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Your incremental MacPhail update

I always point out how I strongly dislike incremental updates that don’t advance a story, but here I go again. The Orioles haven’t made an announcement today regarding president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail, and we probably won’t hear anything until Monday at the earliest. Nothing has changed at this point. MacPhail will no longer serve as president of baseball operations unless there’s a dramatic

More about Matusz

If anyone with the Orioles needs a fresh start, it’s left-hander Brian Matusz. Matusz left spring training as the No. 2 starter. He ended the season with one victory. I don’t know anyone who saw it coming. I predicted that Matusz would become the staff ace after winning his last six decisions in 2010 and posting a 1.57 ERA over his final eight starts. Maybe

Showalter on Andino

One of the lasting images from the 2011 season was provided last night by second baseman Robert Andino. Not just his game-winning hit, but the way he bounded around the bases, took a flying chest-bump from Adam Jones and landed on his back. And the way he disappeared under a pile of jubilant teammates. And the way he strutted back to the dugout on his

There’s got to be a morning after ...

I might be confused, but I’m pretty sure what I eat this morning determines whether a Boston sportswriter has to skip breakfast. All of us in the press box who cover the Orioles were in agreement that last night’s ending made up for a lot of the aggravation, frustration and heartache of a 14th consecutive losing season. The three straight two-out hits off Boston closer

Showalter speaks about “special” night

Manager Buck Showalter couldn’t return to his office after meeting with reporters until he returned to the field through the home plate entrance and waved to fans who refused to go home. Pitcher Tommy Hunter tossed baseballs into the stands. It felt like the final regular-season game in 1979, except this wasn’t Memorial Staidum and the Orioles weren’t heading to the playoffs. The Orioles rallied

From tarp to targets (Andino wins it in ninth)

Play resumed at 10:58 p.m. after a 1 hour, 26 minute rain delay. Boston reliever Alfredo Aceves might need a few more warmup tosses. Aceves hit Mark Reynolds in the left ribcage with his first pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning. Chris Davis flied out, and Aceves drilled Nolan Reimold in the left shoulder. Reimold flipped his bat, walked toward first base and

Game update and Reimold note (and attendance)

Alfredo Simon lasted only 4 1/3 innings tonight. Dustin Pedroia hit a tie-breaking home run in the top of the fifth, and Simon exited after David Ortiz singled off the out-of-town scoreboard in right field. Simon was charged with three runs and six hits, with three walks, two strikeouts and a balk. He threw 87 pitches, 53 for strikes. Simon also gave up three runs

Angle, Jones and more (score tied 2-2)

Alfredo Simon stranded a runner in the first inning and another one in the second, but the Red Sox took a 1-0 lead in the third. No. 9 hitter Mike Aviles drew a leadoff walk, moved up on Jacoby Ellsbury’s single and scored on Dustin Pedroia’s single. Ellsbury extended his hitting streak against the Orioles to 36 games. Simon got a double play, issued an

Jones talks about MVO award

I’m hearing now that it’s highly unlikely that the Orioles make an announcement tomorrow regarding president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail. Something would have to change during the afternoon. Maybe on Friday. Center fielder Adam Jones beat out shortstop J.J. Hardy by one vote for Most Valuable Oriole. I expected a close count, but that’s taking it to the extreme. “It’s a tremendous honor,” Jones

Chris Davis to undergo hernia surgery

You can add corner infielder Chris Davis to the list of Orioles who will undergo sports hernia surgery after the season. Davis is in tonight’s lineup at third base. He’s batting .265 with five homers and 19 RBIs. “It’s something he’s had for a while,” Showalter said. Second baseman Ryan Adams is scheduled to undergo a similar procedure on Oct. 4 in Philadelphia. Also, outfielder

Jones named MVO (with O’s and Boston lineups)

Adam Jones has been named Most Valuable Oriole for the 2011 season. J.J. Hardy placed second and Matt Wieters was third. Both players received first-place votes. Mark Reynolds, Jim Johnson, Robert Andino and Nick Markakis also received votes from members of the media who cover the team. Jones has set career highs with 26 doubles, 25 home runs, 83 RBIs and 150 games played. He’s

And now, the end is near ...

It seems like only yesterday that I was standing in the home clubhouse at Ed Smith Stadium, scribbling down every move made by future Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero on his first day in camp. What he wore, where he sat, what he ate, how many words of English he spoke, how many teammates stared in awe. I was touring the refurbished Sarasota facility, staking

Showalter speaks after 8-7 loss

Nick Markakis milked Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon for 11 pitches in the bottom of the ninth inning. Adam Jones worked him for 10 before bouncing out to end the game. Papelbon needed 28 pitches to record the save in the Red Sox’s 8-7 win. The Orioles didn’t go quietly. Not after falling behind 8-4 in the eighth inning, and not after trailing 8-6 in the

Orioles’ rally falls short

The Orioles scored once against Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Adam Jones bounced to third base with the count full to strand the potential tying run at second in an 8-7 loss before an announced 22,123 at Camden Yards. Jones saw 10 pitches in the at-bat. J.J. Hardy led off with a single and took second on

It’s up to the bullpens (O’s trail 8-6)

Former Oriole Erik Bedard didn’t make it out of the fourth inning tonight. Rookie Zach Britton didn’t make it out of the fifth. Nothing here that screams “quality,” but they do classify as starts. Bedard allowed three runs and five hits in 3 1/3 innings, with three walks and six strikeouts. He threw 84 pitches, 48 for strikes. Britton was charged with five runs and

Britton loses lead in third (O’s down 5-3)

Both pitchers tonight have given up runs after recording the first two outs in an inning. Nick Markakis drew a two-out walk off former Orioles left-hander Erik Bedard in the bottom of the first and scored on Vladimir Guerrero’s double into left-center field. Boston’s No. 9 hitter, Marco Scutaro, doubled to left field against Orioles rookie Zach Britton with two outs in the top of

A few pregame notes and quotes

If Zach Britton records a win or a no-decision tonight, he’ll become the first Orioles pitcher with 20 or more decisions to post a record above .500 since Erik Bedard went 15-11 in 2006. Coincidentally, Bedard is starting tonight for the Red Sox. I determined that it qualifies as a coincidence, not an irony. Please correct me if I’m wrong. A 12th victory tonight would

Orioles and Red Sox lineups

For the Orioles: Robert Andino 2B J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Vladimir Guerrero DH Matt Wieters C Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 1B Chris Davis 3B Nolan Reimold LF Zach Britton LHP For the Red Sox: Ellsbury CF Pedroia 2B Ortiz DH Lowrie 3B Gonzalez 1B Lavarnway C McDonald RF Crawford LF Scutaro SS Bedard LHP This is the first time that Lowrie has

This, that and the other

I want to start out by saying that I went 12-4 picking against the spread in NFL games, which means I’ll probably go 2-14 this weekend. Dallas rallied last night for my 12th win. I was hesitant to take a team whose quarterback was playing with cracked ribs and a punctured lung, but then I thought, “What the heck?” I mentioned last night that Adam

Showalter limps after 6-3 win

Orioles manager Buck Showalter walked gingerly to his seat for his postgame session with the media following a 6-3 win over the Red Sox. He didn’t move at the usual brisk pace. Each step was carefully measured. Showalter underwent X-rays on his ankle that, he assumes, came back negative. He was back in the dugout by the second inning. Showalter said he turned the ankle

