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Good stuff from Gonzalez (updated)

The last time Michael Gonzalez took the mound, he threw 25 pitches in one-third of an inning and was booed by the Camden Yards crowd as he walked to the dugout with his head down. Gonzalez was charged with two runs and two hits in a 6-2 loss to the Red Sox on Thursday. He was encouraged afterward, despite the numbers, and manager Buck Showalter

A few observations (updated)

Not to keep comparing Matt Wieters to Jake Fox behind the plate, but Adam Jones’ throw to the plate in the sixth easily beat Alexei Ramirez. However, Fox couldn’t hold onto the ball, and Alex Rios was credited with a sacrifice fly that cut the Orioles’ lead to 2-1. Pretty gutsy of manager Buck Showalter to bring in left-hander Michael Gonzalez with the bases loaded

Orioles receive Hester to complete Reynolds trade

When the Orioles traded relievers David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Dec. 6 for third baseman Mark Reynolds, they also were supposed to receive a player to be named later. It’s later. And he’s been named. The Orioles also have received catcher John Hester, who was assigned to Triple-A Norfolk. Hester, a 13th-round pick out of Stanford in the 2006 draft,

Orioles and White Sox lineups

With an afternoon game looming tomorrow, Jake Fox will start behind the plate tonight while Matt Wieters rests. For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee 1B Vladimir Guerrero DH Luke Scott LF Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 3B Jake Fox C Robert Andino SS Chris Tillman RHP For the White Sox: Juan Pierre LF Alexei Ramirez SS Carlos Quentin RF Paul

A few random pregame notes

I hope you’re not playing a drinking game where you do a shot each time Vladimir Guerrero draws a walk. Then again, if you plan on driving later, it’s the perfect game. Guerrero is the first non-pitcher in Orioles history to not draw a walk in his first 100 plate appearances. He walked 35 times with the Rangers last season. If it happens during a

Now it’s Tillman’s time

Too bad White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen didn’t tweet last night. I bet he could have strung together lots of profanities in 140 characters. Brian Roberts leads the Orioles with 19 RBIs. If you predicted it back in spring training, you’re wasting your talents doing whatever you do for a living. It was interesting that Roberts told reporters in Chicago he’s been dealing with a

Wieters busting out, Orioles win 10-4

I had to use some form of the word “bust.” Matt Wieters is having himself quite a night. He’s doubled, homered, driven in four runs and scored twice, and the Orioles have taken a 10-4 lead over the White Sox in the seventh inning. Wieters is 9-for-10 with two doubles, three homers and 15 RBIs with runners in scoring position this season. With two outs,

Observations on Scott and Lee (and Wieters, Rapada)

Luke Scott was 0-for-8 against left-handers this season before homering off White Sox starter John Danks in the top of the fourth inning. Scott is a career .242 hitter in 476 at-bats against southpaws, compared to .275 in 1,612 at-bats against right-handers. Derrek Lee has hit safely in seven of his last nine games. He’s got seven hits in his last 16 at-bats, with RBIs

Unraveling early for Arrieta (updated)

Jake Arrieta had gone six innings in four of his five starts this season. Doing it again tonight will be a challenge. Arrieta gave up three runs in the bottom of the second inning tonight, two coming on A.J. Pierzynski’s home run. A double by Mark Teahan and a two-out single by Juan Pierre increased Chicago’s lead to 3-0. Run-scoring singles by Brian Roberts and

Reimold homers tonight

Triple-A Norfolk left fielder Nolan Reimold hit a two-run homer in the first inning tonight, giving the Tides an early lead against Indianapolis. Reimold, who connected against former Orioles left-hander Brian Burres, is batting .250 with three homers and 11 RBIs. Josh Bell remains out of the lineup with a sore left knee. Blake Davis is starting at third base. Also, Orioles manager Buck Showalter

Orioles lineup against White Sox

Here’s the lineup that the Orioles will use tonight while attempting to improve on their 1-5 record against left-handed starters: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee 1B Vladimir Guerrero DH Luke Scott LF Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 3B Matt Wieters C Robert Andino SS Jake Arrieta RHP

Guillen won’t manage against Orioles for two nights

Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen won’t be in the dugout for the first two games of his team’s series against the Orioles, which begins tonight at U.S. Cellular Field. Major League Baseball sent out a press release announcing that Guillen has been suspended two games and fined an undisclosed amount for “his actions on the field following the top of the first inning of

Random pregame notes

The Orioles are in search of their 11th win of the season after not winning their 11th game in 2010 until May 13. They’re 4-4 in series-opening games this year and 18-8 since Buck Showalter took over as manager Aug. 3. Adam Jones has hit safely in nine of his last 12 games, raising his average from .189 to .231. Derrek Lee has batted .297

Going badly for Gonzalez

Last night’s 6-2 loss to the Red Sox has to be hung on the bullpen. Brad Bergesen allowed two runs over six innings in his best start of the season, but Jim Johnson and Michael Gonzalez were charged with two runs apiece, and Jason Berken let two inherited runners score. The offense managed only two runs and four hits, but I wasn’t expecting fireworks with

Bergesen and Johnson talk about 6-2 loss

I’ll start with Brad Bergesen: Brad Bergesen meets with the media in the locker room after the Orioles 6-2 loss to Boston “Tonight, I felt like I kept us in the ballgame,” he said. “I was facing a tough lineup like that and you know (Jon) Lester, his career against the Orioles, I knew just every pitch mattered tonight. I think the biggest thing for

Gonzalez on Gonzalez

Left-hander Michael Gonzalez allowed an inherited runner to score tonight, and he was charged with two runs of his own to raise his ERA to 13.50. Michael Gonzalez talks about how good he felt on the mound even though he had a tough night against the Red Sox “I feel bad about giving up that run of J.J.’s. I didn’t want to give up (Johnson’s)

Postgame Showalter

Manager Buck Showalter talked about pitchers Brad Bergesen, Michael Gonzalez and Jim Johnson following tonight’s 6-2 loss to the Red Sox. Buck Showalter sits down with the media to talk about the O’s 6-2 loss to Boston On Bergesen: “Pretty good, pretty good. He gave us a good chance to win, something we talked about before the game. He made some pitches when he had

J. Johnson gives up run, S. Johnson shines

The Redskins are on the clock. Owner Daniel Snyder wants a pass rusher. He’s trying to draft Dexter Manley. Jim Johnson allowed the tie-breaking run with two outs in the seventh on Dustin Pedroia’s second infield hit, a swinging bunt that Mark Reynolds tried unsuccessfully to barehand. Carl Crawford scored after leading off the inning with a double. Double-A Bowie gained a split of its

Updating here and there (Bergy done)

I just found out that I’m on the clock, so I better hurry and file an entry. I hope you consider this blog a need pick. Brad Bergesen has held the Red Sox to two runs over five innings, both RBIs coming from Adrian Gonzalez. He’s allowed four hits, walked one and struck out three. Bergesen has retired seven in a row. He’s thrown 68

Lee cracks goose egg with RISP (updated)

Derrek Lee was 0-for-14 with runners in scoring position before lining a single into left field in the bottom of the first inning. Brian Roberts trotted home and the Orioles tied the Red Sox, 1-1. Lee has three RBIs this season, the other two coming on his only home run on April 6. OK, so he was due. Lee had three hits last night and

Matusz: “Big step forward today” (updated)

The news keeps getting better regarding Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz. As I wrote in my last entry, Matusz threw a 35-pitch bullpen session this afternoon and said the pain and irritation are gone. He threw fastballs, he spun the ball, and he walked away feeling like it won’t be much longer before he’s ready to start for the Orioles. “It went really well,” he said.

Injury updates

It’s time once again for the injury update portion of my blog. Sit back and enjoy. Brian Matusz threw 35 pitches in today’s bullpen session, including his two- and four-seamer, and a couple changeups and curveballs. He told reporters that he didn’t feel any pain. You couldn’t wipe the smile off his face. I’ll post his comments later. Shortstop J.J. Hardy felt much better today

Matusz throwing, sun shining (w/ Orioles lineup)

Left-hander Brian Matusz is in the middle of his bullpen session as I type this blog entry. He’s on the rubber, and he’s supposed to throw his curveball, as well as his fastball. Looks and sounds like a real side session to me. Pitching coach Mark Connor is standing next to him. Chris Jakubauskas also is scheduled to throw a bullpen session today. I was

About last night ...

I had to remind myself that the Orioles won last night. It felt a little bit like a loss after the Red Sox scored four runs in the top of the eighth. Fortunately, there also was a bottom of the eighth. This was the type of game that normally would have ended in defeat. We’ve lived it too many times over the last 13 seasons.

More postgame chatter after 5-4 win

So what does tonight’s 5-4 win say about the Orioles? Let Luke Scott answer that one. “That we have a lot of heart,” he said. “We’ve got to continue to play that way, as far as never give up, play the game nine innings hard, and at the end of the day if we’re on top, great, let’s celebrate, enjoy it for the night. If

Showalter speaks after 5-4 win

Manager Buck Showalter could be excused if he felt dizzy from riding that roller coaster in the eighth inning. The Orioles lead by four. The game is tied. The Orioles lead by one. The Orioles win by one. Showalter was impressed with the way his club handled the adversity. Buck Showalter meets with the media following the O’s 5-4 victory over the Red Sox “I

Bullpen implosion (updated)

Jeremy Guthrie will have to settle for a no-decision. I thought manager Buck Showalter made the right call bringing back Jeremy Accardo for the eighth inning. Accardo threw seven pitches, all of them for strikes, while cruising through the seventh. No reason to pass the baton. Well, Showalter has done it a few times in the eighth. Accardo was done after Jacoby Ellsbury’s leadoff single

Guthrie’s done, Scott doesn’t wear one

Jeremy Guthrie’s pitch count forced him out of tonight’s game, not the Boston Red Sox. Well, the Red Sox made him throw 111 pitches, but they couldn’t score off him. He scattered seven hits, walked one and struck out six. Jeremy Accardo will pitch the seventh with the Orioles holding a 4-0 lead. Guthrie has allowed two runs or fewer in four of his five

Scott and Jones go back-to-back

The Orioles gave Jeremy Guthrie a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning. Somebody pass the smelling salts. Luke Scott hit a two-run shot with two outs, the ball traveling an estimated 426 feet before landing on Eutaw St. Adam Jones followed with a drive that barely cleared the left field fence, but it also counted. Scott admired his shot, and Josh Beckett made sure the

Guthrie in a groove (updated)

Jeremy Guthrie fell into an early jam tonight, putting runners on second and third with one out in the top of the first inning. But he struck out Kevin Youkilis and retired David Ortiz on a shallow fly ball to left field, leaving the game scoreless and his pitch count at 24. It’s mostly been a breeze for Guthrie since the first. He’s retired seven

Not born to run in 2011

The Orioles have four stolen bases in five attempts this season to rank last in the majors. It hasn’t gone unnoticed by manager Buck Showalter and his coaching staff. “We talked about it a little yesterday in the advanced meeting, but you’d probably be surprised how many guys are on their own to run,” Showalter said. “You know what happens a lot is guys don’t

Notes and quotes before tonight’s game

In Jeremy Guthrie’s 17 losses since the start of the 2010 season, the Orioles have scored 24 runs while he was in the game (1.41 runs per game), and 39 total (2.29 runs per game). They’ve scored three runs or fewer in 21 of his 36 starts, and eight runs in his four starts this year. They’ve scored two runs in his last three starts

Injury updates

Brian Matusz (intercostal) and Chris Jakubauskas (groin) will throw full bullpen sessions tomorrow. Matusz threw off the front of the mound yesterday and said he’s pain-free and simply trying to build up his arm. Jakubauskas threw in the bullpen this week, but he didn’t use all of his pitches, so tomorrow represents his first regular session. Both pitchers will have to go on injury rehab

Orioles and Red Sox lineups (Norfolk update)

Here are the lineups for tonight’s 7:05 p.m. game between the Orioles and Red Sox at Camden Yards. For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee 1B Vladimir Guerrero DH Luke Scott LF Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 3B Matt Wieters C Robert Andino SS Jeremy Guthrie RHP For the Red Sox: Ellsbury CF Pedroia 2B Gonzalez 1B Youkilis 3B Ortiz DH

Bell listed as day-to-day

Just a quick note to update you on Triple-A Norfolk third baseman Josh Bell, who left last night’s game in Indianapolis in the fifth inning after a hard slide into second base. Bell is considered day-to-day after experiencing some swelling in his left knee. He’s available tonight if needed, but is expected to miss one or two games. Bell is hitting .273 with four doubles,

Looking back and ahead

While wondering exactly when Carl Crawford stopped being good ... There were plenty of things to like about last night’s 4-1 win over the Red Sox, and we pretty much covered all of them over the course of the evening. I’ll go back to that 11-pitch at-bat from Adam Jones in the second inning. He struck out, but he also seemed to get Clay Buchholz

A little more postgame chatter

Adam Jones talked about his 11-pitch at-bat against Clay Buchholz in the second inning. “That set the tone,” he said. “Everybody was able to see everything that he threw and he really didn’t fool a lot of guys. He’s still good. He still held this team to four runs, but it was a lengthy at-bat. I wish it had a better result. “It’s good to

Britton reflects on tonight’s 4-1 win

Zach Britton became the fifth American League rookie since 1980 to win four games by the end of April. He set the Orioles’ record for wins by a rookie starting pitcher in the season’s first month. Zach Britton recaps his performance and his fourth win of the season “Obviously, I didn’t know that,” he said. “It’s pretty special, obviously. The fact I’m here is awesome.

