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Showalter time

The Orioles improved to 8-1 in series openers under manager Buck Showalter. They were 9-25 before his arrival. Showalter used one of his favorite expressions, saying he didn’t think Brian Matusz was “carrying all his bullets tonight.” He brings up bullets frequently. I hope he isn’t forced to start calling them “wizards.” “He got through it and gave us a chance to win,” Showalter said.

Five-out save (updated twice)

Koji Uehara replaced Michael Gonzalez with one out in the eighth inning and retired the next two batters, fielding a bouncer to the mound and getting the force at second base, and inducing a fly ball to right-center field. Nothing to it. Nobody is warming in the bullpen. Uehara is coming back out for the ninth after throwing eight pitches. No way you take him

More on Markakis (w/game updates)

Nick Markakis became the 19th outfielder since 1900 to record at least four seasons with 40 doubles in his career. Markakis is now tied for the third-longest streak of 40-double seasons. The other three players are in the Hall of Fame. Joe Medwick did it for seven straight years beginning in 1933. Harry Heilman’s streak lasted five seasons beginning in 1923. Markakis is tied with

Matusz no longer cruising

Left-hander Brian Matusz took a two-hit shutout into the fifth inning, but Jed Lowrie deposited a 91 mph fastball into the left field seats with one out and Mike Lowell on base to reduce the Orioles’ lead to 3-2. The Orioles scored twice in the third on Adam Jones’ infield hit and shortstop Marco Scutaro’s throwing error. Luke Scott raced home from first base as

Markakis turning 40

Not his age. He hasn’t been around that long. Nick Markakis just collected his 40th double with one out in the first inning. He becomes the first player in franchise history with four consecutive 40-double seasons. Markakis scored on Luke Scott’s single, giving the Orioles an early 1-0 lead against Josh Beckett. Scott was in a 2-for-21 slump. Brian Matusz got through the first inning

Taking notes

Luke Scott is 2-for-21 since homering off Chicago’s Gavin Floyd. Felix Pie is hitless in his last 12 at-bats. The Orioles have 18 quality starts in their last 26 games. Their pitchers are riding a 26-inning scoreless streak and haven’t allowed an RBI since Alex Rios homered in the eighth inning of Thursday’s game in Chicago. In Brian Matusz’s 26 starts, the Orioles have scored

Roberts in lineup (w/quotes)

Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Luke Scott DH Adam Jones CF Felix Pie LF Matt Wieters C Cesar Izturis SS Josh Bell 3B Brian Matusz LHP Manager Buck Showalter was vague when the subject turned to tomorrow’s potential call-ups. He said some decisions could hinge on the health of the current roster. Asked if he could reveal any names, Showalter replied,

Roberts still uncertain (updated)

Brian Roberts’ status for tonight will be determined after batting practice. Julio Lugo has been cleared to play and will start at second base if Roberts is held out of the lineup. An MRI on Roberts’ left hip yesterday came back clean. No structural damage. He’s just dealing with the soreness. Lugo is fine after being hit on the helmet by a pickoff throw in

Waiting for Orioles lineup (Updated)

You know the drill. The Orioles won’t post their lineup before checking on Adam Jones and Brian Roberts. We might have to wait until after batting practice. Update: Adam Jones says he’s starting tonight’s game against the Red Sox. For the Red Sox: Scutaro SS McDonald CF Martinez C Ortiz DH Beltre 3B Lowell 1B Drew RF Lowrie 2B Hall LF Beckett RHP

This, that and the other

Steelers safety Troy Polamalu reportedly has insured his hair for $1 million. He stole the idea from Jake Arrieta, who did the same thing with his mustache. Triple-A Norfolk avoided being no-hit by Gwinnett’s Scott Diamond last night. Nolan Reimold and Robert Andino doubled for the Tides. Single-A Delmarva shortstop Garabez Rosa has received mention here for his 40-something errors, so it’s only fair for

Checking Norfolk’s rotation (updated)

Left-hander Zach Britton is listed as tonight’s starter for Triple-A Norfolk, with Chris Tillman taking the hill tomorrow night. Tillman is expected to join the Orioles once teams are allowed to expand their rosters on Wednesday. The trick is finding room for him in the rotation. Britton’s chances of coming up appear to be diminishing, but mostly because of space issues, not worries about the

Izzy the answer at short?

I’m savoring my last morning before my daughter starts school. That means staying in bed past 6:30 a.m. and not trying to pack a lunch while half asleep. Tomorrow starts a whole new routine for me, so you’ll see blog comments approved and entries filed a lot earlier. I suppose that’s a good thing. How nasty was Michael Gonzalez’s slider yesterday? Bobby Abreu had no

Koji’s closing again (w/minor league note)

Don’t tell me that Koji Uehara isn’t the closer on this team. Uehara has four saves since Aug. 21. He retired Torii Hunter on one pitch for the final out today to preserve a 1-0 victory and give the Orioles back-to-back shutouts for the first time since July 22 and 24, 2007 (Jeremy Guthrie and, yes, Daniel Cabrera.) Koji’s the closer. I’ll say it again:

New MLB rule?

According to plate umpire Brian Gorman, you can tag a runner with your hamstrings instead of the ball. Who knew? Gorman called out Josh Bell at the plate in the sixth inning after the Orioles rookie slid hard into Jeff Mathis, knocking the Angels’ catcher on his backside. Bell touched the plate as Mathis tried to swipe at him with his mitt. He was clearly

And then there was one (w/Napoli note)

Nice bench the Orioles are sporting these days. Can tomorrow’s off-day, and roster expansion, come soon enough? Julio Lugo left today’s game in the first inning after being drilled on the helmet by Jered Weaver’s pickoff throw. As soon as Lugo hit the dirt, and stayed there, I began reworking the lineup in my head. Ty Wigginton to second base, Jake Fox to first. It

Quick Jones update

Orioles manager Buck Showalter believes Adam Jones could return to the lineup on Tuesday. Having tomorrow off gives Jones another day to recover after being hit behind the left shoulder by a Gavin Floyd fastball last Tuesday. Showalter told reporters that Jones is “more available” today than yesterday. Jones and Brian Roberts will report to Camden Yards tomorrow for treatment. Also, Showalter didn’t dismiss the

Still no Jones or Roberts

Julio Lugo 2B Felix Pie LF Nick Markakis RF Luke Scott DH Ty Wigginton 1B Corey Patterson CF Matt Wieters C Cesar Izturis SS Josh Bell 3B Jeremy Guthrie RHP

J.J. more than OK in return

Vikings quarterback Brett Favre threw two interceptions last night. Save it for the playoffs, Brett. Nice outing by Jim Johnson last night in his first major league action since April 30. Hard to believe it’s been that long. Manager Buck Showalter found an opportune time to take Johnson for a test-drive, in the ninth inning with the Orioles holding a 5-0 lead. The first batter

Bell’s crushing the splits (updated)

Josh Bell has always hit better from the left side of the plate. The splits are so uneven that many fans have suggested that he give up switch-hitting. Team officials have chosen to wait, but they’re aware of the discrepancy. So explain how Bell’s three major league home runs have come against left-handers. Bell just took Scott Kazmir deep with Cesar Izturis on base, giving

While waiting on Jones (still not playing)

Still no Adam Jones in the lineup. This is the fourth straight game without him. Julio Lugo 2B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Luke Scott DH Jake Fox LF Felix Pie CF Crag Tatum C Cesar Izturis SS Josh Bell 3B Kevin Millwood RHP Here’s the Angels lineup: Bobby Abreu LF Howie Kendrick 2B Alberto Callaspo 3B Torii Hunter RF Hideki Matsui DH Mike

Machado Man

If you’re going to get your first professional hit, make it a home run. Don’t fool around. First-round pick Manny Machado was 0-for-5 as a pro before launching a two-run homer in the sixth inning today for the Gulf Coast League Orioles. He had flied out to center field twice this morning after going 0-for-3 yesterday in his debut. He grounded to the pitcher in

For Roberts, it’s hip to be sore

I couldn’t fall asleep last night, so I tried counting Brian Roberts’ injuries. Man, it’s been a tough year for the Orioles’ second baseman and leadoff hitter. I’m afraid to ask what’s next. Roberts is day-to-day with a strained left hip. He told reporters that it began bothering him about a week ago and has gotten worse. It’s doubtful that he’ll play tonight, so look

Roberts joins injured list (updated)

Brian Roberts was forced out of tonight’s game with a strained left hip. Let’s hope his day-to-day is shorter than Adam Jones’ day-to-day. Josh Bell entered the game in the fourth and batted for Roberts in the sixth. He singled leading off the inning and scored with two outs on Luke Scott’s infield hit, giving the Orioles a 2-1 lead. Bell was supposed to get

Quick check of the farm

Lou Montanez hit his second home run tonight for Triple-A Norfolk. Tim Bascom held Charlotte to one run and five hits over seven innings. He threw 89 pitches, 59 for strikes. Ryan Adams is 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored for Double-A Bowie, raising his average to .305. Left Fielder Tyler Henson was 2-for-2 with a double and RBI before coming out of

Waiting on Jones (updated twice)

The Orioles haven’t posted their lineup because they’re waiting to find out whether Adam Jones is healthy enough to play. Update: Jones remains out of the lineup. Mark Viviano reports that Felix Pie will start in center field, with Corey Patterson in left. Julio Lugo is starting at third base. Also, Jim Johnson threw off a mound and is available tonight. Update II: Pie is

A few random notes (plus one more)

In case you forgot, reliever Jim Johnson was 1-1 with one save and a 6.52 ERA in 10 games with the Orioles before going on the disabled list and spending most of his days and nights in Sarasota. Johnson threw two innings on Tuesday for Double-A Bowie, so he should be available tonight if the Orioles need him. They wouldn’t activate him this soon if

Machado’s debut (updated)

Orioles first-round pick Manny Machado played his first professional game today for the Gulf Coast League Orioles, going 0-for-3 with a strikeout as the designated hitter in a 1-0 victory over the Rays. He was lifted for a pinch-hitter before his fourth at-bat. Update: In case you missed it, Machado will work out with the Aberdeen IronBirds on Sunday and most likely play his first

Bordy breaks down Machado

Former Orioles shortstop Mike Bordick just spent three days with first-round pick Manny Machado, though two of them were abbreviated because of the Florida rain. The weather didn’t dampen Bordick’s enthusiasm for the kid. “I think the first impressions were great,” Bordick told me in a phone conversation last night. “He’s got a good attitude. He’s excited about being there. I think those first impressions

Gabino optioned

The Orioles announced after tonight’s loss that they’ve optioned Armando Gabino to Triple-A Norfolk. A corresponding roster move will be announced tomorrow. Jim Johnson will be activated from the disabled list. No big mystery here. Look for Jason Berken to be transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Johnson on the 40-man roster. Gabino served up Alex Rios’ two-run homer tonight. Nice

The one ineffective Jake (updated)

I wouldn’t look for a quality start from Jake Arrieta tonight. He’s allowed three runs, which still makes it possible, but he’s also thrown a ton of pitches. Arrieta threw 350 in the first inning - or maybe it was 35. He was up to 70 after the third, and the White Sox held a 3-0 lead. Arrieta allowed five hits and walked three batters.

