well in Game 1, Jake Arrieta was hoping to build on that in Game 2 tonight. It started well for him as he retired the first six Rangers he faced over two innings. But he gave up six runs in the third and was knocked out in the fourth as Texas routed the O's, 13-1 in Game 2 of

Hardy talks about his injury

J.J. Hardy is likely headed for the disabled list after leaving tonight's second game of the doubleheader in the third inning with a strained left oblique muscle. He missed Thursday's game with Detroit due to tightness on his left side near his rib cage. He felt good, he said, before the doubleheader. "Took some swings in the cage and felt like it was gone, it

Rangers romp in Game 2 to split twin bill

In a Game 2 matchup for the best record in the American League, the Orioles took an early lead but didn't score again in a 13-1 loss to Texas. The Birds were held to four hits. The clubs split the doubleheader leaving Texas with the top record in the league at 7-1 while the O's fall to 6-2. Jake Arrieta, who entered with a 1-1

Couple of quick notes from game one

Passing along a few stats coming out of the O's game one win over Texas. The Orioles were 2-for-4 in the win when batting with runners in scoring position. Their team average in that stat actually increased from .421 to .429. The O's are 18-for-42 on the year with RISP. Mark Reynolds had two hits, including a three-run homer. He now has 6 RBI over

Texas manager Ron Washington on his team's first loss and Zach Britton

After his team suffered its first loss of the 2011 season after a 6-0 start, Texas manager Ron Washington said the O's just outplayed his squad in their 5-0 win in game one of a doubleheader. "We just got beat today," Washington said. "I wouldn't say we lost, I'd say they beat us. You lose it if you are out there throwing balls all around,

Britton now 2-0 as O's blank Texas to go to 6-1

Zach Britton's second major league start was even better than his first. After allowing one run against Tampa in a victorious debut, today Britton did not allow a run as the Orioles beat Texas 5-0 in game one of the twin bill at the Yard. Britton did not allow a hit through 4 1/3 and pitched 7 2/3 shutout innings vs. the Rangers. He gave

Britton doing this against a very good hitting linuep

It's one thing to pitch well against any major league team, but Zach Britton is having a great outing vs. a very good hitting and unbeaten Texas team. The Rangers entered today with 42 runs scored in six games, a major-league leading slugging percentage of .603, a team batting average of .284 and team OPS of .957. Not chopped liver. He is doing this aginst

Reynolds rapped one

Third baseman Mark Reynolds continues to get big hits in the early going for the Orioles. His key two-run double Thursday night provided the O's with a three-run lead. Today, he blasted a second inning, three-run homer to provide Zach Britton with an early 4-0 cushion vs. unbeaten Texas. Reynolds' first O's homer traveled 422 feet to left. He is known for hitting some tape-measure

When the ninth inning comes, Gregg wants the ball

At this point, it may be a somewhat safe assumption that Kevin Gregg is the O's closer. He has the club's only save this year. Manager Buck Showalter doesn't seem to want to publicly anoint anyone for that role and he has a few options for the ninth inning. Gregg said that is fine with him. "We pitch when we are told to pitch. Buck

Jakubauskas gets activated, awaits his first O's appearance

Chris Jakubauskas is back in the major leagues. This time he wants to stick around longer than 12 pitches. Jakubauskas was officially recalled today by the Birds as Brad Bergesen was sent back to Triple-A. He will possibly be the starting pitcher tomorrow, but that plan could get foiled if the O's need to use him in either of the two games here today. "All

Koji's amazing streak

Fred Lewis is the answer to a trivia question. That question: Who is the last batter to draw a walk vs. Orioles' reliever Koji Uehara? It was in a 4-2 Toronto win over the Birds last July 16th at Camden Yards. Ricky Romero got the win and Kevin Gregg, now with the O's, picked up his 21st save. In the top of the 9th of

Another day, another issue for the Orioles

It's almost as if the baseball gods don't want O's fans to be able to enjoy the good start to this season. Win some games and then watch Jeremy Guthrie deal with a form of pneumonia. See a great comeback win over Detroit. Send Brian Roberts to the hospital with stomach pain. J.J Hardy, he came up with tightness in his side, an issue he's

Texas provides good early test for improved O's

As we continue to learn more about the Orioles with each game this season, maybe we all will get a real education on the club this weekend. Some fans have said the Rays' poor start took some of the luster off the O's three-game sweep there. But in beating Tampa, they did knock off the defending American League East champs. In taking two of three,

Will Britton need Plan B tonight?