Showalter speaks after 4-1 win

If manager Buck Showalter had to pick out any flaws from Zach Britton’s performance tonight, he’d focus on the rookie allowing Dustin Pedroia to easily steal third base in the fourth inning, and all the deep counts. That’s about it. Buck Showalter analyzes Zach Britton’s start following the O’s 4-1 win “You’d like to see him be able to take that stuff over another inning

Bell hurts knee in AAA game

Triple-A Norfolk third baseman Josh Bell left tonight’s game in Indianapolis in the fifth inning with mild swelling in his left knee. He’ll be reevaluated tomorrow. Nolan Reimold hit into a force play in the top of the fifth, and Bell injured his knee with a hard slide into second base. Blake Davis replaced him. Bell is batting .273 for the Tides. Vladimir Guerrero has

Britton escapes another jam (and he’s done)

The Red Sox put two more runners on base in the sixth, but Zach Britton retired Carl Crawford on a fly ball to center field on his 94th pitch of the night. Britton appears to be done. Jim Johnson is throwing with a purpose in the bullpen. Britton has four quality starts in five outings. He’s held the Red Sox to one run and five

Gut-check time for Britton (updated)

Say this for Zach Britton: The kid doesn’t pitch like he’s scared. Britton loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth on a single, double and four-pitch walk. Adrian Gonzalez stepped to the plate. Britton had a crisis on his young hands. Rather than buckle, he got ahead, 1-2, and retired Gonzalez on a bouncer to second baseman Brian Roberts, who flipped to Robert

Machado homers again (updated)

Single-A Delmarva shortstop Manny Machado has hit his second home run in two nights. He’s still not ready to replace the injured J.J. Hardy in Baltimore, but he’s an exciting prospect. Mike Flacco, the brother of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, hit his first home run of the season, a three-run shot in the first inning against Savannah. Buck Britton, the brother of Orioles pitcher Zach

The approach against Buchholz (updated)

I suggested this morning that the Orioles might want to keep the bats on their shoulders and challenge Boston starter Clay Buchholz to throw strikes. He issued 14 walks in 20 innings this season. The plate tends to move on him. Three of the first four Orioles swung at the first pitch tonight. Buchholz needed only seven pitches to complete the opening inning, which included

Matusz and Jakubauskas updates

Brian Matusz will throw a bullpen session Thursday, though manager Buck Showalter is hesitant to call it a conventional one because the left-hander might not use maximum effort. Matusz will throw 30-35 pitches from the rubber, and he won’t be limited to fastballs. He’ll be allowed to “spin” some balls, according to pitching coach Mark Connor. Matusz is still expected to report to the minor

Will Showalter juggle lineup?

If Orioles manager Buck Showalter is considering major or minor changes to his lineup, he isn’t going to publicize it. “I wouldn’t tip my hand if I was,” he said. “They certainly don’t need to see it and read it and whatever. I trust them, but they understand that at some point we’re going to have to be a little better. But to hand it

Matusz: “The pain’s gone”

The look on Brian Matusz’s face earlier today made it obvious that he felt good throwing in the outfield and from the front of the bullpen mound. He was grinning and eager to talk about the sessions. He also gave teammate Chris Tillman an enthusiastic fist bump before heading back inside the clubhouse. Matusz and Tillman did some long-tossing from 120 feet. Matusz threw 15-20

Hardy increases workload

Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy didn’t report any discomfort after swinging a bat yesterday for the first time since going on the disabled list with a strained left oblique. Hardy increased the intensity of his activities today, which included running and throwing. Hardy eventually will go on an injury rehab assignment. The initial plan called for him to play at least two games in the minors.

Orioles and Red Sox lineups (with Matusz update)

The Orioles are sending out their regular lineup again tonight against the Red Sox. Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee 1B Vladimir Guerrero DH Luke Scott LF Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 3B Matt Wieters C Robert Andino SS Zach Britton LHP For the Red Sox: Ellsbury CF Pedroia 2B Gonzalez 1B Youkilis 3B Ortiz DH Lowrie SS Drew RF Crawford LF Varitek

Trying to change these Sox (with Mahoney update)

If you need some good news to perk you up, the Yankee fans left Baltimore after Sunday’s game. They had to make room for all the Red Sox fans. Didn’t perk you up? Sorry. The Orioles have lost 11 of 13. The Red Sox have won five in a row and eight of nine. I’m really doing a lousy job of improving your moods. Again,

Machado hits second professional home run

I can’t let you go to bed without a Manny Machado update. I’d never forgive myself if you tossed and turned all night. Machado hit his first home run in the South Atlantic League, and his second as a professional, in Single-A Delmarva’s 7-3 victory over Savannah. Machado, who hit one home run in the Gulf Coast League last year, in his first at-bat on

Feeling left out so far (updated)

The Orioles’ shifted much of their winter focus to finding right-handed bats that would improve their record against left-handed pitching. Derrek Lee, Vladimir Guerrero, Mark Reynolds and J.J. Hardy were added to the 25-man roster via free-agent signings or trades. What could go wrong? Well, we’re dealing with an extremely small sample size less than a full month into the season, but the Orioles are

Summing it up in three words

I tried to find a succinct way to sum up yesterday’s 11-inning loss to the Yankees, but I decided to let catcher Matt Wieters do it. “It definitely stinks.” Thanks, Matt. Wieters also could have been talking about the weather or this 2-11 stretch that is starting to look a lot like the 2-16 start last season, except it’s been sugarcoated a bit because it’s

Postgame Showalter

Orioles manager Buck Showalter couldn’t fault Matt Wieters’ pickoff attempt on Robinson Cano at second base in the top of the 11th inning. Wieters had the right idea, but the wrong execution. Cano was credited with a steal of third base after Wieters’ made a wide throw, and the Yankees scored three times in a 6-3 victory over the Orioles that completed a sweep of

Rain stops, along with Orioles’ momentum

The Yankees have taken a 6-3 lead over the Orioles in the 11th inning after a 40-minute rain delay and another pitching change. Jason Berken replaced Jeremy Accardo with no outs and a full count on Robinson Cano, who lined a double to right field to extend his hitting streak to 16 games against the Orioles. With Nick Swisher batting, catcher Matt Wieters tried to

Down on the farm

The game is expected to resume at 5:35 p.m. following a major downpour. We’re in the top of the 11th with the score tied, 3-3. It’s nice to see the tarp off the field. Down on the farm, Triple-A Norfolk rallied for two runs in the bottom of the 11th to defeat Durham, 6-5. Nick Green led off the inning with a single and took

Matt Wieters: Brick wall in shin guards

The Yankees thought they had the lead in the top of the 10th inning. So did just about everyone in the ballpark. Alex Rodriguez lifted a fly ball to medium center field against Orioles reliever Jeremy Accardo with one out and Derek Jeter tagging at third base. Jones unleashed the throw to the plate, where Matt Wieters reached up for it and slapped the tag

Scott comes within inches of big hit (Roberts gets it)

Luke Scott was 2-for-13 with one home run lifetime against Mariano Rivera when the Yankees closer entered today’s game with runners on the corners and two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Scott drove the ball to left field, which the Yankees weren’t expecting with speedster Brett Gardner playing so shallow. Gardner went into a full sprint, reached over his head and somehow

Reynolds ends skid

Mark Reynolds was hitless in his last 22 at-bats before launching an opposite-field, two-run homer off Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain in the seventh inning. Adam Jones singled with one out and Reynolds followed with a shot to right, his first homer since April 9 against the Rangers’ Colby Lewis. Matt Wieters struck out, and manager Buck Showalter let Cesar Izturis bat, creating a spirited debate

Arrieta gives Orioles a chance

Too bad the Orioles forgot again to unpack their bats. You’d think the anthem or the opposing pitcher’s warmup tosses would provide a reminder. Jake Arrieta has allowed three runs and five hits, with three walks and a career-high nine strikeouts in six innings. He’s thrown 97 pitches, and it appears that Koji Uehara will replace him in the seventh. Give Arrieta credit for holding

One of those pivotal moments (updated)

The Orioles rallied in the second inning against Freddy Garcia, who hasn’t exactly been sharp today. Garcia had thrown only 11 of his first 21 pitches for strikes. Luke Scott singled with one out in the second and Adam Jones walked on four pitches. Rally time. Or so you’d think. Mark Reynolds swung at the first two pitches and flied to right, extending his slump

That didn’t take long - Part II (updated)

The Yankees took a 2-0 lead last night after 10 pitches from Brad Bergesen. They have a 2-0 lead today after four pitches from Jake Arrieta. Somebody wake me up from this nightmare. Derek Jeter singled and Curtis Granderson belted his seventh home run. Arrieta walked the next two batters, bringing pitching coach Mark Connor from the mound. Maybe the Orioles should have sent Arrieta

Quick hits (and Matusz update)

Brian Matusz is throwing from 120 feet as the Orioles take batting practice on this glorious Easter morning at Camden Yards. Matusz will throw his first bullpen session on Tuesday unless the club makes an unexpected change to his schedule. Update: The club made an unexpected change. Matusz got through today’s session without incident, but he’ll repeat it Tuesday rather than throw in the bullpen.

Izturis only change in regular lineup

The Orioles will send out the same lineup for today’s 1:35 p.m. game against the Yankees that we’ve seen for most of the season, except Cesar Izturis will start at shortstop instead of Robert Andino. Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee 1B Vladimir Guerrero DH Luke Scott LF Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 3B Matt Wieters C Cesar Izturis SS Jake Arrieta RHP

Showalter time

Orioles manager Buck Showalter spoke to reliever Josh Rupe about the pitch that drilled Russell Martin between the numbers in the ninth inning. Martin homered twice tonight, so the timing was dubious. “We asked him after the game,” Showalter said following the Orioles’ 15-3 loss to the Yankees before 39,054 at Camden Yards. “He said, ‘I know what it looked like. I was trying to

Rupe’s rough ride (updated)

Josh Rupe made the Orioles’ roster in spring training by allowing only two runs in 14 2/3 innings. If I’m remembering correctly, he hadn’t been scored upon until his final appearance. Rupe served up Alex Rodriguez’s 22nd career grand slam in the eighth inning tonight, increasing the Yankees’ lead to 13-3. He let three inherited runners score after replacing Clay Rapada, who replaced Jason Berken.

