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The battery speaks, and more

NEW YORK - Chris Tillman looks like a guy who should be wrapped in a blanket and fed chicken soup, not a major league pitcher who should be standing on the mound in front of a hostile crowd at Yankee Stadium. It hurts to watch Tillman try to speak, to think, to stand up straight while waiting for reporters to approach him. But he gutted

Showalter speaks after 11-5 victory

NEW YORK - Orioles manager Buck Showalter made contingency plans yesterday in case Chris Tillman was too sick to take the mound tonight at Yankee Stadium. Showalter sent Tillman back to the team hotel yesterday with antibiotics and instructions to stay in bed. Tillman almost was sent to the showers in the first inning tonight, but he survived the Yankees’ five-run onslaught and shut them

Big Apple taking another big bite out of Tillman (O’s win 11-5)

NEW YORK - The Yankees don’t have Mark Teixeira or Alex Rodriguez tonight, but they still have Chris Tillman’s number. They grabbed a 3-0 lead only three batters into the game, and it took Tillman 15 pitches to record his first out. Two more runs scored, as the Yankees sent nine batters to the plate and Matt Lindstrom began to warm in the bullpen. Four

Andino, Showalter and more pregame notes

NEW YORK - Robert Andino is back with the Orioles. Now he has to get back in the lineup. Andino will begin tonight’s game on the bench, but at least he’s off the disabled list after a brief injury-rehab assignment at Triple-A Norfolk. “Played two games down there pain-free,” he said. “Did a little bit of sliding and everything. Ground balls. No pain. See how

Duquette: “There will be other opportunities to add to the team”

NEW YORK - Executive vice president Dan Duquette just completed a conference call with reporters following today’s non-waiver trade deadline, which passed without the Orioles making a deal. “The opportunities we looked at had a cost and I wasn’t convinced that they weren’t a lot better than the people we had in the organization, and you know, hence, we weren’t able to make some of

Orioles don’t make a trade at deadline, Thome to DL (updated)

NEW YORK - The 4 p.m. non-waiver deadline has passed and the Orioles didn’t make a trade. Executive vice president Dan Duquette will be available to the media in a conference call later this afternoon. So much for the heated trade talks with the Phillies for pitcher Joe Blanton. Nothing came of it. Keep in mind that trades can still be made after today. However,

Andino rejoining team in New York

NEW YORK - Second baseman Robert Andino has arrived in New York after playing two games at Triple-A Norfolk. He’s prepared to join the team, which necessitates a roster move. Andino went 3-for-9 with two RBIs, a run scored, a walk, a strikeout and an error that led to an unearned run last night off left-hander Brian Matusz. The Orioles could place designated hitter Jim

A trade the Orioles won’t make (updated)

NEW YORK - I’ve been wrong before and I’ll be wrong again. That’s my promise to you. But I’m saying right here and right now that the Orioles will not trade minor league infielder Jonathan Schoop to the Phillies for pitcher Joe Blanton. It’s more likely that a bottle of Scope will be included in a deal than the Orioles No. 3 prospect, as dubbed

Hearing from Showalter, Markakis and Johnson

NEW YORK - The Orioles improved to 20-6 in one-run games, including 13-2 on the road. The lead was built partly tonight by Nick Markakis’ two RBIs, it was narrowed after Miguel Gonzalez gave up the back-to-back home runs in the seventh inning, and it stayed intact because Jim Johnson escaped a jam in the ninth to record his 31st save. Here’s manager Buck Showalter

Johnson nails down 5-4 win (with Gonzalez quotes)

NEW YORK - Closer Jim Johnson, coming off a blown save and raising more concerns about his second-half performance, was handed the ball and a one-run lead tonight in the ninth inning. After one batter, the Yankees had the tying run on second base. After three batters, they had the winning run at first base. Nick Swisher led off with a ground-rule double to right-center

Betemit rediscovers power stroke (O’s lead 5-4)

NEW YORK - Wilson Betemit homered into the second deck in right field leading off the top of the third inning tonight to tie the score, 1-1. Betemit had one homer since June 26 and one RBI since July 22. He’s totaled four RBIs since June 29. Betemit has two hits in seven career at-bats against Yankees right-hander Freddy Garcia - both of them home

Updates on Blanton, Thome and Andino

NEW YORK - The Phillies sent pitcher Joe Blanton’s medical records to Orioles orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens this afternoon, according to a source. This is another indication that a trade is close to being finalized. That’s it for the Blanton update. Jim Thome had a trigger point treatment and a cortisone injection in his neck yesterday, “but it wasn’t much better today,” said manager Buck

Thome to undergo MRI on neck (updated)

NEW YORK - Designated hitter Jim Thome is returning to Baltimore and will undergo an MRI on his neck tomorrow to determine the cause of spasms that have kept him out of the lineup for the past three games. Thome is listed among the reserves tonight, but he won’t be available to play. Thome tried to hit earlier today before giving up and meeting with

Thome out of lineup for third straight day with neck spasms

The Orioles have posted their lineup for tonight’s 7:05 p.m. game against the Yankees, and it doesn’t include designated hitter Jim Thome, who is still sidelined with neck spasms. Thome will miss his third straight start. Here’s the lineup: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Chris Davis DH Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Lew Ford LF Wilson Betemit 3B Mark Reynolds 1B Omar Quintanilla

The pros and cons of Joe Blanton

NEW YORK - Not much has changed this morning. The Orioles are still one of the teams expressing interest in Joe Blanton. They’ve been scouting him. They’ve held talks with the Phillies. They’re in on him, as we like to say in the business. Whether they have the most interest depends on what measuring device you use to make that determination. Maybe it’s number of

Random thoughts

I thought about taking the midnight train going anywhere, but decided to begin today’s journey by hopping on the 7:50 a.m. Northeast Regional to New York. I know you saw what I did there. The Orioles need to bring their offense to the Bronx. They scored six runs or more in three of their last four games. They’ve also been held to one run in

Showalter speaks after 6-1 win

Manager Buck Showalter had his pick of impact players to talk about following today’s 6-1 victory over the Athletics. Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen seemed like a good starting point. “The breaking ball and the changeup have really gotten better since the spring,” Showalter said. “He and Rick (Adair) have done a great job with it. That’s made his fastball that much better. I’ve had some really

Quintanilla unwilling to surrender spotlight today (more on Chen)

Lew Ford is playing in his first major league game since September 2007, and he’s become an instant favorite of fans here who love drawing out the sound of his first name whenever he does anything - hits, runs the bases, catches a fly ball, throws out a runner, comes close to throwing out a runner, towels off his face in the dugout. Wei-Yin Chen

Wieters gets it right (Eveland note and game update)

Orioles catcher Matt Wieters missed two games with a sore right biceps. He’s been missing a lot of pitches, too. Not today. Wieters, mired in a 1-for-31 slump, hit a three-run homer off Oakland left-hander Travis Blackley in the bottom of the third inning to give the Orioles a 4-0 lead. Wieters had struck out in 15 of his last 30 at-bats before today. He

Roberts to undergo hip surgery

Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts has decided to undergo season-ending surgery to repair a labral tear in his right hip. Roberts played in one rehab game last night at short-season Single-A Aberdeen. He was scheduled to play again tonight and perhaps be activated tomorrow in New York, but the persistent discomfort in his hip led to today’s decision. One doctor recommended surgery, but a second

Updates on Ford, Thome, Roberts, Andino, Wada, Hammel and Reimold

Lew Ford is wearing No. 51. And a really big smile on his face. Ford debuted in the majors on May 29, 2003, replacing Torii Hunter in center field and collecting a single off the Mariners’ Shigetoshi Hasegawa leading off the bottom of the ninth. Hasegawa had replaced former Orioles left-hander Arthur Rhodes. One of Ford’s teammates with the Twins was current Double-A Bowie hitting

Ford making Orioles debut today, Quintanilla at second base

Lew Ford will appear in his first major league game in five years today when he starts in left field and bats fifth for the Orioles. Omar Quintanilla gets another start at second base. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Lew Ford LF Mark Reynolds 1B Chris Davis DH Wilson Betemit 3B Omar Quintanilla 2B Wei-Yin

Ford and Flaherty: Both in Baltimore, but will both be playing today?