It may not be a good sign when Zach Britton gets more outs through the air than the ground. That happened during his major league debut against Tampa, but he still pitched well and won the game. On Sunday versus the Rays, Britton got five outs on the ground and six in the air. Britton said Sunday was a day he didn't have either good

Some O's minor league video

It was opening day in minor league baseball on Thursday and three of the O's four full-season affiliates were on the field while Single-A Frederick plays its opener tonight. Charlotte beat Norfolk 4-3 in a game where Nolan Reimold homered and Tyler Henson went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles in his Triple-A debut. Double-A Bowie lost 5-0 at Harrisburg and struck out 15 times

Rangers come to Baltimore with MLB's best record

Here is an update on the Texas Rangers, the majors' only unbeaten team at 6-0, as they come to Camden Yards this weekend. The defending American League champions, Texas has outscored Boston and Seattle 42-20 during its six wins. The Rangers have won their first two series for the first time since 1996. If they win the series opener in Baltimore, they will tie their

Britton talks about a minor league coach that helped him get to Baltimore

As Zach Britton made his way up through the Orioles' minor league system and started to make real progress as a pitcher, there always seemed to be one guy there to help him. Britton worked with several pitching coaches on the O's farm that helped him along the way, but the person that was there for most of it was current Bowie Baysox pitching coach

The O's excitement builds (plus Machado note)

Nothing like a comeback win over a good team to add to the excitement around Baltimore with this Orioles start. This was probably the best win of the year, as the Birds came back three different times to beat the Tigers, 9-5. At 5-1, they lead the American League East by a game over Toronto and New York as the team with the best record

Is the middle of the order heating up?

After they combined for three hits and three RBI last night, both Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero hit the ball pretty hard off Brad Penny in their first at-bats tonight. Lee, who hit a two-run homer last night, lined out to short to end the first and Vlad led off the last of the second with a bomb to center. It's his first homer as

B-Rob on the 4-1 start: "There is a different feel in the city right now."

He's been in the major leagues since 2001, but Brian Roberts is still waiting for his first winning season and first crack to play in really important games late in the year. Just like the fans, he wonders if this good Orioles start will turn into an ever better one and if this is the year the O's move up in the standings. "I think

Guthrie remains hopeful of starting Sunday

O's pitcher Jeremy Guthrie is still hoping to pitch Sunday against Texas and he was back at the ballpark today. "I feel good," Guthrie said. "Just a little bit tired, but I don't feel any of the symptoms I felt when I went into the hospital - the achiness, headache and stomach ache. "I prepared mentally to pitch on Sunday since the day I went

After no-hit outing, Tillman gets another turn (updated)

When watching Chris Tillman pitch on Saturday against Tampa in his first 2011 start, it seemed to me that Tillman was not throwing with the velocity he once had shown. Tillman's first-inning fastball at times was in the high 80s and there didn't seem to be too many mid-90s heaters during that game. The right-hander said if anyone wondered if he were pitching with less

Checking in on some stats after the first loss of the season

The Orioles missed out on their chance for the second 5-0 start in team history with last night's 7-3 loss to Detroit. The Birds fall to 4-1 and are tied for first in the American League East with Toronto. Here are more stats from the game and season so far: Batting notes: The O's have scored just 20 runs in five games with a team