Nothing to CC here (updated twice)

Now I’m a little worried. Russell Martin’s three-run homer off Brad Bergesen in the sixth inning has given the Yankees a 6-0 lead. Jason Berken was warming in the Orioles’ bullpen as Martin came to the plate. Meanwhile, Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia is dominating the Orioles again. He’s allowed only one hit, a Derrek Lee single in the fourth. That’s the only baserunner of the

Bergesen settles down, Orioles offense bogs down

Brad Bergesen has retired 11 of 13 batters since Robinson Cano’s run-scoring single in the first inning. Brett Gardner doubled with one out in the second and Russell Martin walked with two outs in the fourth for the only Yankees’ baserunners. Jake Fox made a diving catch in left field to rob Jorge Posada in the fourth. Stop picking on his defense. CC Sabathia has

That didn’t take long

The Yankees took a 2-0 lead only 10 pitches into tonight’s game. Single, fly ball, double, double. Groan. Now the Orioles are playing from behind against Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia, who’s 14-2 with a 2.86 ERA against them. Derek Jeter, batting .219 coming into the game, lined a single to right field. Mark Teixeira doubled to right with one out, and Alex Rodriguez doubled to

Tillman: “It’s a lot disappointing.”

Chris Tillman says he’s felt good for a few days after making a couple plays in the field during his last start that caused discomfort in his right groin, but the Orioles are being cautious and skipping him in the rotation until next Saturday. Tillman is available to pitch in relief tonight, but only if manager Buck Showalter has to use him. “I can’t pinpoint

Matusz will return to Sarasota

As expected, the Orioles will send left-hander Brian Matusz to Sarasota next weekend while they embark on a two-city road trip that begins Friday in Chicago. Matusz will throw from 120 feet tomorrow and throw bullpen sessions here on Tuesday and Thursday. He’ll pitch in an extended spring training game in Sarasota, and will require at least three starts on his injury rehab assignment, placing

Tonight’s lineup against Yankees

The Orioles are using the same lineup tonight that they posted yesterday before the game was postponed. Here’s your reminder: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee 1B Vladimir Guerrero DH Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 3B Matt Wieters C Jake Fox LF Robert Andino SS Brad Bergesen RHP

Updates on Simon, Patton and Mahoney

Alfredo Simon will pitch again Monday or Tuesday at extended spring training in Sarasota, and he’ll likely work two innings in his next appearance before being extended to three innings in his following start. The Orioles will stretch him to four innings the following week as part of their two-week projection to get him to 50 pitches. The Orioles want to get Simon up to

Who’s pitching in?

Manager Buck Showalter has been pretty good at blindsiding reporters this year. We gather on the field in spring training or in his office or in the auxiliary clubhouse, and he brings up an injury or medical issue that we didn’t anticipate. Brian Matusz has a wart? Justin Duchscherer felt a twinge? Brian Roberts has a stiff neck? Derrek Lee has a sore wrist? Lee

Show up early Saturday

The Orioles are anticipating a large walk-up crowd for tomorrow’s 7:05 p.m. game against the Yankees, so you’ll want to plan accordingly if you’re purchasing tickets or risk being stuck in a long line. If you had my level of patience, you would have camped out overnight. All points of sale will be open at Camden Yards, but the large turnout creates the possibility of

More on the postponement and Tillman

A final decision hasn’t been made, but I’d expect the Orioles to schedule a day-night doubleheader against the Yankees in August. I’ll pass along the makeup date once it’s available. Hold onto those tickets. Manager Buck Showalter told reporters that Chris Tillman is being skipped in the rotation because of “right groin issues” that surfaced during the pitcher’s last start. “We’ll take this opportunity to

Tillman skipped in rotation

Brad Bergesen will make tomorrow’s start against Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia, and Jake Arrieta will start Sunday’s finale. Chris Tillman is being skipped in the rotation because of a sore groin muscle, according to manager Buck Showalter. Tillman apparently felt good enough to pitch Sunday, but tonight’s postponement allows him to gain additional rest. He can pitch in relief if needed. Following Monday’s open date

Tonight’s game postponed; no makeup date announced

Tonight’s game between the Orioles and Yankees at Camden Yards has been postponed because of rain. A makeup date will be announced at a later time. Fans are advised to keep their tickets. That’s all the information I can provide at the moment.

Showalter on Gonzalez

Orioles manager Buck Showalter is trying to use struggling left-hander Michael Gonzalez in less-pressurized situations, though it’s not an easy proposition. Gonzalez has allowed runs in five of his six appearances, and home runs in back-to-back outings. Gonzalez isn’t pitching as well as he’d like, of course, and “he’s not pitching as well as I want him to, too,” Showalter said. “He’s still going to

Showalter on Izturis, random notes

As I wrote in my last entry, shortstop Cesar Izturis is expected to start tomorrow night. He hasn’t been in the lineup since April 17. Izturis is the type of individual who won’t sulk while he’s sitting. He’s also available to counsel Robert Andino. “As advertised, as we thought,” manager Buck Showalter said. “It was a good move for us. Izzy’s like having a seventh

Matusz and Simon updates, Yankees lineup

Left-hander Brian Matusz threw from 120 feet on flat ground today and didn’t report any pain related to his left intercostal muscle. He’ll throw again on Sunday, with a slightly more aggressive approach, and progress to two mound sessions at Camden Yards if he doesn’t experience any setbacks. Matusz is slated to throw bullpen sessions on Tuesday and Thursday. He could return to the minor

Tonight’s lineup against the Yankees

The tarp’s on the field and a light rain continues to fall, but at least the lineup is posted. For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee 1B Vladimir Guerrero DH Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 3B Matt Wieters C Jake Fox LF Robert Andino SS Brad Bergesen RHP

No offense, no relief

The offense is back. Or it isn’t. Pick a night. The Orioles scored 16 runs in their last two games before last night, but Scott Baker shut them out for seven innings, and they managed only one run on Vladimir Guerrero’s infield hit off Jim Hoey. It’s especially disturbing when you consider that they didn’t score after the third inning in Wednesday night’s 5-4 victory.

Guthrie and Roberts on tonight’s game

Jeremy Guthrie turned in another quality start, but he wasn’t satisfied, saying he was “outpitched” by Minnesota’s Scott Baker and took the loss. “I didn’t make the big pitches where I needed to,” he said. “It’s a reoccurring thing and it’s not good enough, not good enough tonight, not good enough last time, not good enough the time before. So we’ll work on it, try

Postgame Showalter

Manager Buck Showalter spent about five minutes taking questions from reporters after tonight’s 3-1 loss to the Twins. On Jeremy Guthrie: “His health, he’s turned the corner. He’s in good shape. He gave us a real chance to win. Deserves a better fate. Just ran up against a guy who was as good as he was tonight, and maybe a little better. Got a changeup

Guthrie done after seven (updated w/ final score)

Jeremy Guthrie deserved better than leaving tonight’s game with a 2-0 deficit. Guthrie allowed two runs and seven hits, walked none and struck out four. He also hit two batters. He threw 104 pitches, 68 for strikes. His only clean inning was the first, but he kept batting. Unfortunately for the Orioles, Scott Baker has suffocated the Orioles’ offense with seven shutout innings and only

Markakis battles, strands two (updated)

The Orioles continue to trail the Twins, 1-0, as we head to the top of the sixth. Matt Wieters doubled to right field with one out in the bottom of the fifth, and Brian Roberts walked to keep the rally alive after Robert Andino struck out. Nick Markakis battled Scott Baker through a nine-pitch at-bat before striking out on a slider. Markakis fouled off five

Guthrie through the third (updated)

Jeremy Guthrie has made one mistake tonight, and he’s trailing, 1-0, because of it. Jim Thome homered to center field with one out in the second inning, upping his career total to 591. Thome was batting .163 with one homer, five RBIs and a .279 slugging percentage. Guthrie also allowed a two-out single to Denard Span in the third. He’s thrown 38 pitches, 26 for

Taking a walk with Lee

Derrek Lee has two RBIs this season, and they both came on April 6, when he hit his only home run of the season. He’s carrying a .206 average that’s been dragged down, in part, by his 2-for-11 stretch in this series. At least he’s been patient. Lee has nine of the Orioles’ 42 walks to lead the club in that category. Is Lee going

Matusz on the mend

Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz says he’s been pain-free for six or seven days after a minor setback, and he’s ready to take the next steps in his progression toward a return to the rotation. Matusz reported to Camden Yards today after a stint at the minor league complex in Sarasota, where he’s been rehabbing a strained intercostal muscle. He’ll remain here for the rest of

Orioles lineup against Twins

The Orioles are trotting out a familiar lineup for tonight’s series finale against the Twins at Camden Yards. They’ve scored 16 runs in the last two games, so they’re not going to shake it up. For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee 1B Vladimir Guerrero DH Luke Scott LF Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 3B Matt Wieters C Robert Andino SS

Second look at second guesses

After scoring 20 runs during their eight-game losing streak, the Orioles have totaled 16 in the last two nights. That’s why it doesn’t pay to panic. It’s a 162-game season. The bats were bound to heat up. Nick Markakis went 2-for-4 after falling into a 1-for-20 slump. Vladimir Guerrero became the first Oriole to homer in consecutive games. Just when I started to get used

More postgame chatter

Zach Britton is the latest Oriole to be slowed by flu-like symptoms, but he took the ball tonight and turned in his third quality start in four outings. Zach Britton recaps his outing against the Twins Wednesday night “It could have been better,” he said. “I wasn’t happy with the walks, especially with the 5-1 lead and you put guys on base and it ends

Postgame Showalter

Manager Buck Showalter had no doubt that Denard Span’s fly ball with two outs in the ninth would stay on the right side of the fence. He just wasn’t sure whether it would actually hit the fence. “I thought at the very worst it would be off the wall,” Showalter said following the Orioles’ 5-4 victory over the Twins. “I’m glad he didn’t hit it

Gregg saves the night

Kevin Gregg entered in the ninth inning with the Orioles ahead, 5-4. Save situation. He’s the closer. Gregg ran the count to 3-1 on leadoff hitter Steve Holm and induced a pop up in front of the mound. The crowd cheered. Yes, cheered. Matt Tolbert stepped to the plate and fell behind, 1-2. More applause. Tolbert swung through an 84 mph splitter for the second

Johnson removed after one inning (updated)

Jim Johnson retired the Twins in order in the top of the seventh on only eight pitches, six of them strikes. He got two ground balls and struck out Denard Span. With the Orioles clinging to a two-run lead, I would have let Johnson pitch the eighth, as well. And a few reporters here are in agreement. However, Koji Uehara has entered the game, and

Choosing between Andino and Izturis (updated)

Derrek Lee dug out another ball in the dirt tonight, sparing Robert Andino a throwing error. Lee crouched and backhanded the ball in a sweeping motion. Sir Smooth. I asked manager Buck Showalter earlier today if he had a tough decision choosing between Robert Andino and Cesar Izturis. Andino had reached base nine times in his last 10 at-bats. Izturis was 3-for-7 with two RBIs

Wieters rakes with RISP (updated)

It happened again. Orioles catcher Matt Wieters stepped to the plate in the second inning with a runner in scoring position and launched a home run to center field off Twins starter Nick Blackburn, increasing the Orioles’ lead to 4-1. Wieters is now 6-for-6 with a double, two home runs and 10 RBIs with RISP this season. Adam Jones’ two-run double gave the Orioles a

Matusz and Hardy updates

As if you haven’t received enough already... Brian Matusz is scheduled to throw off flat ground from 120 feet on Friday, take Saturday off and throw from 120 feet again on Sunday. Assuming there are no setbacks, he could throw a bullpen session early next week at Camden Yards. Matusz would throw at least two bullpen sessions before the Orioles consider sending him on an

Pregame notes and Showalter quotes

The Orioles snapped an eight-game losing streak last night with 11 runs after scoring a total of 10 in their previous four games. According to Elias, over the last 50 years, the only other team to end a losing streak of eight or more games with a shutout win of 11-0 or more was the 1993 San Francisco Giants, who beat the Cincinnati Reds, 13-0,

Matusz coming to Baltimore tomorrow

Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz will join the Orioles at Camden Yards tomorrow, take the day off and throw Friday on flat ground or in the bullpen. It’s another step in the right direction for Matusz, who has been rehabbing his strained left intercostal muscle at the minor league complex in Sarasota. The Orioles have three options with Matusz next week. He can return to Twin

Andino stays in lineup

Robert Andino has reached base in nine of his last 10 plate appearances, and he’ll stay in the lineup tonight. Cesar Izturis is 3-for-7 with two RBIs lifetime against Twins starter Nick Blackburn, but Andino gets the nod. He’s never faced Blackburn. Here’s the lineup: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee 1B Vladimir Guerrero DH Luke Scott LF Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds

Orioles would not with Wood

Don’t look for the Orioles to make a run at infielder Brandon Wood, who was designated for assignment Tuesday by the Angels. I’m told they’re “not likely” to pursue Wood, a one-time minor league Player of the Year who hasn’t been able to carry that success to the majors. Wood is 26 and out of options. The Angels have 10 days to trade or place

About last night ...