Not close to naming closer (updated)

Orioles manager Buck Showalter still won’t allow himself to be pressed into naming a closer, no matter how hard the media tries. Asked about Koji Uehara’s role and whether the right-hander has emerged as the closer, Showalter said he’ll continue to do “what’s best for the Orioles.” That might be Uehara one night and someone else the next. He mentioned how Alfredo Simon is still

Jones scratched

Here’s the new lineup: Brian Roberts 2B Corey Patterson LF Nick Markakis RF Luke Scott DH Ty Wigginton 1B Felix Pie CF Matt Wieters C Cesar Izturis SS Josh Bell 3B Jake Arrieta RHP

Jones in lineup - for now

Manager Buck Showalter suggest that we jot down the lineup in pencil, in case Adam Jones is a late scratch. For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 3B Luke Scott 1B Adam Jones CF Felix Pie LF Matt Wieters C Corey Patterson DH Cesar Izturis SS Jake Arrieta RHP For the White Sox: Juan Pierre LF Omar Vizquel 3B Alex Rios

A few notes

A victory tonight in Chicago would give the Orioles their fourth series win in seven series since Buck Showalter took over as manager on Aug. 3. The Orioles won just four of their first 34 series this year. The Orioles are 1-9 in games that decide the winner of a three-game series, including 0-4 on the road. Their only win came May 13 against Seattle.

A call to arms

The Orioles gained a game on the Yankees last night. You can look it up. Take full advantage of them while A-Rod is gone. Brian Matusz doesn’t look like a young pitcher needs to be shut down in September. He’s allowed one earned run or fewer in four of his last five starts and has posted a 2.32 ERA this month. I’m still wondering how

Closing argument for Koji

Koji Uehara hasn’t been named the closer, but he worked the ninth inning again in a save situation. It was as hairy as his sideburns. Uehara got the first two outs before giving up back-to-back hits, including Carlos Quentin’s triple that drove Corey Patterson into the fence and reduced the lead to 4-2. Uehara struck out A.J. Pierzynski to end the game and notch his

Two big hits (updated)

Matt Wieters was mired in a 7-for-38 slump when he lined a double to left field in the fifth inning that scored Felix Pie for 1-0 lead. Wieters moved to third base with one out and looked like he might be stranded, but Corey Patterson singled to left with two down to increase the lead to 2-0. Two big hits. Patterson was 6-for-16 lifetime against

A few items

Adam Jones probably could play tonight if the Orioles really needed him, but the range of motion in his left arm is still limited after Gavin Floyd drilled him with a fastball last night. Look for him to play tomorrow. Blake Davis hit a grand slam tonight for Triple-A Norfolk, connecting off Durham’s Ramon Ortiz for his fourth home run of the season. Lou Montanez

Jones out of lineup

Adam Jones isn’t in tonight’s lineup after being hit on the left shoulder by a Gavin Floyd fastball last night. Brian Roberts 2B Corey Patterson LF Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Luke Scott DH Felix Pie CF Matt Wieters C Cesar Izturis SS Josh Bell 3B Brian Matusz LHP Here’s the White Sox lineup: Juan Pierre LF Alexei Ramirez SS Alex Rios CF Paul

More Matusz

It’s pretty quiet around here today. Maybe you’re still exhausted from last night’s loss. Or maybe you also closed Seacrets. Left-hander Brian Matusz is pitching on five days rest tonight. His ERA is 3.38 in nine starts this year when getting that extra day, and 3.80 for his career. His ERA is 5.64 in 14 starts this season on four days rest. Leadoff hitters have

The hot left hands

Brian Matusz, who takes the ball tonight in Chicago, has allowed one earned run or fewer in three of his four August starts. Mark Buehrle has lost once in four starts this month, when he allowed four runs (three earned) and 10 hits in seven innings at Camden Yards. He tossed seven scoreless innings in his last outing. For his career, Buehrle is 5-4 with

Fitting J.J. in the bullpen

It took about an hour, but I’m finally able to create a blog entry. I’m having another one of those mornings. Every connection times out and the system is running at a snail’s pace. I lost my patience about 45 minutes ago, but that’s typical. Anyway, I need to file something simple because I’m not equipped to actually flip screens and check statistics and information

Good and bad baserunning

Adam Jones hustled from first to third on Felix Pie’s ground ball single into right field in the second inning. It looked like a gamble with no outs, but he didn’t even draw a throw. At that moment, Jim Palmer noted on the MASN telecast that the Orioles are playing with more energy than he’s seen in a few years. Matt Wieters followed with a

A couple injury updates

Orioles manager Buck Showalter told reporters in Chicago that reliever Jim Johnson could be activated from the disabled list as early as Friday in Anaheim. Johnson threw two scoreless innings today for Double-A Bowie, allowing one hit and striking out three in the first game of a doubleheader against Akron. Ryan Adams’ 13th homer provided all the scoring in a 1-0 victory. Johnson was supposed

Tonight’s lineups

For the Orioles: 2B Brian Roberts RF Nick Markakis 1B Ty Wigginton DH Luke Scott CF Adam Jones LF Felix Pie C Matt Wieters SS Cesar Izturis 3B Josh Bell RHP Jeremy Guthrie For the White Sox: LF Juan Pierre 3B Omar Vizquel CF Alex Rios 1B Paul Konerko RF Carlos Quentin C A.J. Pierzynski SS Alexei Ramirez DH Mark Teahen 2B Gordon Beckham RHP

Having another chance against Gavin

The Orioles will get another look at hometown righty Gavin Floyd, who held them to two runs over seven innings in a 4-2 victory on Aug. 7. Floyd is 2-1 with a 2.54 ERA lifetime against the Orioles, the team that we’ll assume he rooted for as a kid. Nick Markakis is 3-for-10 with two doubles, a homer and three RBIs against Floyd. Felix Pie

Happy Birthday, Cal

I’m heading back down to Ocean Pines this morning and might actually see the beach this time. I’m shooting for tomorrow and Thursday, since it’s overcast today and I’m getting a late start. All I need is for the Orioles to cooperate. No trades or managerial changes. I should be safe. I’m averaging three Joe Mahoney questions a day, so I’ll just mention here that

Quick check of the farm (updated)

Pitcher Daniel Klein, the Orioles’ third-round pick out of UCLA, logged a perfect seventh inning tonight for short-season Single-A Aberdeen. He recorded two outs on ground balls and one on a fly ball. The Orioles view him as a starter, but they’ll ease him into his professional career by having him come out of the bullpen. Brandon Waring hit his 20th home run tonight for

Checking on Reimold (updated)

Nolan Reimold is starting at first base today for Triple-A Norfolk. The Tides are losing to Durham, 5-1, in the fifth. Brandon Snyder has been making the bulk of the starts at first since coming off the disabled list, but he’s not in the lineup. Reimold has posted a .464 on-base percentage in 34 games since July 17. That’s the third-highest percentage in the International

Determining Millwood’s immediate future

Jeremy Guthrie will start tomorrow night’s series opener in Chicago, bringing an unimpressive 7-12 record and a serviceable 3.97 ERA. That’s the same ERA as his counterpart, Severna Park’s Gavin Floyd, who gets a lot more love in baseball circles. Guthrie is a veteran who currently figures into next season’s plans, though he’ll draw interest on the trade market. I know a few rival general

Rowell sets record (w/Norfolk update)

Third baseman Billy Rowell set the record for most career games played at Single-A Frederick when he appeared in No. 334 this afternoon in a 4-1 loss to Salem. I suppose you can file this one in the “dubious” category, since Rowell has spent the last three seasons in the Carolina League after being the ninth overall pick in the 2006 draft. The Orioles considered

Millwood: “I just wasn’t executing my pitches”

Reminds me of the famous line delivered by former Tampa Bay Bucs coach John McKay when asked by a reporter about his woeful team’s execution. “I’m all for it.” Anyway, here’s how Kevin Millwood summarized the first inning: “I got a ball up to Andrus that he hit, walked Michael Young and then threw one right down the middle to Hamilton. So, I just wasn’t

Post-game Showalter

The Orioles were done in today by the three-run homers that Kevin Millwood surrendered to Josh Hamilton in the first inning and Vladimir Guerrero in the fifth. Millwood, as I pointed out earlier, has allowed 38 runs in the first inning this season. “I give him a little bit of an out. He was already warmed up and the rain came and he sat around

VandenHurk’s debut (updated)

Rick VandenHurk walked off the mound to a partial standing ovation after striking out Michael Young to end the top of the seventh inning. VandenHurk walked leadoff hitter Julio Borbon on five pitches before striking out Elvis Andus. He picked off Borbon and fanned Young to complete a 12-pitch inning. VandenHurk’s fastball hit 95 mph. He threw three straight heaters at Andrus - 93, 95

Vlady strikes again (updated)

I joked on O’s Xtra that Rick VandenHurk was keeping busy by directing traffic in and out of the A Lot at Camden Yards, but he actually warmed up in the fifth inning. Vladimir Guerrero hit a three-run homer off Kevin Millwood to increase the Rangers’ lead to 6-1. He was 0-for-2 before that at-bat, but began the day hitting .384 with five homers and

Oh those first inning woes

It happened again. Kevin Millwood gave up runs in the first inning - three to be exact. That brings his season total to 38 in the first inning. Millwood has been scored upon in the first in 13 of his last 16 outings. Only once has he kept the run total to one. Elvis Andrus singled, Michael Young walked and Josh Hamilton homered. Three batters,

Showalter talks about J.J. (updated)

It’s raining hard right now, so we’re not starting on time. The word “monsoon” has been used here to describe the conditions. Instant weather update: It’s already stopped raining and the tarp’s coming off the field. They don’t make monsoons the way they used to. Kevin Millwood will make his 400th career start, joining Jamie Moyer, Andy Pettitte, Livan Hernandez, Tim Wakefield, Javier Vazquez and

More on J.J.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter watched from the home dugout at Prince George’s Stadium last night as Jim Johnson pitched one inning for Double-A Bowie. Showalter arrived in the fourth inning and got a good seat. Johnson entered the game in the top of the sixth and served up a home run to Thomas Neal on a high changeup. Johnson retired the other three batters he

Before the lineup’s posted (it is now)

Players aren’t required to report to the ballpark today until noon. I saw Matt Wieters and Cesar Izturis eating breakfast with third base coach Gary Allenson. It’s a little slow around here. I forgot to mention last night that Adam Jones won’t start today. Manager Buck Showalter wants to rest him for a few days, including tomorrow, when we have an open date on the