Outfielder Lew Ford has arrived in Baltimore. He tweeted a photo of his view overlooking Camden Yards. With the Athletics sending left-hander Travis Blackley to the mound today, Ford could appear in his first major league game since September 2007. Orioles manager Buck Showalter will have to choose between two left-handed hitters to play second base. Not exactly an advantageous matchup, but that’s how the

Socolovich optioned to make room for Ford (plus postgame quotes)

The Orioles announced after tonight’s 6-1 loss to the Athletics that reliever Miguel Socolovich has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. No corresponding move was included in the press release, but the Orioles are purchasing outfielder Lew Ford’s contract from the Tides. Socolovich allowed one run and two hits in a career-high 2 2/3 innings tonight, with no walks and three strikeouts. In two stints with

Homer hurts Hunter again (O’s lose 6-1)

The Orioles and Athletics were scoreless through three innings tonight before the home run bug bit Tommy Hunter again. You know exactly where it got him. Yoenis Cespedes hit a two-run shot deep into the left field seats in the fourth to give Oakland a 2-0 lead. Hunter started off Cespedes with four consecutive four-seam fastballs. He threw an 83 mph slider and Cespedes launched

Ford expected to join Orioles tomorrow

Needing a right-handed hitter and a deeper bench, the Orioles are prepared to purchase outfielder Lew Ford’s contract from Triple-A Norfolk tomorrow and add him to the 25- and 40-man rosters. Ford is batting .331/.390/.550 with 14 doubles, three triples, 11 home runs, 40 RBIs and eight stolen bases in 62 games at Norfolk. He’s not in the Tides’ lineup tonight. Ford, 35, hasn’t played

Hearing from Andino, Wieters and Showalter

Robert Andino took batting practice again today and is ready for his injury-rehab assignment to begin tomorrow at Triple-A Norfolk. Andino could be activated on Tuesday on the first day that he’s eligible to come off the disabled list. “We’ll see. I’ll probably play two games and see what happens after that,” he said. The original projection had Andino being out three to four weeks

Astros claim Pearce, and other notes

The Houston Astros have claimed outfielder Steve Pearce off waivers from the Orioles, who were unsuccessful in working out a trade for him. Pearce batted .254/.321/.437 with four doubles, three homers and 14 RBIs in 28 games after the Orioles purchased him from the Yankees on June 2. They designated him for assignment on July 21 to make room for Omar Quintanilla. The Astros had

Wieters out of lineup again tonight (with Thome update)

Though Matt Wieters said his right biceps feels much better today, he remains out of the Orioles lineup for tonight’s game against the Athletics. Endy Chavez is starting in left field and Chris Davis is serving as the designated hitter instead of Jim Thome, who sat in manager Buck Showalter’s office early today. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Chris Davis DH

Deadlines and commitments: What to leave in, what to leave out

The countdown continues to Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline. I’m thinking about selling T-shirts outside the ballpark. Or perhaps I’ll just leave the country and avoid all the rumors. I was reminded yesterday by a member of the organization that just because a name is linked to the Orioles - usually via Twitter - doesn’t mean they contacted the other team. It’s often happening in reverse.

Johnson and Britton speak after 14-9 loss

Closer Jim Johnson posted a 1.21 ERA in the first half of the season. He’s allowed 13 earned runs, and 15 total, in 6 1/3 innings since the All-Star break. The six earned runs tonight are a career high for Johnson as a reliever. “I fell behind and a couple balls got through,” he said. “It just kind of happened. It obviously wasn’t my best

Showalter speaks after 14-9 loss

The Orioles are now 41-1 when leading after the eighth inning. They were ahead 9-8 going into the top of the ninth before Jim Johnson was charged with six runs in a 14-9 loss to the Athletics. Naturally, he was the focus of the early portion of manager Buck Showalter’s postgame session with the media. “They didn’t really square up a ball off him,” Showalter

Jones gives Orioles the lead, Socolovich gives it up (O’s lose 14-9)

The Orioles were trailing, 5-0, after two innings tonight. They took a 6-5 lead in the fifth. They fell behind by two runs in the sixth. Fans booed, fans cheered, fans booed again. Miguel Socolovich replaced Zach Britton with a runner on first and one out in the sixth. He walked two batters to load the bases, and pinch-hitter Seth Smith cleared them with a

Andino’s rehab schedule changes, O’s down 5-2

Forget what I wrote earlier about Robert Andino beginning his injury-rehab assignment next week at Double-A Bowie. The Orioles have decided to get him started earlier and at a higher level. The team announced that Andino will play at Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday and Monday. He’s eligible to come off the disabled list on Tuesday and could join the team in New York. Andino is

Andino close to going on rehab assignment

Second baseman Robert Andino, on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder, is scheduled to begin an injury-rehab assignment Tuesday at Double-A Bowie. Andino is expected to play three games for the Baysox before being activated next Friday, when the Orioles begin a three-game series against the Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. The original plan called for Andino to fly down to Sarasota, but

Hardy in lineup, Wieters not (Socolovich up, Wieters feeling biceps tightness)

J.J. Hardy is starting at shortstop tonight after X-rays taken yesterday on his ribcage came back negative. However, Taylor Teagarden is catching tonight instead of Matt Wieters. Explanation to follow. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Jim Thome DH Adam Jones CF Chris Davis LF Wilson Betemit 3B Mark Reynolds 1B Omar Quintanilla 2B Taylor Teagarden C Zach Britton LHP For the

Gauging outside interest in Arrieta

I’m trying to remember the last time that a series between the Orioles and Athletics had the potential to influence the playoff picture. Jim Palmer may have been matched up against Catfish Hunter. Tonight, you’ll have to settle for Zach Britton vs. Jarrod Parker, followed by Tommy Hunter vs. Bartolo Colon on Saturday and Wei-Yin Chen vs. Travis Blackley on Sunday. The Orioles can enjoy

Hearing from Hardy, Tillman and Davis

The X-rays taken on shortstop J.J. Hardy’s ribcage came back negative. “They’re fine,” he said. “They hurt, but they’re fine. They hurt a lot.” The Orioles have a few guys feeling under the weather and icing their bumps and bruises. And now, their hitting is contagious. (See what I did there?) “Yeah, that’s kind of what I’m talking about,” Hardy said. “We’re dry for a

Showalter speaks after 6-2 win

The Orioles were challenged by the heat, the quick turnaround and the Tampa Bay Rays, and they overcame all three in a 6-2 victory at Camden Yards. “It’s a day you don’t want to make too many visits to the mound,” said manager Buck Showalter. “That’s a challenging day. I’m proud of them. Short rest, turnaround. That’s why they’re different. Of course, there’s a lot