The losing streak is over and Zach Britton is pitching tonight. Good times have returned to Camden Yards. “We got the monkeys off our backs,” Adam Jones said last night. And all it took were 11 runs scored with two outs. “That’s something we haven’t been doing, late two-out hitting and hitting with runners in scoring position,” Jones said. “We got all 11 runs with

Battery of Arrieta, Wieters charges Orioles

I’ll admit that I love that title. It’s downright inspired. Let’s hear from Jake Arrieta, who blanked the Twins on four hits over six innings and lowered his ERA to 5.06. Starter Jake Arrieta discusses picking up his second win of the season against the Twins “I think overall it was really good. When we score runs offensively, I think the biggest thing to do

Showalter: “I like our club, I like our people.”

Manager Buck Showalter finally got to meet with reporters tonight after a win. It took long enough, but it happened. The eight-game losing streak has gone the way of the dodo bird. Buck Showalter talks with the media after the Orioles snap their eight-game losing streak Here are a few quotes from Showalter: “We strung a lot of good at-bats together, a lot of big

A few updates

Robert Andino is 3-for-3 with a walk tonight. He has seven hits and two walks in his last 10 trips to the plate. Is that good? Derrek Lee singled twice tonight, but he fell to 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position after flying out in the eighth inning. Vladimir Guerrero followed with a three-run homer off former Twins closer Joe Nathan, making him 4-for-15. The

Arrieta and Wieters having big nights (updated)

Jake Arrieta finished the sixth inning with his pitch count at 108 and Jason Berken warming in the bullpen. You have to figure that he’s done for the night. Oriole starters have posted a 7.71 ERA during the eight-game losing streak, but Arrieta blanked the Twins on four hits. He walked three and struck out four. Arrieta got a huge double play bouncer from Michael

Roberts adds to RBI total

Should Brian Roberts be batting third? How about cleanup? Roberts increased his team-leading RBI total to 14 with a two-out, run-scoring double in the fourth inning. Orioles 4, Twins 0. Once again, Carl Pavano got into trouble with two outs. He hit Matt Wieters and allowed a single to Robert Andino. Roberts followed with a double to right field that scored Wieters. Andino held at

It’s called a “lead”

Maybe you don’t recognize it, but the Orioles have the lead tonight. Matt Wieters singled with two outs in the second inning to score Adam Jones, giving the Orioles a lead for the first time since the eighth inning of Thursday’s game in New York. They hadn’t been ahead for 39 consecutive innings. Did it seem that long? Robert Andino walked and Brian Roberts singled

Arrieta through two innings

Last night, Chris Tillman threw 13 pitches in a scoreless first inning. Tonight, Jake Arrieta threw 13 pitches in a scoreless first inning. It means nothing, but I wanted to mention it anyway. Nine of Arrieta’s pitches were strikes. His fastball reached 93 mph multiple times. Denard Span singled on the second pitch, but Arrieta retired the next three batters. Twins starter Carl Pavano needed

Showalter talks about Gregg

Manager Buck Showalter would like to give closer Kevin Gregg more work, which might keep him sharp and prevent the kind of outings that we saw last night. Not that there have been many save chances during this skid, but even a random inning could prove beneficial. “It’s certainly something that we’re conscious of coming out of spring training, but some of the situations that

Matusz progressing, Twins lineup

The tarp is coming off the field, but the Orioles won’t hit outdoors. Left-hander Brian Matusz reported to the minor league complex today feeling good physically after yesterday’s flat-ground session. Exactly the news that the Orioles wanted to hear. Matusz is scheduled to throw from 120 feet tomorrow, the next progression from 60 and 90. “He gets another day or two of that under his

Scott returns to lineup

It’s raining and the tarp’s on the field. The clouds seem to be breaking up and we see some clearing. Early word is the storm will pass by 5 p.m., but I’ve been fooled many times in the past - and that includes the weather. Here’s the Orioles’ lineup, which includes Luke Scott in left field: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee 1B

Waiting for Gregg to be great

We’ve grown accustomed to the Orioles crashing in August, though last year proved the exception. I wonder if they’re aware that it’s still April. Same first letter, different month. The losing streak has reached eight games, but I’m still not in panic mode. That’s mostly because it’s baseball, which doesn’t freak me out unless it forces me to rewrite a game story in the ninth

Jones: No crying, no pouting

May as well hear from Adam Jones, too. “We put ourselves in some situations to get a big hit and we didn’t,” he said. “Hey, come out tomorrow, stop feeling sorry for ourselves. We don’t. No one else in the league is, so we’ll just go out and keep playing the game of baseball.” “We were a little more aggressive today. We had multiple situations.

Tillman talks about outing

Chris Tillman retired 11 in a row before the final batter reached on Robert Andino’s throwing error. He finished strong, but wasn’t exactly in the mood to celebrate. “I wouldn’t say I’m pleased,” he said. “I felt OK about it. It was OK. It wasn’t good enough. It’s definitely a work in progress here. From the last start to this start, I’ve come a long

Postgame Showalter

Manager Buck Showalter met with the media for about four minutes after tonight’s 5-3 loss to the Twins, which ran the Orioles’ losing streak to eight games. Manager Buck Showalter talks about Chris Tillman and the Orioles’ 5-3 loss to Minnesota Here is a sampling: On Chris Tillman: “He was better. Obviously, they’re operating without Morneau and Mauer, but it was good for the most

Rapada Inn and out (updated twice)

Clay Rapada faced four batters tonight in his Orioles debut, and he struck out three of them. All three Twins who fanned were caught looking at the third strike. None of them agreed with the calls from plate umpire Chris Guccione, who handed Twins manager Ron Gardenhire his 53rd career ejection. Jim Thome had to be restrained from going after Guccione. The strikeouts came against

Tonight’s silver lining (updated twice)

Chris Tillman hasn’t walked a batter in six innings. Tillman walked six in his first three starts covering 12 1/3 innings, including three on the night that he held the Rays hitless. Tillman has allowed three runs and six hits, with five strikeouts. He’s retired nine in a row since Michael Cuddyer’s double with no outs in the fourth. Nobody is warming in the Orioles’

Early opportunities lost (updated)

The Orioles put two runners on base with one out in the first inning on Brian Roberts’ leadoff single and Derrek Lee’s walk. Francisco Liriano retired the next two batters on a ground ball and called third strike. Jake Fox walked with one out in the second inning, but Matt Wieters grounded into a 5-4-3 double play. Again, the Orioles just can’t seem to get

Talking about Tillman, Reimold and Bell (updated)

Chris Tillman got through a scoreless first inning on 13 pitches. That’s quite an improvement over his last start in New York, when Alex Rodriguez hit a three-run homer in the opening frame. Tillman’s fastball topped out at 92 mph against the Twins. His first heater registered at 87 mph, and the drop in his velocity has become a hot topic considering that he used

Feats of Clay Rapada

When the Orioles sent Clay Rapada to their minor league camp toward the end of spring training, they never gave him a timetable for a return to the majors. It turned out to be April 18. “They kind of told me to keep doing what I was doing and when the time came, they said to be ready,” he said earlier today after reporting to

Notes and quotes from Showalter (and Twins lineup)

Clay Rapada isn’t here to serve exclusively as a left-handed specialist. He’ll also be needed to retire right-handed hitters. “He’s a guy who has the ability to defend himself against some right-handed hitters, too, so we feel confident he’ll be able at times to be able to pitch a clean, full inning,” manager Buck Showalter said. “As our rotation gets straightened out a little bit,

Postive reports on Matusz and Hardy

The Orioles made their roster moves official. They placed Chris Jakubauskas on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 17, with a strained right groin and purchased the contract of left-hander Clay Rapada from Triple-A Norfolk. Justin Duchscherer was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to create room on the 40-man roster. Jakubauskas began experiencing some tightness in his groin in New York, and he

Today’s lineup against the Twins

Jake Fox is making another start in left field today, as the Orioles attempt to break a seven-game losing streak. Otherwise, no major changes to the lineup. Here’s the lineup: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee 1B Vladimir Guerrero DH Mark Reynolds 3B Adam Jones CF Jake Fox LF Matt Wieters C Robert Andino SS Chris Tillman RHP

The Duchscherer timetable keeps changing

Once it became clear that Justin Duchscherer wouldn’t be ready for opening night, the Orioles targeted him for an April 10 start. He would be placed in the bullpen until the club needed a fifth starter. Once it became clear that Duchscherer needed more time and innings after making only one appearance in an exhibition game, the Orioles decided to place him on the 15-day

Lining up your suggestions

Are the Twins going to be the team to revive the Orioles? They’re sitting in last place in the AL Central. They haven’t won a series this year. They’ve scored only 45 runs, six fewer than the Orioles, who have become allergic to home plate. Catcher Joe Mauer is on the disabled list with a viral infection and first baseman Justin Morneau sat out yesterday’s

Rapada coming to Baltimore (updated twice)

Left-handed reliever Clay Rapada will join the Orioles at Camden Yards tomorrow, signaling another roster move involving the bullpen. Rapada will give the Orioles a second left-handed reliever, along with struggling veteran Michael Gonzalez. Chris Jakubauskas will be placed on the disabled list to make room for Rapada. Rapada has appeared in two games with Triple-A Norfolk, allowing one hit, walking one and striking out

Uehara walks, Orioles stumble again

The Orioles trailed by two runs in the top of the ninth. Derrek Lee swung at the first pitch from Indians reliever Chris Perez and flied out. Vladimir Guerrero swung at the second pitch and flied out. Luke Scott swung at the first pitch and missed it, putting him in an 0-1 hole. Scott eventually ran the count full before taking a called third strike

Calling Triple-A

No, the Orioles aren’t calling up anyone from Triple-A Norfolk. The Tides, off to a 1-8 start, are leading Charlotte, 8-1, in the bottom of the fifth inning. That’s what I call a reversal. Mike Ballard has allowed one run and four hits, walked one and struck out seven. He signed a minor league deal and didn’t receive a spring training invite, though he got

Bergesen’s day is done (updated)

Brad Bergesen is shaking hands in the dugout and seeking warmth beneath a sweatshirt, so we’ll assume that he’s finished for the day. Bergesen threw two innings on Wednesday and was making his first start since April 6. He’s registered the Orioles’ last three complete games, but manager Buck Showalter told reporters earlier today that the right-hander wasn’t going nine innings. Showalter settled for 88

Today’s silver lining (updated)

The Orioles are losing again today, 1-0, on a Carlos Santana home run leading off the second inning. They’re in another early hole, though not as deep as we’ve seen in other games on this awful road trip. Here’s the good news: Brad Bergesen is mostly forcing the Indians to hit the ball on the ground. Of the six outs he’s recorded, five have come

Matusz staying in Sarasota

Manager Buck Showalter told reporters in Cleveland that Brian Matusz is making progress in his throwing program in Sarasota, Fla., but there are no immediate plans to bring the left-hander to Baltimore. There was early talk of Matusz throwing a bullpen session this week for pitching coach Mark Connor and bullpen coach Rick Adair, but he hasn’t advanced enough to schedule one. Showalter wouldn’t commit

Orioles lineup against Indians

Can Brad Bergesen be the stopper today? Someone has to apply the brakes on this six-game losing streak. Here’s the Orioles’ lineup for the final game of their miserable road trip, which doesn’t include Adam Jones: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee 1B Vladimir Guerrero DH Luke Scott LF Mark Reynolds 3B Felix Pie CF Matt Wieters C Cesar Izturis SS Brad Bergesen

Fox on the run (updated with final score)

Just once, I’d like for Tim Belcher to have a mound conference with Nick Bierbrodt. I think it would be a gas. OK, sorry. Jake Fox started a seventh-inning rally with a triple into left-center field. Taking third base was a huge gamble on Fox’s part, considering that the Orioles were down by four runs. If he’s out, he may as well keep walking into

Silver lining time again

Luke Scott had no homers and one RBI before today. Now he has one homer and two RBIs. Could this be the start of a hot streak? Indians starter Josh Tomlin might have fanned the flames, instead of the slugger, in the fifth inning. Scott has a hit in four straight games and six of his last seven. Scott is a former Indians farmhand, in

Fox trots around the bases (updated 3 times)

Jake Fox provided the first run today and some comic relief. Fox homered in the third inning to reduce the Indians’ lead to 2-1 over the Orioles. Fox stumbled as he rounded first base and had to go back to make sure he touched the bag and avoid an embarrassing appeal and out. Players were laughing in the dugout as he came down the steps.

