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Hearing from Hammel, Davis and Markakis

NEW YORK - Tonight’s 2-1 loss dropped the Orioles’ record to 11-5 when they score first. The key is to keep scoring, which they failed to do after tallying one run in the second inning. The Orioles are 5-17 against the Yankees since the start of the 2011 season and 10-30 since the start of 2010. They’re 6-22 at the “current” Yankee Stadium, as it’s

Showalter speaks after 2-1 loss

NEW YORK - The Orioles are 0-4 against the Yankees this season and 14-4 against the rest of their April schedule. They had plenty of chances tonight, but every ball they hit hard seemed to find a glove, except for Matt Wieters’ long single in the second inning. “We squared up, I think, eight balls, but you’ve got to applaud their defense, too. They caught

Hammel and Bundy updates (Hammel done after sixth)

NEW YORK - Jason Hammel was handed a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning, but Eric Chavez snatched it away from him. Chavez used brute force, hitting a long two-run homer off Hammel in the bottom of the second after Mark Teixeira singled and Raul Ibanez lined to right. Hammel didn’t bother to turn and watch the flight of the ball. He

Non-update updates on Wada and Roberts, Showalter on No. 1,000

NEW YORK - Dr. Lewis Yocum examined Tsuyoshi Wada’s left elbow today in Los Angeles, and the Orioles are waiting for the results. We might hear something later today. Wada is seeking a second opinion, and he’s conceded that he might need to undergo ligament-reconstructive surgery. The Orioles still haven’t set a target date for second baseman Brian Roberts to start playing games at extended

Jim Johnson says he’s available to pitch

NEW YORK - Jim Johnson has thrown two bullpen sessions since being hospitalized with food poisoning and flu-like symptoms, and he’s available to pitch if manager Buck Showalter needs him. Johnson hasn’t made an appearance since April 22 in Anaheim, when he converted his 15th straight save opportunity dating to last August, but he confirmed earlier today that he’s “pitchable.” “I’m ready. I told them

Orioles and Yankees lineups

NEW YORK - Mark Reynolds is serving as the Orioles’ designated hitter tonight, with Chris Davis starting at first base. For the Orioles: Nolan Reimold LF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Chris Davis 1B Wilson Betemit 3B Mark Reynolds DH Robert Andino 2B Jason Hammel RHP For the Yankees: Jeter SS Granderson CF Rodriguez DH Cano 2B Teixeira

Will the Orioles take a big bite out of the Big Apple?

Or will they find a worm? The Orioles are back on the road, with three games in New York and three in Boston over a seven-day period that will further test their resolve. And their rotation. And their lineup. And their bullpen. And their depth. Jason Hammel will have another chance tonight to silence his critics - the ones who thought he’d get eaten alive

Showalter speaks after 5-2 walk-off win

The Orioles are six games above .500 for the first time since July 20, 2005. That’s impressive and depressing at the same time. Wilson Betemit gave the Orioles their first walk-off home run since Nolan Reimold on Aug. 10, 2011 against the White Sox. The Orioles have won 57 straight games when allowing two runs or fewer. Their last loss was Aug. 20, 2010, when

And we’re no longer scoreless (Betemit with walk-off HR)

Tommy Hunter took a four-hit shutout into the sixth inning today, one more hit than Oakland’s Bartolo Colon allowed in his five scoreless frames. Hunter retired the first two batters on fly balls, but Josh Reddick continued to torture the Orioles with a single into left field, and Yoenis Cespedes smoked a line drive into the left field corner that gave him a double and

Showalter talks about putting Reynolds at first base (updated)

Orioles manager Buck Showalter detests lineup questions. He can’t understand the obsession with who’s batting where and when. It’s become something of a joke. He doesn’t implode, but he shakes his head in disapproval. Well, here’s another one: What went into the decision to move Mark Reynolds to first base today? “He’s played first base, he’s been taking balls there. I know you’ve all been

Reynolds at first in finale vs. A’s

The Orioles have posted their lineup for Sunday’s finale of a three-game series against the A’s, and it has Mark Reynolds batting eighth and playing first base. Here’s the lineup for today’s 1:35 p.m. game: Nolan Reimold LF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Chris Davis DH Wilson Betemit 3B Mark Reynolds 1B Robert Andino 2B Tommy Hunter RHP

Barfield released from Norfolk roster

The Orioles’ lineup isn’t posted yet and it’s a slow morning, but I’ve got a small nugget of news. The Orioles released infielder/outfielder Josh Barfield from Triple-A Norfolk’s roster to make room for pitcher Jason Berken, who was optioned after spending two days in Baltimore. Barfield, signed as minor league free agent in spring training, was 0-for-8 with a walk and three strikeouts in four

Showalter speaks after 10-1 victory

Here’s a sampling of manager Buck Showalter’s comments following tonight’s 10-1 rout of the Oakland Athletics before 26,926 at Camden Yards: On the second-inning baserunning: “It’s one thing to be aggressive, it’s another thing to be kind of smart. The situation presented itself. Push the envelope a little bit. There were a lot of good at-bats there. Ronny (Paulino) stayed inside a ball. If nothing

Davis homers onto Eutaw Street

I would have guessed I-95. Chris Davis hit an absolute bomb down the right field line in the bottom of the seventh inning, the ball easily clearing the flag court and bouncing on Eutaw St. to increase the Orioles’ lead to 10-1. Davis, who connected off former Orioles reliever Jim Miller, is 3-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored. He’s batting .313. That’s the

Big second inning for Orioles (big scare for Chen, O’s lead 9-0)

It’s football weather here at Camden Yards, but the Orioles played inspired baseball in the second inning. They sent nine batters to the plate. They collected six hits. They kept taking extra bases. And they scored five runs to build a nice lead for Taiwanese left-hander Wei-Yin Chen. Adam Jones, Wilson Betemit, Chris Davis and Ronny Paulino strung together singles before Oakland starter Tyson Ross

Buck Showalter on Frank Robinson

The grounds crew is peeling the tarp off the field. I guess that’s a good sign, though the forecast is pretty bad, from what I’ve been told. One of the loudest ovations during today’s ceremony for the unveiling of Frank Robinson’s statue came when the Hall of Famer proclaimed that “The Oriole Way was the correct way.” You don’t have to convince manager Buck Showalter,

Logic behind the Orioles lineup

Orioles manager Buck Showalter had to piece together his lineup tonight while taking into account all the injuries and illnesses that are picking apart his team. Matt Wieters and Nick Markakis are experiencing the same flu-like symptoms that have swept through the clubhouse. Wieters was going to rest tomorrow, but Showalter chose to sit him tonight because of the cold and rainy conditions. Wieters will

Flaherty in right, Wieters on bench

Orioles manager Buck Showalter is breaking out an interesting lineup tonight, with Rule 5 pick Ryan Flaherty making his first major league start in right field and Nick Markakis serving as the designated hitter. Ronny Paulino is starting behind the plate, with Matt Wieters listed among the reserves. For the Orioles: Nolan Reimold LF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis DH Adam Jones CF Wilson Betemit

Weather won’t influence ceremony for Frank Robinson

Because so many fans have asked, the Orioles will unveil the statue honoring Frank Robinson in a ceremony that begins at 5:15 p.m., rain or shine. And it hasn’t been decided whether the teams would play a doubleheader tomorrow if weather forces a postponement tonight, but since the Athletics return to Baltimore July 27-29, my guess is we’d have a single game tomorrow. The gates

Matusz and Anderson: A Glove Story

I can only assume that the MASN cameras must have focused on Brady Anderson’s name inscribed on the glove of Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz. Or perhaps the announcers talked about it. I’m not quite sure, but I’ve received a ton of inquiries about it. I wouldn’t have noticed it from my seat in the press box, and the media isn’t allowed to poke through the

Showalter speaks after 5-2 loss

Orioles manager Buck Showalter gave a figurative tip of the cap to Oakland starter Brandon McCarthy following a 5-2 loss at Camden Yards. He also talked about his own starter, Jake Arrieta, who didn’t make it through the sixth inning. “We didn’t do much off McCarthy,” Showalter said. “I think that was a big part of it. Jake almost got through six innings. He never

Gregg returns to mound (O’s lose 5-2)

Kevin Gregg made his first appearance tonight since April 18 in Chicago, his introduction greeted with boos from what remained of an announced crowd of 18,297. By the third out, they were applauding Gregg, who struck out the first two batters he faced in the ninth inning and induced a fly ball to shallow right field. Gregg threw 10 pitches, seven for strikes, and lowered

Arrieta can’t complete the sixth (O’s trail 4-2, ump tackles fan)

Jake Arrieta threw 70 pitches through the third inning tonight, giving the impression that he wouldn’t stick around much longer and the Orioles would make some feeble attempt to retrieve Jason Berken before he unpacked his bags in Norfolk. Arrieta needed 15 pitches to complete the fourth and nine to get through the fifth. The A’s were doing him a favor by no longer making

Reimold’s running produces run (O’s down 3-1)

The Orioles have jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, and full credit goes to leadoff hitter Nolan Reimold. Reimold doubled to right-center field off Oakland starter Brandon McCarthy, hustling into second base ahead of the throw. Reimold tagged and took third on J.J. Hardy’s fly ball to left - something you don’t always see on a ball hit to that side

Berken headed back to Norfolk

The Orioles made room for second baseman Robert Andino on their 25-man roster today by optioning pitcher Jason Berken to Triple-A Norfolk. Andino rejoined the team today after spending two days in Miami for the birth of his third child and first daughter. He’s starting at second base tonight. Manager Buck Showalter wanted to make sure there wouldn’t be a corresponding move involving the disabled