Andino with inside-the-park home run

That was an eventful bottom of the sixth inning. It started with Vladimir Guerrero setting the hits record for Dominican-born players and included Robert Andino’s three-run inside-the-park home run that expanded the Orioles’ lead to 6-2 against Boston’s Josh Beckett. With his father watching in the stands, Andino sent a towering fly ball to center field with runners on second and third, two outs and

Hunter grinds out five innings (Guerrero sets record)

Left-hander Troy Patton has replaced Tommy Hunter in the top of the sixth inning with the score tied, 2-2. Hunter allowed two runs (one earned) and seven hits in five innings, with three walks, two strikeouts and a home run. He threw 90 pitches, 54 for strikes. Hunter tweaked his groin during his last start, and he might have aggravated the injury tonight while doing

Showalter being treated for ankle injury (Boston takes 2-1 lead)

Orioles manager Buck Showalter wasn’t in the dugout for the first inning after sustaining a “minor ankle injury,” according to a team official. Showalter is receiving treatment for the injury, which apparently occurred earlier today, and will return to the bench shortly. Eyewitnesses said Showalter had to be carried down the runway leading from the dugout after exchanging lineup cards at home plate. This rival

A few pregame notes (Sox lineup change)

Red Sox manager Terry Francona told the Boston media that everyone in his bullpen should be available except Franklin Morales. I guess closer Jonathan Papelbon has something left in the tank after working 2 1/3 innings last night in Game 2. Orioles second baseman Ryan Adams remains scheduled to undergo surgery on Oct. 4 for a sports hernia. Nolan Reimold has five homers and 15

Orioles and Red Sox lineups

For the Orioles: Matt Angle LF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Vladimir Guerrero DH Matt Wieters C Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 1B Chris Davis 3B Robert Andino 2B Tommy Hunter RHP For the Red Sox: Ellsbury CF Crawford LF Pedroia 2B Ortiz DH Gonzalez 1B Lowrie 3B Drew RF Varitek C Scutaro SS Beckett RHP

Orioles facing the Boston strugglers (updated)

The Orioles are expected to announce their minor league Player and Pitcher of the Year later today. As I’ve written already, it would come as a big surprise if Jonathan Schoop and Bobby Bundy are denied the honors. I’ve been wrong before, so don’t place any wagers based on that statement. However, those are my picks, and I know the Orioles were leaning heavily in

The good and the bad in 10-6 loss

Brad Bergesen replaced starter Brian Matusz in the sixth inning and gave up two singles, struck out two batters and served up a three-run homer to Don Kelly. That’s good and bad in the same inning. Chris Jakubauskas replaced Jeremy Accardo in the eighth and gave up a home run to the first batter he faced, Jhonny Peralta, after the Orioles had scored three runs

Matusz down early (O’s rally to tie)

Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer off Brian Matusz in the bottom of the first inning to give Detroit a 2-0 lead. It happened so fast, I was still driving back from Hunt Valley. Cabrera jumped on Matusz’s first pitch, a curveball. The inning included a throwing error by third baseman Chris Davis, but Jake Fox threw out Austin Jackson at the plate. Matusz has

Multiple changes in today’s lineup

Here’s a lineup you won’t recognize. It doesn’t include Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, J.J. Hardy, Mark Reynolds or Matt Wieters. For the Orioles: Matt Angle CF Robert Andino 2B Chris Davis 3B Vladimir Guerrero DH Jake Fox 1B Nolan Reimold RF Kyle Hudson LF Pedro Florimon SS Craig Tatum C Brian Matusz LHP

Matusz on the mound one more time (with notes)

Just when it appeared that Brian Matusz had thrown his last pitch in 2011, he’s back on the hill for one more start. There’s no way for Matusz to salvage this season, but manager Buck Showalter wants him to go out on a high note. Showalter appreciates how Matusz has worked overtime to achieve better results, even if they haven’t come to him. Matusz is

Manufacturing a run and a win

The Orioles used the suicide squeeze to take a 6-5 lead in the top of the ninth, and Kevin Gregg stranded the tying run to pick up his 22nd save and his second in three nights. Pretty routine stuff, right? Pedro Strop allowed his first run as an Oriole, tying the game in the eighth inning. Chris Davis singled to lead off the top of

Taking the right Angle (updated)

I haven’t changed my opinion that Matt Angle doesn’t hit for enough power to be the regular left fielder next season, but I’ll tip my cap to him after his leadoff home run tonight. I don’t wear caps, but I’ll purchase one for the sole purpose of tipping it. Angle had four homers in 424 at-bats at Triple-A Norfolk this summer. He hadn’t hit one

Orioles lineup against Tigers

Matt Angle is starting in left field and batting first tonight for the Orioles. Robert Andino drops to ninth in the order. For the Orioles: Matt Angle LF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Vladimir Guerrero DH Matt Wieters C Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 1B Chris Davis 3B Robert Andino 2B Jeremy Guthrie RHP Left-hander Brian Matusz will start tomorrow afternoon against the Tigers,

Orioles will try to solve Verlander

If Justin Verlander doesn’t win the American League’s Cy Young Award, I’ll attempt to catch his next fastball between my teeth. The only question is whether he’ll also be named Most Valuable Player. And whether the Orioles can do anything against him tonight. Verlander is 6-0 with a 2.64 ERA in eight career starts vs. the Orioles, with 44 hits, 17 walks and 51 strikeouts

Free baseball (O’s lose 4-3 in 11th)

Nine innings aren’t enough tonight. The Orioles and Tigers are headed for extras. Jim Johnson really is the closer. He’s not as effective in non-save situations. Johnson recorded saves in seven of his last eight appearances before tonight. The exception came on Saturday, when he allowed a run in a 6-2 victory over the Angels. That was the only run off Johnson in his last

Wieters wields big bat again in clutch (update)

The Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Vladimir Guerrero’s RBI double, quickly fell behind, 2-1, and reclaimed the lead, 3-2, in the third. The second rally started with an infield hit by Robert Andino, the spark plug atop the order. Andino eventually scored on Nick Markakis’ sacrifice fly, and J.J. Hardy crossed the plate as the go-ahead run

This and that about Reynolds

Cincinnati’s Drew Stubbs joined the 200-strikeout club last night. It’s a very exclusive club. Total membership is two players. The meetings are really short. The “minutes” are actually seconds. Stubbs and Mark Reynolds are the only players in major league history to strike out 200 times in a single season. Reynolds has done it three straight years. Reynolds would have to strike out 15 times

Orioles and Tigers lineups

For the Orioles: Robert Andino 2B J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Vladimir Guerrero DH Matt Wieters C Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 1B Chris Davis 3B Nolan Reimold LF Alfredo Simon RHP For the Tigers: Jackson CF Kelly 3B Young LF Cabrera 1B Martinez DH Avila C Peralta SS Dirks RF Santiago 2B Porcello RHP

Getting your kicks by rooting for 66

The Orioles have won 66 games this season and they’ve got six more to play. They also won 66 games last season. I’m trying to appreciate the “progress” that they’ve made in 2011. I’m also trying to forget that last year’s team was 2-16 and went through three managers. The Orioles will avoid 100 losses. They could win more games than last season. They won’t

Britton falters in fifth (O’s win 6-5)

So much for that 5-0 lead. The Tigers scored once in the fourth inning and four times in the fifth to tie the game, 5-5. Delmon Young’s three-run shot, off a 94 mph fastball from left-hander Zach Britton, erased the rest of the Orioles’ lead. Well, it was fun while it lasted. Britton has won four of his last five decisions since coming off the