Well, the middle of the order knocked in some runs

I guess it's still about the pitching. After a 4-0 start, some were wondering when Derrek Lee and Vlad Guerrero would drive in some runs. Tonight, they have combined for three RBI, but the Orioles trail Detroit 6-3 in the seventh. Lee hit his first O's homer, an impressive two-run shot over the right field scoreboard on the first pitch from Justin Verlander in the

Updating Jesse Beal, Ryan Berry and Parker Bridwell

Orioles minor league pitcher Jesse Beal, who was slated to begin the year in the Frederick Keys rotation, will miss the start of the minor league season. Beal, who went 7-6, 3.86 last summer at Single-A Delmarva, has a right shoulder impingement. There is no definite timetable yet for when he will be back on the mound, but he is expected to miss at least

O's try for victory against Verlander

It would not be an upset as big as say Super Bowl III when the Jets beat the Colts, but I would guess it would be maybe a mild upset to see an Orioles win tonight. After all, Brad Bergesen had an uneven spring and hasn't pitched in a while and Orioles' hitters will be facing one of the AL's best in Justin Verlander. The

On the farm: O's will give Avery the green light this year

It's an age-old question in minor league baseball: Does player development become more important than winning the game? The answer is usually yes. The minors are there to develop players, to get them to improve and to send them to the majors. Winning the game is often secondary to that goal. Bowie Baysox manager Gary Kendall cited an example of that involving his club this

Delmarva Shorebirds roster update

Here is an update on the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds roster, courtesy of Shorebirds public relations. The Delmarva Shorebirds, the Class-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, are excited to unveil the 2011 "Break Camp Roster" highlighted by Orioles first-round draft pick Manny Machado. The prospect-laden roster features four players among the farm system's top 30 prospects according to Baseball America; Machado (No. 1), Mychal Givens (7),

Will more wins mean more tickets sold for the Orioles?

Here's a good question: Will the Orioles' 4-0 start and some of the buzz right now surrounding the club translate into more tickets sold at Camden Yards? For the next two nights, the answer to that question is probably "No." A club official said the Orioles are expecting an attendance the next two nights of "between (the) low to mid-teens." That means between probably 13,000

Minor league releases

The Orioles have released the following players, some of which may have asked for and received their releases from the minor league system. Pitchers: John Mariotti, Daurin Tavarez, Chad Thall Position Players: David Anderson, Danny Figueroa, Joseph Donaldson, Gary Helmick (Towson University product), Joe Gaetti, Anyi Tejada, Grolmann Gonzalez, Freuny Parra, Austin Rauch, Randy Winn and Jeremy Shelby. Gaetti was in his first year in

Norfolk Tides release roster

Here is info from a Norfolk Tides press release with roster info for the O's Triple-A squad which opens its season on Thursday. Loads of experience and two local products headlined the 2011 Norfolk Tides roster when it was released Tuesday. Virginia Beach's Michael Ballard and Chesapeake's Clay Rapada are both expected to play big roles with their hometown team after being assigned to Norfolk.

Spoone will get the ball on opening night for Bowie

Right-hander Chorye Spoone will be the opening night starting pitcher on Thursday at Harrisburg when the Double-A Bowie Baysox open their 19th season. Manager Gary Kendall announced his rotation at the Baysox media day at Prince George's Stadium this afternoon. Steve Johnson will pitch the second game and will be followed by Rick Zagone, Tim Bascom and Eddie Gamboa. "Anytime they say you are first

D-Lee feels like his offense is starting to come around

I guess we could look at this as a positive for the Orioles. They are 4-0 right now and have scored just 17 runs with a team batting average of .237 and slugging percentage of .351. Derrek Lee and Vlad Guerrero have a combined .167 batting average with no homers, no RBIs and no extra-base hits. Lee was limited to just 22 spring training at-bats

Jake Arrieta: "It's fun to be a part of this team right now"

Jake Arrieta got tested early in the Orioles home opening win, 5-1, over Detroit today. Three times in the first five innings, he faced Tigers cleanup hitter Miguel Cabrera with at least one man on base. Cabrera, who entered batting .455 with two homers and five RBIs, was retired each time. In the third, Cabrera came up in a 1-1 game with runners on second

Brian Roberts: "An incredible atmosphere out there today."