Tillman with back-to-back quality starts (O’s win 6-2)

It was bound to happen again. Chris Tillman took a shutout into the seventh inning today before being charged with two runs. He’s registered back-to-back quality starts for the second time in his career, and the first since August 2009. Ryan Roberts opened the seventh with a walk and Carlos Pena followed with a fly ball to left field that Chris Davis appeared to lose

Orioles pregame notes and quotes (O’s lead 5-0)

The Orioles had an opening on their 40-man roster after designating outfielder Steve Pearce for assignment, so they only had to make one move today when purchasing left-hander Dana Eveland’s contract from Triple-A Norfolk. Eveland takes the 25-man roster spot previously occupied by infielder Steve Tolleson, leaving the Orioles with a three-man bench. It could expand to four before tomorrow night’s game. Tolleson has an

O’s lineup vs. Rays’ Shields (Eveland added, Tolleson optioned)

Still waiting to see which player - likely a reliever - walks into the Orioles clubhouse and is placed on the roster. In the meantime, here’s today’s starting lineup against James Shields and the Rays: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Jim Thome DH Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Chris Davis LF Wilson Betemit 3B Mark Reynolds 1B Omar Quintanilla 2B Chris Tillman RHP

While waiting for the lineups ... (updated)

Still no word on whether the Orioles will make a roster move today and bring up a fresh arm for their bullpen. I found it interesting that manager Buck Showalter mentioned Brian Matusz’s impressive start at Triple-A Norfolk last night after I asked about the possibility of adding a reliever. Showalter might have been jumping topics, as he often does. It was the last sentence

Gonzalez: “I didn’t have my stuff tonight”

Miguel Gonzalez gave up one run in his first start with the Orioles, three in his second and two in his third. He came within an out of three quality starts in three tries. Tonight, he didn’t come close. “I didn’t have my stuff tonight,” he said. “I was trying to do my best, but it didn’t work out.” Gonzalez hit three Rays in 2

Will the Orioles need to bring up a reliever?

As the curtain finally came down on the third inning tonight, Orioles manager Buck Showalter sat in the dugout with pitching coach Rick Adair and tried to formulate a plan for getting through the rest of the game without burning out his bullpen. Starter Miguel Gonzalez lasted only 2 2/3 innings. The baton would be passed multiple times until the two teams reached the finish

Another Gonzalez note as Orioles trail, 10-1 (O’s lose by same score)

Rays catcher Jose Lobaton hit his first major league home run tonight, a three-run shot off Orioles reliever Matt Lindstrom in the top of the fifth inning to increase Tampa Bay’s lead to 10-1. Kevin Gregg is warming in the bullpen. If I’m Orioles manager Buck Showalter, I’m warming up my car and getting the heck out of here. According to Elias, Orioles right-hander Miguel

Gonzalez has first-batter issues again, and lots more (O’s down 7-1)

You’ve heard of pitchers who struggle in the first inning? Miguel Gonzalez struggles with the first batter. Gonzalez served up a home run to the leadoff hitter tonight for the second time in four starts. Tampa Bay’s Desmond Jennings found the left field seats on the first pitch thrown by Gonzalez - one fewer pitch than it took for Detroit’s Austin Jackson to give the

Pregame notes include Buck Showalter’s comments on Vi Ripken

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he hadn’t heard the news of Vi Ripken’s abduction yesterday morning and safe return early today until told by a reporter around 4 p.m. “Obviously, our thoughts and prayers go out to the Ripken family,” he said. “That’s something that happened to my mother years ago. Someone broke into the house at night. It’s tough. It’s a crazy world. I

Teagarden behind the plate, Wieters the DH

The Orioles’ lineup tonight against Tampa Bay left-hander David Price includes Taylor Teagarden behind the plate and slumping Matt Wieters batting cleanup and serving as the designated hitter. Wieters is hitting .354/.418/.524 against left-handers. He’s 7-for-21 lifetime against Price. Seeking more right-handers to face Price, manager Buck Showalter is inserting Steve Tolleson in left field. However, that leaves left-handed hitting Omar Quintanilla at second base.

For Orioles, more rumors swirl in trade winds (Ripken family statement)

The Pirates are buyers, proving again that it’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world. It is not 1971 or 1979. I took the time to check. In case you missed it, the Pirates acquired pitcher Wandy Rodriguez from the Astros last night for minor leaguers Rudy Owens, Robbie Grossman and Colton Cain. The Astros will be sending a nice hunk of cash, too. The Orioles

A few more postgame notes and quotes

Second base umpire Gary Darling made the balk call on Wei-Yin Chen. “To be honest with you, I have no idea (why),” Chen said through his interpreter. “I have a standard routine when I was on the mound and I do the same routine every time. After the game, I went back to the video room and I keep checking. I watched it (over and

Showalter speaks after 3-1 loss

Wei-Yin Chen gave the Orioles a seventh consecutive quality start tonight. It was wasted by an offense that couldn’t do much against Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson and three relievers. “He was good, real good,” manager Buck Showalter said following the Orioles’ 3-1 loss. “Deserved a little bit better fate. Their guy was real good, too. Wei-Yin was good again. He’s been solid. He had good

Chen balk translates into run (O’s lose 3-1)

Wei-Yin Chen’s eyes widened and his feet took him off the mound. With his arms held out, he paced the infield and offered a non-verbal plea to the umpires to reconsider the balk call in the sixth inning that advanced B.J. Upton to second base. To no one’s surprise, it didn’t work. Upton moved to second with no outs, took third on a sacrifice bunt

Showalter talks about trade deadline rumors (O’s trail 2-1)

Orioles manager Buck Showalter doesn’t feel an extra sense of excitement or anticipation with the non-waiver trade deadline a week away. His attention and interest remains tied to the 25 players in his clubhouse. He knows that rumors are swirling, but his head doesn’t turn to follow them. “It’s exciting for us to win our first three games in Cleveland. That’s where my focus is,”

Orioles exploring trade options with Pearce (and Urrutia note)

Believe it or not, there isn’t much news to report here today. I’ve talked to a few people in the organization who are seriously downplaying the possibility of the Orioles trading for Marlins third baseman Hanley Ramirez. I’m not saying it definitely won’t happen, but I’m not rearranging my schedule for his introductory press conference. I’ve heard that the Orioles still haven’t placed outfielder Steve

Quintanilla starting at second base tonight

Omar Quintanilla gets another start for the Orioles tonight, shifting over from shortstop to second base. Chris Davis has returned to left field after starting at first base last night. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Jim Thome DH Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Wilson Betemit 3B Chris Davis LF Mark Reynolds 1B Omar Quintanilla 2B Wei-Yin Chen LHP More trade

How would another corner infielder impact Reynolds?