Offense has been all wet

The sun came out in Cleveland and then it disappeared again. Another bad storm moved through the area, but they’re projecting a 3:05 p.m. start at Progressive Field. How are the bats supposed to heat up in these conditions? The Orioles rank 24th in the majors with a .226 average. They’ve scored 46 runs, more than only four teams. Manager Buck Showalter told reporters earlier

Orioles lineup vs. Indians (and more Guthrie)

Jeremy Guthrie will take the mound today as the Orioles attempt to halt a five-game losing streak. Guthrie has got to play stopper today, and he seems the most qualified on the staff. He’s allowed one run and seven hits in 14 innings, and he should have better stamina today. Here’s the Orioles’ lineup, which includes Jake Fox behind the plate: Brian Roberts 2B Nick

To play or not to play

So much for sleeping in on a Saturday morning. My daughter has her first SAT prep class today, which begins at 9 a.m. and lasts 4 1/2 hours. And honestly, what else would a teenage girl want to do on a Saturday morning? You can imagine her excitement. Bet she could barely sleep last night. Manager Buck Showalter told reporters a few days ago that

Now you can worry

Oh sure, now Koji Uehara pitches. Uehara took care of the eighth inning tonight, long after the Indians took care of the Orioles. We’re talking five straight losses and a .500 record. And it doesn’t sting any less to me when it’s a blowout. There isn’t as much to second-guess, but it’s still painful. Zach Britton is human. Pass the word. He allowed five runs

Orioles and Indians lineups

The Orioles will send out the following lineup tonight in Cleveland as they try to end a four-game skid at a ballpark where they’ve posted a 20-47 record: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee 1B Vladimir Guerrero DH Luke Scott LF Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 3B Matt Wieters C Cesar Izturis SS Zach Britton LHP For the Indians: Michael Brantley CF Asdrubal

Letting Pie slide

As long as we’re second-guessing and debating and looking back with one hand covering our eyes, I’ll chime in regarding Felix Pie’s “slide” into home plate in the eighth inning. Here’s a little reminder. Joba Chamberlain bounced a pitch with Pie on third base and the Orioles clinging to a one-run lead. The ball went to the backstop and took a big bounce toward catcher

Closing argument

So is the honeymoon period over for manager Buck Showalter? I’ve never seen him second-guessed to this extent since he was named manager Aug. 2. It was bound to happen. Earl Weaver would have been questioned and criticized during the blog and Twitter era. That’s all part of the game. I don’t think anyone is jumping off the Showalter bandwagon, but he made two decisions

The losing streak reaches four

Some losses are tougher to swallow than others. This one should stick in the Orioles’ throats. They led, 5-0, and their starter hadn’t allowed a hit through four innings. They hit for power, they advanced runners, they had quality pitching and at-bats, which should have been a recipe for success. The back end of the bullpen is supposed to be a strength, but Jason Berken

Blown lead, blown save (good news on Brooks Robinson)

So much for my foot-on-their-throats suggestion. The Yankees scored once in the fifth, twice in the sixth and once in the seventh to reduce the Orioles’ lead to 5-4. You had to know what was coming next. Kevin Gregg entered in the bottom of the ninth and lost the lead on one pitch. Jorge Posada, an all-or-nothing guy in the first two weeks of the

Arrieta dealing early (updated)

I fired up my laptop after the top of the fifth inning - just in time for Jake Arrieta to give up a run on his first two hits. I blame myself. Again. Alex Rodriguez broke up the no-hit bid with a leadoff double. Tears were shed, but I quickly pulled myself together. The Orioles need a quality start from Arrieta after Chris Tillman lasted

Orioles lineup against Yankees

Here’s the Orioles lineup for tonight’s series-finale against the Yankees: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee 1B Vladimir Guerrero DH Luke Scott LF Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 3B Matt Wieters C Cesar Izturis SS Jake Arrieta RHP Also, in case you missed it, the Orioles promoted Steve Johnson, son of former Orioles’ pitcher Dave Johnson, to Triple-A Norfolk. And Double-A Bowie first

Bergesen brings a silver lining

Before you completely erase last night’s game from your memory, you might want to pause and reflect on Brad Bergesen’s effort. The night wasn’t all bad. Bergesen gave the Orioles two scoreless and hitless innings, striking out two and lowering his ERA to 3.18 in two appearances. I guess that wasn’t two much to ask (see what I did there?) Bergesen was officially recalled from

Trying times for Tillman

I have only one question regarding the Barry Bonds verdict: Is this another intentional walk? An Orioles-related question: Does it feel like they’ve lost three in a row? I have to remind myself because the first loss came in Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader. Monday’s open date and Tuesday’s postponement have broken up the streak, but it does exist. I walked away from my television

Random thoughts (updated)

This just in: Vladimir Guerrero swung at the first pitch with a runner on third base and two outs in the first inning. He also swung at the third and fourth, striking out to strand Brian Roberts. The Orioles came close to taking a 1-0 lead, but Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira made a leaping catch to rob Derrek Lee. Lee hit another ball to

Bergesen officially on roster

The Orioles must be confident that they’ll play tonight, because they’ve officially recalled Brad Bergesen from Triple-A Norfolk and placed shortstop J.J. Hardy on the disabled list. Bergesen can pitch out of the bullpen tonight if he’s needed, and he’s slated to start Sunday in Cleveland. Bergesen was optioned to Norfolk over the weekend, but he never reported. He met the club in New York

Orioles and Yankees lineups

The last time I checked, the sky over Yankee Stadium was gray. Looked like it could start pouring any second. Fingers crossed that we actually get to watch some baseball. If it happens, the Orioles will send out the following lineup against the Yankees. It looks the exact same as the one they tried to use last night: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek

An outsider’s view of Showalter

While I’m waiting to find out whether the Orioles will resume their season or go on hiatus like a low-rated sitcom - I just realized that “Mr. Sunshine” isn’t following “Modern Family” tonight on ABC - I wanted to pass along a blog entry from Danny Knobler at cbssports.com. Knobler writes about manager Buck Showalter’s attention to detail, and how it often seems to come

What’s next for Bergesen?

The Orioles didn’t really need a rainout last night, but they got one anyway. The bullpen rested on Monday. The rotation was set, with Brad Bergesen on the verge of being recalled to start tonight. It was time to play ball. If you wanted Bergesen to avoid the Yankees, your wish was granted. He’s being skipped, with Chris Tillman scheduled to pitch tonight and Jake

Quick Matusz update (game postponed)

Brian Matusz threw off flat ground today at the Orioles’ minor league complex in Sarasota. It’s a positive first step in his recovery from a strained left intercostal muscle. Matusz said he played catch from 60 feet. He made 25 throws without any pain. There’s a chance that Matusz will rejoin the Orioles after they return from Cleveland and throw in the bullpen for pitching

Patton headed to DL

The Orioles will put left-hander Troy Patton on the disabled list later today with a slight shoulder strain. He’s expected to miss only one start, though that will become more apparent after he’s examined tomorrow. Patton didn’t throw today, but he might be cleared for long toss on Thursday. John Stockstill, the Orioles’ director of player development, said Patton most likely will be set back

Orioles lineup vs. Yankees (and Spoone note)

If the weather cooperates, the Orioles will run out the following lineup against A.J. Burnett and the New York Yankees: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee 1B Vladimir Guerrero DH Luke Scott LF Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 3B Matt Wieters C Robert Andino SS Chris Tillman RHP Why Andino over Cesar Izturis? Maybe it’s because Andino is 3-for-8 with a home run

Bergesen in NY as expected

Pitcher Brad Bergesen joined the Orioles in New York, another sign that he’s starting Wednesday night’s game at Yankee Stadium. However, nothing has come easily to Bergesen, so he’ll naturally be at the mercy of the weather. It isn’t raining in New York as I type this entry, but the forecast is ominous. We’ll find out later how a postponement tonight would affect the rotation

This and that

Single-A Delmarva shortstop Manny Machado went 3-for-4 with a double, walk and run scored last night, leaving his average at .467 with two doubles, a triple, three RBIs and seven walks in five games. . This just in: The kid is good. He should be in the Carolina League no later than the midway point of the season. The Orioles will play the 10th game

Reimold homers again, Machado on roll (Patton injured)

Nolan Reimold homered in the fourth inning tonight in Triple-A Norfolk’s game against the Gwinnett Braves. His solo shot increased the Tides’ lead to 2-0. Reimold is batting .286 with two homers and two RBIs in five games. He batted .315 with three doubles, three homers, 10 RBIs and a .985 OPS in 24 spring training games. Josh Bell is 2-for-2 with a double and

Bergesen in Baltimore, good news on Hardy (updated twice)

Brad Bergesen hasn’t reported to Triple-A Norfolk and won’t make tonight’s scheduled start in Gwinnett. He’s still in Baltimore, waiting to find out whether he’ll be recalled to start Wednesday night in New York. A team official said a final decision hasn’t been made, but it’s fair to speculate that Bergesen will get the assignment. The Orioles can recall Bergesen in fewer than 10 days

Ripken reflects

The Orioles aren’t playing tonight, so they’ll need to wait a little longer to end the first losing streak of 2011. I’m still impressed that Jeremy Guthrie gave the Orioles six quality innings yesterday, less than a week after being hospitalized with pneumonia. That was one of the guttier performances we’ll witness on this club in any season. If I had a vote, I’d want

Postgame Showalter

Manager Buck Showalter summed up a 3-0 loss to the Rangers that included Ian Kinsler’s two-run shot off Jim Johnson in the seventh inning and left the Orioles 3-3 on their first homestand of 2011. “Home runs hurt us today,” Showalter said. “Obviously, we gave in a little bit there on Kinsler. I like our chances there 1-0. But we had the tying run at

Two-thirds of the rotation for New York

Manager Buck Showalter confirmed that Chris Tillman is the likely starter for Tuesday night’s series opener against the Yankees. Jake Arrieta will start Thursday over left-hander Zach Britton, who will take the ball Friday in Cleveland. Showalter wants to give Britton an extra day to rest after his extended Game 1 start yesterday. The Orioles are still listing Wednesday’s starter as TBA. Chris Jakubauskas is

Texas hold ‘em (updated)

The Orioles almost scored the tying run in the fifth inning. Then they didn’t. Then they almost did again. They they didn’t. John Russell held up his arms to hold Nick Markakis at third base on Derrek Lee’s two-out double into the left-field corner. Markakis, his head down, initially ran through the stop sign, then slammed on the brakes and started back toward third. The

Guthrie through three (updated)

Jeremy Guthrie has allowed one hit and walked a batter in three innings in his first start since April 1. His fastball is clocked at 91-92 mph. Adrian Beltre reached on Mark Reynolds’ throwing error leading off the second. Ian Kinsler lined a single to center with two outs in the third and Michael Young walked on four pitches. Josh Hamilton followed with a long

Talking to Showalter

Manager Buck Showalter took a seat in the interview room this morning, saw the recorders lined up in front of him and said, “I don’t think anything’s changed since three hours ago.” Showalter advised us last night to “sleep fast.” It’s been a quick turnaround since Game 2. Here are some topics that Showalter covered while the Orioles and Rangers took batting practice: On waiting

A few pregame notes

Brad Bergesen could be recalled to start one of the games in New York while shortstop J.J. Hardy goes on the disabled list. Bergesen wouldn’t have to stay in the minors for the minimum 10 days if he’s replacing an injured player. Chris Tillman will start Tuesday or Wednesday in New York. Bergesen could take the other turn. We definitely know that Jeremy Guthrie is

Today’s lineup includes Fox in LF (with Rangers lineup)

Jake Fox is getting another start today, but it’s in left field against Rangers left-hander Derek Holland. For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee 1B Vladimir Guerrero DH Mark Reynolds 3B Adam Jones CF Jake Fox LF Matt Wieters C Robert Andino SS Jeremy Guthrie RHP Here’s the Rangers lineup: Ian Kinsler 2B Michael Young DH Josh Hamilton LF Adrian Beltre

No roster move today

Unless something changes abruptly, the Orioles won’t make a roster move today. They’re inclined to wait until tomorrow’s off-day to place shortstop J.J. Hardy on the disabled list. Hardy is scheduled to undergo an MRI tomorrow after being diagnosed last night with a strained left oblique, an injury that routinely leads a player to the DL. The Orioles must decide on a corresponding roster move.