Guerrero gives Orioles early lead (Hardy and Jones build on it)

Vladimir Guerrero drove in the Orioles’ final two runs last night, and he’s produced their first run tonight. Guerrero’s sacrifice fly off Tigers starter Jacob Turner scored J.J. Hardy in the top of the first inning and gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead. Hardy and Nick Markakis singled with one out and Guerrero flied to center field to provide an early lead for rookie left-hander

Orioles lineup against the Tigers

The Orioles finally posted their lineup. You can decide whether it was worth the wait. For the Orioles: Robert Andino 2B J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Vladimir Guerrero DH Matt Wieters C Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 1B Chris Davis 3B Nolan Reimold LF Zach Britton LHP Second baseman Brian Roberts will be featured on “Outside the Lines” at 10 a.m. Sunday on ESPN2

This, that and the other

The Orioles have taken their act to Detroit for the last four road games of the season. No mo’ after Motown. Only three Orioles starters are listed for the series - Zach Britton tonight, Alfredo Simon tomorrow night and Jeremy Guthrie on Saturday night. Sunday’s starter is TBA. Brian Matusz and Rick VandenHurk are available for the assignment. Jo-Jo Reyes tossed three scoreless innings in

Reynolds’ second homer ties game (O’s win 6-4)

Mark Reynolds wasn’t satisfied with hitting his 35th homer tonight. He also wasn’t willing to let the Orioles trail by two runs. Reynolds homered again off Josh Beckett, his two-run shot in the seventh inning tying the game, 4-4. Matt Wieters singled and was forced at second on Adam Jones’ fielder’s choice grounder. Reynolds took a 93 mph fastball for a ball, fouled off another

Reynolds hits No. 35 (Boston leads 4-2)

Mark Reynolds homered off Josh Beckett with two outs in the top of the second inning to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead. Reynolds pulled a 91 mph cutter to left field, easily clearing the Green Monster after Beckett got ahead, 0-2, in the count. Reynolds sat out two games after being drilled in the helmet by an Ervin Santana pitch Saturday night, but he’s

Did you know ...?

The Orioles are looking to win their first four-game series at Fenway Park since Aug. 8-10, 2003, when they took three of four. Their last series win in Boston was Sept. 20-22, 2010, when they took two of three. The Orioles are going for their fifth road series win of the season. A win tonight would give the Orioles their third consecutive series win, a

Jones and Reynolds remain in lineup

Adam Jones and Mark Reynolds are making back-to-back starts after returning to the Orioles’ lineup last night. Matt Angle gets the start in left field. For the Orioles: Robert Andino 2B J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Vladimir Guerrero DH Matt Wieters C Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 1B Chris Davis 3B Matt Angle LF Tommy Hunter RHP For the Red Sox: Ellsbury CF Aviles

Rethinking the MVO

It’s tough to get a group of sportswriters and broadcasters to agree on anything, but I don’t recall many divided opinions in the Most Valuable Oriole voting that takes place during the final month of every season. The second- and third-place finishers can bring a heated debate, but the winner usually takes the honor by a fairly wide margin. Luke Scott was the overwhelming choice

Andino clears the bases in eighth (O’s win 7-5)

Red Sox manager Terry Francona called upon closer Jonathan Papelbon to get a five-out save tonight. He got a blown save instead. Robert Andino lined a three-run double into the right field corner with two outs and the count full to give the Orioles a 7-5 lead in the eighth inning. Matt Wieters and Mark Reynolds singled off Daniel Bard. Francona brought in Papelbon with

VandenHurk not nugget-like tonight (Showalter ejected)

Rick VandenHurk’s second start with the Orioles this month didn’t do much to enhance his standing within the organization. VandenHurk couldn’t record an out in the fourth inning and he couldn’t hold a 4-1 lead. Jo-Jo Reyes replaced him with runners on first and second, no outs and the Orioles ahead, 4-3. Jacoby Ellsbury singled to load the bases. Reyes struck out Dustin Pedroia and

VandenHurk’s latest audition starts poorly (O’s lead, 4-3)

Rick VandenHurk fell behind, 1-0, tonight after facing three Red Sox batters. Back-to-back one-out doubles by Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez in the first inning gave Boston an early lead. Gonzalez is 3-for-4 with two doubles and a home run lifetime against VandenHurk, who hasn’t pitched since Sept. 10 in Toronto. That’s what you would call extended rest. VandenHurk lasted only 2 1/3 innings in

Jones and Reynolds return to lineup (Adams update)

Adam Jones is starting in center field tonight and Mark Reynolds is back at first base. The lineup looks fairly normal again. Jones hasn’t started since Sept. 9 because of a sprained right thumb. For the Orioles: Robert Andino 2B J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Vladimir Guerrero DH Matt Wieters C Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 1B Chris Davis 3B Nolan Reimold LF Rick

Case closed for Johnson

Should we believe that Jim Johnson is going to make a start before the 2011 season comes to a merciful end? It’s not necessary. The Orioles can decide over the winter that Johnson belongs in the rotation. They can put him on a starter’s schedule in spring training. They can change their minds at any time and return him to the bullpen. It’s not like

Matusz makes wrong kind of history (it’s really 18-9)

Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz might not pitch again this season, which would deny him the chance to lower his ERA and avoid a most dubious distinction. According to STATSPASS, Matusz’s 10.68 ERA is the highest in major league history for any pitcher with at least 10 starts. I’m providing the Top 10 below. I’m only including the number of starts, not relief appearances. Keep in

No more for Matusz? (O’s trying to rally)

I predicted in spring training that left-hander Brian Matusz would emerge as the staff ace. Then I thought the Orioles would keep in at Triple-A Norfolk for an extended period, but they recalled him. Then I thought they would continue to send him to the mound every five days, but they pulled him from the rotation after his Sept. 5 start in New York. Then

Orioles carry momentum into Game 2 (updated)

No lead is safe at Fenway Park, but the Orioles are bold enough to try. They jumped on right-hander John Lackey for three runs in the top of the first inning, bringing more angst to Red Sox Nation. Matt Angle singled and stole his eighth base. J.J. Hardy walked, and Angle sprinted home on Nick Markakis’ single. That’s 1-0. Vladimir Guerrero lined a sacrifice fly

Jones also out of Game 2 lineup (with Red Sox lineup)

Maybe Adam Jones can get back into the lineup tomorrow night. He’s missing again in Game 2. Jones was a defensive replacement in Game 1. For the Orioles: Matt Angle CF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Vladimir Guerrero DH Chris Davis 1B Robert Andino 3B Nolan Reimold LF Ryan Adams 2B Craig Tatum C Brian Matusz LHP For the Red Sox: Jacoby Ellsbury CF

‘Pen is mightier in eighth (O’s win 6-5)

Manager Buck Showalter played the matchup game in the eighth inning with the Orioles clinging to a 6-5 lead. He won. Now, the Orioles will try to do the same. Clay Rapada faced David Ortiz to open the bottom of the eighth and retired him on one pitch, which resulted in a liner to short. Left-handed hitters are 4-for-43 against Rapada this season and 5-for-62

It’s not a fly ball, it’s an adventure (O’s clinging to 6-5 lead)