JJ update

Orioles reliever Jim Johnson gave up a solo home run tonight to Richmond’s Thomas Neal in his latest injury-rehab inning at Double-A Bowie. He threw 20 pitches, 12 for strikes. Johnson struck out a batter to end the inning. I’m told that his fastball sat in the 93-94 mph range. Johnson also threw his slider, changeup and curveball tonight. So what’s next? The Orioles want

Showalter time

Or maybe it was The Josh Bell Show today. That’s the term manager Buck Showalter used while meeting with reporters following today’s 8-6 victory over the Rangers. “Great to see a smile on his face,” Showalter said. “I’ll tell you what, he’s had some good at-bats. When he collides with the ball, good things happen.” Bell almost hit a third home run, but settled for

Koji’s first save

Koji Uehara picked up his first save in the United States. Manager Buck Showalter used left-hander Michael Gonzalez in the eighth inning. Gonzalez gave up a run on doubles by David Murphy and Mitch Moreland before recording back-to-back strikeouts. Uehara induced a fly ball to right field from Elvis Andrus on an 84 mph splitter after falling behind, 1-0. Michael Young also flied to right

One more Bell fun-fact (updated twice)

Josh Bell became the fourth Orioles rookie to hit his first two major league home runs on the same day. Jim Fuller did it on Sept. 25, 1973. Curt Blefary did it April 17, 1965. And Boog Powell did it May 2, 1962. Cliff Lee hasn’t left a start before completing 6 1/3 innings this season. The Rangers’ bullpen is quiet again, so he’ll continue

Bell tolls again (w/extra fact)

I can’t keep up (that’s what I said). Josh Bell just clubbed a three-run homer to center field, his second today and the second of his major league career. He’s up to five RBIs. The Orioles have hit three home runs in the fourth inning, and four this afternoon. Cliff Lee gave up three home runs to the Orioles during his July 10 debut with

Get Bell that ball (updated twice)

The Orioles are trying to retrieve Josh Bell’s home run ball. They hope it’s the first of many. Bell homered for the first time in 75 major league at-bats, bringing home Felix Pie in the second inning and giving the Orioles a 2-0 lead. Pie led off with a single and Craig Tatum struck out looking - because it’s the thing to do in this

Here we go again

Nick Markakis sat down to breakfast this morning, looked at his plate, and Jeff Nelson called him out on strikes. How is that possible? Maybe it didn’t really happen, but Markakis struck out looking to end the bottom of the first inning. Mark Carlson’s working behind the plate today, and he gave Cliff Lee the outside corner on an 87 mph cutter. Markakis froze in

Showalter discusses JJ, Hernandez, Lugo and more

Manager Buck Showalter may accompany director of player development John Stockstill to Bowie tonight to watch Jim Johnson pitch. Johnson could be activated after throwing Tuesday and Wednesday for the Baysox, or the Orioles could wait until Sept. 1. A decision is pending. Johnson is on the 60-day disabled list, so room must be created for him on the 40-man roster. David Hernandez is expected

Showalter: “Turn the page”

Manager Buck Showalter usually takes the lineup card to home plate only before the first game of a series, but he’ll handle those duties again today. He figures it’s a good idea to wipe the slate clean after last night’s two ejections. “Turn the page,” he said. “It’s part of it. It’s a tough game to umpire, a fast game. I was talking to Larry

Orioles lineup (& Rangers)

For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Julio Lugo SS Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Luke Scott DH Adam Jones CF Felix Pie LF Craig Tatum C Josh Bell 3B Brad Bergesen RHP For the Rangers: Elvis Andrus SS Michael Young 3B Josh Hamilton LF Vladimir Guerrero DH David Murphy RF Bengie Molina C Mitch Moreland 1B Andres Blanco 2B Julio Borbon CF Cliff Lee

The Twilight Strike Zone

We have another afternoon FOX game today, which means a free night to get into all sorts of trouble. Not me, of course, but everyone else. Shortstop Manny Machado will speak to reporters via conference call today at 3 p.m. after signing his $5.25 million contract yesterday in Miami. He’ll be introduced to the Camden Yards crowd on Sept. 3 or 4. Make him feel

Markakis: “I didn’t get one strike thrown to me...”

I passed Nick Markakis on my way back up to the press box. We both did the ol’ head nod and “Hey.” Slightly awkward. Markakis was leaving the family room, not the umpires room. Markakis believes that arguing the first strike call with plate umpire Jeff Nelson in the sixth inning led to the next two strike calls and his eventual ejection. “I was frustrated,”

Showalter: “We’re trying to keep the field level”

Plate umpire Jeff Nelson declined comment after tonight’s game, sending the message through crew chief Jeff Kellogg. Manager Buck Showalter had a few things to say, though he calmed down considerably after his ejection in the ninth inning. Probably a good idea. “It was just an accumulation of a lot of things,” Showalter said. “It’s unfortunate. Obviously, he was having a tough night and you’re

Now it’s Buck’s turn

Plate umpire Jeff Nelson has ejected manager Buck Showalter in the top of the ninth inning with a 2-0 count on Elvis Andrus. Matt Albers’ second pitch appeared to be a strike, bringing Showalter from the dugout. Nelson let him vent for a few seconds before tossing him. Second base umpire Jeff Kellogg rushed over and got between Showalter and Nelson. Showalter’s face was blood-red

J.J. update

Reliever Jim Johnson tossed a scoreless seventh inning tonight at Double-A Bowie, striking out the last batter he faced. Johnson retired the first batter on a fly ball to center and the second on a grounder to short. I’m told his fastball topped out at 94 mph according to the Prince George’s Stadium radar gun. He got the called third strike on a curveball. Johnson

The streak ended; so did Markakis’ night

Jake Arrieta has completed six innings tonight and held the Rangers to one run. He just escaped a two-on, two-out jam by getting Taylor Teagarden to ground into a force. His pitch count is up to 95 and Matt Albers was warming, so it’s going to be tough for him to produce the Orioles’ fourth consecutive eight-inning start. Albers sat down, and Arrieta will return

The ball found Lugo (updated)

That didn’t take long. Julio Lugo froze on a line drive from Josh Hamilton with two outs in the top of the first inning, then attempted to make a leaping catch. The ball glanced off his glove and rolled to the fence, and Hamilton was credited with a double. Looked like an error to me. Vladimir Guerrero swung at the next pitch and flied to

Pre-game this and that

In his last 14 appearances, reliever Koji Uehara has surrendered only one earned run over 17 innings. Manager Buck Showalter has noticed. However, he’s not ready to campaign for Uehara’s return in 2011. “I don’t throw out what’s going on here for a year and three-quarters,” Showalter said. “I know what I’ve seen since I’ve been here. I can see why he was somebody that

Reimold: Gone but not forgotten

Manager Buck Showalter and president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail have discussed bringing up outfielder Nolan Reimold when rosters expand next month. Reimold is batting .247 with 11 doubles, 10 homers, 34 RBIs and a .750 OPS in 83 games at Triple-A Norfolk. As I noted last night, he’s reached base in 30 of his last 31 games, batting .321 with four homers, 15 RBIs

Lugo in left

How much does manager Buck Showalter want to avoid putting left-handed hitters in his lineup tonight? Julio Lugo’s starting in left field. It’s not a huge reach. Lugo has played 18 games in the outfield, most recently patrolling left for one game with the Red Sox in 2008. He played six games in the outfield with the Astros in 2000 and eight more in 2001.

Orioles lineup

Brian Roberts 2B Julio Lugo LF Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Adam Jones CF Jake Fox DH Matt Wieters C Cesar Izturis SS Josh Bell 3B Jake Arrieta RHP The last time the Orioles went four straight starts with eight innings or more from their starter was July 20-23, 1999 (Sidney Ponson, Mike Mussina, Scott Erickson and Juan Guzman.) The longest streak of consecutive

Looking back at the ‘05 streak

As you probably know by now, the Orioles’ last three starters have each gone eight innings, which hasn’t happened in this organization since May 2005. Yes, it’s been a long time. And it’s only occurred twice in the 2000s. On May 3, Daniel Cabrera was outdueled by former Oriole Josh Towers in a 1-0 loss to Toronto. He allowed one run and four hits, walked

Wigginton brings attitude to otherwise easy-going O’s

I’ve been checking out various reports on last night’s game, and one of them mentions how it was “marred” by a sixth-inning confrontation between Ty Wigginton and Andres Blanco. Funny, but it made my night. I had wandered to the far end of the press box to chat up Dave Johnson when the play occurred. I was watching a replay on one of the big

Brian’s song

Before closing my laptop for the final time tonight, I wanted to pass along some quotes from Brian Matusz following tonight’s gem. You might recall that Matusz was 1-1 with a 10.95 ERA in three career starts against the Rangers before tonight. In two outings this year, both in Arlington, he pitched into the third inning in one and finished three in another. That’s it.


Ty Wigginton didn’t want to elaborate on his altercation, if you want to describe it as such, with the Rangers’ Andres Blanco. No sense inciting the players in the visiting clubhouse. We still have three more games left in this series. “The guy did a nice piece of hitting, got the ball in the gap and thought he was going to make a triple and

Showalter time

Not only did the Orioles string together three straight starts of eight innings or more for the first time since May 2005, it’s only the second time that the club has accomplished the feat in the 2000s. “I guarantee those guys in the clubhouse want to try to make it four,” manager Buck Showalter said. “They’re trying to pass the baton now and give us

Temper, temper (& the first runs)

If you don’t want to smack your head and hand on an infielder’s leg, don’t dive into the bag. That’s why God gave you spikes. That’s the popular opinion around here after the Rangers’ Andres Blanco started jawing at Ty Wigginton, who knelt on his right knee to block the bag and apply the tag after taking Brian Roberts’ relay throw in the sixth inning.

Matusz through four (w/Spoone update)

In his last start, Brian Matusz gave up five runs in the fourth inning. Four of them scored on Kelly Shoppach’s grand slam. He was gone after 75 pitches. Matusz took a two-hit shutout into the fifth inning tonight, with one walk and five strikeouts. That’s improvement. Matusz struck out two in the first, on his changeup and slider. He got another strikeout on his

Fact-checking before first pitch (w/minor league notes)

Did you know that the Orioles are 8-8 on Thursdays, their best record for any day of the week? They’re 8-10 on Fridays, including 5-4 at home, so plan accordingly. Since May 12, Luke Scott has posted the fourth-best slugging percentage in baseball at .639. His .396 on-base percentage is sixth-best in the American League and ninth-best in the majors. His 1.034 OPS is fifth-best

Showalter’s philosophy on posting lineups

Not much to report from manager Buck Showalter’s pre-game session with the media. He gave us thorough injury updates yesterday. We already brought up his reunion with the Rangers in this four-game series. “So, do you like...stuff?” We’re still learning about Showalter, and it appears that he’s not the type to post the next day’s lineup early, as in immediately after the previous night’s game.