Waiting on the roster move

Orioles manager Buck Showalter will wait until after batting practice to announce today’s roster move. Showalter is playing it safe, saying he’s been burned in the past by revealing the move and having a player injured in batting practice. He’ll make sure everyone is off the field safely. Look for an announcement around 5:30 p.m. Kevin Gregg and pitching coach Rick Adair met with Showalter

Andino returns, Flaherty stays in lineup

Robert Andino is starting at second base tonight after missing the last two games while being on paternity leave. The Orioles haven’t announced a corresponding roster move, but reliever Jason Berken is expected to return to Triple-A Norfolk if no one goes on the disabled list. Berken is at the ballpark, probably in a holding pattern. Also, Rule 5 pick Ryan Flaherty, who started at

This, that and the other

The Oakland Athletics are here for a three-game series that begins tonight, and Jake Arrieta gets first crack at them. Arrieta has made one career start against Oakland, taking the loss after allowing three earned runs (four total) and six hits in seven innings. Oakland’s Brandon McCarthy is winless in three decisions this year despite a 3.38 ERA. He’s 1-1 with a 4.97 ERA in

Showalter talks about Johnson and Johnson after 5-2 win

Orioles manager Buck Showalter passed along some good news on Jim Johnson and some words of encouragement regarding first baseman Nick Johnson. First, the closer, who remains hospitalized but is apparently close to being sent home. Buck Showalter speaks with the media following the Orioles’ 5-2 win over the Blue Jays “We’re looking forward to getting J.J. back, and the hope is that he gets

A crazy, crazy sixth inning (scoring change and O’s lead)

Let’s recap what happened in the sixth inning - the good, the bad and the ugly. Brian Matusz lost his shutout with two outs in the top half when first baseman Nick Johnson failed to backhand Eric Thames’ bouncer along the line. Johnson, known for his defense and on-base percentage, whiffed on the ball as two runs scored. Thames was given a triple. Johnson was

Matusz’s hot start, Johnson’s dubious mark, Flaherty’s achievement

Brian Matusz hasn’t gone more than 5 2/3 innings in his first three starts, but he needs three outs tonight to clear the sixth. Matusz is shutting out the Blue Jays on three hits, with one walk and two strikeouts. He’s thrown 71 pitches, 50 for strikes. It would be great for Matusz to keep it going, but no matter what happens from here, it’s

Pineiro headed to Norfolk, and other notes

Joel Pineiro threw a five-inning simulated game today at the minor league complex and is headed to Triple-A Norfolk. Pineiro will be available to start for the Tides in five days, so a roster move is pending. The Orioles have a little more time to figure out how to make room for him. I told you earlier that Jim Johnson could be released from the

Updates on Johnson, Wada, Andino, Teagarden and more

Jim Johnson’s condition has improved, and he could be released from the hospital later tonight or, more likely, tomorrow morning. Johnson will attempt to eat today. If he can hold down his food, his chances increase of being sent home. Manager Buck Showalter doesn’t know whether Johnson would be available to pitch tomorrow night if he returns to Camden Yards. Tsuyoshi Wada will fly into

Reimold returns to lineup

After missing the last four games, Nolan Reimold is back in left field tonight for the Orioles. For the Orioles: Nolan Reimold LF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Chris Davis DH Mark Reynolds 3B Nick Johnson 1B Ryan Flaherty 2B Brian Matusz LHP For the Jays: Escobar SS Lawrie 3B Bautista RF Encarnacion 1B Thames LF Francisco DH

Off to a Rockies start

How many Orioles fans were outraged by the February trade that sent No. 1 starter Jeremy Guthrie to the Colorado Rockies for pitchers Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom? How many national publications ripped it to shreds - one of them calling it the worst deal of the offseason? It’s too early to evaluate any trade made over the winter. We’re 18 games into the 2012

What does Berken’s arrival really mean?

Here’s what we know about Jason Berken: The Orioles called him up from Triple-A Norfolk yesterday to take second baseman Robert Andino’s spot on the 25-man roster. Andino will miss at least two games after going on paternity leave. Here’s what we don’t know about Jason Berken: How long he’s going to stay with the Orioles. Berken has no idea. He’s just been told to

Hearing from Hammel

Each start from Orioles right-hander Jason Hammel brings the same questions about the differences between then and now, what’s made him better, what he’s doing differently, how much confidence he’s gained. He’s going to have to start mixing his answers like he does his pitches. “I continue to work hard, pay attention to the league,” he said after tonight’s 3-0 victory over Toronto. “I’m still

Showalter speaks after 3-0 win

The Orioles have claimed consecutive series wins over the Blue Jays for the first time since May 25-27 and July 10-12, 2009. Jason Hammel is 4-0 in seven career starts against the Jays, and his teams have won all seven games. The Orioles have won all four games that Hammel has started this season. He blanked the Jays on four hits over seven innings tonight,

Hammel with another gem (O’s win 3-0)

Jason Hammel gave up a leadoff single to Edwin Encarnacion in the top of the seventh inning, which constituted trouble on this night. Then he retired the next three batters, which made this a typical night for Hammel. Hammel blanked the Blue Jays over seven innings, allowing four hits, walking one and striking out seven. He threw 105 pitches, 65 for strikes, before Matt Lindstrom

Jones hustles, Davis homers, Hammel deals

The Orioles are leading, 2-0, in the bottom of the fifth, and there’s a lot to like about this game. Adam Jones made another hard slide into second base, this time in the fourth inning while trying to break up a double play on Matt Wieters grounder after his leadoff walk. Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar took exception to the slide, gesturing to second base

The error of their ways (updated twice)

Orioles third baseman Wilson Betemit had plenty of time to throw out Toronto’s Jose Bautista and end the top of the first inning tonight, but he skipped the ball past first baseman Chris Davis for an error. Betemit took a few steps to his left to field Brett Lawrie’s bouncer with two outs in the second, but he misplayed the ball and threw late for

Pregame updates from Showalter

You’ve got the news. Now read the quotes. Doctors are still running tests on closer Jim Johnson, and they “eliminated some things,” manager Buck Showalter said. That’s the good news. The bad news is they’re still trying to pinpoint the cause of Johnson’s illness. It’s a bacterial issue. “They haven’t completely identified it,” Showalter said. “He’s getting a little frustrated. Texted back and forth a

Wada getting second opinion on elbow

More news nuggets to hold you until dinner. Choose your own dipping sauce. Tsuyoshi Wada will get a second opinion on his left elbow from Dr. Lewis Yocum in Calfornia. Yocum removed bone chips from Wada’s elbow in 2007 and also did the Japanese pitcher’s physical in December before he signed with the Orioles. An MRA revealed a damaged ligament in Wada’s elbow, which didn’t

Flaherty gets another start, Reimold still out

One night after Ryan Flaherty started at third base for the Orioles, the Rule 5 pick moves over to second base as Robert Andino’s replacement. Andino is in Miami for the birth of his daughter. He’s also celebrating a birthday. Nolan Reimold remains out of the lineup. For the Orioles: Endy Chavez LF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C

Jim Johnson’s flawed perfection a thing of beauty for Orioles

If the Orioles shock the world and actually make the playoffs this season, I wonder whether they’ll have to forfeit because they’ve run out of healthy bodies. It’s getting ridiculous. Robert Andino’s new baby might need to start taking batting practice next week. And grab a glove, kid. Tsuyoshi Wada has a damaged ligament in his elbow, quite possibly a tear, and he may not

Orioles will recall Berken

The Orioles have decided to recall pitcher Jason Berken from Triple-A Norfolk to replace second baseman Robert Andino on the 25-man roster. Andino has left the team to be with his wife, Renee, who will give birth to their third child at noon in Miami. He’s expected to miss at least two games. Berken has allowed one earned run (two total) and 15 hits, with

Hearing from Hunter and Strop

The Orioles are 8-1 when their starter goes six innings or more. Tommy Hunter lasted six innings tonight and got the win. “We got a win” he said. “I’m happy about that. You move on and you go back to the bullpen and go to work.” Hunter was fast to credit the bullpen, saying, “Those were solid, those were solid at the end of the

Showalter speaks after 2-1 win

Most of the postgame focus tonight shifted to Japanese left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada, who has a damaged ligament in his elbow - it’s fair to speculate that it’s a tear - and could be facing surgery. We’ll know more later. However, there were other topics for manager Buck Showalter to cover, including starter Tommy Hunter, who was a heck of a lot better tonight than he

Wada has “problem” with elbow ligament (with quotes)

The MRA on Tsuyoshi Wada’s left elbow today revealed “a problem” with the ligament, according to manager Buck Showalter. Showalter didn’t offer a specific diagnosis, but he said the test revealed damage that didn’t show up during Wada’s physical before the Japanese left-hander signed a two-year, $8.14 million contract. “We were hoping for a little bit better news,” Showalter said. Showalter said Wada and the

So who’s closing? (Strop gets save in 2-1 victory)

We’re in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Orioles are clinging to a 2-1 lead. Unless they break out here, we’ll have a save situation. Jim Johnson probably isn’t available because of flu-like symptoms that kept him in the hospital today. The Orioles keep passing the baton, going from starter Tommy Hunter to Troy Patton to Darren O’Day to Luis Ayala. O’Day needed

Homers continue to hurt Hunter, but O’s lead 2-1 (updated)

The Orioles gave Tommy Hunter a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning tonight after loading the bases with no outs. It should have been a much more productive frame, but Adam Jones grounded into a double play and Matt Wieters grounded to first. The Blue Jays tied the score in the top of the third on Eric Thames’ first home run this