Now it’s Matt Angle’s turn to fight the sun and whatever else is distracting the outfielders today at Fenway Park. Angle misplayed Dustin Pedroia’s long fly ball to center field in the fifth inning, resulting in a triple that scored Adrian Gonzalez and reduced the Orioles’ lead to 6-4. Jeremy Guthrie got the first two outs, fell behind 3-0 to Marco Scutaro and walked him

Left field hurts and helps Orioles (Andino, Reimold and Hardy homer)

Nolan Reimold misplayed a ball in left field today because of the bright sun at Fenway Park. The Red Sox couldn’t take advantage and stranded four runners in two innings. Darnell McDonald, who joined the Rex Sox’s lineup late after Carl Crawford was scratched, misplayed two straight fly balls in the top of the third, as the Orioles took a 2-0 lead on Matt Angle’s

No Reynolds or Jones for Game 1

Mark Reynolds confirmed to reporters in Boston that he’ll sit out today’s doubleheader after being hit in the head Saturday night. Manager Buck Showalter indicated yesterday that Reynolds could remain on the bench until Tuesday. Showalter was hoping to start Adam Jones in at least one of the games. It won’t be the opener. For the Orioles: Matt Angle CF J.J. Hardy SS, Nick Markakis

While waiting for the Game 1 lineup ...

The Orioles are playing two games in Boston today because of the May 17 postponement. At least, I think that’s the reason. There have been so many rainouts, I’ve lost track of the dates. Boston has lost 11 of its last 14 games, and Tampa Bay has closed to within two games in the wild card race. Game 1 starter Jeremy Guthrie is 2-8 with

Showalter speaks after 11-2 loss

Alfredo Simon allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings today, including three home runs that helped the Angels take an 11-2 victory over the Orioles before an announced 27,471 at Camden Yards. That’s a touchdown, two-point conversion and field goal for the Angels. “I think today was, what, his 14th start?” Showalter said. “We keep looking for guys to step up and put

Simon still searching for consistency (Guerrero ties Bagwell)

Alfredo Simon has come back out to start the fifth inning, but he’s already allowed two home runs to Erick Aybar and one to Vernon Wells, and the Orioles trail the Angels, 6-1, in a game that’s moving slower than the Griswolds after they arrive at Wally World. Manager Buck Showalter has Brad Bergesen warming in the bullpen again, so Simon is near the end

Both benches warned (O’s down 2-1)

That didn’t take long. Alfredo Simon drilled Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo in the back pocket with a 95 mph fastball in the first inning, and plate umpire Laz Diaz jumped out from behind home plate and issued warnings to both benches. It’s fair to assume that Simon was retaliating after Angels starter Ervin Santana hit Nolan Reimold and Mark Reynolds last night. Reynolds was

Reynolds talks about beaning (Jones update)

Mark Reynolds joked with teammates this morning that they need to go easy on him because he’s “concussed.” At least he’s able to laugh about it. Reynolds says he’s fine and thought he might be in the lineup today, but a reporter broke the news that he’s on the bench. “Oh, there’s a lineup up? Then I’m probably not playing,” he said. “I was going

Reynolds out of lineup

Mark Reynolds will spend today’s game on the bench after being hit in the head last night by an Ervin Santana pitch. Reynolds says he’s fine and could play, but manager Buck Showalter is starting Chris Davis at first base and Josh Bell at third. Reynolds expects to be in the lineup for tomorrow’s doubleheader in Boston. Reynolds said he believes that Santana hit him

Hardy and Reynolds homer in first

So much for playing small ball. The Orioles tried it in the third inning last night, scored twice, and decided to go back to mashing tonight. J.J. Hardy’s two-run shot in the first inning gave the Orioles a 2-0 lead against Angels starter Ervin Santana, and gave Hardy a career-high 27 home runs. Mark Reynolds hit his 34th homer later in the inning, a three-run

Showalter speaks before tonight’s game (first pitch delayed)

Manager Buck Showalter fielded a variety of questions during his pregame session with the media, beginning with the latest on center fielder Adam Jones. I’ll pass along a few of his quotes. “Adam had an MRI at 2:30 and I have not heard the results of that,” Showalter said. “I don’t think he’s here yet, so who knows? That lineup could change back to him

Matusz expected to start Monday

Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz is scheduled to start Game 2 of Monday’s doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Jeremy Guthrie will start Game 1. Matusz hasn’t pitched since allowing five runs and five hits in 1 1/3 innings in a Sept. 5 game at Yankee Stadium. He’s 1-7 with a 9.84 ERA in 43 innings, with 68 hits, 19 walks, 33 strikeouts

Orioles lineup against Angels

Adam Jones isn’t in tonight’s lineup. He’s having an MRI on his right thumb today. Matt Angle gets the start in center field. Nolan Reimold is starting in left. For the Orioles: Matt Angle CF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Vladimir Guerrero DH Matt Wieters C Chris Davis 3B Mark Reynolds 1B Nolan Reimold LF Robert Andino 2B Zach Britton LHP

Determining roles for Angle and Hunter

Matt Angle didn’t have a hit last night in the Orioles’ 8-3 victory over the Angels, but he laid down a nice sacrifice bunt in the third inning and reached on an error and scored in the fifth. He also made a nice leaping catch near the fence to rob Howie Kendrick in the top of the first. Angle is part of the new go-go

Showalter speaks after 8-3 win

Tommy Hunter gave the Orioles seven scoreless innings tonight in an 8-3 victory over the Angels. His performance might get overlooked because the offense erupted for eight runs - including homers by Mark Reynolds and Nolan Reimold - and closer Kevin Gregg allowed three runs (two earned) in a 43-pitch ninth inning. Buck Showalter meets with the media to discuss the Birds’ 8-3 victory over

MRI scheduled for Jones

Adam Jones will have an MRI on his right thumb tomorrow after being scratched from the lineup again. An X-ray taken earlier in the week didn’t reveal any structural damage, but continuing soreness in the thumb led the Orioles to schedule the MRI. A hand specialist examined Jones’ thumb earlier today, and his report was “consistent with what the X-rays said,” according to manager Buck

Orioles and Keys cranking out the runs (O’s win 8-3)

The Orioles drove Angels starter Dan Haren from the game with two on and no outs in the sixth inning. Tyler Chatwood’s wild pitch enabled Chris Davis to score, and Nolan Reimold followed with a two-run homer to complete Haren’s line and increase the Orioles’ lead to 8-0. Haren is charged with seven runs (six earned) and seven hits, with two walks, four strikeouts and

Orioles almost down two outfielders (O’s lead 5-0)

The expanded roster might need to be stretched out a little more if the Orioles can’t keep their outfielders healthy. We haven’t reached a crisis point, but Adam Jones was a late scratch again because of his sore right thumb, and Matt Angle had to scrape himself off Nolan Reimold in left-center field. Angle made a leaping catch near the fence in the first inning

A few pregame notes and Angels lineup (Jones scratched)

Manager Buck Showalter wrote out two lineups today. He’s got Adam Jones starting in center field in the one he posted. A change would occur only if Jones can’t make it through batting practice because of his sore right thumb. “Hopefully, we won’t have a rewrite,” Showalter said. Jones hasn’t started since Sept. 9. He’s been used as a pinch-runner on Tuesday and a defensive

Jones returns to lineup

Adam Jones is back in center field tonight for the series opener against the Angels. For the Orioles: Matt Angle LF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Vladimir Guerrero DH Matt Wieters C Adam Jones CF Chris Davis 3B Mark Reynolds 1B Robert Andino 2B Tommy Hunter RHP