It’s been a while, but the Orioles have found their way back to Camden Yards after an eight-game road trip. And as usual, I’ll set my GPS because I’ve totally forgotten how to get there. It’s somewhere downtown, right? Wei-Yin Chen opposes Tampa Bay’s Jeremy Hellickson tonight, as the Orioles’ rotation tries to churn out its seventh consecutive quality start. Chen is 4-2 with a

Big baserunning blunder in Orioles’ 3-1 loss

The Orioles had a chance to either tie tonight’s game in the eighth inning or put two runners in scoring position with one out. They chose something from column C. In case you missed it, Nick Markakis singled with one out, and Indians manager Manny Acta made a surprising pitching change, removing starter Justin Masterson and bringing in reliever Vinnie Pestano. Endy Chavez followed with

Flaherty collects another hit (O’s trail 2-1)

Ryan Flaherty picked up a hit in his fourth consecutive game tonight with a leadoff single in the top of the third inning. Flaherty has only one hit in each of those games, but the modest streak includes two home runs. He’s also driven in four runs. At least for now, manager Buck Showalter is continuing to start Flaherty at second base against right-handers. He

Quintanilla gets first start with Orioles (and note on Jim Gilbert)

Omar Quintanilla will follow up two appearances with the Orioles as a defensive replacement at second base with his first start tonight at shortstop. J.J. Hardy gets a rare breather, and it comes after he collected two hits, including a home run, and drove in three runs yesterday afternoon. Ryan Flaherty stays at second base, and Endy Chavez replaces Chris Davis in left field. Davis

Good wins Hunter

You may choose to focus on one set of Tommy Hunter statistics and ignore the others, depending on whether you view the glass as half full or half empty. Half full: Hunter is 9-2 with a 2.82 ERA in 19 career appearances in July - the most wins and lowest ERA for any month. He has a 1.10 WHIP (lowest) and opponents are batting .225

Orioles are taking a left turn

After watching the Orioles for 95 games, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only thing they do consistently is fail to hit with runners in scoring position. Otherwise, they’re all over the map. The rotation is good, bad and good again. It’s strung together five consecutive quality starts, which was unimaginable a week ago. The bullpen has been outstanding for most of the season,

Hardy homers for 2-0 lead (O’s win 4-3)

When the Orioles hit a home run, they tend to do it without flying solo. Eleven of their last 15 homers have come with runners on base, including J.J. Hardy’s two-run shot in the top of the first inning today that gave the Orioles a 2-0 lead against Indians starter Josh Tomlin. Meanwhile, 21 of the last 23 home runs allowed by the Orioles have

Flaherty stays at second base, Teagarden starts behind the plate (and Indians lineup)

Ryan Flaherty is getting another start at second base today, as manager Buck Showalter plays the hot hand. Flaherty has homered in back-to-back games. Also, Taylor Teagarden is behind the plate today, with Matt Wieters joining the reserves. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Jim Thome DH Adam Jones CF Wilson Betemit 3B Chris Davis LF Mark Reynolds 1B Ryan Flaherty 2B

Roberts still unsure whether he’ll need surgery

On the same night that Ryan Flaherty homered for the second consecutive game as the Orioles’ starting second baseman, Brian Roberts watched from his Sarasota home and wondered if he would get the chance to reclaim his job. Roberts remains on the 15-day disabled list after being diagnosed with a labral tear in his right hip. He hit some soft tosses again yesterday at the

The good side of Chris Tillman (O’s win 3-1)

One start after failing to clear the first inning, Chris Tillman has held the Cleveland Indians to one run through the sixth. The only issue for Tillman was a lack of offensive support, but Jim Thome just belted a two-run homer off Indians right-hander Zach McAllister in the top of the seventh inning. Orioles 2, Indians 1. Thome has homered in back-to-back games, giving him

Pearce designated for assignment

The Orioles created space for middle infielder Omar Quintanilla on their 25-man roster today by designating outfielder Steve Pearce for assignment. The decision came down to Pearce or Steve Tolleson. The Orioles decided they wanted to keep Tolleson, who has options remaining, so they would have a right-handed hitting infielder to share at-bats with Quintanilla and Ryan Flaherty. The Orioles could have placed reliever Matt

Flaherty starting at second base tonight

Ryan Flaherty is getting another start at second base tonight for the Orioles. Newly acquired middle infielder Omar Quintanilla will join the team today, but he won’t be in the starting lineup. And he’s not listed on the lineup card among the reserves. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Jim Thome DH Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Wilson Betemit 3B Chris

Tillman’s troubles in the first inning

Chris Tillman didn’t make it out of the first inning in his last start against the Minnesota Twins, allowing one earned run (seven total) and five hits in two-thirds of an inning. A Mark Reynolds error complicated Tillman’s night, but the opening frame has been a challenge throughout his career. In 38 career starts, Tillman has posted an 8.12 ERA in the first inning and

Duquette: “We’ll do everything we can to stay in the hunt”

In a brief phone conversation yesterday morning with executive vice president Dan Duquette, I asked whether the Orioles were comfortable platooning Steve Tolleson and Ryan Flaherty at second base, or whether they needed to bring in someone from outside the organization. “We’ll see what comes on the market,” Duquette replied. “If Tolleson and Flaherty can do it, we’ll let them do it. If they can’t

Lindstrom leaves with injury (O’s win 10-2)

Orioles reliever Matt Lindstrom took a Johnny Damon line drive off the inside portion of his left knee, forcing him out of the game with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Lindstrom bent at the waist a few times and kept grimacing as manager Buck Showalter and assistant athletic trainer Brian Ebel checked on him. He didn’t bother to throw a few

Game tied and opportunities lost (O’s lead 10-2)

J.J. Hardy was in a 7-for-70 slump before doubling in the first inning tonight and racing home on a wild pitch by Indians starter Derek Lowe. The lead didn’t last long. Asdrubal Cabrera homered off Miguel Gonzalez in the bottom of the inning, and the Indians left the bases load. Gonzalez threw 25 pitches in the inning. Lowe threw 26. Gonzalez surrendered one home run

Orioles lineup against Indians (Bergesen quotes and note on trade)

Ryan Flaherty gets another start at second base tonight, as manager Buck Showalter continues to platoon him with right-handed hitting Steve Tolleson. We’ll see if that arrangement changes tomorrow after the Orioles acquired Omar Quintanilla from the Mets for future considerations or cash. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Jim Thome DH Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Wilson Betemit 3B Chris

Orioles acquire infielder Omar Quintanilla from Mets, Indians lineup (updated)

Looking to add middle infield depth after losing Brian Roberts and Robert Andino to injuries, the Orioles have acquired Omar Quintanilla from the Mets for future considerations or cash. Quintanilla, 30, can play second base and shortstop, which comes in handy on this team. The Mets designated Quintanilla for assignment a few days ago. He was batting .257/.350/.371 with five doubles, one home run and

Diamondbacks claim Bergesen (updated)

So much for Brad Bergesen staying in the Orioles’ organization. The Arizona Diamondbacks have claimed Bergesen on waivers after the Orioles designated him for assignment on Wednesday to make room on the 25-man roster for pitcher Tommy Hunter. Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus tweeted the news earlier today. The Orioles hoped that Bergesen would clear waivers again, as he did back in May, and accept

A third look at Gonzalez in the rotation (and Guthrie note)

It may come as a shock to many of you, but the Orioles don’t have any current plans to adjust their rotation. Continue to breathe normally. Wei-Yin Chen got the start and a much-needed win yesterday. Miguel Gonzalez, Chris Tillman, Zach Britton and Tommy Hunter will make the starts against the Indians in a four-game series that begins tonight. Then it’s back home, and back

Scoring change benefits Ayala

The Orioles tweeted tonight that there’s been a scoring change in Tuesday night’s game in Minnesota. I wouldn’t want you going to bed without having all the details. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Twins center fielder Denard Span was credited with an infield hit, and Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy was charged with a throwing error. The single has been removed, and it’s now

Back-to-back beauties from Orioles’ rotation (O’s win 4-3)

Tommy Hunter held the Twins to one run over 7 1/3 innings last night. Wei-Yin Chen allowed three runs in seven innings today. In case you don’t recognize it, those are back-to-back quality starts from the Orioles’ rotation. Chen hasn’t won since June 17 in Atlanta, a game I listened to on WBAL Radio on my drive back home from Ocean Pines. I listened to

Orioles lineup against Twins (and Twins lineup)

Orioles manager Buck Showalter worked in a few more left-handed hitters for today’s series finale against the Twins. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Jim Thome DH Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Wilson Betemit 3B Chris Davis LF Mark Reynolds 1B Ryan Flaherty 2B Wei-Yin Chen LHP For the Twins: Denard Span CF Ben Revere RF Joe Mauer C Josh Willingham

While waiting for the lineup ...