A few words from Showalter

Manager Buck Showalter told reporters that Nolan Reimold remains day-to-day with neck stiffness. “He was in yesterday for treatment,” Showalter said. “It’s getting better little by little. The problem is playing has set him back. He’s OK for maybe half to three-fourths of the game, and then as the game goes on, it gets worse. When you have that type of spasm, you also have

Jim Johnson hospitalized, Andino leaving team

Here are a few news nuggets to hold you until dinner: A virus has swept through the Orioles’ clubhouse, and it’s hit closer Jim Johnson the hardest. Johnson was hospitalized early this morning with flu-like symptoms. The Orioles are waiting for reports to determine whether it’s a virus or food poisoning, but the suspicion is the former. Either way, he’s probably not available for tonight’s

Reimold out of lineup, Flaherty in it

Nolan Reimold is out of the lineup tonight, which probably means he’s still dealing with a stiff neck. He didn’t play in the last two games of the Angels series, and the Orioles were off yesterday. The rest apparently didn’t help him. Also, Rule 5 pick Ryan Flaherty is starting at third base, with Wilson Betemit serving as the designated hitter and Mark Reynolds sitting

Tommy Hunter and other random thoughts

What will tonight bring for Orioles starter Tommy Hunter? Hopefully, Hunter will bring his fastball. Just check his back pocket. You’ll recall that Hunter didn’t have his fastball in an 8-1 loss to the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field, and it cost him eight runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings and inflated his ERA to 5.79. “I’ve got a couple bullpens coming

Willis: “I don’t have anything to lie about. I’m more embarrassed than anything”

It appears that we have a standoff between the Orioles and pitcher Dontrelle Willis. Executive vice president Dan Duquette has no plans to release Willis. Willis has no plans to report to Triple-A Norfolk, the team he left on Friday before learning that the Orioles placed him on the restricted list. The Orioles claim that Willis didn’t have permission to leave. Willis and his agent,

Orioles sign Bill Hall, Dontrelle Willis’ agent speaks

So much for a quiet day off. The Orioles didn’t play a game today, but they’ve been in the news with the signing of infielder Bill Hall to a minor league deal and confirmation that pitcher Dontrelle Willis left Triple-A Norfolk and has been placed on the restricted list. Hall will replace Josh Bell at Norfolk. In a text message, executive vice president Dan Duquette

Britton threw off mound today (more on Welty and Willis)

Here’s a quick update on Orioles’ left-hander Zach Britton, who’s been rehabbing his left shoulder at the minor league complex in Sarasota. Britton has spent the last few days long-tossing from 120-plus feet. He threw a few pitches off a mound today with a catcher in front of home plate. “Just an exercise to get my arm used to that angle again,” he said. “My

There’s nothing wrong with 6-4 and 9-7

The just-concluded road trip had the potential to be something special after the Orioles took two of three games in Toronto and three of four in Chicago. They lost two of three in Anaheim, removing some of the luster, but they finished above .500 on a three-city jaunt that could have sent them tumbling down the American League East standings. I think we can all

Not the Endy of my Chavez props (O’s win 3-2)

Endy Chavez singled and scored the go-ahead run for the Orioles in the top of the eighth inning, using his speed to reward third base coach DeMarlo Hale for the aggressive send. With the score tied in the 10th, Robert Andino drew a leadoff walk against former Orioles reliever Latroy Hawkins and took second on Chavez’s sacrifice bunt. Andino moved to third with two outs

Showalter earns his 20th career ejection (Markakis gets his revenge)

Orioles manager Buck Showalter came out of the dugout in the sixth inning to protect Nick Markakis, who argued a strike call, and ended up getting tossed for the first time this season and the 20th in his career. Bench coach John Russell has taken over the managerial duties. Showalter isn’t far away. He’s just not in disguise. Showalter needed to vent. He’s been upset

The good part of Chavez’s season

Endy Chavez saved a run in the bottom of the first inning today, and for a team that’s been so bad defensively, it’s worth pointing out and embracing and asking for a second date. Chavez broke back for the fence and made a running, backhanded catch to rob Albert Pujols with one out and a runner on second base. This isn’t an usual occurrence for

Orioles lineup vs. Angels

Nolan Reimold remains out of the lineup today because of neck spasms. He’ll get extra rest tomorrow because the Orioles don’t have a game scheduled. For the Orioles: Endy Chavez LF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Adam Jones CF Chris Davis 1B Mark Reynolds DH Wilson Betemit 3B Ronny Paulino C Robert Andino 2B Wei-Yin Chen LHP

A few pregame notes (and Angels lineup)

Courtesy of the Orioles’ PR staff: The last time the Orioles went on a 10-game road trip and finished with a record above .500 was Sept. 13-23, 2004, when they took two of three at Toronto and Minnesota and split four in Boston. The Orioles have not allowed a home run in their last 29 innings since Chicago’s Alejandro De Aza went deep in the

Brooms and Bell

A few days ago, I wrote that most fans would have been satisfied with a 5-5 record when this road trip began. The Orioles are one loss away from returning home with that record. Probably not as satisfying anymore. The Orioles have been swept once this season, by the Yankees at home. They’ll try to avoid a repeat today in Anaheim. Fresh off his first

Arrieta’s meltdown inning

Jake Arrieta took a one-hit shutout into the fifth inning tonight. Then he took a seat in the clubhouse, his night having unraveled like the baseball in “The Natural.” Arrieta gave up five runs and five hits, walked three batters and threw a wild pitch, and his 2-0 lead disappeared into the Anaheim night. He also committed his second error. Why should everyone else have

Reimold out of lineup, Johnson in it

Nolan Reimold is being held out of tonight’s lineup because of neck spasms. Endy Chavez is starting in left field. Nick Johnson will serve as the designated hitter in search of his first hit. For the Orioles: Endy Chavez LF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Nick Johnson DH Mark Reynolds 3B Chris Davis 1B Robert Andino 2B Jake

Wada shut down, Angels lineup (updated)

The Orioles announced that left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada has been shut down after complaining of stiffness in his neck a few days ago. He originally went on the disabled list to build up arm strength and innings after being bothered in spring training by inflammation in his left elbow. Wada will return to Baltimore and be examined by a team physician. There’s no timetable for his

The bad and the good

I decided to start with the “bad” because I’d rather end this blog entry on a high note. The Orioles are facing Jered Weaver tonight. That’s bad for them. He’s 2-0 with a 2.18 ERA in three starts, with only two walks and 23 strikeouts. He hasn’t allowed a run in two of those outings. Weaver is 15-5 with a 2.68 ERA lifetime in the

Orioles’ defense is offensive again

If the Oriole Way is all about pitching and defense, the 2012 team is missing half of that equation. The Orioles committed three more errors tonight, and it would have been four if the official scorer hadn’t removed one from catcher Matt Wieters and given Erick Aybar a single. Brian Matusz gave up six runs and nine hits in five innings but two of the

Wada update

Orioles manager Buck Showalter told reporters in Anaheim that Tsuyoshi Wada is bothered by some neck stiffness, which tells me two things: Wada’s stay on the disabled list could last longer than anticipated, and he’s been hanging out with Nolan Reimold. Remember when lower back stiffness was all the rage? Wada’s neck apparently was an issue before he gave up six runs in 2 2/3

Orioles and Angels lineups

Nolan Reimold has returned to the Orioles’ lineup tonight after being bothered yesterday by neck spasms. Mark Reynolds is serving as the designated hitter. For the Orioles: Nolan Reimold LF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Wilson Betemit 3B Mark Reynolds DH Chris Davis 1B Robert Andino 2B Brian Matusz LHP A series win in Anaheim would mark the

Orioles release Hester

The Orioles activated catcher Luis Exposito, claimed on waivers from the Boston Red Sox, and assigned him to Triple-A Norfolk. That move was expected. The surprise for me is the Orioles released catcher John Hester to make room for Exposito. Hester was batting .265/.342/.471 with a home run in 10 games. He went 3-for-6 with a homer on April 13, which began a five-game hitting

Orioles haven’t been road worriers in 2012

If someone told you at the start of this road trip that the Orioles would split their 10 games in Toronto, Chicago and Anaheim, I’m guessing that most of you would have taken it. Well, 5-5 is the worst that the Orioles can do with three games remaining against the Angels, and they’re not going to be satisfied with .500. The Orioles have played two

Hearing from Johnson, Strop and Jones

CHICAGO - I’m heading to the airport shortly for my flight back to Baltimore, where it better be warmer. But first, here are some quotes from Jim Johnson, Pedro Strop and Adam Jones. Johnson: On the late drama: “You said it. I wasn’t trying to make it as dramatic as it was, but it’s good to get three out of four here. We want to

Showalter and Hammel speak after 5-3 win

CHICAGO - Orioles manager Buck Showalter thought starter Jason Hammel had “good stuff” today in the Orioles’ 5-3 victory at U.S. Cellular Field. It wasn’t always easy for Hammel, but he made it through the sixth and held the White Sox to two runs while also tying his career high with 10 strikeouts. Gary Thorne catches up with Buck Showalter following the Birds’ 5-3 win

Orioles clinging to 5-3 lead (O’s win)

CHICAGO - Pedro Strop allowed a run in the bottom of the eighth on a leadoff walk to Paul Konerko, Alex Rios’ double and Alexei Ramirez’s ground ball. Strop struck out Dayan Viciedo and Tyler Flowers, and the Orioles are taking a 5-3 lead into the ninth. Strop’s fastball reached 99 mph. Jim Johnson is getting ready in the bullpen. He’s converted 13 straight save