Showalter quotes after Game 2 loss

Manager Buck Showalter started with the good - Game 1 starter Zach Britton. Make that the very good. “He was very good. That goes without saying,” Showalter said. “I think he had five hitters on to lead off innings. Something like that. That’s the beauty of the ground ball. We actually had a chance to turn another one behind him. He had good stuff. I

Hardy likely headed to DL

Orioles manager Buck Showalter anticipates shortstop J.J. Hardy being placed on the disabled list with a strained left oblique. Hardy was clearly upset that the injury forced him out of tonight’s game after two innings and likely will interrupt his first season with the Orioles. The pain appears to be coming more toward Hardy’s back than his ribcage area. He’s never suffered this type of

Another Britton fun-fact

According to Elias, the last Orioles starting pitcher to allow one run or fewer in his first two major league appearances and go at least 13 2/3 innings was - drum roll, please - Tom Phoebus in September 1966. Phoebus allowed no runs over 18 innings. Zach Britton has surrendered only one run in 13 2/3. Again, I find myself drifting back to Game 1.

Jakubauskas warms up again (and enters game)

It’s looking less likely that Chris Jakubauskas will make tomorrow’s start against the Rangers. He’s warmed up twice tonight, which seems to signal that Jeremy Guthrie will take the ball tomorrow. About five hours ago, Guthrie tweeted the following: “Seen some varying ‘reports’ on when I am pitching next. For the record I have been told by the skip it is still undecided. Stay tuned.”

Game 2 drama and trauma (and attendance)

Jake Arrieta is charged with eight runs and six hits in 3 1/3 innings, with two walks and five strikeouts. He threw 77 pitches, 50 for strikes. Arrieta’s ERA jumps to 8.68. J.J. Hardy left the game after two innings with a strained left oblique muscle, an injury that usually leads to a stay on the disabled list. So much for that feel-good vibe from

Hardy leaves game (with 2 updates)

J.J. Hardy lasted one at-bat before coming out of Game 2. Hardy has been bothered by tightness in his lower left ribcage area. He appeared to be in pain after swinging at a pitch, and struck out looking to end the second inning. Robert Andino moved from left field to shortstop. Felix Pie took over in left. Hardy could be a candidate for the disabled

Britton talks about outing

Zach Britton didn’t get rattled on the mound today, and he kept the same composure in the interview room. Maybe he’ll crack a smile later tonight. Britton was all business today, shutting out the Rangers on four hits over 7 2/3 innings. He must have left his nerves back in Clearwater. “I felt pretty good,” he said. Is it getting easier? Zach Britton comments on

Orioles Game 2 lineup

Brian Roberts is staying in the lineup for Game 2. Robert Andino is starting in left field and Jake Fox is behind the plate. And J.J. Hardy is back at shortstop after being scratched Thursday night. For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee 1B Vladimir Guerrero DH Jake Fox C Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 3B Robert Andino LF J.J. Hardy

Bullish on Britton (updated)

It’s hard to believe that 84 players were drafted ahead of Zach Britton in 2006. The Orioles took Billy Rowell in the first round, Pedro Beato in the supplemental round and Ryan Adams in the second round. They grabbed Britton in the third. The Rangers have barely touched him tonight through the fifth. Their only baserunners have come on walks to Mike Napoli and Elvis

Just what the manager ordered (updated)

Buck Showalter needs his starters to work deep into both ends of this doubleheader. Zach Britton is off to a good start. Britton needed only six pitches to complete the top of the first inning. Ian Kinsler flied to center, and Elvis Andrus and Josh Hamilton bounced to first. Britton covered the bag for the final out. Six pitches, four strikes. And a fastball that

Roberts and Showalter speak

Just not at the same time. Brian Roberts didn’t really elaborate on the stomach pains that caused him to be scratched from last night’s lineup and undergo tests at a local hospital. He’s just glad to be in the lineup for Game 1. “Everything’s fine,” he said. “I haven’t been feeling great for a couple days and the doctor just a little while before the

Jakubauskas here, Bergesen headed to minors (updated)

The Orioles didn’t wait until the conclusion of Game 1 to make a roster move. Brad Bergesen has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, and Chris Jakubauskas takes his place on the 25-man roster after having his contract purchased this morning. The Orioles didn’t need a corresponding move involving the disabled list because Jakubauskas wasn’t on the 40-man roster. Jakubauskas most likely will start tomorrow against

Roberts in lineup

Brian Roberts is back in today’s lineup for Game One after being sent to the hospital last night with stomach pains. For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee 1B Vladimir Guerrero DH Luke Scott LF Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 3B Matt Wieters C Cesar Izturis SS Zach Britton LHP

Roberts update

The tests on Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts came back negative. No appendicitis, nothing serious. A team official confirmed that Roberts has been cleared to play. Roberts won’t need to go on the disabled list and could return to the lineup for today’s doubleheader against the Rangers at Camden Yards. It depends how he’s feeling when he arrives at the ballpark. I’ll obviously have more

Ripken having ‘89 flashbacks

I’m rushing around this morning, which seems to be my usual routine, but I wanted to post some comments from Cal Ripken before getting ready for the Wall to Wall Baseball show on MASN - I’m on the air from 11 a.m. to noon - and the doubleheader at Camden Yards. Who needs sleep? We’ll find out later today if Brian Roberts’ stomach pains were

Sorting through the pitching mess

Zach Britton will oppose the Rangers’ Colby Lewis in Game 1 of tomorrow’s doubleheader. Jake Arrieta will oppose Matt Harrison in Game 2. That’s about all we know. The Orioles would like to add a reliever, but the process is complicated by a rule that prohibits teams from calling up players on the 40-man roster until 10 days have passed in the season, unless another

Roberts taken to local hospital with stomach pain

Second baseman Brian Roberts was scratched from the lineup about 20 minutes before the scheduled first pitch because of stomach pains that wouldn’t subside. Roberts was taken to a local hospital for tests. The Orioles are hoping it’s just a virus that’s going around. We’ll obviously know more tomorrow.

Tonight’s game postponed (updated)

The rain is coming down harder, and tonight’s game has been postponed. So much for that window. Better close it so you don’t get wet. The Orioles and Rangers will play a straight doubleheader tomorrow, with the first game starting at 4:30 p.m. Zach Britton will pitch in one of the games. I’m heading to manager Buck Showalter’s office for more details. It seems almost

Hardy and Guthrie speak (with game update)

J.J. Hardy says he probably could have played tonight if the weather conditions weren’t so bad. Hardy is day-to-day with tightness in his left ribcage area that surfaced during yesterday’s batting practice session. “We’ll give it another day and kind of reevaluate tomorrow,” Hardy said. “I’ve never had anything like it, but being able to throw, being able to run around and not feel pain,

Showalter talks about Guthrie, Hardy and pitching

Let me begin by saying I don’t have any inside weather information. The Orioles like their chances of playing tonight, but that’s all I know. They’re not making any guarantees, and they haven’t set an exact time when they’d announce a postponement if the rain doesn’t cease. The pitching picture is a bit fuzzy. OK, it’s really, really fuzzy. Jeremy Guthrie did some long-tossing and

Izturis starting again at shortstop, Rangers lineup

Cesar Izturis will make his second consecutive start at shortstop tonight in place of J.J. Hardy, who’s considered day-to-day with tightness below his left ribcage area. Izturis batted .105 in spring training, but he went 1-for-3 last night with an RBI and a walk. Here’s the Rangers lineup: Kinsler 2B Andrus SS Hamilton LF Beltre 3B Young DH Cruz RF Napoli 1B Torrealba C Borbon

Waiting on Hardy (updated)

The Orioles’ lineup is posted, but the shortstop position is blank. It’s still being determined whether J.J. Hardy is available. Update: Hardy is considered day-to-day. He’s not starting tonight, but he’s available if needed. It looks like he could avoid the disabled list. Here’s the lineup so far: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee 1B Vladimir Guerrero DH Luke Scott LF Adam Jones

Patton coming here, no move made so far (updated)

An Orioles official confirmed that left-hander Troy Patton will be added to the 25-man roster if the Orioles use the disabled list today. However, we might not have a game tonight because of the rain, which could keep Patton from being officially recalled from Triple-A Norfok. The Orioles would lose a bench player if shortstop J.J. Hardy goes on the disabled list with tightness in

Orioles taking the bad with the good

What is it about a hard early-morning rain that makes you want to pull the covers over your head and stay in bed? It also makes teams play doubleheaders, which could happen tomorrow unless we end up with that proverbial “window” tonight that allows the Orioles to begin their three-game series with the undefeated Rangers. The Rangers are 6-0, the Orioles are 5-1. Let’s take

More on Hardy and 9-5 win

Is it just me, or does it seem like every Orioles win is accompanied by a health crisis? The latest one came tonight. The Orioles rally to defeat the Tigers, 9-5, but shortstop J.J. Hardy is day-to-day after experiencing tightness in his lower left ribcage. “I was going to play through it - playing catch, doing everything, getting ready for the game,” he said. “I

Update on Hardy

Shortstop J.J. Hardy was scratched from the lineup because of tightness in his lower ribcage area. Hardy felt it while taking batting practice, and again while trying to hit in the indoor cage. Manager Buck Showalter found out at 6:50 p.m. and inserted Cesar Izturis into the lineup. “I didn’t feel like it was worth the risk,” Showalter said, adding that Hardy could have played

Jones delivers go-ahead run (updated)

Vladimir Guerrero tied the game, 5-5, in the bottom of the seventh with a single into right field off Tigers reliever Enrique Gonzalez that scored Brian Roberts and gave the Orioles’ designated hitter two RBIs tonight. Third base coach John Russell sent Roberts, and right fielder Brennan Boesch’s throw almost went into the Orioles dugout, allowing Guerrero to take second. Gonzalez walked Luke Scott intentionally

Missed opportunity in the fifth (not in sixth)

The Orioles had a chance to pull within one run in the bottom of the fifth inning, but they left runners on second and third. Third base coach John Russell held Cesar Izturis on Brian Roberts’ one-out double into the right-field corner. Russell was more than halfway down the line before raising his arms and bringing Izturis to a halt. Fans booed the decision -

Tillman can’t clear the fifth

Alex Avila has struck again. Get this guy out of town. Avila homered and drove in five runs last night, and his solo homer tonight broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning. Keep in mind that Avila had one RBI before last night. A two-out double by Brennan Boesch scored Will Rhymes, who walked, and knocked Chris Tillman out of the game. Tillman threw

Bullpen not being saved (updated)

Manager Buck Showalter needs Chris Tillman to pitch deep into tonight’s game and save his bullpen after Brad Bergesen’s abbreviated start last night. So far, the plan isn’t working. Tillman threw 32 pitches in the first inning, and the Tigers parlayed four singles into a 2-0 lead. Don Kelly bailed out Tillman by bouncing into a 6-3 double play to end the inning. The fourth

Izturis replaces Hardy

We have another lineup change. Shortstop J.J. Hardy is a late scratch. Cesar Izturis will replace him and bat ninth. We’re waiting for an explanation. Also, if tomorrow night’s game is postponed because of rain, the Orioles would play a day-night doubleheader on Saturday. The Rangers don’t return to Camden Yards, so the game would have to be made up during this homestand. The Orioles

Scott added to lineup

Luke Scott took batting practice, ran and threw without any issues. His groin injury has improved to the point where he can play tonight. Scott moves to left field, and Felix Pie goes to the bench. Here’s the new lineup: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee 1B Vladimir Guerrero DH Luke Scott LF Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 3B Matt Wieters C J.J.