The Orioles have an early game today before flying to Cleveland to continue their road trip. They had to “sleep fast,” as manager Buck Showalter likes to say. You’ll get the lineup quicker than usual on a Thursday, but until then ... Showalter told MASN’s Gary Thorne before last night’s game that he hoped Tommy Hunter’s familiarity with catcher Taylor Teagarden from their days in

Bergesen talks about being designated (O’s win 2-1)

Reliever Brad Bergesen is in the process of boarding a flight to Chicago. He won’t get into Baltimore until early tomorrow morning. Then he’ll wait. Bergesen was designated for assignment this afternoon to make room on the 25-man roster for Tommy Hunter, who’s starting against the Twins. If he clears waivers, he’ll accept the outright assignment and board another flight to Syracuse, where Triple-A Norfolk

Jones owns Liriano

Well, that might be a bit extreme, but I liked the way it sounded. Adam Jones homered for the second consecutive night, his two-run shot in the first inning giving the Orioles a 2-0 lead. The ball traveled an estimated 411 feet and landed in the last row of the second deck in left field. Jones is 4-for-10 with three home runs lifetime against Francisco

Orioles DFA Brad Bergesen (Twins lineup and notes)

The Orioles officially recalled Tommy Hunter from Triple-A Norfolk today and designated reliever Brad Bergesen for assignment. Hunter is starting tonight against the Twins. Bergesen is wondering again where his career is headed. Bergesen had his contract purchased yesterday because the Orioles needed a long reliever, but he didn’t get into last night’s game. Bergesen is 4-3 with a 4.03 ERA and one save in

Orioles lineup against the Twins

Taylor Teagarden gets another start behind the plate tonight for the Orioles, with Matt Wieters serving as the designated hitter. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters DH Mark Reynolds 1B Steve Pearce LF Wilson Betemit 3B Taylor Teagarden C Steve Tolleson 2B Tommy Hunter RHP The Orioles will try to rediscover their winning touch tonight against Twins

Starters have ended the bullpen’s effectiveness

So, about that rotation ... Zach Britton didn’t record an out in the fifth inning last night. Chris Tillman didn’t get out of the first inning on Monday. Miguel Gonzalez couldn’t get the final out in the sixth on Sunday. Now it’s Tommy Hunter’s turn - because the Orioles don’t have a whole lot of choices. Hunter is working on normal rest. He’s on the

Britton and Deduno dueling in Minnesota (O’s lose 6-4)

Zach Britton is making his first start for the Orioles in 2012. Samuel Deduno is making his second major league start. The combination works if you’re a fan of low-scoring games. The Orioles carried a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the fourth inning before Jamey Carroll’s two-out double knotted the score. They moved ahead early, getting a leadoff single from Nick Markakis in the

Bergesen joining team in Minnesota (N. Johnson to 60-day DL)

Needing another long reliever for tonight, the Orioles have made arrangements to purchase Brad Bergesen’s contract from Triple-A Norfolk. Reliever Miguel Socolovich is expected to be optioned to Norfolk after replacing starter Chris Tillman in the first inning last night and working 2 1/3 innings. The Orioles must create room on the 40-man roster for Bergesen, who’s been in the minors all season. As I

Now it’s Flaherty’s turn at second base (and a few notes)

Rule 5 pick Ryan Flaherty gets the start tonight at second base against Twins right-hander Samuel Deduno. Left-hander Zach Britton makes his debut with the Orioles tonight. No roster move has been announced, but second baseman Robert Andino will be placed on the disabled list. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Jim Thome DH Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Mark Reynolds

What’s on second? (Ryan Adams update)

The Orioles need a second baseman, and since they have a fondness for signing veterans to Triple-A contracts, I’m recommending Rich Dauer, Billy Smith, Lenn Sakata or Davey Johnson - if he tires of that managing gig down the road. RIP Alan Wiggins. Brian Roberts remains on the disabled list and is facing the very real possibilty that he’ll need surgery to repair a labral

Not the same Tillman tonight (O’s lose 19-7)

Chris Tillman will fail again to win back-to-back decisions in the majors. That’s because he failed to get out of the first inning tonight. The best he can hope for is a no-decision, and it’s going to take one heck of a rally from the Orioles. Tillman lasted only two-thirds of an inning, the shortest outing of his career. He faced 10 batters and gave

Tillman going for a first tonight (Andino going on DL)

Chris Tillman has made 37 starts in the majors, but he has never won consecutive decisions. He’s got a shot at it tonight at Target Field. Tillman won his first start with the Orioles this season, allowing two unearned runs in a career-high 8 1/3 innings on July 4 in Seattle. The Orioles optioned him to Double-A Bowie so he could pitch again during the

Tolleson starting at second base

Steve Tolleson is starting at second base tonight while Robert Andino nurses a left shoulder injury. Andino exited yesterday’s game after diving for a ground ball. X-rays were negative, and the Orioles are waiting for the results of today’s MRI. Tolleson hasn’t played second base in the majors since 2010 with the Athletics - four appearances, two starts. He’s played 243 games at second in

Eveland outrighted again (updated)

Left-hander Dana Eveland has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk for the second time this year. Eveland was designated for assignment on Saturday to make room for reliever Miguel Socolovich on the 25- and 40-man rosters. He went through the same process on March 29 after the Orioles claimed infielder Zelous Wheeler off waivers from the Brewers. Coincidentally, Wheeler moved up today from

Leftovers for breakfast

The Orioles have lost five of their last seven series after winning four in a row. Left-hander Brian Matusz served up a grand slam in the first inning last night at Triple-A Norfolk, and followed up with six scoreless innings. One of the runs was unearned. Pedro Viola blew the save for Matusz, who allowed five hits, walked four and struck out two in seven

Showalter speaks after 4-0 loss (So does Andino)

Before manager Buck Showalter can dissect a game, he has to provide an injury update. It’s become a tradition here. Here’s the Showalter told reporters concerning second baseman Robert Andino: “Dove, landed on his shoulder. He’s going to stay back and take an MRI hopefully tomorrow morning and get some information. The trainers are telling me what docs said and what initially they think, but

Steve Johnson optioned after game, Andino update

Steve Johnson appeared in his first major league game today, served up his first major league home run and was optioned to the minors for the second time. That’s enough to make anyone’s head spin. The Orioles needed to create room for tomorrow’s starter, Chris Tillman, on the 25-man roster. Johnson threw 47 pitches in two innings, including a changeup that Miguel Cabrera deposited into

Steve Johnson makes major league debut (O’s lose 4-0)