Pelzer released, Hammel goes six

CHICAGO - The Orioles have released pitcher Wynn Pelzer, who appeared in three games at Double-A Bowie this season. Pelzer was 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in three innings. He allowed three runs and four hits, walked two and struck out four. He went 5-7 with a 4.14 ERA in 29 appearances with the Baysox in 2011. The Orioles acquired Pelzer from the San Diego

More on Wada (O’s lead 2-0)

CHICAGO - Tsuyoshi Wada threw 100 pitches in six innings in his last extended spring training start, and the Orioles were looking for the Japanese left-hander to do more of the same today. He didn’t come close. Wada was charged with six runs and six hits in 2 2/3 innings for Triple-A Norfolk, with four walks and one strikeout. Wada threw 77 pitches, including 39

The reason Reimold is out of the lineup (Wada update)

CHICAGO - Nolan Reimold was supposed to start in left field today, but he’s bothered by neck spasms. Reimold began experiencing the spasms yesterday. They subsided before the game, but returned this morning. Buck Showalter explains the exclusion of Nolan Reimold from the lineup to the media “He had it a little bit yesterday before the game but they got it out of there,” manager

Chavez in left field, Paulino behind the plate

CHICAGO - Nolan Reimold takes a seat on the bench today, with Endy Chavez starting in left field. That’s a bit of a surprise, since manager Buck Showalter indicated that Reimold would start the last three games of the series. Ronny Paulino will do the catching in a day game following a night game. For the Orioles: Endy Chavez LF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis

Reimold’s defense a work in progress (and Chisox lineup)

CHICAGO - The Orioles wrap up their four-game series against the White Sox this afternoon, hoping to win it, but also knowing they can do no worse than a split. Nick Markakis will be back in right field after serving as the designated hitter last night. He’s 7-for-20 with four doubles, a home run and seven RBIs lifetime against White Sox starter Gavin Floyd. We

Hunter fills in the blanks from his bad start

CHICAGO - Tommy Hunter never fails to amuse me. He’s a fun guy. He keeps everyone loose, whether he’s singing off-key or talking smack during ping pong or just firing one-liners at teammates and the media. He’s also brutally honest with himself. Hunter didn’t have his fastball command tonight, and he didn’t go easy on himself or the English language following the Orioles’ 8-1 loss

Showalter explains missed sign in 8-1 loss

CHICAGO - Manager Buck Showalter counted three mental errors by the Orioles tonight, which played a role in their 8-1 loss to the White Sox at rainy U.S. Cellular Field. The most glaring one came in the sixth inning, after left-hander Troy Patton replaced starter Tommy Hunter with the bases loaded, two outs and the White Sox leading, 5-1. Catcher Matt Wieters called for a

Too many homers off Hunter (O’s down 8-1)

CHICAGO - In his previous start in Toronto, Orioles right-hander Tommy Hunter surrendered four home runs over six innings in a 7-5 victory. The White Sox have homered twice off Hunter in four innings tonight to build a 4-1 lead over the Orioles at U.S. Cellular Field. A.J. Pierzynski’s two-run shot in the second erased the Orioles’ 1-0 lead. The White Sox loaded the bases

A little more from Showalter (updated)

CHICAGO - Darren O’Day got out of a huge jam last night after replacing Wei-Yin Chen in the sixth inning, entering with runners on the corners and one out and preserving a 3-2 lead. He’s made three straight scoreless appearances over 3 2/3 innings. O’Day figures to be tough on right-handers with his sidearmed delivery, and he’s held them to a .214 average over his

Showalter on Markakis

CHICAGO - Rain is in the forecast tonight and tomorrow. A few drops fell during batting practice. Apparently, it’s really supposed to be bad tomorrow, when I’m scheduled to fly out of here at 8:05 p.m. I can’t afford a lengthy delay. The Kubatko luck strikes again. Orioles manager Buck Showalter was asked about his decision to use Nick Markakis as the designated hitter tonight.

Markakis serving as DH tonight

CHICAGO - Endy Chavez will start in right field tonight, with Nick Markakis serving as the designated hitter. Markakis is in a 3-for-35 slump. For the Orioles: Nolan Reimold LF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis DH Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Endy Chavez RF Mark Reynolds 3B Chris Davis 1B Robert Andino 2B Tommy Hunter RHP

Noteworthy day

CHICAGO - A victory tonight would put the Orioles a season-high four games above .500 and assure a series win over the White Sox. Since Sept. 12, 2011, the Orioles are 6-1-1 in their last eight series. They’re 18-10 in their last 28 games. The Orioles are 16-10 in their last 26 road games since Aug. 22, 2011. Seven of the first 11 games this

What’s next for Markakis?

CHICAGO - Nick Markakis collected five hits in his first seven at-bats, with a triple, two homers and four RBIs, and the baseball world excitedly proclaimed that he was completely recovered from his abdominal surgery and the worried masses could exhale and relax. Markakis is mired in a 3-for-35 slump, and it might be time to inhale and stress. That’s probably an overreaction. Markakis wasn’t

Reimold and Hardy go back-to-back

CHICAGO - I’ll close the blog tonight with comments from Nolan Reimold and J.J. Hardy, who hit back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning to break a scoreless tie. Reimold has four home runs in his last four games played. He sat out Sunday’s game. The key to his hot streak? “Staying calm,” he replied. “No real secret to it. It’s just kind of happening.

Orioles help Chen celebrate his first major league win

CHICAGO - Taiwanese left-hander Wei-Yin Chen learned a new American custom tonight related to major league baseball. Get your first win, get covered in shaving cream and a sports drink. Chen walked out of the bathroom after tonight’s 3-2 victory over the White Sox and discovered that Luis Ayala and Tommy Hunter were waiting for him. Ayala had the shaving cream, Hunter had the blue

Reimold still homer happy, Hardy joins him (O’s win 3-2)

CHICAGO - Nolan Reimold decided not to wait until the ninth inning to hit a home run tonight. Reimiold broke a scoreless tie in the sixth by following a Robert Andino single with a two-run shot to left field off White Sox starter John Danks, his fourth homer in five days and his fourth in his last four games played. Got all that? Reimold didn’t

Showalter talks about Exposito and Bell (updated)

CHICAGO - Orioles manager Buck Showalter explained earlier today why the Orioles wanted Luis Exposito, who was claimed on waivers from the Red Sox. “He’s a catcher,” Showalter said, grinning. That’ll do it. “We’re pretty thin there depth-wise,” Showalter continued. “I’m not sure exactly where they’re going to send him or what the plan is, but we’ve had some good reports on him, the majority

Bundy’s not perfect, but he’s still unhittable (with O’s notes)

CHICAGO - Dylan Bundy allowed a baserunner tonight. Better keep him in the South Atlantic League until he figures it out. Making his home debut, Bundy walked Hagerstown center fielder Billy Burns with two outs in the third inning - the only runner to reach against him in three starts. Bundy struck out three more batters, giving him 15 in nine innings. He still hasn’t

Reynolds back at DH tonight, Ohlman suspended

CHICAGO - Mark Reynolds will serve as the designated hitter again tonight against White Sox left-hander John Danks, with Wilson Betemit starting at third base. Reynolds has started at third only once in the last five games. For the Orioles: Nolan Reimold LF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Mark Reynolds DH Wilson Betemit 3B Chris Davis 1B Robert

Noteworthy achievements from last night

CHICAGO - Before we turn our focus to tonight’s game, let’s continue to linger around last night’s 10-inning victory. I’m just not ready to let go. According to Elias, Matt Wieters’ grand slam in the 10th inning was just the fifth in extra innings for the Orioles in the last 50 years, and the second against the White Sox. All of them came in the

Orioles claim Luis Exposito, Josh Bell designated for assignment

CHICAGO - The Orioles have claimed catcher Luis Exposito on waivers from Boston Red Sox. To make room on the 40-man roster, infielder Josh Bell has been designated for assignment. Bell’s been on the 40-man bubble. It finally popped. Exposito, 25, is a career .268/.324/.420 hitter in seven minor league seasons, all of them spent in the Red Sox’s farm system. He was a 31st-round

Waiting for Chavez and Johnson to spring ahead

CHICAGO - Managers keep warning reporters not to fall in love with spring training or September stats. Small sample sizes, extenuating circumstances, whatever you want to call it. Jake Fox is a beast in February and March. He belongs in the Grapefruit League Hall of Fame. But he still can’t stick in the majors, which makes him the unfortunate poster child for the above-stated theory.

Crunching a few numbers

CHICAGO - For reasons that the Baltimore beat reporters never quite understood, last night’s game at U.S. Cellular Field couldn’t be aired on the press box televisions. At least not the ones within our view. However, we could pick up MASN’s feed of the Nationals-Astros game. Too bad. We really wanted to catch a few replays, just to make sure the Orioles really did score

Hearing from Reimold, Jones, Wieters and Davis

CHICAGO - Nolan Reimold figured he would stay on the bench until Tuesday night’s game at U.S. Cellular Field, but manager Buck Showalter used him as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and kept him in left field. Reimold responded with a home run and RBI single. Not bad for someone who began the night listed among the reserves, partly because of cramping in his left

Showalter and Arrieta speak after 10-4 10-inning win

CHICAGO - Orioles manager Buck Showalter was asked whether he felt like he watched two different games tonight. “How about four?” he replied. At least. Buck Showalter talks about the O’s big 10-4 comeback win over the White Sox The Orioles were down 4-1 before batting back to tie the game in the ninth and win it easily in the 10th, 10-4. They made mistakes,

The bats explode, even with RISP

CHICAGO - The Orioles just hung six runs on the board in the top of the 10th, the last four on Matt Wieters grand slam - his second home run of the night. Orioles 10, White Sox 4. Only one of the six runs was earned, and here’s why: Center fielder Alejandro De Aza committed a three-base error on Mark Reynolds fly ball, failing to

Can’t spell RISP without RIP (O’s take lead in 10th)

CHICAGO - The Orioles are 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position tonight, which largely explains why they’re losing, 4-2, in the top of the ninth inning. They stranded a runner on third base in three straight innings, and left two more on base in the eighth after Matt Wieters homered. Mark Reynolds walked and Chris Davis singled with two outs, but Robert Andino struck out.