Brian Roberts has now hit both of the Orioles homers this year. Both his three-run shots broke open a tie score and led to O's wins. His three-run shot today carried the Orioles over the Tigers 5-1 in the home opener. Roberts praised the crowd and quickly noticed the excitement the club has generated with its unbeaten, 4-0 start. "We were in the clubhouse last

O's win home opener to go to 4-0

Earl Weaver threw out the first pitch today. Then the Orioles went out and won using solid starting pitching and a three-run homer. Earl should know that formula pretty well. The Orioles stayed unbeaten, winning their 58th home opener by beating the Tigers 5-1 before a sellout crowd of 46,593 at Camden Yards. Brian Roberts tells Tom Davis about the team effort in the Birds'

O's get to Porcello for the lead

Despite scoring just one run through four innings today, the Orioles had hit some balls hard off Tigers starter Rick Porcello. That continued in the last of the fifth when they produced four straight hits to break the 1-1 tie. Felix Pie led off with a single and reached third on J.J. Hardy's third double of the year. Brian Roberts followed with a three-run homer

Hearing from the Earl of Baltimore

Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver threw out the first pitch before today's game. He was asked what he thought about that and gave a real honest answer. "I don't want my performance to interfere and I certainly don't want to jinx them. We've gotta get a win today," he said. Weaver said he's impressed with the work of current skipper Buck Showalter. "Unreal. He's

Crunching some pregame numbers

* The O's are opening their 58th home season today and are 37-20 all-time in the home opener. They are 4-0 when that first home game comes against the Tigers with the most recent win, by a 6-2 score on April 9, 2007. The Birds have won eight of their last 10 home-opening games. * The O's rank 11th in the AL with a team

Reynolds welcomes the chance to hit in the clutch

With all the talk of Mark Reynolds' homer and strikeouts totals and what they could be this year, we may have overlooked something: The guy has a decent track record of getting clutch hits. "I like hitting with guys on. When you bat with runners in scoring position, it's your job to drive them in. That's the mentality I've had my whole career," he said.

Wieters talks about the O's unbeaten start

Like Orioles fans, catcher Matt Wieters is excited with the team's 3-0 start. But he isn't getting too carried away with it. "It was big to start off the season that way, but it's just three games of 162," Wieters said. "We've got Detroit coming in today and we've got to try to get a win today." Wieters has gotten praise from Buck Showalter and

Orioles bring perfect record to Camden Yards

If any of you predicted that the Orioles would be 3-0 while allowing just three runs,and Boston would be 0-3 while giving up 26, we need to talk. I need some help with lottery tickets. The Orioles put together an amazing weekend performance against Tampa with superior pitching, stellar defense and some timely hits. While the club batted just .222 as a team during the

Looking at the numbers from the Tampa series sweep

*The Orioles swept the three-game series by a 12-3 score. They allowed exactly one run on four hits in each of the three games. They won three with a team batting average of just .222, going 22-for-99 vs. the Rays. They hit just one homer in the series, but it was a big one by Brian Roberts on Saturday night. They had just 11 hits

Buck's Birds sweep Tampa to start 3-0

A weekend of stunningly good pitching ended today with another Orioles win. The O's scored three runs in the top of the seventh to help make Zach Britton a winner in his major league debut and the O's beat Tampa 5-1. They swept the three-game series by a 12-3 score and have their first 3-0 start since 1997. Britton was excellent in his first big

Britton shines in his debut

Another day, another excellent outing by an Orioles' starter. One run by O's starters in 20 innings in Tampa. Sure, I'll take that, works for me. Zach Britton's performance in his debut was outstanding today. It looks like the O's will go to the pen in the last of the seventh. We could not have asked for much more. He will leave this game tied