The local kid already made good. Today, he made better. Steve Johnson, a graduate of St. Paul’s who was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk this morning, made his major league debut in the eighth inning and received a loud ovation from the Camden Yards crowd. Johnson, pitching for the first time since July 8, walked the first two batters he faced. He ran the count full

Andino leaves with injury

The injuries keep mounting for the Orioles. Second baseman Robert Andino left today’s game in the top of the sixth inning after appearing to jam his left shoulder while diving for a ball. Alex Avila singled to score Prince Fielder and extend Detroit’s lead to 3-0. Andino continued to lie face-down on the ground, as if frustrated that the ball got past him. He actually

Game and Hammel updates

Miguel Gonzalez has allowed one run with his name spelled incorrectly on the back of his jersey and one run with the proper spelling. Maybe he should try “Miguel” and see how that works for him. Austin Jackson hit a leadoff home run in the first inning while Gonzalez wore a jersey with “Gonzales” stitched on the back. He changed jerseys in the second inning

The two newer faces in the clubhouse

Let’s start with Steve Johnson, who found out late last night that the Orioles were calling him up for a second time. “It was after the game,” he said. “I was about to head out the door and they told me to hold up and called me in. I packed my stuff and started driving.” Johnson spent two days with the Orioles in Seattle, but

Britton confirmed for Tuesday, Matusz not candidate for Wednesday

The Orioles’ rotation for the series in Minnesota that begins tomorrow will not include left-hander Brian Matusz. Chris Tillman will start tomorrow after making it through yesterday’s bullpen session without a recurrence of the back spasms that flared up on Thursday. Manager Buck Showalter confirmed that Zach Britton will start Tuesday, marking the left-hander’s first appearance in the majors this season. However, Showalter eliminated Matusz

Teagarden behind the plate today (Hammel surgery Monday)

Taylor Teagarden played in his first game with the Orioles yesterday. He hit his first home run, and the first walk-off shot of his career. Today, he gets to start his first game behind the plate. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Jim Thome DH Adam Jones CF Chris Davis LF Wilson Betemit 3B Mark Reynolds 1B Taylor Teagarden C Robert Andino

Orioles will recall Steve Johnson

Orioles manager Buck Showalter used six relievers last night after starter Jason Hammel exited in the fourth inning with a knee injury. He used seven relievers tonight because the game lasted 13 innings. Needing a fresh arm for the bullpen, the Orioles will recall Steve Johnson from Triple-A Norfolk and get him to Camden Yards in time for tomorrow afternoon’s series finale against the Tigers

Showalter speaks after 8-6, 13-inning victory

Taylor Teagarden hadn’t hit a home run in the major leagues since Aug. 18, 2010. He hadn’t played in a major league game since Aug 20, 2011. Of course, Teagarden homered tonight to break a 6-6 tie in the bottom of the 13th inning and give the Orioles a rousing 8-6 win over the Tigers before 43,215 at Camden Yards. The Orioles blew a 4-1

Surgery likely for Hammel (updated)

Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel said he’s “leaning toward” having surgery to remove a piece of loose cartilage from his right knee. Hammel is expected to be placed on the disabled list tomorrow, and he could make his decision before leaving Camden Yards. Hammel said the MRI taken today didn’t reveal any new damage, but the cartilage has floated to a location where it’s pressing against

Chen music soothing to Orioles (Teagarden with walk-off HR)

Winless since June 17, left-hander Wei-Yin Chen is pitching today like the Orioles’ staff ace. He pretty much inherited the title, since he’s the only one left from the opening day rotation who hasn’t been demoted or injured. Chen is on his game today, retiring 13 Tigers in a row as we head to the bottom of the fifth. He’s allowed one hit, Prince Fielder’s

Hammel will miss next start (Andino breaks tie)

Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel will miss his next start, according to a team spokesman. Manager Buck Showalter will provide more details following today’s game. Hammel underwent an MRI on his right knee at 1 p.m. At this point, there’s been no indication that he’s facing surgery. We’re told that Showalter will discuss Hammel’s treatment. Hammel limped off the field in the top of the fourth

Tillman pushed back to Monday, more on roster moves (updated)

Lots and lots of activity today at Camden Yards, and the game isn’t scheduled to start for more than two hours. Chris Tillman’s next start has been pushed back to Monday in Minnesota after he experienced back spasms a few days ago. Miguel Gonzalez will move up a day and pitch tomorrow against the Tigers at Camden Yards. The Orioles still don’t have an update

Markakis leading off again today (plus roster moves)

Nick Markakis remains atop the order for today’s game against the Tigers. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Jim Thome DH Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Chris Davis LF Mark Reynolds 1B Wilson Betemit 3B Robert Andino 2B Wei-Yin Chen LHP Ronny Paulino is listed among the reserves. No sign of Taylor Teagarden. Update: Teagarden is at Camden Yards, so a

Rotation would take another hit without Hammel

A reminder that the Orioles will honor Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer today with the unveiling of his statue at 2:15 p.m. All gates open at 2 p.m. Is he available to pitch? Executive vice president Dan Duquette is trying to acquire a starting pitcher. To which I say, “Why only one?” The only good news is that Brian Matusz and Zach Britton were

MRI scheduled for Hammel (with more quotes)

Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel will undergo an MRI on his right knee tomorrow at 1 p.m. Hammel exited tonight’s game in the fourth inning after throwing his sixth pitch to Tigers right fielder Brennan Boesch. He limped off the field with manager Buck Showalter and assistant athletic trainer Brian Ebel after attempting a few warmup tosses. Hammel wasn’t available to reporters while receiving treatment on

Hammel leaves game with injury (another update on injury)

Did the Orioles just lose another member of their opening day rotation? Jason Hammel’s night is over after three innings and six pitches in the fourth, the shortest outing of his Orioles career. Hammel appeared to land awkwardly on his left leg while delivering a pitch to Brennan Boesch leading off the fourth. Assistant athletic trainer Brian Ebel and manager Buck Showalter came to the

Orioles must decide where to start Gausman (O’s trail 2-1)

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette and scouting director Gary Rajsich joined first-round pick Kevin Gausman at today’s press conference in the auxiliary clubhouse at Camden Yards. Gausman tried on his new Orioles jersey and cap, bending the brim to “break it in.” He also wore a smile that lasted from the second he walked into the room until it was time to leave. “We’re

Showalter on batting Markakis first and putting Davis in left

Nick Markakis is batting leadoff tonight for the first time in his major league career. Why did manager Buck Showalter choose Markakis? “The answer is a question,” Showalter replied. “As opposed to who? “I don’t know if Nicky’s more excited about coming back and playing or leading off,” Showalter continued. “We talked about it a little bit yesterday. It was something I thought about, seeing

Nick Johnson has cortisone injection, and other stuff (Gausman signs)

Nick Johnson had a cortisone injection in his sore right wrist. He remains in Sarasota and isn’t close to coming off the 15-day disabled list. Johnson eventually could be moved to the 60-day DL to create room on the 40-man roster if the Orioles determine that he’s going to be sidelined for an extended period. Asked whether Johnson and Jim Thome, a full-time designated hitter,

Markakis leading off, Davis in left field

Orioles manager Buck Showalter just answered two pressing questions regarding the lineup: Who’s batting leadoff and who’s playing left field. That would be Nick Markakis and Chris Davis, respectively. Markakis has never batted first in the majors before tonight. Davis has never played left field. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Jim Thome DH Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Chris Davis