Reynolds delivers in clutch (O’s trail 4-2)

CHICAGO - The Orioles loaded the bases without scoring in the third inning, making them 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position tonight, 0-for-13 in their last three games and 12-for-69 for the season. Adam Jones and Matt Wieters singled to open the fourth, but Nick Johnson struck out. Another missed opportunity. However, Mark Reynolds followed with a double to right-center field that scored Jones and

Pregame notes and quotes (O’s down 1-0)

CHICAGO - Players wore hooded sweatshirts and stocking caps on the field for batting practice. This is football weather. The games should be moved to Soldier Field. Manager Buck Showalter told reporters during his pregame session in the dugout that Nolan Reimold will return to the lineup Tuesday night. Reimold homered in the ninth inning in back-to-back games in Toronto, but he didn’t play yesterday

Reimold says he’s able to play

CHICAGO - Outfielder Nolan Reimold is out of the lineup again tonight, but he’s available to pinch-hit. Manager Buck Showalter indicated that the cramping in Reimold’s left leg is part of the reason why Endy Chavez is starting in left field. Also, Showalter said he wants to get Chavez “going,” which requires a little more playing time. Reimold, who homered in the ninth inning in

Orioles lineup vs. White Sox

CHICAGO - J.J. Hardy and Mark Reynolds return to the lineup for tonight’s game against the White Sox. For the Orioles: LF Endy Chavez SS J.J. Hardy RF Nick Markakis CF Adam Jones C Matt Wieters DH Nick Johnson 3B Mark Reynolds 1B Chris Davis 2B Robert Andino P Jake Arrieta

Answering the Chen question, White Sox lineup

CHICAGO - There seems to be some concern and confusion among fans regarding manager Buck Showalter’s decision to push back Wei-Yin Chen’s scheduled start to Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Field. Chen isn’t hurt. That’s the most important point. Showalter indicated before the Orioles broke camp that the first off day could allow him to adjust the rotation, and that’s exactly what he did by delaying

Blowing into the Windy City

I’m heading to the airport to catch my flight to Chicago, where the Orioles begin a four-game series tonight. It’s not a coincidence. That’s why I’m going to Chicago. The Orioles took two of three games from the Blue Jays, but it felt like a losing series after yesterday’s meltdown. Maybe the bar’s actually been raised. The Orioles led 2-1 before giving up seven runs

From bad to worse

Kevin Gregg needed to get one out to complete the sixth inning today after replacing starter Brian Matusz. It eventually happened - after two inherited runners scored. And after three more scored that were charged to Gregg. And after Gregg had thrown 27 pitches. The inning began with the Orioles leading, 2-1. It ended with the Blue Jays ahead, 8-2. Fans that booed Gregg when

Davis stays hot (so does Jones)

Has anyone noticed that Chris Davis is batting .333? Davis doubled in the second inning today, moving Wilson Betemit to third base and setting up the Orioles’ first run on Ronny Paulino’s ground ball. Davis had three hits yesterday, including a two-run homer. He’s collected hits in five of his seven starts this season. It makes sense to keep running him out there and figuring

Reynolds out of lineup, Flaherty makes first major league start

The Orioles’ lineup has a different look today. Rule 5 pick Ryan Flaherty is making his first major league start, replacing Robert Andino at second base. Andino has shifted to shortstop. Ronny Paulino is behind the plate J.J. Hardy, Matt Wieters and Mark Reynolds are on the bench. For the Orioles: Endy Chavez LF Nick Johnson DH Nick Markakis RF Adam Jones CF Wilson Betemit

Matusz’s challenge, Blue Jays lineup

The Orioles are 7-29 in their last 36 games against the Blue Jays, but they’ve won five of the last nine. One of the keys: Making sure Nolan Reimold bats in the ninth inning. The Orioles are hitting .196 with runners in scoring position, but they’re 5-3 and looking for their second sweep of the season. Brian Matusz is making his fourth career start against

Reimold with more ninth-inning heroics

Francisco Cordero could have signed with the Orioles over the winter. He narrowed his choices to two teams. He chose the Blue Jays. The Orioles are trying to give him regret. Nolan Reimold hit a two-run homer off Cordero in the top of the ninth to break a 4-4 tie. The ball landed in the second deck. Chris Davis reached on an infield hit, the

Jays do Hammel a favor (Lindstrom loses lead, Betemit atones for error)

Jason Hammel was on the ropes in the second inning, and the Blue Jays decided to ring the bell for him before the round ended. How nice. Brett Lawrie tried unsuccessfully to steal home with the bases loaded, two outs and an 0-2 count on Jose Bautista, who’s led the American League in home runs the last two seasons. Hammel stepped off the rubber and

Updating Britton and a few other things

Zach Britton has played catch for three consecutive days and noted that his left arm is regaining the strength that it lost after undergoing a procedure to eliminate the inflammation in his shoulder. “I’m just getting my arm used to throwing again,” said Britton, who received two Platelet Rich Plasma injections March 21. “I’m getting my arm going and it feels pretty good.” Britton said

Reynolds the DH again (Wada update)

Mark Reynolds is serving as the designated hitter again today in Toronto. For the Orioles: Nolan Reimold LF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Wilson Betemit 3B Mark Reynolds DH Chris Davis 1B Robert Andino 2B Jason Hammel RHP For the Jays: Escobar SS Johnson 2B Bautista RF Lind 1B Encarnacion DH Thames LF Lawrie 3B Rasmus CF Arencibia

About last night ...

I had a strange dream that the Orioles actually beat the Blue Jays in Toronto. But that couldn’t possibly happen. The Orioles haven’t won there since Garth Iorg was playing. Or maybe it was Dane. I always get those two confused. Actually, the Orioles fought back for a 7-5 victory. Very impressive. Darren Oliver took the loss for the Blue Jays, but in fairness, he’s

Andino hits first homer, Jones ties game (O’s beat Jays 7-5)

I dug my laptop out of my trunk to file a quick blog entry on Robert Andino giving the Orioles a 3-2 lead, and it already was lost by the time I jacked the wireless password from this particular establishment. Colby Rasmus and Yunel Escobar have homered for the Jays in the bottom of the fifth, immediately after Andino’s first home run of the season

Reynolds serving as DH tonight (Roberts with team)

Orioles manager Buck Showalter has made an interesting adjustment to his lineup tonight, inserting Mark Reynolds as the designated hitter and starting Wilson Betemit at third base against Blue Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow. This is Reynolds’ first career start as the DH. Reynolds committed two errors in five games on the homestand. He started at third base in Wednesday’s 10-inning loss to the Yankees. Reynolds

This, that and the other

The Orioles have been on both sides of a three-game sweep. They’ve already got two firsts out of the way in the 2012 season. Now it’s time for their first road trip. Tommy Hunter gets the start in tonight’s series opener in Toronto, where the Orioles have lost 26 of their last 31 games. They haven’t won a season series against the Blue Jays since

Remember Alfredo Simon?

Of course you do. He was at spring training with the Orioles until they put him on waivers four days before breaking camp. The Reds signed Alfredo Simon, and he pitched the 10th inning in today’s game against the Nationals. He later lost today’s game by throwing a wild pitch that allowed Ryan Zimmerman to score. Simon hit Zimmerman with his first pitch and gave

Jones is running off at the month (Willis to DL)

Yes, that was a reach, but stay with me here. Adam Jones stole second base in the fifth inning of last night’s game against the Yankees, which probably seems meaningless after a 6-4, 10-inning loss that completed a sweep at Camden Yards. More people will remember Jones for striking out with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth, but I’m going to focus

Adam Jones: “I just didn’t come through for my team”

Adam Jones had a chance to win tonight’s game in the bottom of the ninth inning when the Yankees walked Nick Markakis intentionally with two outs to load the bases for him, but he struck out after chasing a pitch near his head to even the count, 1-1. He was swinging from the heels, and he knew it was the wrong approach. “Oh my God,

Showalter speaks after 6-4, 10-inning loss

Orioles manager Buck Showalter was proud of starter Jake Arrieta. He was proud of the way his undermanned bullpen battled. He was proud of the at-bats Robert Andino and Mark Reynolds gave the club. If only he could reverse the final score. Mark Teixeira blooped a two-out double down the left field line against Kevin Gregg in the top of the 10th inning, and Nick

That’s why Reynolds is in the lineup (NY leads 6-4 in 10th)

Manager Buck Showalter must have known that third baseman Mark Reynolds would respond tonight with a big game. Reynolds walked in his first two plate appearances and doubled into left-center field with two outs in the fifth to score two runs and give the Orioles a 4-3 lead. That’s pretty big. It’s not three-homer big, but it’s sizable. Reynolds didn’t have an RBI before tonight.