Orioles lineup

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

Who’s your MVO?

I campaigned for reliever Jason Berken as first half Most Valuable Oriole, and you know what happened next. It’s probably not a good idea to have me in your corner. It won’t do much for your career or your health. A few reporters were standing around the clubhouse earlier this week nominating potential MVOs. Helps pass the time while waiting for manager Buck Showalter to

Post-game Showalter

After winning their first three series under manager Buck Showalter, the Orioles have now dropped two in a row. Matt Tuiasosopo homered in consecutive games in this series after hitting one in his first 30 games of the season. He knocked in seven runs in the last two games after collecting a grand total of two RBIs in his first 30 games. His diving catch

Last chance? (yep)

The Orioles fought back in the bottom of the eighth, scoring once off reliever Jamey Wright and putting the tying run on second base with two outs. Adam Jones looked like he would score easily on Matt Wieters’ slicing fly ball to left, but Matt Tuiasosopo couldn’t pass up another opportunity to torture the Orioles. He made a sensational diving catch - as good as

Desperately seeking a rally (found it)

Which fan among you will be the first to rip the Orioles for letting David Pauley get away? I want this guy in my rotation. He could have owned this town - or at least this ballpark. The Orioles could have renamed the flagcourt “Pauley Pavilion.” They could have sold “Pauley’s Walnuts” instead of peanuts. You could have visited the Cracker Concession. If you were

Pitcher Pauley perfect

Well, since the final batter of the first inning. David Pauley has retired 10 straight Orioles since hitting Adam Jones with one out in the first. Felix Pie bounced into a double play to end the inning, and Pauley has retired the side in order in the second, third and fourth. No joke. The Mariners increased their lead to 5-2 in the fifth. No. 9

That rundown feeling

The Orioles put runners on the corners with no outs in the first inning. Brian Roberts walked and stole second, and Nick Markakis singled. Instant rally against Mariners starter David Pauley. It also brought flashbacks to spring training 2009, but we touched on that subject this morning. Anyway, Ty Wigginton followed with a sharp grounder to third baseman Jose Lopez. Roberts broke for home, and

More random notes

The Triple-A Norfolk box score from last night mistakenly credits Dennis Sarfate with 1 2/3 scoreless innings and one strikeout. It’s actually two innings and two strikeouts. He started the eighth inning. A victory tonight would give the Orioles eight home wins in August, their highest total for any month this season. The Orioles are 1-8 in games that decide the winner of a three-game

What’s next for J.J.?

Reliever Jim Johnson will continue his injury rehab assignment by pitching in back-to-back games for Double-A Bowie on Friday and Saturday. He’ll work out the next two days and go back-to-back again with the Baysox on Aug. 24 and 25. Johnson, on the 60-day disabled list with a sore right elbow, is scheduled to throw one inning each on Friday and Saturday. Johnson has appeared

Orioles lineup

Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Luke Scott DH Adam Jones CF Felix Pie LF Matt Wieters C Cesar Izturis SS Josh Bell 3B Jeremy Guthrie RHP

Does Koji’s performance translate to 2011 role?

I brought up Koji Uehara’s name yesterday during my conversation with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail. As expected, the Orioles aren’t ready to say whether they’ll attempt to re-sign Uehara this winter at a significantly reduced rate. And Uehara hasn’t confirmed whether he’ll return to Japan or attempt to continue pitching in the majors. MacPhail didn’t shoot down the idea of retaining Uehara, but

Looking back and ahead

The rain is a downer, and so is the realization that the Orioles were dominated last night by a pitcher named Luke French. Not familiar with him? Join the club. The Orioles still have that knack for making every new guy look like Cy Young. It’s as much a tradition in Baltimore as John Denver’s voice during the seventh inning stretch. In fact, if Denver

Post-game Showalter

Jim Johnson threw two scoreless innings tonight at Single-A Frederick, allowing two hits and striking out one. He recorded three outs on ground balls and two on fly balls. The Orioles wasted another quality start from Kevin Millwood. They’ve scored 87 runs for him in his 24 outings (3.6 per game), and only 51 (2.1) while he’s been on the mound. In his last 21

Last chance? (updated)

Josh Bell doubled with two outs in the eighth, accounting for both hits off Seattle left-hander Luke French at that point in the game. Brian Roberts reached on an infield hit, and it would have been an RBI single if shortstop Josh Wilson hadn’t knocked down the ball and prevented it from scooting into center field. Two on, two outs, down by a run. Brandon

No longer scoreless (or hitless)

The Mariners just broke a scoreless tie in the fifth inning on Adam Moore’s leadoff single and Matt Tuiasosopo’s RBI double to left-center field. The Orioles are looking for their first hit off Seattle left-hander Luke French, who entered the game with a 4.96 ERA and three losses in four decisions. French has walked two batters, but he’s faced only one batter over the minimum

First inning update (w/minor league note)

It happens with every Kevin Millwood start. The first inning must be reviewed. Millwood didn’t allow a run tonight. Chone Figgins singled with one out, but was stranded. Millwood permitted at least two runs in the first inning in 11 of his last 14 starts. He gave up a single run in the first in his most recent outing, raising the total to 35. Millwood

Tatum not concerned about knee (updated)

Backup catcher Craig Tatum took batting practice and said his knee “feels fine.” “They just wanted to get an MRI, I guess, to see if there’s anything wrong,” he said. Tatum said the knee is sore, but he hasn’t gotten the results of the MRI and doesn’t expect them to be serious. “I can play. I played all day Sunday with it,” he said. “I

Pre-game Showalter

Manager Buck Showalter talked about the Orioles’ ability to overcome adversity, and whether he’s looking for a certain mindset from his players. “Even an umpire’s call. There are so many opportunities in baseball to make something not matter,” he said. “It’s kind of a team thing. If one guy struggles, can you pick him up? It’s a pass-the-baton mentality. OK, let’s turn the page on

Tatum undergoes MRI

The Orioles sent backup catcher Craig Tatum for an MRI on his sore right knee, and they’re waiting for the results. The knee started bothering Tatum during Sunday’s start against Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field. Manager Buck Showalter doesn’t believe that Tatum will need to go on the disabled list, “but that could change depending on what the MRI shows,” he said. Showalter was going

Orioles lineup

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

MacPhail on the midnight deadline

How close did the Orioles come to losing the rights to high school shortstop Manny Machado? Scouting director Joe Jordan estimated last night that the Orioles were down to the last three minutes before the midnight deadline. “I think it was about one minute,” said president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail. Three of Scott Boras’ clients hadn’t agreed to contract terms as we entered the

What will today bring?

A walk-off win and a contract agreement with their first-round draft pick. What will the Orioles do for an encore? A 2 hour, 20 minute game would be a nice gesture - ending with another victory, of course. They’ve posted seven at home under manager Buck Showalter, and four have been of the walk-off variety. Adam Jones accounted for two of them with a single

Jordan: “We’ve got a new player”

The Orioles reached agreement with shortstop Manny Machado about three minutes before the midnight deadline. Scouting director Joe Jordan said the bonus doesn’t exceed the $6 million given to catcher Matt Wieters. “It played the way we thought it was going to play,” Jordan said. “We had a really good read on the financial side, what it was going to take, and again, they played

Jones talks about his bunt

Adam Jones got the idea to bunt just before he squared up. No regrets. “I can bunt. I’ve been bunting this year. Good idea to do it,” he said. “I looked at him (Jose Lopez) and I saw where he was playing me all night, all my at-bats, and when I was on third I was talking to him and said, ‘I’m not going to

Showalter talks about extra-inning win

Did manager Buck Showalter call for the bunt with Adam Jones at the plate, Nick Markakis at third base and two outs in the bottom of the 11th? “Yeah, we’ve been working on that,” he said, grinning. “No. You’ve got good players making good decisions. A lot of opportunities there to throw in the towel and we kept grinding. I’m proud of them. We refused

A walk-off bunt?

That’s correct. Adam Jones laid down a bunt with two outs in the bottom of the 11th to score Nick Markakis, who reached base on his 200th career double and took third on Ty Wigginton’s tapper to the mound. Markakis held on Corey Patterson’s sharp grounder to short, but Jones shocked everyone with a bunt that third baseman Jose Lopez couldn’t pick up cleanly. That’s

Simon serves one up (updated)

Mariners catcher Adam Moore just homered off Alfredo Simon with one out in the 10th inning to give Seattle a 4-3 lead. Moore jumped on a 2-1 pitch, a 95 mph fastball, and deposited it into the left field seats for his third homer of the season. Simon has given up a home run in each of his last four appearances, and in six of

The decision (& the decision II)

Manager Buck Showalter removed Koji Uehara after two consecutive strikeouts in the eighth inning. He brought in left-hander Michael Gonzalez to face Ichiro Suzuki with runners on the corners and the game tied. He could have let Uehara face Ichiro. He could have ordered an intentional walk and let Uehara face Chone Figgins. He could have ordered the intentional walk and brought in Gonzalez. Showalter

Tonight’s version of Bergy (updated)

We’re not seeing the same Brad Bergesen who threw the complete-game two-hitter in his last start. Or the same Bergesen who allowed four runs in his last three starts covering 23 innings. Tonight, Bergesen has given up three runs and seven hits - including back-to-back homers by Russell Branyan and Jose Lopez in the third that tied the game. Branyan’s ball traveled 436 feet. Bergesen

VandenHurk speaks (w/game update)

Newest Oriole Rick VandenHurk is wearing No. 54. VandenHurk found out yesterday that the Orioles were calling him up to the majors - about two weeks after they traded for him. “You never know when it’s going to happen, but I was happy getting traded, to come over here,” he said. “There’s going to be opportunities for me. It’s going to be good. I’m going

Berken MRI reveals tear

The news on Jason Berken is more discouraging than we believed. Berken told reporters that the MRI revealed a tear in his labrum and some inflammation in his rotator cuff. Surgery still hasn’t been considered and Berken didn’t completely dismiss the possibility of pitching again this season, but it seems more unlikely. “There’s time enough for some good rest, and hopefully that kind of calms

More pre-game Showalter

On the challenges associated with losing David Hernandez and Jason Berken in the bullpen: “It’s probably not something that’s foreign here. This year’s been a challenge physically, and I look at it as an opportunity to see some other people and see them rise to the occasion. (Armando) Gabino, we’ve heard so much about his slider and we’ve gotten to see that through necessity some.