An order of nuggets

You’ve watched this team all season. You’ve seen players on the opening day roster, you’ve seen players recalled from the minors and you’ve seen the Orioles purchase the contracts of other players in the system. Manager Buck Showalter is looking for nuggets, and not the breaded and processed kind. No dipping sauce. Matt Wieters is a nugget, though some publications prefer the word “bust.” He’s

This, that and the other

The Orioles played 27 consecutive games before finding an open date on their schedule today that hadn’t been filled because of a previous postponement. Not that anybody’s counting. Well, manager Buck Showalter recited the number a few times yesterday and shook his head. His players need a break. If you play long enough, everyone will get on some sort of a roll. Or so it

Showalter speaks after 6-2 win

Orioles manager Buck Showalter believes that fastball command enabled Jeremy Guthrie to hold Tampa Bay to two runs and three hits over seven innings in tonight’s 6-2 victory before an announced 14,669 at Camden Yards. Guthrie has allowed three earned runs or fewer in his last five starts. He improved to 8-17 with a 4.22 ERA. Buck Showalter talks with the media after the Orioles’

Reimold goes fence for 1-0 lead (O’s take 4-2 lead)

Nolan Reimold hit his 10th home run tonight. He also hit the top of the left field fence. It counts. Reimold connected off Rays starter Wade Davis leading off the bottom of the third inning, the ball bouncing into the stands, to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead. He’s now 3-for-7 lifetime against Davis. Reimold’s last home run came Sept. 7 off the Yankees’ A.J.

Hughes suspended and other notes

Triple-A Norfolk first baseman/outfielder Rhyne Hughes has been suspended for 50 games after testing positive for an amphetamine. The suspension begins at the start of the 2012 season. Hughes isn’t on the Orioles’ 40-man roster. He made his major league debut in 2010, batting .213 with four RBIs in 14 games. He didn’t move above Triple-A this season while batting .249 with 25 doubles, 15

Jones remains out of lineup (Johnson leaves team)

Center fielder Adam Jones will stay on the bench, at least until the Orioles need a pinch-runner to distract the opposition’s reliever, while nursing a sore right thumb. Matt Angle gets the start in center field against Rays right-hander Wade Davis. For the Orioles: Matt Angle CF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Vladimir Guerrero DH Matt Wieters C Chris Davis 3B Mark Reynolds 1B

Orioles open 2012 season at home

The Orioles won’t start the 2012 season at Tropicana Field. That’s known as breaking news. They’re back home for a three-game series against the Twins that begins on April 6 - exactly 20 years after Camden Yards first opened. The Yankees will follow the Twins to Baltimore. As for interleague play, the Phillies will make a weekend trip to Camden Yards on June 8-10, followed

Looking back at Patton and the ‘pen

Matt Wieters says the Orioles aren’t spoilers. “I don’t think we’re really playing the spoiler,” he said after last night’s game. “We’re just trying to play as well as we can against teams that are going to the playoffs.” Troy Patton says the Orioles enjoy being spoilers. “It’s kind of a joke, but we like to be spoilers,” he said after last night’s game. “We

A few postgame comments from Wieters

Orioles catcher Matt Wieters talked about his home run off Rays reliever J.P. Howell that gave the Orioles a 4-2 victory. “I think it was a changeup,” he said. “Jonesy did a good job over at first base distracting to where I thought I was going to get something up because you don’t want to throw something in the dirt and let the go-ahead run

Showalter speaks after 4-2 win

Manager Buck Showalter talked about Alfredo Simon, Matt Wieters and the satisfaction of a dramatic 4-2 win over the Rays. “I said before the game, in order to have a chance at (David) Price, you’ve got to match a similar outing because you know runs are going to be at a premium. I thought that’s what Alfredo did,” Showalter said. “Still, you’re looking for that

Fox delivers off the bench (O’s win 4-2)

Jake Fox doesn’t get into many games, but he’s making his rare appearances count. Fox’s two-out, pinch-hit double scored Nolan Reimold in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game, 2-2, and force Rays manager Joe Maddon to go to his bullpen. Fox was batting for Kyle Hudson with two outs and Reimold at second. Reimold walked and stole second base with one out

Simon slips out of trouble in the second (Rays take 2-1 lead)

The Orioles are holding a 1-0 lead that nearly slipped through their fingers in the second inning. Actually, it almost crashed to the floor and shattered into a million pieces. That’s a lot of debris for a one-run lead. The Rays loaded the bases with no outs on a single, walk and single. That’s when Alfredo Simon went to work, striking out John Jaso on

Showalter talks about Jones

Manager Buck Showalter says the results of the X-ray taken yesterday on Adam Jones’ right thumb are “very similar to the last X-ray” taken in early July. Jones has some swelling in the thumb and stiffness in the knuckle, which makes it painful to grip a bat. It doesn’t bother him to throw. The Orioles haven’t scheduled any other tests for Jones, who remains day-to-day.

Jones remains out of lineup (updated)

Kyle Hudson is starting in center field tonight. Adam Jones is out of the lineup for the fourth straight game. For the Orioles: Robert Andino 3B J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Vladimir Guerrero DH Matt Wieters C Mark Reynolds 1B Nolan Reimold LF Ryan Adams 2B Kyle Hudson CF Alfredo Simon RHP Update: The X-rays taken on Jones’ right thumb came back negative. It’s

Adam Jones nominated for Roberto Clemente Award

Major League Baseball announced today that center fielder Adam Jones is the Orioles’ nominee for the 2011 Roberto Clemente Award. Jones is one of 30 finalists for the award, which recognizes a player who “best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement,” according to the press release. Here’s more from the release. I’m in

Cleaning out my notebook

The Orioles have been reduced to playing spoilers again, which has become an unfortunate and unwanted September tradition in Baltimore. They’ve got two more games with the Tampa Bay Rays, who have muscled their way back into the wild card race and are putting serious heat on the Boston Red Sox. The Orioles have three games against the Los Angeles Angels to complete this homestand,

Britton on Britton

Rookie Zach Britton offered the following assessment of tonight’s outing, when he allowed four runs and five hits in five innings while failing to win his 10th game of the season: Zach Britton talks about his outing in the Orioles’ loss to Tampa Bay “I think I was just overthrowing today,” he said. “The first couple innings weren’t bad. They were OK. But right when

Showalter speaks after 5-2 loss

Zach Britton said he was overthrowing tonight, which could at least partially explain the 100 pitches he threw in five innings, along with the four runs, five hits and four walks in the Orioles’ 5-2 loss to the Rays. “We talk about it almost every night, whether a guy has a good outing or a bad outing. It starts and stops with fastball command,” manager

Britton’s outing could be brief (Wieters homers)

Zach Britton has thrown 69 pitches in three innings tonight. He’ll need to become a little more economical with them. And real fast. Britton walked a batter in the first inning. He walked a batter in the second. He walked two more in the third, when the Rays scored three times to take a 3-0 lead. Britton also allowed three hits in the third -

A few more pregame notes

Reliever Jason Berken came off the disabled list today after throwing a bullpen session Saturday at the minor league complex in Sarasota. Nick Delmonico, the Orioles’ sixth-round draft pick out of Farragut High School in Tennessee, stopped by Camden Yards today and took early batting practice. He’ll head to Sarasota tomorrow for the fall instructional league. Manager Buck Showalter was impressed with Delmonico, saying, “That’s