Bundy unhittable, and other stuff (O’s down 3-2)

Single-A Delmarva’s Dylan Bundy retired all nine batters he faced again tonight, this time dominating the Kannapolis lineup over three innings. He struck out six, including five in a row, and has fanned 12 of the 18 batters he’s faced for the Shorebirds. In spring training, we call these simulated games. It sure isn’t batting practice. The Orioles are off Thursday, but manager Buck Showalter

Orioles down early

The rain delay lasted 20 minutes. Jake Arrieta has warmed up and allowed a leadoff double to Derek Jeter and a two-run homer to Curtis Granderson. Six pitches into the game, the Orioles are losing, 2-0. The temperature here is 53 degrees, and it’s not expected to go up. I checked. Arrieta is scheduled to pitch the series-opener in Chicago on Monday, going on normal

Showalter on Reynolds (First-pitch 7:25 p.m., Willis update)

Orioles manager Buck Showalter spoke briefly to third baseman Mark Reynolds this afternoon and wrote his name in the lineup. Showalter has noted that Reynolds, struggling in the field with two errors and at the plate with a .143 average, no homers and no RBIs, worked hard over the winter and deserves more of an opportunity. He also doesn’t want to move Reynolds to first

Strange day at Triple-A Norfolk (O’s sign Pineiro)

Triple-A Norfolk blew a seven-run lead in the ninth inning today and lost to Gwinnett, 14-12, in 11 innings. Things are tough all over. The Tides committed three errors, and four of the 14 runs were unearned. Infielder Steve Tolleson replaced Dontrelle Willis after the veteran left-hander walked the first batter he faced and went to a 3-0 count on the next hitter. Tolleson pitched

Paulino serving as DH tonight

Ronny Paulino will get another chance tonight to collect four hits as the Orioles’ designated hitter. If he can do it once ... No major changes to the lineup, unless you consider Wilson Betemit at first base a major change. For the Orioles: Nolan Reimold LF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Mark Reynolds 3B Ronny Paulino DH Wilson

Morning musings

It’s been approximately seven hours since I left Camden Yards, and I’ve just regained the feeling in my hands. Yes, the temperature dipped a little after the first pitch. The Frozen Four is the college hockey semifinals, but it’s also the toes I have remaining on my left foot. Anyway, I’m going to assume that Mark Reynolds remains at third base tonight because manager Buck

Hearing from Chen and Reynolds

Wei-Yin Chen had a confession to make after tonight’s 5-4, 12-inning loss to the Yankees. He was nervous. Chen calmed himself after a rough beginning and held the Yankees to one run going into the sixth inning. He was charged with two earned runs (four total) and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings, with one walk and six strikeouts. “To be honest with you guys,

Showalter speaks after 5-4, 12-inning loss

Orioles manager Buck Showalter was impressed tonight with Taiwanese left-hander Wei-Yin Chen, who retired 12 in a row heading into the fifth inning and took a 4-1 lead into the sixth before the Yankees tied the game. “Pitched well, pitched well, especially after the way things started,” Showalter said. “Hopefully, it bodes well for him. You can tell one thing, he’s got some toughness about

Free baseball (O’s lose 5-4 in 12 innings)

The Orioles didn’t have a hit since Robert Andino’s leadoff double in the fifth inning when pinch-hitter Nolan Reimold came to the plate in the ninth. Seemed like a good time to end the drought and start a rally. Reimold rolled a single into right field off Yankees reliever Boone Logan, and Yankees manager Joe Girardi summoned Cory Wade into the game. Wade retired Mark

Rough beginning and finish for Chen

The stuff in the middle was awfully good. Maybe this was Wei-Yin Chen’s Oreo debut. (Sorry) Chen retired 12 in a row after giving up a homer and double and hitting a batter among the first four that he faced. He led, 4-1, going into the sixth, but the Yankees have tied the game and knocked him out of it. Two of the three runs

Game update (O’s lead 4-1)

Yankees starter Freddy Garcia has thrown four wild pitches in four innings, including two during Nick Johnson’s at-bat in the first inning. He also threw two in the fourth inning, after Adam Jones led off with a double to left-center field. Matt Wieters walked, and Jones scored on Johnson’s ground ball to first. Jones went in standing and knocked the ball out of catcher Russell

Chen given a rude welcome to majors (O’s lead 2-1)

Wei-Yin Chen’s first three pitches tonight missed the strike zone. His fifth missed every glove in the ballpark and landed on the wrong side of the fence. Derek Jeter hit his 25th leadoff home run, breaking Rickey Henderson’s franchise record and giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead. Jeter clobbered an 88 mph fastball. Nick Swisher followed with a double to right-center field on an 83

Showalter on Chen and the bullpen

Wei-Yin Chen’s start is sort of a big deal in Taiwan. How big? There are nine Taiwanese media outlets at Camden Yards tonight: Central News Agency, TBVS, ETTV, ESPN Taiwan, China Times, Liberty Times, Formosa, CTI TV and World Journal. There are 15 people from these outlets. Tonight’s game will air live in Taiwan on three outlets - Formosa TV, ESPN Taiwan and ETLA -

When will Wieters sit instead of crouch?

Catcher Matt Wieters will be out of the lineup for the first time Saturday night or Sunday afternoon in Toronto. Manager Buck Showalter will decide after checking the matchups. Well, I checked them and I couldn’t find a definitive solution. The Blue Jays are starting right-hander Henderson Alvarez on Saturday and right-hander Kyle Drabek on Sunday. Wieters and backup Ronny Paulino haven’t faced Alvarez, who’s

Showalter speaks about Andino incident

To Orioles second baseman Robert Andino, last night’s heated exchange with Yankees catcher Russell Martin over an accusation that he was stealing signs was simply “heat of the moment.” “Boys being boys,” he said. “Just had a few words. Nothing big.” Manager Buck Showalter kept Andino in the lineup tonight. Asked for his take on last night’s incident, Showalter said, “Exactly what happened. I think

Andino in tonight’s lineup

Manager Buck Showalter isn’t hiding Robert Andino tonight. If the Yankees are thinking about retribution after last night’s accusation from catcher Russell Martin that Andino was stealing signs, they won’t have any trouble finding him. For the Orioles: Endy Chavez LF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Nick Johnson DH Mark Reynolds 3B Chris Davis 1B Robert Andino 2B

This, that and the other (and more)

If Yankees starter Freddy Garcia comes anywhere near Robert Andino with a pitch tonight, the benches and bullpens are going to empty. Andino and Yankees catcher Russell Martin were barking at each other after last night’s game. Martin thinks Andino was stealing signs at second base. Andino thinks Martin would look good buried up to his neck at home plate. This could get interesting. Andino

Hearing from Matusz and Wieters

I’ll close tonight with a few words from the Orioles’ battery. Brian Matusz: “I came out today, felt good in the bullpen. I was a little amped up, first start of the season, and I was just pitching behind in the count too much today. Not getting ahead, attacking the zone like I wanted to. The walks hurt. It’s a tough lineup. They had hits

Andino and Martin exchange words, Showalter speaks after 6-2 loss

I didn’t see it, but Orioles second baseman Robert Andino and Yankees catcher Russell Martin exchanged heated words on the field after tonight’s game. Martin apparently accused Andino of stealing signs from second base in the ninth inning after Andino doubled off Mariano Rivera with one out. Martin was coy about it afterward, never coming right out and confirming his suspicions, but that was his

Big night for Wieters, but O’s lose 6-2

Matt Wieters has tied his career high with four hits tonight - a home run, double and two singles. He won’t be celebrating. The Orioles are down, 6-2, in the top of the ninth, and manager Buck Showalter is using his fifth pitcher, Pedro Strop, who’s replacing Kevin Gregg. Wieters also collected four hits in a July 28, 2009 game against the Royals. Wieters needed

Matusz can’t find the plate tonight (O’Day entering game)

Brian Matusz issued three walks in 24 2/3 spring innings. He’s walked four batters tonight in only four innings. Matusz seems to be 2-0 and 3-1 on every hitter. His pitch count is up to 96, including 52 strikes, and Darren O’Day began warming in the bullpen in the fourth while pitching coach Rick Adair visited the mound and catcher Matt Wieters made two trips.

Bullpen could be busy tonight (Wieters homers)

Left-hander Brian Matusz gave up a run in the top of the first inning, which doesn’t sound too bad. However, he returned to the dugout with his pitch count at 30. He’ll need to become a lot more economical, or we’re going to find out how manager Buck Showalter works his bullpen without a true long man. Matusz kept falling behind hitters, though Mark Teixeira’s

More pregame notes and quotes

Catcher Taylor Teagarden remains on the disabled list with lower-back issues, and it doesn’t appear that he’s close to joining the active roster. “Better than it was, but still not real fast progress,” manager Buck Showalter said. Chris Correnti, the Orioles’ performance consultant who’s responsible for overseeing the rehabilitation of injured players, told Showalter that Zach Britton is “real excited about finally getting the ball

A six-man rotation?

Tsuyoshi Wada started his first extended spring training game today, throwing 88 pitches in six innings. The reports say that his left arm felt good. Wada will pitch again Saturday in another extended spring training game, and he’ll join one of the affiliates for a start on April 19. Zach Britton is scheduled to pick up a ball and play catch for the first time

Orioles lineup vs. N.Y.

For the Orioles: Nolan Reimold LF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Mark Reynolds 3B Wilson Betemit DH Chris Davis 1B Robert Andino 2B Brian Matusz LHP

After Twin killings, can Orioles be Yankee clippers?