Berken to DL (w/quotes)

The Orioles are making the expected move and placing Jason Berken on the 15-day disabled list with a sore right shoulder. Rick VandenHurk is joining the club from Triple-A Norfolk and will be available tonight. Manager Buck Showalter didn’t want to discuss the MRI results until the doctor met with Berken, but he said it isn’t a surgery situation. The Orioles are hoping that Berken

Orioles lineup (w/note added)

Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Luke Scott DH Adam Jones CF Felix Pie LF Matt Wieters C Cesar Izturis SS Josh Bell 3B Brad Bergesen RHP Update: Jason Berken is still awaiting the results of his MRI, but pitcher Rick VandenHurk appears among the relievers on the magnetic board outside the clubhouse.

A call to arms?

So what else is happening today besides the countdown to the midnight deadline for signing draft picks? Well, reliever Jason Berken will undergo an MRI on his right shoulder this afternoon in Baltimore. The results might not be immediately available, but a trip to the disabled list isn’t an outrageous assumption. His shoulder is sore, and rest and treatments aren’t alleviating the problem. David Hernandez

Machado Man

I decided to fire off one more blog entry before bed, which technically qualifies as a Monday morning post. Maybe I’ll sleep an extra 30 minutes. Doubtful. I nap more than I sleep, which is one of my more annoying qualities. And yes, I have many to choose from, but why go there? The Orioles return to Camden Yards tonight to begin a seven-game homestand

Checking on Tillman

Chris Tillman started tonight for Triple-A Norfolk and was charged with three runs and eight hits in six innings, with one walk and three strikeouts. He threw 88 pitches, 61 for strikes. Tillman stands to be the winner with Norfolk leading Charlotte, 9-4, in the eighth. The last run off Tillman scored after Alberto Castillo replaced him. Scott Moore has homered twice for the Tides,

Last chance? (yep)

Ty Wigginton struck out to end the top of the eighth inning after Nick Markakis tripled to center field with two outs, allowing the Rays to keep their 3-2 lead. That might have been the Orioles’ last shot, but we’ll find out. Update: Rays closer Rafael Soriano retired all three batters he faced on fly balls to right, and the Orioles’ streak of series wins

On the catwalk, yeah, on the catwalk

Jake Fox has brought the Orioles within a run by homering in the seventh inning off Rays reliever Dan Wheeler. The ball hit one of the catwalks at Tropicana Field, which forces you to relearn the ground rules. Meanwhile, Jake Arrieta is credited with a quality start after allowing three runs over six innings. He threw 114 pitches, again taking advantage of a long leash

More on Berken and today’s game (updated)

Updating my previous entry on Jason Berken, his MRI is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon in Baltimore. He’s been receiving treatment on his right shoulder for most of the season, but the discomfort behind the shoulder apparently has gotten worse. Manager Buck Showalter watched video of Berken and noticed that the reliever’s mechanics have changed and his pitches aren’t as crisp. Berken isn’t following through on

Berken shut down

Orioles manager Buck Showalter told reporters in St. Petersburg that reliever Jason Berken will undergo an MRI on his right shoulder. Berken has been struggling throughout the second half after leading American League relievers in innings pitched. He’ll be shut down until the Orioles obtain the results of the MRI. Berken gave up an unearned run and two hits in two-thirds of an inning in

Orioles lineup

You’ll notice some changes: Julio Lugo 2B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Luke Scott DH Adam Jones CF Felix Pie LF Jake Fox 3B Cesar Izturis SS Craig Tatum C Jake Arrieta RHP

The pitching matchup (w/a few notes)

The Orioles are facing another pitcher who might not be familiar to a lot of fans. You know how that usually ends. Tampa Bay’s Jeremy Hellickson is making his third major league start today. He’s a fourth-round pick in the 2005 draft who’s 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA. He’s allowed two runs and six hits in 14 innings, with two walks and 13 strikeouts. Baseball

Checking on J.J. and Britton

Jim Johnson’s injury rehab assignment moved to Single-A Frederick tonight. He allowed four straight hits to Winston-Salem in the eighth inning, but only one run. Johnson faced six batters, but he threw only 11 pitches. Pretty strange. I’m told that his fastball sat in the low 90s. Winston-Salem entered the game leading the Carolina League with a .289 average. Triple-A Norfolk left-hander Zach Britton struck

The disappearing offense

Tampa Bay pitching has retired the last 18 Oriole batters. If not for one swing from Adam Jones, the Rays would be working on a shutout. Andy Sonnanstine threw 99 pitches in five innings, but he escaped serious trouble in the first and second and benefited from the Rays’ uprising against left-hander Brian Matusz in the fourth. The Orioles couldn’t make it 11 quality starts

B.J. and the brain cramp (updated)

B.J. Upton went from first to third on Jason Bartlett’s one-out single in the third inning. Good idea, except that Gabe Kapler stopped at third, adjusted his batting helmet and leaned in to talk to his coach as Upton approached the bag. The play’s right in front of Upton, but that’s a minor detail. He was going first to third and nobody was going to

The poles are open for Jones

Adam Jones couldn’t deliver with the bases loaded in the first inning, but he just slammed a ball off the foul pole in left field to break a scoreless tie and give the Orioles a 3-0 lead. Andy Sonnanstine, whose ultimate goal is to reach 100 pitches before the fourth inning, tried to tempt Jones with another breaking ball. It worked. Jones jumped all over

Gray uniforms? (updated)

How boring. The Orioles used a walk to Brian Roberts, an error, a double steal and a walk to Luke Scott to load the bases with one out in the top of the first inning. Who needs hits? The Orioles did. Adam Jones took a curveball that appeared to miss outside, but plate umpire Brian Knight called it a strike. Jones swung through a fastball

Orioles lineup

Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Luke Scott DH Adam Jones CF Felix Pie LF Matt Wieters C Cesar Izturis SS Josh Bell 3B Brian Matusz LHP

A few pre-game notes

The Orioles have won three straight series for the first time since June 12-21, 2009 vs. Atlanta, the Mets and Philadelphia. They haven’t won four straight since Aug. 3-15, 2004, when they went 3-0 vs Seattle, 4-0 vs Texas, 2-1 at Anaheim and 2-1 at Toronto. The Orioles are batting .302 since Aug. 3, the highest team average in the AL and second in the

This, that and the other

So what’s the Orioles’ uniform of the day? Maybe all black with an orange cap and cartoon bird. Or go all orange again until they lose. But please, no pillbox caps like the Pirates wore. A victory today would give the Orioles four straight series wins, all since Buck Showalter took over as manager. This would be the first of the group against a division

Bad uniforms, good result

I sat at the bar at Clyde’s in Columbia and felt myself being transported to my childhood. And not because I drank John Dalys from a sippy cup. Those orange jerseys and pants looked familiar. They were bad back in the day and they’re bad now, but if the Orioles can get four 20-game winners to pose in them, I’ll take back everything I just

Tonight’s lineups

For the Orioles: 2B Brian Roberts RF Nick Markakis 1B Ty Wigginton DH Luke Scott CF Adam Jones LF Felix Pie C Matt Wieters SS Cesar Izturis 3B Josh Bell RHP Jeremy Guthrie For the Rays: C John Jaso 2B Ben Zobrist LF Carl Crawford 3B Evan Longoria RF Matt Joyce DH Willy Aybar 1B Dan Johnson CF B.J. Upton SS Reid Brignac RHP James

Getting to first base

I hope everyone in the area survived the storms last night and wasn’t affected by the tornado warning that made my daughter afraid to take a shower. I explained that she doesn’t have any windows in there, but she said something about lightning and the pipes. I sent her up there anyway. And I’m happy to report that my instincts were correct. That’s a switch.

Pie shaken, Patterson stirred (updated)

Felix Pie appeared to injure his left foot while leaving the batters box on a single in the fifth inning, but he stayed in the game after taking a few practice jogs down the right field line. Corey Patterson watched Pie from the top step of the dugout. Head athletic trainer Richie Bancells and assistant trainer Brian Ebel paid close attention as Pie rounded third

More first-inning woes (updated)

Kevin Millwood gave up another run in the first inning tonight when Trevor Crowe reached on an infield hit with two outs - a play close enough to bring manager Buck Showalter out of the dugout. Millwood had allowed at least two runs in the opening frame in 11 of 12 starts before shutting down the White Sox in his last outing. Opponents have totaled

Tonight’s lineups and notes

For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Luke Scott DH Adam Jones CF Felix Pie LF Matt Wieters C Cesar Izturis SS Josh Bell 3B Kevin Millwood RHP For the Indians: Michael Brantley CF Asdrubal Cabrera SS Shin-Shoo Choo RF Shelley Duncan DH Trevor Crowe LF Matt LaPorta 1B Jason Donald 2B Andy Marte 3B Lou Marson C Jeanmar Gomez

Orioles extend agreements with minor league affiliates

The Orioles announced today that they’ve extended their working agreements with their top three minor league affiliates through 2014. Norfolk has been the Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate for the past four seasons. Double-A Bowie and Single-A Frederick have been with the Orioles since 1993 and 1989, respectively. “We are very pleased to continue our working agreements with the Norfolk, Bowie and Frederick clubs,” president of baseball

Does third base ring a Bell?

Former Ravens cornerback Frank Walker is headed to Miami? I bet the receivers get there ahead of him. If you woke up feeling a little different, it’s probably because the Orioles are 40-74 and the Pirates are 39-74. That’s what happens when one team goes 8-2 in its last 10 games, and the other goes 3-7. Interesting observation from West Coast O’s Fan: Orioles starters

Bergesen’s sleeper hold (updated)

What a perfect description from MASN analyst and former Orioles pitcher and executive Mike Flanagan. Brad Bergesen has applied a sleeper hold on the Indians. I’m waiting for George “The Animal” Steele to jump in the ring and eat a turnbuckle. Bergesen just struck out two batters in the eighth inning, and the Indians seemed dazed as he delivered another breaking ball. All they can

Tonight’s lineups

For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Luke Scott DH Adam Jones CF Felix Pie LF Matt Wieters C Cesar Izturis SS Josh Bell 3B Brad Bergesen RHP For the Indians: Michael Brantley CF Asdrubal Cabrera SS Shin-Soo Choo RF Shelley Duncan DH Jordan Brown LF Matt LaPorta 1B Luis Valbuena 3B Jayson Nix 2B Chris Gimenez C Josh Tomlin

Injured Orioles heading to Bowie

I was preparing to write an entry about outfielder Lou Montanez reporting to Double-A Bowie today when I received an e-mail from the club’s public relations director, Tom Sedlacek, announcing that Montanez and Jim Johnson would report this week. Great minds thinking alike. Montanez (oblique) and Johnson (elbow) are moving their injury rehab assignments from the Gulf Coast League team. Montanez will join the Baysox

Left to figure it out

The wins keep coming - seven in the last eight games - and fans keep wondering how much credit should go to the new manager. I don’t think it’s possible to come up with an exact formula. Would any pie chart - as opposed to a Pie chart - be totally accurate? No matter how you slice it, Buck Showalter has made a positive impact

And so it continues...