Jones out of lineup again (updated)

This time, Adam Jones hasn’t been scratched from the lineup. He never got into it. Matt Angle is starting in center field while Jones continues to deal with a sore left ankle. For the Orioles: Matt Angle CF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Vladimir Guerrero DH Matt Wieters C Chris Davis 3B Mark Reynolds 1B Kyle Hudson LF Robert Andino 2B Zach Britton LHP

First things first

The Orioles are returning to Camden Yards for a six-game homestand that begins tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays, who just swept the Boston Red Sox to claw back into the wild card race. Probably not the best time to be catching these guys. Zach Britton is seeking his 10th victory. He’s faced the Rays three times this season, going 2-1 with a 3.12 ERA

New Orioles lineup (Blue Jays win, 6-5)

With Adam Jones scratched again, I get to file a second lineup today. Too bad I don’t get paid per-lineup entry. For the Orioles: Matt Angle CF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Vladimir Guerrero DH Matt Wieters C Mark Reynolds 1B Chris Davis 3B Nolan Reimold LF Robert Andino 2B Tommy Hunter RHP Game update: Nick Markakis’ two-out, two-run single off Blue Jays reliever

Jones returns to lineup (and now he’s scratched)

Adam Jones was scratched from yesterday’s lineup with a swollen ankle, but he’s starting in center field today. Matt Angle is starting in left field ahead of Nolan Reimold, who remains on the bench. For the Orioles: Matt Angle LF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Vladimir Guerrero DH Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Mark Reynolds 1B Chris Davis 3B Robert Andino 2B Tommy

Something special about the left-handers

Orioles manager Buck Showalter isn’t a big fan of the expanded roster, feeling as though it drastically - and unfairly - changes games and strategies in the late innings. You play under the same rules for five months and then switch in September. However, he took full advantage of his extra bullpen options yesterday, using six relievers and playing matchups in the late innings. He

Guerrero and bullpen coming up big (Gregg does not)

Vladimir Guerrero’s third hit of the day, a double to center field, scored Robert Andino with one out in the top of the eighth inning and gave the Orioles a 4-3 lead. Andino doubled off reliever Jesse Litsch to start the inning and the rally. He moved to third on Nick Markakis’ grounder to the right side. Guerrero also had three hits Thursday against the

Nice recovery by Chris Davis, VandenHurk is done

It was only a few days ago that Chris Davis went 0-for-6 with five strikeouts in New York, stranding seven runners in the process. He came within one strikeout of tying Sam Horn’s single-game franchise record. Davis didn’t let it get him down. He’s 2-for-2 today, including a double in the top of the third inning that scored Vladimir Guerrero from first base and tied

VandenHurk loses lead again, more on winning streak

The Orioles did some two-out damage in the top of the first inning, stringing together three straight singles by Nick Markakis, Vladimir Guerrero and Chris Davis to take a 1-0 lead. It didn’t last long. Jose Bautista hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first to give Toronto a 2-1 lead. Rick VandenHurk got ahead of Bautista 1-2 but couldn’t put him away.

Florimon gets first major league start (Jones scratched)

Adam Jones was scratched from the lineup with a sore ankle. He fouled a ball off it last night. Nick Markakis is back in right field, with Matt Angle moving to center. Josh Bell is playing third base and Chris Davis has moved to first. For the Orioles: Matt Angle CF Robert Andino 2B Nick Markakis RF Vladimir Guerrero DH Chris Davis 1B Josh Bell

Talking about Strop and VandenHurk

Managers always warn us not to fall in love with spring training or September stats. I have a man crush on Pedro Strop’s pitching line. Strop blanked the Blue Jays in the eighth inning last night to pass a 2-0 lead to Jim Johnson, who recorded the save. He’s allowed one hit over 4 1/3 scoreless innings since the Orioles claimed him off waivers from

Guthrie good but unrewarded (O’s win 2-0)

This is why I can’t give a firm answer on whether Jeremy Guthrie will lose 20 games this season. Guthrie has shut out the Blue Jays through four innings tonight. That screams quality start and victory. Except Toronto left-hander Brett Cecil has shut out the Orioles through five innings. And so it goes ... Guthrie can bring his ‘A’ game and still lose. The last

Orioles and Blue Jays lineups

Ryan Adams gets the start at second base tonight for the series-opener in Toronto. Robert Andino is starting at third base, and Chris Davis gets the night off. Well, at least the beginning of it. For the Orioles: Robert Andino 3B J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Vladimir Guerrero DH Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Mark Reynolds 1B Nolan Reimold LF Ryan Adams 2B

This and that

I just finished typing up a large morning entry for you, and my laptop screen faded to black. I lost everything except the headline. I don’t have the energy or patience to duplicate it, so I’m just going to pass along a few items that are still fresh in my mind. I’m also going to display unusual restraint by not running into my front yard

Showalter’s words about the walk-off

No discussion about or dissection of today’s 5-4, 10-inning win over the Yankees would be complete without mention of the Orioles’ bullpen, which turned in six scoreless and hitless innings. Orioles relievers have now worked 13 1/3 scoreless innings over the last three games, with four hits, three walks and 17 strikeouts. Eight of those strikeouts came today, including four from Kevin Gregg over 1

Blake Davis clears waivers (O’s walk-off win)

Infielder Blake Davis cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. Once again, an Orioles player is ignored by the rest of baseball. What gives? Davis came off the 40-man roster on Tuesday when the Orioles purchased the contracts of relievers Clay Rapada and Jeremy Accardo. Meanwhile, we’ve got free baseball today at Camden Yards, where the announced attendance is 33,841. That’s tickets sold. The

Markakis lowers shoulder and raises collision bar (game tied)

There won’t be a single Ravens player who delivers a hit on Sunday like the one Nick Markakis laid on Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli at home plate. Ray Lewis would be proud. Markakis tried to score from first base with one out in the seventh inning on Vladimir Guerrero’s double into right-center field. He never broke stride. He almost broke Cervelli’s nose. Markakis lowered his

Guerrero continues to own Nova (O’s down 4-3)

Vladimir Guerrero’s presence in the cleanup spot is a major irritant to fans here, but the matchup clearly favored him today. Guerrero has two more hits off Yankees starter Ivan Nova, including his 12th home run and a leadoff double in the fourth inning that led to another run. Yankees 4, Orioles 2. Guerrero is 6-for-8 with two homers lifetime against Nova. He just missed

Simon and Andino with inning to forget

Alfredo Simon retired the side in order in the top of the first inning on a pop up, fly ball and strikeout, but the first four Yankees reached base against him in the second. He also issued a two-out walk and gave up a two-run single to Derek Jeter. Vladimir Guerrero led off the bottom of the second with his 12th home run. He’s 5-for-7

VandenHurk will start Saturday (Yankees lineup)

Orioles manager Buck Showalter has chosen Rick VandenHurk to start Saturday’s game in Toronto. Showalter also considered left-handers Jo-Jo Reyes and Brian Matusz, but he’s going with VandenHurk, who has allowed one run and two hits, with three walks and two strikeouts, in two relief appearances covering 3 2/3 innings. VandenHurk went 9-13 with a 4.43 ERA in 26 starts at Triple-A Norfolk, with 40

Orioles break out more traditional lineup

It’s a one-game homestand, but the lineup looks pretty normal today. Nothing here that should surprise you. For the Orioles: J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Adam Jones CF Vladimir Guerrero DH Matt Wieters C Mark Reynolds 1B Nolan Reimold LF Chris Davis 3B Robert Andino 2B Alfredo Simon RHP