Hammel rested and ready

Jason Hammel has lost three consecutive starts heading into tonight’s game against the Tigers at Camden Yards. He hasn’t won since June 22, when he held the Nationals to one unearned run in eight innings. He also won his previous start with a complete-game, one-hit shutout in Atlanta. On both victorious occasions, Hammel was working on five days rest instead of the standard four. Tonight,

While Gausman ponders whether to sign, Ripken prepares for college

The Orioles have until 5 p.m. today to sign LSU pitcher Kevin Gausman, the fourth overall pick in the First-Year Player Draft. They’re on the clock again. Gausman let it be known that his heart is still at LSU. The Orioles are trying to get the rest of him. I’ll be convinced that they sign him until they don’t. It usually comes down to the

Avery optioned to Norfolk

The Orioles just announced that they’ve optioned outfielder Xavier Avery to Triple-A Norfolk. No corresponding move was included in the tweet and press release, but outfielder Endy Chavez is expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled list before tomorrow night’s game against the Tigers at Camden Yards. Chavez has been sidelined with a hamstring injury. Avery has batted .233/.317/.356 in 24 games over three

Has Britton done enough to make Tuesday’s start?

The Orioles need a starter for Tuesday night’s game in Minnesota, and left-hander Zach Britton did nothing tonight at Triple-A Norfolk to hurt his candidacy. Britton tossed seven scoreless innings against Lehigh Valley, allowing only four hits, walking none and striking out six. He threw 93 pitches, 64 for strikes. In his last five starts, Britton has permitted 10 earned runs and 24 hits over

Ferreira expects Urrutia to move quickly through the system (with note)

One of the most important acquisitions for the Orioles last winter can’t be found on the major league roster or at one of the minor league affiliates. He’s currently in Costa Rica on another scouting mission. Fred Ferreira, hired in December as the executive director of international recruiting, is responsible for this week’s signing of 25-year-old Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia. Urrutia, who received a $778,500

Who’s been the most disappointing Oriole?

Last night, I spotted former reliever Arthur Rhodes hanging with friends in Ocean City. He hasn’t signed with the Orioles and he isn’t reporting to Triple-A Norfolk so he can be stretched out as a starter. That was my first thought. As for current Orioles, since I debated who was the most valuable of the first half yesterday morning, it only seems right to shift

Another 40-man move coming (and notes)

If the Orioles stick to their current plan and activate catcher Taylor Teagarden from the 60-day disabled list before Friday night’s game at Camden Yards, they will have to create room for him on the 40-man roster. One solution would be to designate catcher Ronny Paulino for assignment. Luis Exposito, who underwent surgery to remove part of a broken hamate bone in his right wrist

Choosing a first-half Most Valuable Oriole

I can’t make up my mind on the first-half Most Valuable Oriole. Two months ago, I would have selected center fielder Adam Jones and assumed that he was the unanimous choice, and he’s still a worthy candidate with a .289 average, 19 doubles, two triples, 20 home runs and 44 RBIs. But he didn’t bust through the tape at the first-half finish line. Let’s break

Jones, Wieters, Johnson get into the All-Star action (NL wins 8-0)

The Orioles finally have a presence in the 2012 All-Star Game, and it only took until the top of the sixth inning. Adam Jones took over in center field. Matt Wieters moved behind the plate. Jim Johnson continued to sit in the bullpen. Two out of three ain’t bad. Jones ran down Rafael Furcal’s fly ball on the first pitch thrown by White Sox left-hander

Romero granted release

One order of business for the Orioles during the All-Star break involved left-handed reliever J.C. Romero, who could have opted out of his contract with Triple-A Norfolk if he wasn’t promoted to the majors. Romero requested and was granted his release earlier today after the Orioles decided not to purchase his contract. He’s now a free agent and can sign with any team. Romero allowed

As the rotations turn (and Chavez update)

The Triple-A Norfolk Tides tweeted their rotation following the All-Star break, and it begins with left-hander Zach Britton on Thursday. Tommy Hunter is scheduled to pitch Friday, followed by Jason Berken on Saturday, Brian Matusz on Sunday and Jake Arrieta on Monday. Arrieta is getting an extended rest after making his final start for the Orioles on July 5 in Anaheim. He’s 3-9 with a

What to do with Davis (updated)

Before I proceed with this morning’s blog topic, I want to talk a few people off the ledge. My blog and Twitter account were besieged last night with fans who were in a total panic over a report out of Louisiana that pitcher Kevin Gausman was definitely returning to LSU instead of signing with the Orioles, who made him the fourth-overall pick in the 2012

Markakis activated from disabled list

The Orioles are off for the next four days, but that didn’t stop them from making another roster move. Right fielder Nick Markakis has been reinstated from the 15-day disabled list after completing his injury-rehab assignment at Double-A Bowie. The Orioles optioned first baseman Joe Mahoney to Triple-A Norfolk to make room for Markakis on the 25-man roster. Markakis hasn’t played since May 29 in

Updating Tillman, Markakis and Chavez

Chris Tillman made his first start today since the Orioles optioned him to Double-A Bowie. It also will be his last start before he rejoins them in Baltimore. Facing Akron today at Prince George’s Stadium, Tillman allowed three runs and four hits in 3 1/3 innings before coming out with his pitch count at 72. He walked two and struck out two in the Baysox’s

How far should the Orioles go to make a deal? (Teagarden update)

Triple-A Norfolk outfielder Nate McLouth has been named the International League’s Player of the Week. Left-hander Brian Matusz has been named Pitcher of the Week. And you thought the Orioles didn’t have enough depth in their farm system. Shame on you. McLouth must have edged out Tides outfielder LJ Hoes, who extended his hitting streak to 19 games yesterday. The kid’s been raking. Hoes, the

Bad finish to first half

Remind me again whether Orioles fans are supposed to be more concerned about the rotation, offense or defense. The Orioles didn’t stagger into the All-Star break; they crawled to it on their hands and knees. They’ve lost 13 of their last 19 games and haven’t scored in their last 22 innings. They served up four home runs to the Angels today in a 6-0 loss,

Orioles and Angels lineups

Mark Reynolds is back in the lineup today, and Chris Davis is staying in it. Steve Tolleson, recalled yesterday from Triple-A Norfolk, is starting at third base. For the Orioles: Robert Andino 2B J.J. Hardy SS Matt Wieters DH Adam Jones CF Mark Reynolds 1B Chris Davis RF Steve Pearce LF Steve Tolleson 3B Ronny Paulino C Wei-Yin Chen LHP For the Angels: Mike Trout

Matusz looks to Anderson for advice and a target

Two days after being called into manager Buck Showalter’s office and told that the Orioles were sending him down to Triple-A Norfolk, after having his baseball world shattered again like a fastball through a pane of glass, Brian Matusz headed for the bullpen at Camden Yards and picked up the pieces. Brady Anderson, the club’s special assistant, put on full catching gear - including a

Another error leads to another run (O’s lose 3-0)

Rookie left fielder Xavier Avery misplayed Mark Trumbo’s single leading off the fourth inning tonight for the Orioles’ 75th error this season, tops in the majors. It came back to bite them. Trumbo moved to third on Alberto Callaspo’s fly ball and scored on Howie Kendrick’s single through a drawn-in infield to give the Angels a 1-0 lead against starter Jason Hammel. The defense wasn’t