I remember when that title conjured up nothing but negative images. But not anymore. Did Buck Showalter spike the Gatorade? I’m running out of ideas. The Orioles are winning games every way imaginable. Low-scoring, high-scoring, tie-breaking, come-from-behind. Tonight, they simply bashed the Indians into submission, erupting for 14 runs in their gaudiest display of the season. Are you sold yet? I don’t know how long

Way to rebound (updated)

I keep waiting for the Orioles to revert to their previous form, and they keep surprising me. I’m beginning to like this arrangement. Jake Arrieta issues a two-out walk in the third inning, commits a throwing error and surrenders a run-scoring single to Asdrubal Cabrera - the Indians first hit - to fall behind, 1-0. No big deal. The Orioles jumped all over Cleveland starter

Tonight’s lineups

For the Orioles: 2B Brian Roberts RF Nick Markakis 3B Ty Wigginton 1B Luke Scott CF Adam Jones LF Felix Pie CA Matt Wieters DH Corey Patterson SS Cesar Izturis RHP Jake Arrieta For the Indians: CF Michael Brantley SS Asdrubal Cabrera RF Shin-Soo Choo 1B Matt Laporta DH Jordan Brown LF Trevor Crowe 3B Luis Valbuena 2B Jason Donald CA Lou Marson RHP Justin

A few notes

Buck Showalter, Earl Weaver and Davey Johnson are the only Orioles managers to start out 6-1 in their first seasons. Did you know that Weaver won his first six games and lost each of his next three by one run? According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Showalter is the first manager since 1924 to win three of his first seven games in walk-off fashion. I’m

Looking back and ahead

I haven’t seen a replay of the Orioles scoring the go-ahead run in the sixth inning last night, but I still find it hard to believe that Paul Konerko didn’t step on first base before throwing home. It sure looked like he did, but he insisted that he stopped and umpire Brian O’Nora agreed. As I wrote last night, it doesn’t change a whole lot

Sorting through the sixth (w/Showalter quotes)

As it turns out, what transpired in the bottom of the sixth inning isn’t quite what we believed. I’ll start by saying that the Orioles’ run still counts. They’re not resuming play with the score tied or awarding Chicago the win. But Paul Konerko never stepped on first base after fielding Matt Wieters’ ground ball. He stopped short and threw home, but Luke Scott was

The decision (w/Tillman update and B-Rob walk-off)

B-Rob walk-off: Brian Roberts just hit his first home run of the season, leading off the bottom of the 10th with a drive onto the flagcourt in right against J.J. Putz. That’s the Orioles’ first walk-off homer of the year, and the first since Matt Wieters on Sept. 16, 2009 vs. Tampa Bay. Manager Buck Showalter pulled Koji Uehara after two perfect innings and gave

Taking the lead (updated)

Tonight’s attendance: 14,135. The Orioles scored twice in the bottom of the sixth to take a 2-1 lead and position Brian Matusz for the win. Matusz is charged with one run and three hits in six innings, with two walks (one intentional), four strikeouts and one hit batter. He threw 99 pitches, 60 for strikes. That’s seven consecutive quality starts from the rotation, the first

Chisox keeping Matusz busy

Brian Matusz has allowed one run over three innings, and the White Sox are making him work hard. Matusz threw 14 pitches in the first inning, 23 in the second and 23 in the third, giving him 60 for the game. (I decided to save you the math.) Brent Lillibridge lined out to open the third, but he saw seven pitches. Matusz hit Juan Pierre

More pre-game chatter and notes (w/GCL update)

Manager Buck Showalter knew a few days ago that Cesar Izturis was approaching 1,000 career hits. The veteran shortstop reached 1,001 in yesterday’s game. “I think about how underappreciated that he is. He’s just solid,” Showalter said. “It’s not always a look-at-me mentality. He just brings it. He’s just solid. That’s the most common description of him from everybody. He’s a guy you can count

Showalter talks about the roster move

Craig Tatum is back in the home clubhouse after going 2-for-21 at Triple-A Norfolk. He hit .271 in 32 games with the Orioles before they optioned him. “Tatum’s been struggling a little offensively down there compared to what he was doing here,” manager Buck Showalter said. “We thought we’d get him back to the big leagues so he could start hitting again.” Tatum’s arrival gives

Tonight’s lineups

For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Luke Scott DH Adam Jones CF Felix Pie LF Matt Wieters C Cesar Izturis SS Josh Bell 3B Brian Matusz LHP For the White Sox: Pierre LF Ramirez SS Rios CF Konerko 1B Quentin DH Pierzynski C Viciendo 3B Jones RF Lillibridge 2B Jackson RHP

What Showalter says about Simon

Manager Buck Showalter must take his pre-game questions black, because this one wasn’t sugarcoated. A reporter asked Showalter about Alfredo Simon, who would pick up his 17th save later in the day. “Based on what you’ve seen, is this guy a major league closer?” “Never overlook an orchid while searching for a rose,” Showalter replied. “We’ll see. You see the stuff and see why he’s

Good and bad from Norfolk (updated)

Let’s start with the good. Nolan Reimold, starting again in left field tonight for Triple-A Norfolk, is 2-for-3 with his 10th home run. He also stole his sixth base, always encouraging news when we recall the Achilles issues that have hounded him since spring training. Reimold is batting .232 with 31 RBIs. Maybe we’ll see him in September. I’d like to think he’ll be a

Tatum’s coming back to Baltimore

The Orioles have decided to recall catcher Craig Tatum from Triple-A Norfolk, and he will be in uniform for tomorrow night’s game at Camden Yards. Tatum replaces Troy Patton on the 25-man roster and will give the Orioles a four-man bench. At Norfolk, Tatum had only two hits in his 21 at bats, knocking in three runs in the process.

Patton’s parting words

Troy Patton’s timing could have been better. He gets called up and the rotation strings together six consecutive quality starts, making his role of long reliever obsolete. “It’s really a tough situation,” he said after the Orioles optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk. “I came up here to be a long relief guy and it just happens to be the one week of the season that

O’s look to keep quality starts coming for Showalter

The rotation has a little competition going these days. Nobody wants to be the first pitcher to ruin the streak of quality starts, which has reached six games. Manager Buck Showalter hasn’t seen a poor start since he got here. Buck Showalter meets with the media following a 4-3 win over the White Sox “I understand, I watched,” he said. “I know it hasn’t been

Close call, but victory (w/roster move)

Roster move: The Orioles optioned left-hander Troy Patton to Triple-A Norfolk after today’s game. A corresponding roster move will be announced tomorrow. Many of us are guessing Craig Tatum, who’s on the 40-man roster, or Scott Moore. Alfredo Simon served up a two-run homer to Ramon Castro with one out in the ninth inning to reduce the Orioles’ lead to 4-3. Tension time. Brent Lillibridge

The decision (w/Morrow & Guthrie updates)

Cesar Izturis led off the bottom of the seventh with a double to left-center field, making him Mr. 1,001. Manager Buck Showalter could have ordered rookie Josh Bell to bunt, which seemed like the obvious call. He could have sent up Julio Lugo to bunt, also a valid option. Bell swung away and lined to right. Izturis was a few steps off the bag and

Here and there (updated twice)

The Orioles and White Sox are tied, 1-1, in the sixth inning. Ageless Omar Vizquel hustled to second base while Juan Pierre was caught in a rundown in the fifth, and he scored on Alex Rios’ two-out single. Guthrie is trying to give the rotation six consecutive quality starts. He’s given up seven earned runs in his last 32 1/3 innings. Toronto’s Brandon Morrow is

Izzy’s Mr. 1,000

Cesar Izturis singled with two outs in the second inning for the 1,000th hit of his major league career. I joked about the Orioles hanging numbers on the warehouse, but Izturis received a loud ovation from the Camden Yards crowd as his image appeared on the video board along with a message of congratulations on his milestone. Felix Pie, who homered two batters earlier, gave

Bench help on the way?

Orioles manager Buck Showalter will meet with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail after today’s game to discuss the composition of the roster. Showalter and MacPhail wanted the Orioles to go through their rotation once before debating whether to add a fourth bench player and return to a 12-man pitching staff. The club has turned in five straight quality starts, with Brad Bergesen and Kevin

Orioles lineup

Brian Roberts 2B Corey Patterson DH Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Adam Jones CF Felix Pie LF Jake Fox C Cesar Izturis SS Josh Bell 3B Jeremy Guthrie RHP Guthrie has posted a 1.98 ERA in his last four starts, with two walks and 17 strikeouts. 1980 Cy Young winner Steve Stone, now a White Sox broadcaster, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

White Sox lineup

I’m still waiting for the Orioles to post their lineup. The door to Buck Showalter’s office is closed, and the only people in the clubhouse are Gary Allenson, T-Bone Shelby and Matt Wieters. Showalter will meet with reporters at 11:45 a.m. Here’s the White Sox lineup: Juan Pierre LF Omar Vizquel 3B Alex Rios CF Paul Konerko DH Carlos Quentin RF Mark Kotsay 1B Alexei

What’s not workin’ for Berken?

Jason Berken took the loss tonight after allowing two runs in 1 1/3 innings. He’s surrendered 13 earned runs in his last 16 2/3 innings over 13 appearances. In his first 27 outings, he gave up eight runs in 45 innings. Berken was kicking himself for walking Alexei Ramirez with two outs in the seventh after Nick Markakis threw out Mark Kotsay trying to stretch

Showalter’s first loss

My good friend David Ginsburg from the Associated Press reminded Buck Showalter that he hadn’t lost a game in years. That’s quite an impressive streak. Can Showalter be satisfied that the Orioles ran off four straight wins before tonight? “No,” he said. “I don’t like losing. I ain’t real happy. The thing about our game is the pluses and negatives don’t last too long. You’ve

Will lost opportunities bring Buck’s first loss? (updated)

It sure does look like the Orioles will regret letting Gavin Floyd off the hook. Jason Berken gave up another run in the eighth on Alex Rios’ single up the middle that scored Juan Pierre, who singled and advanced on a sac bunt. White Sox 3, Orioles 2. Manager Buck Showalter was rewarded the last time he let Berken return for a second inning after

In-game update (w/2 updates)

The Orioles keep letting Gavin Floyd off the hook, and you wonder if it’s going to bite them in the back pocket. Ty Wigginton ran into the final out of the third inning after pausing between second and third base. Adam Jones and Felix Pie singled to open the fourth, but the Orioles couldn’t build on their 2-1 lead. Matt Wieters got ahead, 2-0, and

VandenHurk’s impressive streak ends (updated)

Making his second start for Triple-A Norfolk, right-hander Rick VankenHurk allowed five runs (three earned) and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings against Louisville. He walked two, struck out one and hit a batter. VandenHurk threw 91 pitches, 57 for strikes. Obtained from the Marlins in the Will Ohman trade, VandenHurk had allowed one earned run in each of his last five starts before tonight.