The last time that the Yankees and Red Sox started out 0-3 was 1966. Anyone know how the Orioles finished that year? I’m not ordering my playoff tickets quite yet. The Orioles were 3-0 last season. They also were 6-1. Fast starts aren’t a novelty. The issue has been sustaining that momentum. I know they beat up on the Twins, who did everything well over

Showalter on Hammel: “I thought he had a shot at it”

Orioles manager Buck Showalter spent most of his postgame media session talking about Jason Hammel, and with good reason. We kept asking him about the right-hander, who took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in the Orioles’ 3-1 victory over the Twins. “That was fun,” Showalter said. “I thought he had a shot at it. He was carrying that type of stuff. He had all

Hammel through seven innings (no-hitter ends)

Jason Hammel has allowed two baserunners in seven innings today, walking Josh Willingham in the second and Justin Morneau leading off the fifth. He’s faced the minimum number of batters because he’s gotten two double plays. The Twins are beating the ball into the ground. Hammel has induced 14 ground balls for 16 outs, counting the double plays. He’s also struck out three. That leaves

More power to the Orioles (Hammel through sixth)

J.J. Hardy homered off his former team in the bottom of the first inning to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead. Twins right-hander Anthony Swarzak went curveball, fastball, curveball, fastball to Hardy, who detected a pattern and easily cleared the left field fence. Swarzak is starting for Liam Hendricks, who was hospitalized with a bad case of food poisoning. Now who feels sick? The Orioles

More from Showalter

Here are a few more pregame comments from manager Buck Showalter: On whether he anticipates Brian Matusz being amped up for Monday’s start vs. the Yankees: “He did that a little bit this spring as far as, first time out it was like he was running pretty fast. There were a lot of hamsters running around pretty quick there. He slowed them down. I expect

Hearing from Reynolds and Showalter

Mark Reynolds didn’t roll up his pant leg while sitting at his locker, so I’ll take him at his word that he’s got a bruised left calf. Reynolds said he’s fine, and it’s apparent that he wants to be in the lineup. He wasn’t his usual jovial self after manager Buck Showalter excluded him. “He just told me I wasn’t playing,” Reynolds said. “I’m fine.

Reynolds out of lineup

Third baseman Mark Reynolds isn’t in the lineup for today’s game against the Twins at Camden Yards. Wilson Betemit is playing third. Reynolds fouled a ball off his left calf last night, but he said it’s fine and he could have played. He has a bruise, but no X-rays were taken. For the Orioles: Endy Chavez LF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Adam Jones

Showalter speaks after 8-2 win

Third baseman Mark Reynolds fouled a ball off his instep, which is why Ryan Flaherty replaced him at third base in the ninth inning. Showalter says Reynolds should be fine. The Orioles will go for their first sweep of the Twins in Baltimore since August 2002. Nick Markakis is 5-for-7 to start the season. “I see the things Nick plays through that a lot of

It all starts with starting pitching (Hunter done)

It may sound like a cliche, but it’s so true. The Orioles won’t improve until their starting pitching does, and it’s been outstanding for the first two games of the 2012 season. Yesterday, Jake Arrieta blanked the Twins on two hits over seven innings. Tonight, Tommy Hunter is blanking the Twins on four hits over six innings. It hasn’t been easy for Hunter. He gave

Jones homers in second inning (O’s lead 6-0)

Adam Jones gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead in the second inning with his first home run of the season. Jones went to the opposite field against Twins starter Francisco Liriano, who struck out the side in the first inning. Jones has two homers in eight career at-bats against Liriano. Liriano has four strikeouts in two innings tonight. Orioles starter Tommy Hunter has allowed three

Showalter on lineup, Wada, Hammel and Gregg (with note)

Let’s hear from manager Buck Showalter on his decision start Nick Johnson at first base and Ronny Paulino as the designated hitter, Tsuyoshi Wada’s next starts and eventual role with the Orioles, Jason Hammel’s upcoming start and the harsh reception for Kevin Gregg during yesterday’s introductions. Showalter is using both catchers tonight, which is risky if Matt Wieters gets hurt. “We’ve got another one, but

Updating Wada

Orioles manager Buck Showalter laid out Tsuyoshi Wada’s pitching schedule during his pregame session with the media. Wada will start an extended spring training game Monday against the Twins in Fort Myers and another extended spring game April 14 against the Rays in Port Charlotte. Assuming that Wada’s health is good, he’ll join one of the affiliates and make a rehab start April 19. Wada

Orioles and Twins lineups

Brian Roberts, Mark Reynolds and Ryan Flaherty are taking early batting practice. Interesting lineup, with Nick Johnson at first base and Ronny Paulino serving as the designated hitter. For the Orioles: Nolan Reimold LF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Mark Reynolds 3B Nick Johnson 1B Ronny Paulino DH Robert Andino 2B Tommy Hunter RHP For the Twins: Span

A first for Hunter

Tonight marks the first major league game that Tommy Hunter has pitched in the month of April. Hunter spent parts of four seasons in the bigs beginning in 2008, but he always was recalled or activated from the disabled list after April. He’s faced the Twins three times, allowing eight runs and 13 hits over 14 2/3 innings, with four walks and 10 strikeouts. Joe

Showalter speaks after 4-2 victory

I asked manager Buck Showalter how impressed he was with starter Jake Arrieta following today’s 4-2 victory over the Twins. Showalter thought I said “frustrated.” “I thought I’d stepped into a different game,” he said. Nope. We watched the same one, which included Arrieta shutting out the Twins on two hits over seven innings. Buck Showalter meets with the media following the O’s win over

More Markakis (Arrieta’s done)

Yes, Nick Markakis will be ready for opening day. (Sorry, just catching up on some old blog comments.) Markakis has hit a two-run homer, walked and delivered a run-scoring triple to help the Orioles to a 4-0 lead in the seventh inning. Markakis just slid hard into Twins catcher Joe Mauer while trying unsuccessfully to score on Matt Wieters’ fly ball to left. He jumped

Markakis leaves his mark (Galarraga released, homer note)

If you picked Nick Markakis to hit the first Orioles home run of 2012, let me be the first to congratulate you. Markakis swatted a Carl Pavano curveball over the fence in left field, giving the Orioles a quick 2-0 lead. J.J. Hardy walked before Markakis stepped to the plate for his first regular-season at-bat since having abdominal surgery. I’d say he’s ready. Jake Arrieta

Showalter talks about Markakis and Roberts (updated)

We’re getting close to the start of the opening day ceremonies. Batting practice is over, and starting pitcher Jake Arrieta has snapped his last photograph. Yes, Arrieta stood on the field during BP with a camera around his neck. I’d say he’s pretty relaxed. Here’s manager Buck Showalter on whether he initially had concerns about Nick Markakis’ availability for opening day after the right fielder

Showalter confirms Johnson is closer

Orioles manager Buck Showalter won’t keep his ninth-inning specialist a mystery. No need to wait until someone starts warming to figure out who’s closing. Showalter confirmed today that Jim Johnson will be the closer. Johnson, who converted his final eight save chances last season, received the news in an unorthodox manner. “He texted me something about the baby and something else, and I said, ‘Congratulations.

More opening remarks from Arrieta

Now the games count. No more words like “exhibition” or “intrasquad” or “simulated.” I’m hoping to use “postseason” while I’m still in the business. The sun’s shining but I’m not fooled. I’m taking a jacket to Camden Yards. My blood thinned out during those seven weeks in Sarasota. At least it’s not snowing. We’ve seen it in the past on opening day. We saw Jake

Orioles’ opening day lineup

The Orioles just released their opening day lineup, and I don’t see any major surprises. Nolan Reimold is batting leadoff. Adam Jones is hitting cleanup. The only spot that crossed me up was Wilson Betemit batting ahead of Mark Reynolds instead of behind him. For the Orioles: Nolan Reimold LF J.J. Hardy SS Nick Markakis RF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Wilson Betemit DH

Patton ready for any role

As the only left-hander in the Orioles’ bullpen, Troy Patton knows that he could be used in a variety of ways. Long man one night, situational southpaw another night. Manager Buck Showalter’s preference is to keep Patton available for later in games, but he may not always have that luxury. “I take it as they can still use me if they need me,” Patton said.

