Orioles news and notes

Orioles news and notes
A couple of Orioles stats and facts to check out as Zach Britton takes the mound in Chicago today in Game 3 of a four-game series in search of his fifth win. * When starting pitcher Chris Tillman gave up just one earned run over five innings last night, it was the sixth time over the last 11 games an O's starter allowed two earned runs or fewer. They have had eight quality starts in that stretch and the starters' ERA is 3.29 over the 11 games. * In this series, the Orioles' bullpen has...
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Orioles top White Sox 6-2 to take first two games of series

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 Gary Thorne about Michael Gonzalez's outing in the O's 6-2 win Chris Tillman allowed just one run over five-plus innings in his...
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Gonzalez, Tillman and Andino come up big as O's lead 2-1 in seventh

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 Rios hit a fly ball to medium center field. Adam Jones made the catch and a nice one-hop throw home, but Jake Fox could not hang on to the throw and a run...
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Orioles' minor league teams are playing well now

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 has won eight in a row to improve to 13-9. That is the Shorebirds' longest win streak since a nine-gamer in May of 2006. At Norfolk, Brandon Snyder is...
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Check out this audio of Machado's latest homer (updated with minor league moves)

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. Machado hits tape-measure homer by smelewski Bret tells me that long-time followers of the Shorebirds say...
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Two managers, two different approaches

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 the first four in the order - Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, Lee and Vlad Guerrero - have batted...
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Is Orioles rotation starting to get on a roll?

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 has lowered the ERA for the starters on the year from 4.68 to 4.11. Four different pitchers have contributed to the run and...
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O's pull it out but Guthrie gets no decision

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. Guthrie pitched six scoreless innings tonight, left with a 4-0 lead and still did not win. What else can the guy do? Koji Uehara as closer talk could cool after he gave...
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A bloop and two blasts

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. If the Sox catch that ball, you can make a case the Orioles get no runs in that inning. Scott's blast was the 53rd onto Eutaw Street in the history of Camden Yards...
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Battling Beckett

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 5 RBIs. Adam Jones: 6-for-23 (.261), with no homers and 1 RBI. Mark Reynolds: 1-for-3 (.333) with no homers...
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Snyder extends batting streak in Norfolk's loss

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 a three-run homer for the Tides and Tyler Henson knocked in two runs. Leadoff hitter Matt Angle went 0-for-5 to drop his...
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With improved changeup, Johnson off to a good start

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 has always had a good changeup," manager Buck Showalter said. "(Pitching coach) Mark (Connor) and he worked hard at taking a little more velocity off it...
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Minor league notes on Schoop, Avery and Pelzer

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. Xavier Avery went 4-for-8 as the Baysox split a doubleheader last night. Avery got thrown out once on the bases in each game, just the second and third times he has been caught stealing this year. Avery's 13 stolen bases leads the...
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O's hold their own against Boston

O's hold their own against Boston
Don't look now, but since going
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Quick note on Boston starting pitching

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 against Baltimore and it went up to 3.26 tonight. Boston pitching gave up just five runs total in its four-game sweep of Los Angeles and...
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The lefties against the lefty tonight

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 the majors since April 16. Those five Boston batters have a combined average coming into tonight of .228 versus...
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Buck on Markakis: "He'll be there."

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 it for granted when a slumping player says "my numbers will be there in the end," but even Showalter said when it comes to Markakis, that will be true....
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Arrieta gets 2011 off to promising start with four quality starts

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 season off to a good start. "I just think that every step of the way throughout my career I've been able to make adjustments and find a way to...
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Orioles pitchers raised kids' spirits during hospital visit

Orioles pitchers raised kids' spirits during hospital visit
While fans must be enjoying the good starting pitching they have seen from some of the young Orioles starters, you may not know these guys are pretty solid people, as well. Pitchers Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta and Jeremy Guthrie recently paid a visit to the kids at Johns Hopkins Children's Center. They did this because they really wanted to and not so someone like me would write it about. They did it to help some kids who face real challenges right now and not because someone from the Orioles...
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Derrek Lee and slow starts in April

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 and an OPS of .972. He finished ninth in the National League Most Valuable Player vote that year. None of this means he will have a season like that this year, but it...
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