A first for Millwood (updated)

Well, this isn’t the only time that Kevin Millwood has escaped the first inning without the opposition scoring, but it sure feels that way. Millwood had given up at least two runs in the opening frame in 11 of his last 12 starts - and a total of 34 runs. He kept dumping the team in an early hole. He kept getting beat because of

Two injury updates

Jim Johnson made another one-inning start with the Gulf Coast League Orioles today, walking one batter in a 5-0 win over the GCL Rays. Johnson only faced three batters. The leadoff hitter, Deshun Dixon, reached on an error and was eliminated on a double play. Craige Lyerly walked and stole second, but catcher Riley Hornback threw him out attempting to steal third. Hornback was a

Pre-game Showalter - Part II

Josh Bell is in the lineup again tonight, giving him another opportunity to make a favorable impression on his new manager. “We think he’s eventually going to be here, what I’m told,” Buck Showalter said. “It’s just a matter of, does he fit in our plans for the start of next year?” The Orioles really need to figure it out before the free-agent market opens.

Pre-game Showalter - Part I

Manager Buck Showalter isn’t concerned about the defensive lapses that we’ve seen from Brian Roberts since the second baseman’s return from the disabled list. “Of all the things we have to worry about, that’s not one I put at the top of the list. He’s solid,” Showalter said. “When you’ve had periods of time off, people think it’s just a pure hitting thing. There’s a

Tonight’s lineups

For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Luke Scott DH Adam Jones CF Felix Pie LF Matt Wieters C Cesar Izturis SS Josh Bell 3B Kevin Millwood RHP For the White Sox: Pierre LF Vizquel 3B Rios CF Konerko 1B Quentin RF Kotsay DH Ramirez SS Pierzynski C Beckham 2B Floyd RHP

Koji’s contributions

The Orioles have won four in a row. Do I expect them to run the table under Buck Showalter? Of course not. Could they hit the road and fall flat on their faces. Of course they could. That said, I’m perplexed by the number of fans who can’t simply enjoy the moment. This season has been a slow-motion car wreck. The team’s playing much better

The Buck talks here

Buck Showalter moved past Don Zimmer into 64th place on the all-time wins list with 886. We didn’t talk about it tonight. Showalter might have learned something about Adam Jones. You know, that whole adversity thing. Jones pops up with the bases loaded in the eighth and wins the game with a single in the 10th, leading to another mob scene in the infield. “Baseball

Simon done, Berken next? (updated)

Alfredo Simon gave the Orioles two scoreless innings, striking out two in the 10th and stranding the potential go-ahead run at second base. Jason Berken is warming up. Manager Buck Showalter must be testing him again. The Orioles’ short bench only includes Jake Fox. Showalter understood the need for the extra bullpen arm when he got here, but maybe a fourth reserve would be more

The Orioles: A glove story (updated)

We’re still tied, 1-1, heading to the top of the eighth. Brad Bergesen can thank his defense. Mark Kotsay tripled with one out in the top of the seventh, and Alexei Ramirez followed with a grounder to first. Ty Wigginton charged the ball, made a bare-handed pickup and quickly threw home, where Matt Wieters applied the tag after expertly blocking the plate. Ramirez stole second,

In-game update

The Orioles’ rotation has churned out three straight quality starts, and Brad Bergesen could be headed for a fourth after allowing one run and four hits through five innings. The last time this happened? May 29 to June 1, 2009. The pitchers? Bergesen, Jeremy Guthrie, Jason Berken and Rich Hill. Yes, Rich Hill. In Bergesen’s last start, Kansas City’s right-handed hitters were 1-for-18 (the only

The good and bad in the first (updated)

Brad Bergesen threw 13 pitches in the top of the first inning and stranded a runner. That’s good. The Orioles scored a run off White Sox starter John Danks in the bottom of the first. Also good. The Orioles worked Danks for 24 pitches. Still good. Here’s the bad part: The first three batters singled, with Ty Wigginton’s hit producing the run, but the Orioles

Buck’s sixth sense regarding Lugo

Dave Trembley used to hate lineup questions, but I had to ask Buck Showalter about his decision to bat Julio Lugo sixth tonight. We’re accustomed to seeing Lugo’s name at the top or bottom, but Showalter is taking two factors into account: The veteran infielder is hitting .320 in 75 at-bats against left-handers, and the White Sox bullpen includes left-hander Matt Thornton. “Obviously, his track

Montanez update and Chisox lineup

Outfielder Lou Montanez played his first injury rehab game today with the Gulf Coast League Orioles. He started in left field against the GCL Rays and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Montanez, who’s recovering from a strained oblique, told me in a text message that he felt fine and “did everything without pain.” He’s expected to play in at least three more games down there

Orioles lineup

Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Luke Scott DH Adam Jones CF Julio Lugo SS Matt Wieters C Felix Pie LF Josh Bell 3B Brad Bergesen RHP Lugo sixth? According to Elias, Buck Showalter is the fourth manager to win his first three games with the Orioles, joining Hank Bauer (1964), Earl Weaver (1968) and Davey Johnson (1996).

Honoring past Orioles

I’m happy to report that former Orioles pitching coach and manager Ray Miller looks exactly the same except for a goatee that he can wear without violating the club’s facial hair policy. Miller looks terrific, which is a relief after he dealt with a serious health issue during his final season in the organization. He’s a pretty stoic guy, as old-school as they come, but

Showing Showalter what he wants to see

I’m heading over to Camden Yards to catch up with Ray Miller, who will be inducted into the Orioles’ Hall of Fame before tomorrow night’s game against the Chicago White Sox. It’s been years since I’ve seen him. I’m relieved that he’s in good health and enjoying his retirement. Going back to how we’re all learning about manager Buck Showalter, I’m enjoying his thorough evaluation

Passing the Buck quotes

Manager Buck Showalter was asked about the Orioles’ refusal to become deflated after Torii Hunter’s game-tying three-run homer off Jason Berken in the eighth inning. It led to my favorite quote of the night: “I looked for that,” he said. “It’s part of playing, not only in the big leagues, but in the American League. Big, strong, hairy guys here. They hit it where the

Manufacturing a win

I feel bad for Jake Arrieta, but the Orioles just swept the Angels and improved to 3-0 under Buck Showalter. I’ll choose to be happy. I’ll also choose to celebrate another quality start from the Orioles’ rotation. Matt Wieters led off the bottom of the ninth with a double to left-center field off Angels reliever Francisco Rodriguez. Pinch-runner Julio Lugo took third on Corey Patterson’s

The decision (updated)

Jake Arrieta walked Erick Aybar to put runners on first and second with one out in the eighth inning. The Orioles held a 4-0 lead. Arrieta’s pitch count stood at 106, and left-hander Michael Gonzalez was ready in the bullpen. Manager Buck Showalter stuck with Arrieta as switch-hitter Maicer Izturis stepped to the plate. I can think of a manager or two who would have

No longer tied (updated twice)

Nick Markakis must feel guilty about not making that catch in the fifth inning. Markakis gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth with a 416-foot blast off Dan Haren. That’s the eighth home run for Markakis, and he won’t hit them much further. Markakis was 15-for-76 in his last 19 games before connecting off Haren. Alberto Callaspo’s double is the

Arrieta’s dealing (updated)

The Angels have gotten two balls out of the infield in four innings and still don’t have a baserunner. Jake Arrieta has struck out three and fielded three tappers to the mound. Arrieta needed only seven pitches to complete the fourth, raising his total to a whopping 45. He struck out Erick Aybar on a 93 mph fastball to start the inning. Instant update: Arrieta

Patton’s next appearance pending

Troy Patton remembers July 28 with great fondness. It’s the last time he pitched. Patton started that night for Triple-A Norfolk, going 5 2/3 innings in a victory over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He’s back with the Orioles and back in the bullpen, still waiting for a call that hasn’t arrived. The Orioles are saving Patton for long relief, but the starters have been working deeper in games

The Buck talks here

Buck Showalter needs two more wins to pass Don Zimmer for sole possession for 64th place on the all-time list. That subject didn’t come up today. Brian Roberts is in the lineup, but Showalter will monitor him in batting practice. “So far, so good,” Showalter said. “It looks like he’s a go.” Showalter wanted to make sure that he started Corey Patterson tonight, and it

Pre-game notes; Angels lineup

David Hernandez will stay with the team through the homestand before flying down to Sarasota and appearing in a few games. He expects to be ready when he’s eligible to come off the disabled list on Aug. 20. Josh Bell is available tonight. The cramping in his left hamstring is being blamed on dehydration. The same thing happened in Boston. Armando Gabino can pitch in

Gabino here and Orioles lineup

Armando Gabino is listed among the relievers. Here’s the lineup: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 3B Luke Scott 1B Adam Jones CF Felix Pie LF Matt Wieters C Corey Patterson DH Cesar Izturis SS Jake Arrieta RHP

Gentile to be honored

The Orioles have announced that they’ll honor Jim Gentile in a special on-field ceremony before tomorrow night’s game against the Chicago White Sox at Camden Yards. In 1961, Gentile set career highs with a .302 average, 46 homers and 141 RBIs. He finished one RBI behind league-leader Roger Maris, until a baseball researcher discovered several years ago that Maris was credited with an RBI on

Jones: “Everyone knows his reputation”

I found this quote from last night’s game to be especially interesting, since we’re still gauging how players are accepting new manager Buck Showalter. I’ll let Adam Jones do the talking here: “I think what’s really going on is everyone knows his reputation as a hard-ass. He’s going to get on you for doing this; he’s going to say something about everything. I think that’s

Freaky Tuesday and Wednesday

Last night marked the third consecutive game that the opposing starter didn’t last six innings. We’ve entered the Bizarro World. The Angels are a bad baseball team, and it feels strange to type those words. I’m not downplaying a single thing the Orioles have accomplished under Buck Showalter...but the Angels are a bad baseball team. Guys are playing out of position. Can you imagine such

The Showalter must go on

That’s two in a row, but who’s counting? The Orioles held on for a 9-7 victory after the Angels scored the last six runs of the game. “When you get to six innings, can we keep them from scoring eight runs before we get nine outs? I kind of break it down that way. And we did,” said manager Buck Showalter. Special thanks to Torii

Hernandez could be headed to DL (updated)

David Hernandez came out of tonight’s game with a sprained left ankle, and the swelling is severe enough that he’s a candidate for the disabled list. Manager Buck Showalter spoke to president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail about the possibility of a roster move tomorrow. Josh Bell left the game with some cramping, though we’re trying to determine whether it’s back or legs. Doesn’t sound

Strange substitution (& Hernandez update)

We’re trying to figure out why Josh Bell left the game in the top of the eighth. Ty Wigginton replaced Bell at third base, and Jake Fox took over at first. Shortstop Cesar Izturis is the only infielder at his original position. Bell struck out in the seventh. He didn’t appear to sustain an injury. I can’t imagine that he’s being punished for loafing on

Roberts leaves game (updated twice)

Julio Lugo has replaced Brian Roberts at second base. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Roberts has a left shin contusion, according to a club spokesman. I thought the ball hit Roberts on the side of the foot, but I’m not a doctor. Matt Albers will try to hold a 9-1 lead. Update: David Hernandez will try to hold a 9-4 lead. Albers recorded only

Rain delayed reaction (updated)

The tarp is on the field and the rain is coming down hard. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Update: Now the tarp’s off the field and play is expected to resume at 9:40 p.m. Tonight’s attendance: 13,467. Brian Matusz was done for the night, no matter the weather. He allowed one run and seven hits over six innings, walked none and struck out three.