Pregame Showalter

Jeremy Guthrie said his fever spiked at 103 degrees over the weekend. “Just a tick below my fastball,” he said. Glad to see he hasn’t lost his sense of humor. Guthrie is playing catch again today and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session tomorrow. The Orioles will have to determine afterward whether he’s able to make Sunday’s start, because they would need time to

Quick hits and Tigers lineup

Luke Scott isn’t in the lineup again tonight, but don’t write it in ink. Manager Buck Showalter left open the possibility that Scott could replace Felix Pie in left field. It depends how Scott feels after batting practice. Showalter felt an obligation to post a lineup in fairness to his players, but he’s ready to make the switch in left field if Scott is able

Orioles lineups for Thursday vs. Tigers

Here is the Orioles’ lineup for tonight’s 7:05 p.m. game, the finale of the first three-game series of the season at Camden Yards: For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee 1B Vladimir Guerrero DH Matt Wieters C Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 3B Felix Pie LF J.J. Hardy SS Chris Tillman RHP

Reimold homers in Norfolk loss

Nolan Reimold hit a game-tying, bases-empty home run today for Triple-A Norfolk, but the Tides lost to Charlotte 4-3 in the season opener for both teams. Reimold went 2-for-4. Brendan Harris was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Tyler Henson, playing his first Triple-A game, went 2-for-3. Brandon Snyder was 1-for-4. Ryan Adams, also playing his first Triple-A game, went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

Taking the Keys from Rowell

The Double-A Bowie Baysox revealed their 2011 roster earlier today, and it’s no surprise that former first-round pick Billy Rowell is included. Rowell finally graduated from Single-A Frederick, where he spent the past three seasons. His cap and gown are backordered. Here’s the Baysox roster: Pitchers: Tim Bascom, Zach Clark, Brandon Cooney, Jose Diaz, Eddie Gamboa, Steve Johnson, Wynn Pelzer, Raul Rivero, Chorye Spoone, Ryohei

Tillman’s time again

Chris Tillman competed for the job as the Orioles’ fifth starter. Then he became the No. 3 starter. Then he became the No. 2 starter. Tonight, he’s being asked to serve as the stopper. The Orioles already have a pitching coach, so that job is out, but it’s been an interesting progression for the young right-hander. The club is coming off its first deficit of

More postgame chatter

Tonight’s attendance: 12,451 Brad Bergesen hadn’t pitched in a game since going two innings against a collection of minor leaguers on March 30. He hadn’t faced major league hitters since March 25, and he threw only four pitches before Denard Span’s line drive slammed off his right forearm. The layoff probably didn’t do him any favors tonight. “I mean, it is tough, but (I’m) definitely

Showalter time

Maybe the off-day came at a bad time after all. The Orioles won’t win every game this season. The 1972 Miami Dolphins can pop the corks on those chilled champagne bottles. Here are some comments from manager Buck Showalter after a 7-3 loss to the Tigers: Buck Showalter meets with the media after the O’s first loss of the season On Brad Bergesen: “He hadn’t

Guthrie unsure whether he’ll start Sunday

Jeremy Guthrie played catch from 90 feet today and will do more throwing tomorrow at Camden Yards. Otherwise, he says there is “no set plan.” Guthrie told me a few minutes ago in a brief phone call that he’s doing much better “after feeling the worst I ever felt Saturday night.” However, he isn’t sure whether he’ll make Sunday’s start. Guthrie, who began having aches

162-0 in jeopardy, Lee homers (updated)

If the Orioles plan on going undefeated this season, they’ll need to tighten up the pitching and defense. At least the offense woke up. Justin Verlander retired the first 10 batters before Nick Markakis walked and Derrek Lee homered to right field. Lee’s first homer and RBIs sliced the Tigers’ lead to 4-2. Manager Buck Showalter said earlier today that “somebody’s going to pay” because

Checking on Guthrie (and game update)

I’m still not a huge fan of Twitter, though I know it’s necessary in this day and age and it’s slowly winning me over, but it’s become a convenient tool for tracking Jeremy Guthrie’s health. Guthrie just, yes, tweeted the following: “Just got cleared to play short distance catch today by team Dr...yeeaa! Will take things slowly this week and see how body reacts.” My

Scott available to pinch-hit tonight (updated)

Tonight’s lineup doesn’t include Luke Scott, but his groin injury has improved enough that he’s available to pinch-hit if needed. Scott hasn’t played since leaving Saturday night’s game for a pinch-runner. “Luke feels a lot better today,” Showalter said. “I feel like he’s getting close. I could probably use him to pinch-hit tonight. It’s something I didn’t feel real comfortable with the day before yesterday.

Guthrie “very tentative” for Sunday

Orioles manager Buck Showalter listed Jeremy Guthrie as “very tentative” for Sunday’s start against the Rangers at Camden Yards. Guthrie was released from the hospital earlier today after being treated for a form of pneumonia. Brad Bergesen is taking Guthrie’s turn on the mound tonight. “I’m not sure if he’s going to show up at the park or not,” Showalter said of Guthrie, who tossed

Tonight’s Orioles and Tigers lineups

Here is tonight’s Orioles lineup for the 7:05 p.m. game against the Detroit Tigers: For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee 1B Vladimir Guerrero DH Matt Wieters C Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 3B Felix Pie LF J.J. Hardy SS Brad Bergesen RHP For the Tigers: Jackson CF Rymes 2B Ordonez RF Cabrera 1B Martinez DH Boesch LF Peralta SS Avila

Guthrie released from hospital, “on the road to recovery”

Orioles right-hander Jeremy Guthrie has been released from the hospital after being treated for a form of pneumonia that forced him to miss the team’s Monday home opener and spend two days under the watchful eyes of doctors and nurses. “I’m free!” Guthrie wrote on his Twitter account early Wednesday afternoon. “On my way out of hospital&on the road to recovery. Special thanks to the

It’s Bergesen’s turn (updated)

My off-day is over and it’s back to work. The two entries I filed yesterday, plus calling into “The John Riggins Show” on MASN and Steve Melewski’s show on 105.7 The Fan, seemed more like a mini-vacation compared to the spring training and opening day workloads. I swung by Liberatore’s to say hello to a few people and pick up cream of crab soup for

Guthrie remains hospitalized

Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail received an encouraging report from head athletic trainer Richie Bancell earlier today concerning pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, who missed the home opener after being diagnosed with a form of pneumonia. “I was told there’s no infection, which is good news. Nothing terribly contagious. He’s doing better. All of that is a plus,” MacPhail said. Guthrie is expected to remain

Orioles have four shining moments

My one shining moment came when I missed the first half of last night’s UConn-Butler game. What a stinker. I’ve seen better basketball at the local Y. Jeremy Guthrie is remaining in good spirits despite missing the Orioles’ home opener. He tweeted the following last night: “Initially thought I had BieberFever but turns out I have pneumonia. Feeling better but got myself an overnight stay

Showalter talks about Weaver and Tyler

I can’t pack up and leave the press box without passing along manager Buck Showalter’s thoughts on catching the ceremonial first pitch from Earl Weaver and watching the video tribute to Ernie Tyler, who passed away in February. “Looking at the emotion in Earl there and how much he means to the people here in Baltimore and how special the time was that he allowed

Showalter time

Manager Buck Showalter hit on a variety of topics after today’s 5-1 victory over the Tigers. Here’s a sampler platter for you. It’s made for sharing. No napkins required. Showalter couldn’t possibly ask any more from his starters after four games. “No, you couldn’t, especially with some of the challenges we’ve faced with Matusz and Duchscherer and a couple line drives off pitching arms toward

Guthrie diagnosed with form of pneumonia

Jeremy Guthrie will remain hospitalized overnight after being diagnosed with a form of pneumonia, according to manager Buck Showalter. Guthrie has been scratched from Wednesday’s start against the Tigers at Camden Yards. Brad Bergesen will take his place. The Orioles are hoping that Guthrie can take the ball on April 10, the original date that Bergesen was supposed to debut, against the Rangers at Camden

Arrieta follows tough acts

Earl Weaver has to be loving this team. A four-man rotation and three-run homers. It could be 1970. Koji Uehara has the sideburns for it. Jake Arrieta held the Tigers to one run and six hits over six innings, with two walks and three strikeouts. He threw 99 pitches, 60 for strikes. Not a particularly clean outing, but it was quality. Orioles starters have allowed

Roberts rolling along, Simon information (and more)

So when did Brian Roberts become an RBI machine? Doubles machine, yes. Stolen base machine, yes. This is something new. Roberts belted his second three-run homer in three days, his 388-foot shot to center field off Rick Porcello breaking a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning. Earl Weaver has got to be loving it. Roberts has eight RBIs on the young season, easily the most

Observations on Wieters and Lee

The Tigers tied the Orioles, 1-1 in the third inning on a one-out double by Brandon Inge and singles by Austin Jackson and Will Rhymes. Center fielder Adam Jones got a late jump on Jackson’s fly ball into shallow left-center field. He appeared to take a step back before racing into the gap. Nick Markakis is 2-for-2. Matt Wieters isn’t fast. There’s no debating that

Arrieta off to good start, Berken talks about his outing

Jake Arrieta struck out Tigers leadoff hitter Austin Jackson. That’s the way to kick off the home opener. Will Rhymes walked after falling behind, 1-2, and he stole second despite a great throw from Matt Wieters. Arrieta retired the next two batters, striking out Miguel Cabrera on a 93 mph fastball and bringing yet another loud ovation from the predominantly orange-clad crowd here at Camden

Remembering Ernie Tyler, pregame festivities (with video)

The pregame festivities began with a touching video tribute to longtime umpires attendant Ernie Tyler, who passed away Feb. 10. A plaque now hangs outside the Ernie Tyler Umpires’ Room. The umpires will wear wrist bands with Tyler’s initials. Nice touch. Manager Buck Showalter received a prolonged ovation, which he acknowledged with a tip of his cap. You knew it was coming, and it didn’t

Showalter’s home-opening remarks

It’s taking every ounce of discipline for me to avoid starting each blog entry with a Florida dateline. I’m back in Baltimore, right? Here are some comments from manager Buck Showalter: On how much he’s thought about this day: “Certainly you give it some thought. We were so busy on the plane preparing for Detroit. I think this time of year it’s such a whirlwind,

Random notes and Tigers lineup

I’ll pass along a few notes before the Orioles kick off the home portion of their schedule. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy bringing them to you. Luke Scott is still hoping to play Wednesday after sitting out yesterday’s game at Tropicana Field with a strained groin muscle. He’s not in today’s lineup, but he’s available to pinch hit if

Guthrie hospitalized with flu (updated)

Jeremy Guthrie is hospitalized with a bad case of the flu and could miss today’s Orioles home opener at Camden Yards. The right-hander delivered the message in this tweet a short time ago. Manager Buck Showalter confirmed the news a few minutes later while meeting with reporters. Guthrie, who won the Orioles’ season opener Friday in St. Petersburg, Fla., against the Rays, said he will

Today’s lineup

The batting cage has been rolled on the field. We’re getting closer to first pitch. No ivy in center field. And I’m pretty sure those are drink rails in the second deck in left field. Here’s the Orioles’ lineup, which will look more familiar to you: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee 1B Vladimir Guerrero DH Matt Wieters C Adam Jones CF Mark

Only 159 wins from perfection

I almost put a Tampa dateline on this blog entry, since I typed its first words after my Southwest flight took off for home tonight. I needed to get a head start. The morning is going to be a hectic one. I’ll have to re-introduce myself to my daughter, who’s going to love the spring training hooded sweatshirt that I bought for her at the

Britton and Connor talk about today’s outing

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles hadn’t swept the Rays at Tropicana Field since 2005. Zach Britton became only the second visiting pitcher to win his debut here since Marlins left-hander Scott Olsen on June 25, 2005. Let’s hear from Britton: “I was really excited,” he told reporters after finishing his interview on MASN2. “It really wasn’t as bad. I remember spring training with Philly

Showalter time (corrected)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - I scanned the Rays’ postgame notes, saw a line about Zach Britton becoming the first Orioles pitcher to debut with six scoreless innings since Chris Waters, and ran with it. Then I realized he gave up a run and I made the correction. That’s the beauty of a blog. You can go back and fix it. Now it’s fixed. And now

J.J. Hardy talks about Britton and being 3-0

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Lots to pass along following today’s 5-1 victory that completed a three-game sweep of the Rays. The Orioles are 3-0 for the first time since the 1997 wire-to-wire season. Just saying... Here’s shortstop J.J. Hardy on the sweep: “It’s big. We had all the confidence in the world going through spring training and as many expectations as we’ve had on ourselves.