Adams and Henson likely to start at Triple-A & Mahoney at Double-A

The minor league rosters for the Orioles four full season affiliates are not officially set yet but it appears that second baseman Ryan Adams and outfielder Tyler Henson are likely to begin the year with Triple-A Norfolk. Adams hit .298 with 43 doubles, 15 homers and 68 RBI at Double-A last summer. He had ten hits in 19 at bats in Major League spring training

Talking with and about Zach Britton

As lefty Zach Britton gets ready to make his major league debut today, I am reminded of the fact that Britton has been written about an awful lot on my blog over the last few months. He has always been available for interviews and there are plenty of others that I have interviewed to get their opinions about the 23-year-old prospect. Just about a week

Some stats & facts from the first two games

*Today the Orioles go for a three-game sweep at St. Pete vs. Tampa. They have not swept three from the Rays in their home park since September 30 to October 1, 2005. The Orioles have now won six of their last seven games vs. Tampa and are 4-1 at the Trop during that stretch. They now lead the all-time series, 113-111, vs. the Rays. *The

An exciting win and 2-0 start for the Orioles

From 2 and 16 to 2 and 0. Pitching, defense and a three-run homer. Somewhere Earl Weaver must have enjoyed tonight's 3-1 win over Tampa. For someone like me that enjoys pitching and defense more than a high-scoring game, these have been two very fun games to watch. Yes, like many of you I will bet, I thought Ben Zobrist had hit a game-winning, three-run

Taking a closer look at Chris Tillman

Well, just a few days ago we were wondering if Chris Tillman would make the Orioles' roster and now he is starting the second game of the season. That shows how much in a state of flux this rotation is in right now, due to injuries and pitchers getting hit with line drives As Tillman gets ready to take the mound tonight against Tampa, fans

Looking back at first game and ahead to Britton's debut

The injury to Brian Matusz put a damper on the first day of the season. But if we could put that aside for a minute, the O's performance last night was very encouraging. Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis led the offense, the Orioles made a few very solid plays on defense and Jeremy Guthrie pitched a brilliant game. Guthrie did a great job using his

Guthrie dominant in O's opening win

What a performance by Jeremy Guthrie. After going 8-4 with an ERA of 2.76 after the All-Star break last year, Guthrie opened the 2011 season with eight brilliant, shutout innings tonight in a 4-1 win over Tampa. Ben Zobrist homered off Jim Johnson leading off the last of the ninth to get Tampa's only run. Guthrie gave up just three hits with one walk and

Despite today's news, the O's should not call on Britton yet

Here is a quick thought on Zach Britton. If the Orioles were not going to have him on the opening day roster, and they did not, they should not call him now if they need another starter due to Brian Matusz's back injury. In terms of Britton, that should just not change anything. I think the O's should stick to Plan A and call him

Tonight's pitching matchup: Guthrie vs. Price

Here is a breakdown of tonight's starting pitchers. Jeremy Guthrie will make his third opening day start in the last four seasons for the Orioles. Guthrie is 1-1 with an ERA of 6.35 in his previous day one starts in 2008 and 2009. Guthrie against Tampa in 2008: 5 1/3 IP, 9H, 6R, 5ER, 1BB, 2K. Guthrie against NYY in 2009: 6 IP, 7H, 3R,

A quick glimpse at the O's minor leagues

Even though the Orioles' 2011 season begins tonight, the club has still not finalized its minor league rosters. The full season affiliates don't begin their seasons until next Thursday, April 7 (or Friday, April 8 in the case of Single-A Frederick). What I wrote about Feb. 12 has pretty much come to pass. It certainly appears that the Triple-A Norfolk roster will be one with

Tonight we see if the O's can turn optimism into wins

The long offseason is over and the Orioles begin the 2011 season tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Birds went 7-11 against Tampa last year and have not won the season series against the Rays since 2007. A lot of people expect a major falloff from Tampa this year with all the free agents the Rays lost. I don't see it. I still see

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