Matusz through four (updated three times)

The Angels have collected six hits off Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz through four innings. Half of them haven’t left the infield. The only run scored on a broken-bat grounder by Mike Napoli in the fourth. Howie Kendrick doubled and moved to third on a grounder. Matusz hasn’t walked a batter, which is encouraging when you consider that he issued 13 in his last four starts

Another painful moment for Roberts (updated)

Angels catcher Jeff Mathis nailed Brian Roberts on the left foot with a pickoff throw in the first inning, but the Orioles’ leadoff hitter stayed in the game. Roberts is in obvious pain, but at least it’s not his back. Head athletic trainer Richie Bancells and manager Buck Showalter checked on Roberts, who was limping as he took a stroll on the basepaths. The way

Showalter’s bullpen philosophy

It’s not surprising that we’re learning more about new manager Buck Showalter with each passing day. Showalter already has established that he’s not ready to anoint a closer and he doesn’t care about saves. He also doesn’t want his relievers warming up if they’re not going to pitch. We tend to forget that a reliever might not enter a game for three or four days,

On this date (w/Angels lineup)

Left-hander Brian Matusz, who starts tonight, made his major league debut in Detroit exactly one year ago and picked up his first win. In 2002, Ty Wigginton hit his first major league home run, a three-run shot off Arizona’s John Patterson. The Orioles named Triple-A Norfolk right-hander Armando Gabino as the organization’s minor league Pitcher of the Month for July after he went 3-0 with

Orioles lineup

Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Luke Scott DH Adam Jones CF Felix Pie LF Matt Wieters C Josh Bell 3B Cesar Izturis SS Brian Matusz LHP

Brian’s sad song

Left-hander Brian Matusz takes the mound tonight with only one win since April 18, a stretch of futility that I never would have imagined possible back in spring training. Maybe an offense that was so clutch last night will support him. And maybe new manager Buck Showalter will stick with him longer. Matusz hasn’t completed the sixth inning in his last four starts. He’s surrendered

Going for two in a row

I was going to wear my Felix Pie T-shirt this morning, but I took a bad route to the dresser and didn’t get there in time. Seriously, though... Pie played an outstanding left field last night. He was aggressive going to the ball and ran down a few near the line that saved his pitchers. Probably the best he’s looked all season. Didn’t stop me

Putting on a good Showalter

Manager Buck Showalter asked the first question tonight. “What was time of game?” Told that it lasted a mere 2 hours, 23 minutes, he replied, “Everybody’s happy here, right?” Right. And there’s nothing like a victory to set the tone for the remainder of the season. Right? “It’s not imperative, but I’m excited about it and I hope the players are,” Showalter said. “You always

Buck’s first big decision (updated twice)

Remove Jeremy Guthrie after seven innings or send him back out for the eighth? That was the decision facing new manager Buck Showalter, and he chose to pull Guthrie after 92 pitches and bring in left-hander Michael Gonzalez with the top of the order coming up. Showalter wanted Gonzalez to face the two switch-hitters and a left-hander. Gonzalez responded by getting two quick outs, allowing

The uprising (updated)

The Orioles scored four times in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 5-2 lead. Luke Scott greeted reliever Francisco Rodriguez with a two-run bomb to right field, and Josh Bell collected his first major league RBIs with a two-run double to left after Felix Pie singled and Matt Wieters was walked intentionally. Wieters scored all the way from first base, which won’t

Mid-game update

Did you know that Angels starter Trevor Bell is the grandson of Bob Bell, the original Bozo the Clown for WGN-TV in Chicago from 1960 until 1984? You can’t make this stuff up. You can, however, make up your own joke. Both teams were shut out through four innings, but Howie Kendrick just ripped a two-run homer to left field with no outs in the

And so it begins

Buck Showalter received a nice ovation as he jogged to home plate for the exchange of lineup cards, and again as he returned to the bench. The crowd’s too small for an ear-piercing welcome, but he was warmly received. Standing at the plate with his arms folded, Showalter bears a striking resemblance to Earl Weaver. That’s especially true if you’re looking down at the field.

Notes and pre-game Showalter - Part II

Going back to Chris Tillman’s start today for Triple-A Norfolk, he allowed all four runs and six hits in the first inning. He blanked Indianapolis on three hits over the next four innings. That’s still not a roll, but it’s encouraging that he settled down. Here’s the Angels lineup: Aybar SS Izturis 2B Abreu LF Hunter RF Matsui DH Callaspo 3B Kendrick 1B Napoli C

Pre-game Showalter - Part I

The Orioles’ tentative schedule for 2011 includes interleague home games against the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals, and road trips to Pittsburgh and Atlanta. They’ll also engage in the usual home-and-home series with the Nationals. Though it’s subject to change, the Orioles are currently slated to open the season at Tropicana Field for the second straight year, beginning on April 1. The first home

Orioles lineup

Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Luke Scott DH Adam Jones CF Felix Pie LF Matt Wieters C Josh Bell 3B Cesar Izturis SS Jeremy Guthrie RHP

Another rough outing for Tillman

Chris Tillman can’t seem to get on a roll during his latest stint at Triple-A Norfolk. He allowed four runs and nine hits over five innings today against Indianapolis, with two walks and four strikeouts. He also threw two wild pitches, committed a throwing error and departed with his pitch count at 81. Tillman has surrendered 13 earned runs (15 total) and 24 hits, and

Trying to Buck a losing trend

Did you know that, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Orioles can become the first team in history to have three managers work at least 50 games apiece in the same season? Buck Showalter can complete the Triple Crown if he doesn’t change his mind in September. I don’t think the buzz over Showalter’s debut tonight will match the one that accompanied Matt Wieters’

VandenHurk dazzles in debut

Rick VandenHurk went seven innings tonight for Triple-A Norfolk and held Indianapolis to one run and four hits. He walked one and struck out four. VandenHurk left the game after 97 pitches, 64 for strikes. The right-hander, obtained from the Marlins for reliever Will Ohman at the non-waiver deadline, has allowed one earned run in each of his last five starts - the previous four

Adleman: No baserunners through six (updated three times)

And no Buck Showalter quotes in this entry. Aberdeen’s Timothy Adleman, a 24th-round draft pick this year out of Georgetown University, hasn’t allowed a baserunner through six innings in his start against Staten Island. He’s struck out five. Update: Adleman walked the leadoff batter in the seventh. Another batter reached on a two-out error. Update II: Adleman was removed after seven innings and no hits.

One more Showalter note; J.J. update

Buck Showalter modeled his new Orioles’ jersey today, which included No. 26 to honor the late Johnny Oates. It was one of the more memorable scenes to come out of today’s press conference. “The first thing, our kids looked at the media guide and my son Nathan said, ‘Dad, Mr. Samuel’s got No. 11,’ and I said, ‘Well, he’ll keep it.’ That’s just part of

More Showalter-speak

I’ve transcribed a few more quotes from new manager Buck Showalter: “You look at every job like it’s your last one. This is where you want to have your career end, on your own terms, but we all know that’s real naïve. I’ve got it. But you roll the dice. You really do. And people who have trouble with that accountability don’t last very long.

Quotes from the press conference

Here is part of Andy MacPhail’s opening statement: “What we have currently in our franchise is we have a young core of players who are struggling and have taken a step backwards. They haven’t been exposed to a winning-type environment. We for the last couple months have been trying to find somebody that has had some experience at creating that winning environment, that has been

A few notes from Showalter’s press conference

The press conference introducing Buck Showalter as manager lasted about 43 minutes and included a few unexpected quips. He often wears a serious look, but he also has a nice sense of humor. O’s officially announce the hiring of their new skipper Buck Showalter Part 1 I’ll attach some quotes later, but I wanted to pass along a few points: * Juan Samuel will remain

Showalter time

I’m loading up my car and heading back to Sykesville so I can change clothes and head to Baltimore for Buck Showalter’s noon press conference at Camden Yards. Sounds like a plan. I’ve never dealt with Showalter, never had a single conversation with him, and have no idea how he interacts with the media. He’s been one of us at ESPN, which could prove beneficial

Checking on Zach (updated)

Zach Britton lasted four innings tonight for Triple-A Norfolk, allowing four runs (two earned) and four hits, walking two, striking out two and throwing two wild pitches. He threw 74 pitches, 35 for strikes. I wouldn’t say he’s kicking down the door right now, but a little defensive support would have been nice. More on that later. The Tides and Indianapolis are tied, 6-6, in

Juan more loss for the road

The Orioles squandered another scoring opportunity, putting runners on first and second with no outs in the ninth. Nick Markakis swung at the first pitch and bounced into a 1-6-3 double play. Dagger. I had to hold down my father so he didn’t launch himself through the ceiling. The first pitch? A tapper to the mound? Go ahead and scream at the top of your

Wasted days and wasted nights

The Orioles loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth inning, but Julio Lugo struck out on a high fastball. Alex Gordon immediately made them pay, leading off the bottom half of the inning with a home run. The Orioles loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth and knocked Bruce Chen from the game, but they only scored one run after Josh

Win one for Juan?

I didn’t mean on this road trip. Kevin Millwood gave up three runs and four hits in the first inning today, continuing that disturbing trend of being incredibly slow out of the gate. He’s permitted at least two runs in the first inning in 11 of his last 12 starts. The Orioles ignored my previous suggestion of using a reliever in the first and bringing

Today’s lineups

For the Orioles: Julio Lugo 2B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Luke Scott DH Adam Jones CF Felix Pie LF Jake Fox C Josh Bell 3B Cesar Izturis SS Kevin Millwood RHP For the Royals: Chris Getz 2B Jason Kendall C Billy Butler 1B Jose Guillen DH Wilson Betemit 3B Alex Gordon LF Mitch Maier RF Yuniesky Betancourt SS Gregor Blanco CF Bruce Chen

Yesterday’s fury of inactivity

Brad Bergesen didn’t get the win last night because Billy Butler hit a two-run homer off David Hernandez in the eighth inning. Painful, yes, but not the same as taking a Butler line drive off your shin. If you put it in perspective...well, never mind. It still hurts. It’s just a different kind of hurt. The Orioles need to avoid playing the Royals around the

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