Showalter speaks during workout

Orioles manager Buck Showalter is expected to pass along his opening day lineup later today. His players are taking batting practice as I type this entry. Naturally, Showalter was asked whether there’s a different feeling as opening day approaches. It’s the traditional first question. “There always is,” he replied. “As much as you know the reality of the length of the season and the grind,

Eveland accepts outright assignment, other random notes (updated)

The workout hasn’t started and I’m not sure whether manager Buck Showalter will share his opening day lineup, but here’s the Twins lineup that will oppose right-hander Jake Arrieta: Denard Span CF Jamey Carroll SS Joe Mauer C Justin Morneau DH Josh Willingham LF Ryan Doumit RF Danny Valencia 3B Chris Parmelee 1B Alexi Casilla 2B Carl Pavano RHP So who starts in left field

We can work it out (updated)

It’s workout day at Camden Yards, which should prove to be fairly uneventful with the 25-man roster being set. There’s no more drama. We know that Zach Phillips has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk despite being one of the best pitchers in camp. We know that the Orioles added Nick Johnson and Ronny Paulino to the 40-man roster. We know that Brian Matusz made the

25-man roster is set

The Orioles will hold a workout at Camden Yards Thursday at 3:05 p.m., matching the starting time of Friday’s opener against the Twins. We now know which players will have lockers in the clubhouse. As expected, manager Buck Showalter is keeping 12 pitchers and 13 position players. Here they are: Starters Jake Arrieta Tommy Hunter Jason Hammel Brian Matusz Wei-Yin Chen Relievers Jim Johnson Kevin

Rotation taking shape (Phillips optioned)

The Orioles announced that Tommy Hunter will start the second game of the season Saturday, so we know the top three pitchers in the rotation. Jake Arrieta, Hunter and Jason Hammel will start against the Minnesota Twins at Camden Yards. The assumption is that left-handers Wei-Yin Chen and Brian Matusz will start the first two games against the New York Yankees. Manager Buck Showalter told

Homeward bound

TAMPA, Fla. - I made it to my Airtran gate at the Tampa airport after having my hands “tested” by security because my photo ID was in my back pocket. I’ve had them slapped before, but never tested. Anyway, I’m happy to report that my hands passed the test and I’m allowed to fly home, where the forecast apparently calls for temperatures in the 70s

Showalter on Wada and the roster

SARASOTA, Fla. - This is my final spring training blog entry from Sarasota. The next time you hear from me, I’ll be filing early Wednesday morning from the Marriott at the Tampa airport before stumbling to my gate for a 6:45 a.m. flight home. Now if I could only remember where I parked my car seven weeks ago. And my address. Here’s manager Buck Showalter

Wada headed to disabled list (with quotes)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles have decided to place Japanese left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada on the 15-day disabled list. The move will be backdated to make Wada eligible to join the Orioles on April 12. The plan calls for Wada to make two starts, the first being at extended spring training. He could make a second one in Sarasota or report to one of the affiliates

Wada says he’s ready

SARASOTA, Fla. - Tsuyoshi Wada is waiting to find out whether he’s going to be included on the 25-man roster or if he’ll stay back at extended spring training. Is he ready to start the season? “I feel like my condition is normal,” Wada said through his interpreter. “It’s not really good and it’s not really bad. It’s normal. If I’m going to throw next

Neshek reassigned, Miller outrighted

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles made two more roster cuts today, reassigning reliever Pat Neshek to minor league camp and outrighting outfielder Jai Miller to Triple-A Norfolk after he cleared waivers. The Orioles have 27 active players in camp. Relievers Darren O’Day, Zach Phillips and Troy Patton, and starter Tsuyoshi Wada are vying for the last two spots. The Orioles have 38 players on the

Hammel and Wada return to clubhouse

SARASOTA, Fla. - The two starting pitchers are done for the day. Jason Hammel and Tsuyoshi Wada each went five innings. Wada stayed on the mound for two extra batters in the fifth after recording the final out, getting a fly ball and giving up a double before manager Buck Showalter halted the inning. Hammel allowed two runs and three hits, with one walk, three

Wada vs. Hammel (Simon claimed, game update)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Manager Buck Showalter is waiting to make the final cuts until checking on “a couple physical issues.” “We’ve still got a couple days, so we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves,” he said. Showalter has contingency plans in case certain players aren’t ready for opening day. He isn’t providing specifics. Showalter is monitoring Tsuyoshi Wada’s health and trying to get him

Jason Johnson trying to make comeback (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Former Orioles pitcher Jason Johnson is in camp and hoping to get a tryout as he attempts a comeback from labrum surgery. Johnson lives in Tampa, about an hour away from the Ed Smith Stadium complex. He contacted special assistant Brady Anderson, a former teammate, who invited him to camp this morning. Johnson is getting ready to throw off one of the

Wada day (with Orioles lineup)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles haven’t posted their lineup for today’s game against the State College of Florida. I guess there’s no rush on the final day of spring training. They didn’t take the field for the pregame stretch until 10:30 a.m. and the clubhouse closed to the media more than an hour ago, which meant one more breakfast at the 12th St. Cafe. It’s

Johnson on Johnson (O’s win 14-1)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Jim Johnson kept hearing all winter how he’d make a start in spring training. It just took until the next-to-last game in Florida for it to happen. Johnson pitched the first inning tonight and retired all three Florida Southern batters that he faced, striking out two of them. “Everything’s fine,” he said. “I had to stay on a schedule. I’m not going

Flaherty rules among utility candidates

SARASOTA, Fla. - Ryan Flaherty doesn’t show much emotion. He’s about as low-key as they come in the Orioles’ clubhouse. But he clearly was moved by today’s news that he had made the team as a Rule 5 pick. Manager Buck Showalter informed Flaherty earlier today that the Maine native won the utility job. “They told me I was going to make the team, so

Hearing from Showalter and Arrieta

SARASOTA, Fla. - Manager Buck Showalter called Jake Arrieta into his office today with news that the right-hander would start the April 6 opener against the Minnesota Twins at Camden Yards. Arrieta had a pretty good idea that Showalter was informing the pitchers of their slots in the rotation. And now everyone knows. “Jake will pitch on that day and we will go from there,”

Arrieta named opening day starter

SARASOTA, Fla. - Manager Buck Showalter finally revealed the identity of his opening day starter this afternoon. Yes, it’s Jake Arrieta who will take the mound for the April 6 opener against the Minnesota Twins at Camden Yards. That’s been the assumption all along, but Showalter planted some doubt by withholding the announcement. Arrieta made his final spring start on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates

Stay tuned for announcement on opening day starter (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter will reveal his opening day starter before tonight’s game against Florida Southern. Initially, Showalter told reporters that he’d wait until after the game, but he relented and promised to tell us sooner so we can interview the pitcher. Jason Hammel apparently will pitch the third game on Sunday, but that’s not official. The rotation could be adjusted. Don’t

Orioles lineup vs. Fla. Southern

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles are breaking out most of their regulars for tonight’s game against Florida Southern, but they’ll lean heavily on their bullpen to cover nine innings. For the Orioles: Nolan Reimold LF Nick Markakis DH J.J. Hardy SS Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Mark Reynolds 3B Chris Davis 1B Robert Andino 2B Ryan Flaherty RF Jim Johnson RHP Johnson will go

Simon still in holding pattern (with tonight’s starter)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles are preparing for tonight’s game against Florida Southern at Ed Smith Stadium, and I’m guessing that we’ll have a lot of first-pitch swinging. Alfredo Simon won’t be part of it. He’s already left the complex carrying his equipment bag, still uncertain where he’ll be unpacking it. The Orioles placed Simon on waivers Friday, so it shouldn’t be much longer before

And down the stretch we come ... (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - I always know we’re nearing the end of spring training when I buy a case of bottled waters and immediately stress over the possibility that I won’t have enough time to drink all of it before boarding my flight to Baltimore. Two days and 17 bottles left. Unless I’m confronted with a major thirst, I don’t like my chances. The four Myoplex

Showalter speaks after 8-5 loss

SARASOTA, Fla. - Manager Buck Showalter was asked whether Taiwanese left-hander Wei-Yin Chen is assured a spot in the rotation. “Barring something that could happen,” he replied. “There’s always a way, but barring something outside what we have here, yes.” Chen served up three home runs today, but Showalter laid partial blame on the conditions. None of the runs were earned on Desmond Jennings’ grand

Hunter on Hunter

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles hit four home runs today and still lost to the Rays, 8-5, at Ed Smith Stadium. J.J. Hardy homered twice. Nick Johnson and Nick Markakis also connected. The last three homers came against Rays reliever Matt Torra. I’ll pass along manager Buck Showalter’s quotes a little later, including how he confirmed that Wei-Yin Chen is in the rotation. He also

A little Chen music

SARASOTA, Fla. - Wei-Yin Chen said he mostly threw fastballs in today’s start against the Rays. The Rays didn’t miss many of them. “They’re a great team,” Chen said through his interpreter after giving up three home runs in five innings and allowing seven runs total (three earned). “They have great hitters and they hit me well with my fastball.” Chen said he was making

Chen’s tuneup a clanker (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Wei-Yin Chen faced his third division opponent of the spring today, and he learned that the Rays’ lineup can be dangerous from top to bottom. Tampa Bay outfielder Desmond Jennings had no homers and one RBI before today, when he launched a solo shot in the third inning and a grand slam in the fourth. Evan Longoria also homered leading off the

Wheeler on Wheeler

SARASOTA, Fla. - Zelous Wheeler is still adjusting his body clock after going from Arizona to Florida for spring training. Nothing to be alarmed about. The Orioles claimed Wheeler off waivers from the Brewers on Thursday and optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk, but he’ll stay with the team through Wednesday’s exhibition game against the Tides. “It’s been kind of crazy,” he said. “I got in

Lindstrom has successful minor league start

SARASOTA, Fla. - Matt Lindstrom just returned to the Ed Smith Stadium complex after starting a 10 a.m. game against the Orioles’ Triple-A team at Twin Lakes Park. Lindstrom faced four batters and struck out two of them, including third baseman Josh Bell on a backdoor slider after getting ahead in the count with his splitter. He also induced a ground ball and a fly

Pregame Showalter

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles’ batting practice session is closed to the media this morning. They’re hitting on the back fields and reviewing their signs. Maybe they’re implementing a secret play. Tommy Hunter, Chris Tillman and Alfredo Simon also are pitching in minor league games today at Twin Lakes Park, for those of you scoring at home. Hunter is throwing six innings, Tillman five and

Orioles lineup vs. Rays

SARASOTA, Fla. - Wei-Yin Chen makes his final exhibition start today. He hasn’t appeared in a Grapefruit League game since holding the Twins to one run over five innings March 22. Most recently, he allowed four runs (three earned) and six hits while facing 26 batters in a minor league game at Twin Lakes Park. James Shields is scheduled to start for the Rays. For

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