Home today, gone tomorrow

Don’t be fooled by that open date on your Orioles pocket schedule or refrigerator magnet. We’re supposed to have a game today if it stops raining long enough to get the tarp off the field and separate the animals that have already been paired up. The Orioles will fly out to Toronto for a three-game series that starts tomorrow. They’re one and done against the

Reynolds doesn’t whiff in clutch; O’s win 5-4 in 11 innings

Mark Reynolds struck out four times today, making him the envy of teammate Chris Davis, but he also delivered the Orioles’ go-ahead run in a 5-4, 11-inning win over the Yankees. Reynolds singled off Yankees reliever Hector Noesi with two outs in the top of the 11th to score Matt Angle and break a 4-4 tie. Mark Reynolds talks with the O’s Xtra crew after

Davis, Reynolds wearing golden sombreros (Davis approaching record)

Orioles third baseman Chris Davis misses that Eastern League pitching. Davis has struck out four times today and is 0-for-8 with six strikeouts since completing his injury rehab assignment at Double-A Bowie and coming off the disabled list yesterday. Davis fanned three times today against A.J. Burnett and took a called third strike from reliever David Robertson. This isn’t a recent development for Davis. He’s

Another lead slips away

Zach Britton couldn’t hold a 4-2 lead, allowing two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning after a four-pitch leadoff walk to Alex Rodriguez. Nothing good happens after...well, you know. Britton hadn’t surrendered a hit since the first inning, but Andruw Jones doubled to move Rodriguez to third and Jesus Montero followed with a two-run single off the right field fence. The Orioles have

Manufacturing a run and reclaiming the lead

The Orioles and Yankees are fielding lineups today that conjure images of a split-squad game in spring training. Anyone know if it’s raining in Sarasota or Tampa? The Orioles found the strength to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning, and the rally started with Matt Angle slapping a single into center field. Angle stole second, took third on a ground ball and scored

A much different lineup today

I couldn’t be happier that I’ve been refreshing Twitter since 9:30 a.m. waiting for a lineup that arrived at noon. Stay hot, Roch. Manager Buck Showalter is doing some massive substituting and rearranging after last night’s game ended at 2:15 a.m. You won’t recognize this lineup. For the Orioles: Matt Angle CF Robert Andino SS Nick Markakis DH Mark Reynolds 1B Nolan Reimold RF Chris

Rain and Reimold

Anticipating more rain today, the Yankee Stadium grounds crew has installed a diving board and ladder behind the mound. Matt Angle had trouble tracking the ball in left field last night, but only because he was distracted by the shark’s fin. The decision to play or postpone the game rested in the clammy hands of the umpires, since the Orioles were making their final trip

The only baseball game that needs a lifeguard (NY wins 5-3)

The Orioles endured another delay tonight, this one lasting 13 minutes as the Yankee Stadium grounds crew applied a drying agent around home plate and on the mound. As if that’s going to do any good. The crew should have dumped a few sacks of it on the warning track. Matt Angle lost his footing while trying to track Francisco Cervelli’s fly ball in the

Orioles DFA B. Davis and Hendrickson (O’s down 2-0)

The Orioles waited until first pitch, as always, to announce their roster moves. They created room on the 40-man roster by designating Blake Davis and Mark Hendrickson for assignment. Davis, 27, hit .254 (15-for-59) in 25 games for the Orioles this year. Hendrickson, 37, posted a 5.73 ERA in eight games and 11 innings. Hendrickson recently went through optional waivers so the Orioles could put

Orioles-Yankees starting at 11 p.m.

It took 3 1/2 hours for the crew chief to decide that the Orioles and Yankees could start their game tonight. Tack on another 30 minutes for the Yankee Stadium grounds crew to get the field ready, and we’re looking at a projected 11 p.m. start time. The decision to play or postpone rested in the hands of the umpires, since the Orioles are making

Chris Davis starting at third base tonight (game delayed)

It’s been raining all day in New York and the forecast calls for rain all night, but here’s the Orioles’ lineup, just in case they’re able to play this game and avoid a doubleheader tomorrow. It includes Chris Davis at third base and Matt Angle in left field. Nolan Reimold remains on the bench. For the Orioles: Matt Angle LF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis

More musings on Matusz and other matters

If rain forces a postponement in one of the two remaining games at Yankee Stadium, I suggest an extreme split-doubleheader Thursday. Play one game in the Bronx and one at Camden Yards. The two teams have to go back to Baltimore for a makeup game, much to the chagrin of Yankees manager Joe Girardi and everyone else on the payroll. May as well play two.

More roster moves include Accardo, Bell and Florimon

I told you earlier that left-hander Clay Rapada would join the Orioles in New York. He won’t be alone. A team official confirmed that the Orioles also will purchase reliever Jeremy Accardo’s contract from Triple-A Norfolk, meaning they will have to clear two spots on the 40-man roster. Third baseman Josh Bell and Double-A Bowie infielder Pedro Florimon, both on the 40-man, will be recalled.

Rapada joining Orioles in New York (O’s lose 11-10)

The Orioles will make another roster move by purchasing Clay Rapada’s contract from Triple-A Norfolk. Rapada will join the Orioles in New York, with Norfolk’s season ending today with an 8-5 win over Durham. Rapada was 0-1 with a 3.92 ERA in 26 games with the Tides. He posted a 7.30 ERA in 22 games with the Orioles before being designated for assignment, but left-handed

More questions surrounding Matusz (Yankees lead again)

Brian Matusz got back into the rotation today. Now we’re left to wonder again whether he’ll stay in it. Matusz was charged with five runs in 1 1/3 innings today, the last one scoring while he sat in the dugout. Chris Jakubauskas served up a grand slam to Robinson Cano with one out in the second to give New York an 8-5 lead. Just another

Markakis marks his territory in first inning (Yankees take lead)

Isn’t it nice when the Orioles do a little two-out damage? Nick Markakis got ahead of Yankees starter Freddy Garcia 3-0 with two outs in the first inning. He took a pitch for a strike, and crushed an 86 mph fastball, sending it deep into the seats in right field for a 1-0 lead. The Yankees have outscored the Orioles, 35-7, in the first inning

Hudson stays in lineup (Yankees lineup)

Kyle Hudson made his major league debut yesterday, grounding into two double plays, and he’s back in left field today for the series opener against the Yankees. Nolan Reimold remains on the bench. For the Orioles: Kyle Hudson LF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Adam Jones CF Vladimir Guerrero DH Matt Wieters C Mark Reynolds 1B Robert Andino 3B Ryan Adams 2B Brian Matusz

Closing arguments about Gregg and Stanhouse

The Orioles and Yankees are playing a 1:05 p.m. game today, which means an early lineup posting and, we’ll assume, a more normal outfield alignment. Nolan Reimold should be back in left field. Nick Markakis should be back in right. And please, put Mark Reynolds back at first base. I believe that Reynolds is better defensively at third than we’ve seen this year, but there’s

Jones ruins no-hit and shutout bids (O’s lose 8-1)

Adam Jones has been slumping, but he was the right guy to give the Orioles their first hit of the afternoon. He also tossed them a run. Jones hit his 23rd home run to reduce Tampa Bay’s lead to 7-1 in the fifth inning. He has 80 RBIs this season. Jones drilled a changeup from Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson, giving him two hits in his