Startling stats by starters (updated twice)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Jeremy Guthrie, Chris Tillman and Zach Britton - not exactly the top three you envisioned when putting together your rotation over the winter - held the Rays to one run and six hits in 20 innings in this series. Jake Arrieta has three tough acts to follow in tomorrow’s home opener, which I’m told will be played with temperatures in the

Davis gone, Britton in line for win (updated)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles broke a 1-1 tie with three runs in the top of the seventh, and they’re still batting. Cesar Ramos replaced starter Wade Davis after J.J. Hardy lined a two-run double into the left field corner. Matt Wieters led off with his second hit - yes, it was a good idea to bat him fifth - and Adam Jones followed

Britton allows first run

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Zach Britton already knows the dangers of walking batters, but he got another reminder today. Britton opened the third inning by walking the last two hitters in the Rays lineup, Matt Joyce and Sam Fuld. Joyce scored with one out on Elliot Johnson’s safety squeeze bunt. Joyce didn’t break for home until Johnson laid down the bunt, so it wasn’t a

Lineup move pays off (updated)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Manager Buck Showalter had to change his lineup today with Luke Scott unable to play because of a strained groin muscle. One of the adjustments raised Matt Wieters from eighth to fifth in the order. Wieters was hitting .167 with no homers or RBIs after the first two games of this series, but Showalter played a hunch. Wieters responded with a

Pre-game Showalter

ST. PETERSBURGH, Fla. - I’m heading to the visiting television booth at Tropicana Field for my O’s Xtra segment on MASN2, but I wanted to pass along a few pre-game quotes from manager Buck Showalter. On Luke Scott: “He’s day-to-day. Hopefully, we got ahead of it a little bit. He was feeling it a little bit earlier. He said it wasn’t a big deal. He

Duchscherer undergoing back procedure, Damon scratched

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles officially placed left-hander Brian Matusz on the disabled list today with a strained left intercostal muscle. Zach Britton takes his place on the roster and in the rotation. Pitcher Justin Duchscherer will undergo an ablation this week on his lower back, which is a procedure that uses radio frequency to heat up the nerves, interrupts the nerve signals and

Rays lineup and Scott quotes

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Third baseman Evan Longoria is out of the Rays’ lineup after leaving last night’s game with a strained oblique. Zach Britton must be smiling. For the Rays: B.J. Upton CF Johnny Damon LF Ben Zobrist 2B Manny Ramirez DH Kelly Shoppach C Sean Rodriguez 3B Elliot Johnson SS Dan Johnson 1B Sam Fuld RF Wade Davis RHP Luke Scott told reporters

Scott update and today’s lineup

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Luke Scott remains sidelined with tightness in his right groin, but he’s fairly optimistic that he’ll avoid the disabled list. Scott, who left last night’s game with the injury, is aiming for a Wednesday return. Unfortunately, that means being out of the lineup for tomorrow’s home opener. Here’s today’s lineup vs. the Rays: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee

Final thoughts on Orioles’ 3-1 victory

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles were lucky to escape Tropicana Field with one win in last year’s opening series. They’ll go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon. Oh, how times have changed. “This has always been a tough place for us and I think for a lot of people in the last three or four years,” said second baseman Brian Roberts. “You start to have

Talking about Markakis’ defensive gem

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Chris Tillman threw six hitless innings, Brian Roberts broke a scoreless tie with a three-run homer, and everybody wants to talk about Nick Markakis. I’m fine with it. Markakis made one of the most outstanding, clutch catches you’ll ever see, taking away a game-tying extra-base hit from Ben Zobrist with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to preserve a

Scott left game with groin injury

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Luke Scott is listed as day-to-day after straining his right groin muscle during tonight’s game. Felix Pie pinch-ran for Scott in the seventh inning after the veteran reached on a fielder’s choice. It proved to be a key substitution, as Pie threw out B.J. Upton at the plate to end the bottom of the seventh and keep the game scoreless. Pie

The value of Uehara

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Rays made things interesting in the eighth. And by “interesting,” I mean heart-pounding. Michael Gonzalez returned to his little dome of horrors and walked the first two batters he faced, including Ben Zobrist on four pitches. He fell behind, 2-0, to Johnny Damon before retiring him on a foul pop. Gonzalez was done. In his place came Koji Uehara, who

A no-no no more (updated)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Well, it was fun while it lasted. B.J. Upton singled to center field off Orioles reliever Jeremy Accardo with two outs in the seventh inning to break up the collective no-hit bid. I could have sworn I ordered the combination no-hit platter tonight. It was a clean single, and it came after Brian Roberts made a nice backhanded stop and off-balance

Tillman makes it interesting (updated)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Rays have two baserunners through five innings against Chris Tillman, both coming on walks. That’s it. TIllman has thrown 80 pitches, so getting him through the ninth will be quite a challenge. But hey, he wasn’t even supposed to start tonight. Kelly Shoppach swung through a 92 mph fastball to end the fifth, the 10th consecutive batter retired by Tillman.

Tillman in the first (updated)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Chris Tillman blanked the Rays in the first inning, but they made him work for it. Tillman went to a three-ball count to the first three hitters, though he retired Ben Zobrist on a foul pop up and struck out Johnny Damon on a 91 mph fastball. Evan Longoria walked after taking two curveballs out of the strike zone with a

Pregame notes and quotes (updated)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - I had a little time to kill before the Orioles took the field for batting practice, so I asked J.J. Hardy about last night’s rundown that ended with him plowing into the Rays’ B.J. Upton. Third base umpire Scott Barry called Upton out, which brought manager Joe Maddon from the dugout for a prolonged argument. Hardy assumed that he was guilty

Britton is here

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Zach Britton showed up at Tropicana Field today and sat in the left field seats. Just a rookie pitcher and his thoughts. Britton got the surprise call yesterday that he was joining the Orioles in St. Petersburg and making his major league debut tomorrow afternoon against the Rays. He’ll take it all in before taking the mound. “It’s exciting,” he said.

Orioles-Rays lineup, Simon and Matusz updates

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Here are the lineups for tonight’s game at Tropicana Field: For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis RF Derrek Lee 1B Vladimir Guerrero DH Luke Scott LF Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 3B Matt Wieters C J.J. Hardy SS Chris Tillman RHP For the Rays: Zobrist 2B Damon LF Longoria 3B Ramirez DH Johnson 1B Upton CF Joyce RF Shoppach

Looking back on perfect season

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - One game, one win. That’s perfection in my book. Of course, a franchise with 13 straight losing seasons can’t function without a little adversity. The entire front office might break out in a rash if all the news is good. The revelation about Brian Matusz’s back and the MRI result put a real damper on last night’s festivities. Jeremy Guthrie should

Postgame chatter after O’s 4-1 win

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The news on Brian Matusz is unfortunate, to say the least, but we shouldn’t focus entirely on the negative after a 4-1 win over the Rays. Jeremy Guthrie was superb, blanking the Rays on three hits over eight innings. No way he was coming out for the ninth with his pitch count at 94. “We were able to throw a lot

Matusz talks about his injury

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - I’d point out that Brian Matusz is snakebit, but that’s about the only bad thing that hasn’t happened to him in Florida. Matusz said he began noticing some discomfort in his back last week, and it grew progressively worse until he couldn’t throw this afternoon. “It really did sneak up on me,” he said after tonight’s 4-1 victory over the Rays.

Matusz going on DL, Britton coming up

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Brian Matusz has been diagnosed with a strained intercostal muscle, which will force him on the disabled list and bring Zach Britton to the majors. Manager Buck Showalter confirmed that Britton, who dazzled in spring training, will make Sunday’s start. And president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail estimated that Matusz could miss anywhere from three to six weeks. Buck Showalter announces

Tillman starting tomorrow (updated twice)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - It’s official: Chris Tillman will start tomorrow night’s game against the Rays. Tillman was scheduled to start on Sunday, but he’s needed tomorrow after Brian Matusz was scratched. Matusz underwent an MRI this afternoon on his sore back, and we’re still waiting for the results. No word on Sunday’s starter. Mark it down as TBA. It’s possible that Brad Bergesen gets

Putting the “Guts” in Guthrie (updated)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Don’t ask about the missing “s.” Jeremy Guthrie said he was ready for the regular season after allowing four runs and 12 hits in five innings against the Blue Jays in Dunedin. You could be forgiven for doubting him. Now you owe him an apology. Guthrie has held the Rays to two hits over six innings - a double by Dan

Hardy’s the first to score in 2011 (updated)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - J.J. Hardy is the first Oriole to cross the plate this season, scampering home on Nick Markakis’ two-out single in the third inning to break a scoreless tie. Hardy doubled with one out off Rays starter David Price, and took third base on the left-hander’s errant pickoff throw. The ball actually went through Hardy’s legs. Brian Roberts struck out, but Markakis

More pregame Showalter (updated)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Brian Matusz dominated the news today, but in case you were wondering, manager Buck Showalter didn’t have any updates on Justin Duchscherer, who saw a chiropractor on Wednesday because of back discomfort. Maybe it’s contagious. “I know Richie (Bancells) and them were getting their arms around a plan of attack, so to speak,” Showalter said. “Nothing really new, but I may

Showalter talks about Matusz

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - This is no way to start a new season. Brian Matusz left the ballpark to undergo an MRI on his back after experiencing pain while trying to throw. He’s a candidate to join Justin Duchscherer on the disabled list and create a possible ripple effect in the rotation. No. 3 starter Chris Tillman could be bumped up a day and start

Matusz scratched tomorrow with sore back

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Left-hander Brian Matusz won’t make tomorrow night’s start against the Rays because of soreness on the left side of his back. Matusz is scheduled to undergo an MRI at 5:30 p.m.. The disabled list is a possibility, though manager Buck Showalter didn’t want to venture into that territory without getting the results. Chris Tillman is one candidate to replace Matusz tomorrow

A few pre-opener notes

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The weather is gorgeous here, which means nothing once we’re inside the dome. But it was a much calmer drive this afternoon. The Orioles are 2-2 against the Rays in season openers, winning in 1999 and 2006, and losing in 2008 and 2010. They’re 8-9 when beginning the season on the road, losing their last three to the Rays, Twins (2007)

It’s finally here

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - All the talk, all the debating, all the words plastered on this blog. We tracked every rumor at the winter meetings - didn’t Nolan Reimold almost get traded? - and waiting for the Orioles to find a first baseman and veteran starting pitcher. We wondered if they would finally hire enough coaches to start the season. We argued the merits of

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