More (and more) two-out trauma for Orioles

All six runs off Alfredo Simon last night came with two outs. Jeremy Guthrie got two outs in the bottom of the second inning today and served up a two-run homer to Sean Rodriguez, giving Tampa Bay an early 2-0 lead. Seriously, why does this keep happening? Guthrie hung a curveball and Rodriguez, the Rays’ No. 9 hitter today, delivered his seventh homer of the

Markakis at first base, Hudson making debut (Rays lineup)

Manager Buck Showalter has made major changes to the lineup today, moving Nick Markakis to first base for only the second time, putting Matt Angle in right and giving Kyle Hudson his first major league start in left field. For the Orioles: Matt Angle RF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis 1B Adam Jones CF Vladimir Guerrero DH Mark Reynolds 3B Robert Andino 2B Kyle Hudson

A few pregame notes

The season series between the Orioles and Rays is tied, 7-7. The Orioles are 1-5 in Baltimore, but 6-2 at Tropicana Field. The all-time series is tied, 118-118. A win today would give the Orioles consecutive road series wins for the first time since they took two of three from the Rays on Sept, 27-29, 2010 and swept the Rays in the opening series of

Strop makes a solid impression in 6-3 loss

Pedro Strop, acquired from the Rangers on a waiver claim that sort of qualified him as a player to be named later, struck out two Rays during a perfect eighth inning tonight. I know very little about Strop besides how he was signed by the Rockies as a shortstop and became a pitcher four years later. I heard he threw in the mid-90s and had

Matusz to go on Monday (Rays lead, 6-3)

Brian Matusz was skipped in the rotation tonight, but manager Buck Showalter told reporters in St. Petersburg that the left-hander will start Monday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. So much for a long wait. Alfredo Simon is taking the mound tonight. Hopefully, he’ll still be there when MASN2 begins to air the game at 7:06 p.m. It’s a Fox window issue, and I don’t mean Jake.

Orioles and Rays lineups

The Orioles are sticking with a familiar lineup tonight against Tampa Bay right-hander Wade Davis. For the Orioles: J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Adam Jones CF Vladimir Guerrero DH Matt Wieters C Mark Reynolds 1B Robert Andino 3B Nolan Reimold LF Ryan Adams 2B Alfredo Simon RHP For the Rays: Desmond Jennings LF Johnny Damon DH Evan Longoria 3B Matt Joyce RF B.J. Upton

Random thoughts and ramblings

Jim Johnson retired all six batters he faced last night after replacing Zach Britton in the seventh inning. I’ll say it again: He’s got to be in the top three voting for Most Valuable Oriole. His name will appear on my ballot. I talked to one reporter who said he’d choose Mark Reynolds over Johnson for third place behind Adam Jones and J.J. Hardy. I

Pie injured, Orioles hang on for 3-2 win

Triple-A Norfolk center fielder Felix Pie left tonight’s game in the top of the fourth inning with a strained hamstring. My guess is he’ll be listed as day-to-day. Pie grounded to short to end the bottom of the third, making him 0-for-2 and leaving his average at .250. Tyler Henson moved to center as Pie’s replacement, Brandon Snyder went from first base to left field,

A different Britton in first inning

Continue reading ....

Orioles lineup against Rays, Roberts update

For the Orioles: J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Adam Jones CF Vladimir Guerrero DH Matt Wieters C Mark Reynolds 1B Robert Andino 3B Nolan Reimold LF Ryan Adams 2B Zach Britton LHP Brian Roberts is at Tropicana Field. He’s scheduled to meet with reporters in manager Buck Showalter’s office around 5:10 p.m. His interview will air on O’s Xtra on MASN2, which begins at

Navigating through 40-man confusion

I’ve warned you that math isn’t my thing, and it challenged me again this week during the flurry of 40-man roster moves. It reminded me of the ol’ shell game. Guys were moving on and off the roster so fast, my eyes began to cross. I thought Mark Hendrickson’s addition after his 48-hour removal, and the Michael Gonzalez trade, left the Orioles without any more

Reynolds, the roster and the rotation

I’m dealing with serious laptop issues today, so you’ll have to be patient with me. I had to borrow my daughter’s computer, which made her a little uncomfortable. I could tell. And I don’t know why. It’s not like a teenage girl has anything to hide from her father. I had to charge the battery, download Verizon wireless and basically bring it back to life.

Matusz skipped, Johnson avoided (Tommy Hunter update)

The starter for Saturday’s game against the Rays at Tropicana Field is listed as TBA, but Alfredo Simon will get the call. He’s wedged between Zach Britton tomorrow and Jeremy Guthrie Sunday. So what happens to Brian Matusz? The Orioles aren’t going with a six-man rotation, so Matusz is being skipped. Matusz is 1-7 with a 9.07 ERA. Simon has two straight quality starts. No

Hunter taken to hospital (with Showalter quote)

Orioles pitcher Tommy Hunter was taken to a nearby hospital after informing the club that he was feeling ill, and he won’t make the trip to Tampa Bay. Hunter told manager Buck Showalter and head athletic trainer Richie Bancells that he became ill in the third inning. He lasted through the sixth, but was vomiting after leaving the game. Buck Showalter meets with the media

Strop to join Orioles at The Trop (Jays lead 8-6)

The Orioles claimed minor league pitcher Pedro Strop off waivers from the Texas Rangers to complete yesterday’s trade of left-hander Michael Gonzalez. Strop will join the team this weekend for its series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. The ballpark is in St. Petersburg and the team hotel is in St. Petersburg, but the Orioles fly in and out of Tampa. I’m going

Game update and more stuff (and more and more)

The Orioles grabbed a 1-0 lead against the Blue Jays in the bottom of the second inning on consecutive one-out doubles by Vladimir Guerrero and Matt Wieters. It lasted three batters. Orioles starter Tommy Hunter walked No. 9 hitter Mike McCoy, who eventually scored after Yunel Escobar’s double and Eric Thames’ ground ball. Not satisfied with a tie, the Blue Jays pushed across the go-ahead

Notes and quotes before today’s game

Let’s get the important stuff out of the way first. Rick VandenHurk is wearing No. 54. Kyle Hudson is wearing No. 51. VandenHurk was 9-13 with a 4.43 ERA in 26 starts with Triple-A Norfolk. He’s 8-10 with a 5.86 ERA in 42 major league games, including 33 starts, with the Marlins and Orioles. VandenHurk was outrighted during spring training because he was still challenged

Guerrero batting fifth today

For the Orioles: Robert Andino 3B J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Adam Jones CF Vladimir Guerrero DH Matt Wieters C Mark Reynolds 1B Nolan Reimold LF Ryan Adams 2B

Orioles find their pass-catching outfielder

Kyle Hudson was open at his locker, but the Orioles couldn’t get him the ball. A few players were tossing around a football in the clubhouse this morning, which brought a smile to Hudson’s face. He spent three seasons as a receiver on the University of Illinois football team. Jason Berken was a quarterback on his high school team, and a pretty good one, too.

While waiting for the lineup ...

It’s going to be a long wait. I’m told that the manager’s office is empty, though I haven’t gone downstairs. That’s because I just got here after leaving my Sykesville house at 8:25 a.m. I’m counting five people in the press box. The first guy arrived about 15 minutes ago - 45 minutes after the clubhouse opened to the media. Players will have major problems

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