Davis back in lineup, Mahoney making debut

Chris Davis, who missed the last two games with a strained right trapezius muscle, has returned to the Orioles’ lineup tonight and will start in right field. First baseman Joe Mahoney will make his major league debut against Angels right-hander Jered Weaver. Big challenge for Big Irish in his first big league game. For the Orioles: Xavier Avery LF J.J. Hardy SS Chris Davis RF

Orioles have expressed interest in Wandy Rodriguez (Tolleson recalled)

You can add left-hander Wandy Rodriguez to the list of pitchers who are on the Orioles’ radar. The Orioles have contacted the Astros about Rodriguez, according to an industry source. No word on the level of interest or which players have been discussed, but executive vice president Dan Duquette is considering Rodriguez as a possibility for his ever-changing rotation. Rodriguez is owed about $5 million

Ron Johnson has the Tides rolling

Joe Mahoney couldn’t crack the Orioles’ lineup again last night. On Thursday, he couldn’t crack either one of them. Chris Davis was a late scratch that night with a strained right trapezius muscle, and he remained on the bench for the second game of the Angels series. The All-Star break is coming at a good time. Only two more games before the Orioles - with

Gonzalez serves up rare home run, Pearce hits his third (O’s win 3-2)

Before Mark Trumbo stepped to the plate in the fourth inning tonight, Orioles pitcher Miguel Gonzalez had allowed exactly one home run during the 2012 season. One. It hadn’t occurred in his brief major league career, which consisted of three relief appearances with the Orioles before tonight. It happened once in 44 2/3 innings at Triple-A Norfolk. Trumbo must not have studied history. He hit

Updates on Roberts and Matusz (Matusz with complete-game shutout)

Orioles manager Buck Showalter told reporters in Anaheim tonight that second baseman Brian Roberts has been diagnosed with a right hip labral tear. Roberts, currently on the disabled list, underwent an MRA yesterday. The procedure is similar to an MRI, except dye is injected into the injured area. Roberts will seek a second opinion, according to Showalter. More details are coming on “O’s Xtra” on

Davis out of lineup again, Reynolds starting at first (with Angels lineup)

One of the injured Orioles is in tonight’s lineup. Mark Reynolds, who was hit on the left hand last night, is starting at first base and batting sixth against Angels southpaw C.J. Wilson. However, Chris Davis is on the bench again after being a late scratch last night because of a strained right trapezius muscle. Only three games remain before the All-Star break, and the

A few minor matters

Right fielder Nick Markakis isn’t in Double-A Bowie’s lineup tonight. He’s expected to begin his injury-rehab assignment tomorrow at Prince George’s County Stadium. Catcher Taylor Teagarden, who hasn’t played for the Orioles this year, is behind the plate and batting third tonight for the Baysox after moving up from the Gulf Coast League. The Orioles could activate Teagarden from the disabled list after the All-Star

Getting away from the Oriole Way (updated)

The Orioles need to upgrade their pitching. They need to tighten up their defense. It’s not the same set of issues I remember them having when I was a kid. They can still hit the longball, which Earl Weaver would appreciate. Their 105 home runs rank third in the majors behind the Yankees (126) and Blue Jays (122). They clubbed three last night in the

With Arrieta optioned, what’s next move?

Remember when the Orioles’ rotation on opening day included Tommy Hunter, Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta? Not anymore. Arrieta became the latest starter to be optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. The Orioles made the announcement following last night’s game in Anaheim - which became this morning’s game as it played out. I checked Twitter and my e-mails for the final time about five minutes before they

Arrieta again fails to clear the fourth (O’s lose 9-7)

Jake Arrieta got plenty of run support tonight. Manager Buck Showalter didn’t think it was going to be enough. Showalter yanked Arrieta with two outs in the fourth inning, a runner on base and the Orioles leading, 7-5. Luis Ayala gave up an RBI single to Torii Hunter to complete Arrieta’s line, and he surrendered two runs of his own, as the Angels took an

Davis scratched, Flaherty in right field (Reynolds and Flaherty homer)

We have a lineup change for the Orioles. Chris Davis has been scratched and Ryan Flaherty is starting in right field. Matt Wieters moves up to third. Reporters in Anaheim were told Davis has a right trapezius strain. For the Orioles: Xavier Avery LF J.J. Hardy SS Matt Wieters C Adam Jones CF Jim Thome DH Wilson Betemit 3B Mark Reynolds 1B Ryan Flaherty RF

Orioles and Angels lineups (and notes)

The Orioles recalled first baseman Joe Mahoney today, but he’s not in the lineup. His major league debut will have to wait. Mark Reynolds is playing first base and batting eighth. Jim Thome continues to serve as the designated hitter. For the Orioles: Xavier Avery LF J.J. Hardy SS Chris Davis RF Adam Jones CF Jim Thome DH Matt Wieters C Wilson Betemit 3B Mark

Hammel won’t accompany teammates to All-Star Game

Major League Baseball has announced that Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish and Cardinals infielder David Freese are the Final Vote winners for the 2012 All-Star Game on July 10 in Kansas City. Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel was a finalist, but he couldn’t overtake Darvish and White Sox’s pitcher Jake Peavy. Royals closer Jonathan Broxton and Angels reliever Ernesto Frieri also were finalists. Hammel is 8-4 with

Phillips outrighted to Norfolk (with note)

Left-hander Zach Phillips has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk, creating another roster move for the Orioles’ top affiliate. The Orioles designated Phillips for assignment on June 30 to make room for Jim Thome on the 40-man roster. In his only appearance for the Orioles this year, Phillips allowed two earned runs and three hits and walked two batters in two-thirds on an

So why Mahoney?

You’ve heard of good roster moves. OK, I won’t go there again. The Orioles had a decision to make yesterday after optioning pitcher Chris Tillman to Double-A Bowie: Bring up a position player or a reliever. The choices weren’t exactly plentiful, if you take another look at the 40-man roster. Pitchers: Jake Arrieta Luis Ayala Jason Berken Zach Britton Dylan Bundy Wei-Yin Chen Oliver Drake

Orioles will call up Mahoney

The Orioles will return to a four-man bench before the All-Star break by recalling first baseman Joe Mahoney from Triple-A Norfolk. Mahoney, 25, will take the roster spot vacated by pitcher Chris Tillman, who was optioned to Double-A Bowie following yesterday’s 4-2 victory over the Mariners. Mahoney will meet the Orioles in Anaheim. Mahoney is batting .256 with 14 doubles, five home runs and 38

Tillman optioned after game

The Orioles optioned pitcher Chris Tillman to Double-A Bowie following today’s 4-2 victory over the Mariners at Safeco Field. Tillman allowed two unearned runs in a career-high 8 1/3 innings in his return to the majors. The Orioles don’t want Tillman being idle through the All-Star break. He’ll start Monday night for Bowie and rejoin the club next weekend after his mandatory 10 days have

It’s Tillman time (O’s win 4-2)

In his next-to-last start with the Orioles on Aug. 6, 2011, Chris Tillman limited the Blue Jays to two runs and four hits in seven innings. Five days later against the White Sox, he surrendered six runs and eight hits, and walked three batters, in only 2 2/3 innings. Tillman didn’t pitch for the Orioles again - beyond spring training - until making today’s start

Orioles and Mariners lineups

Xavier Avery is leading off again today, as the Orioles attempt to win back-to-back games before heading to Anaheim. Chris Tillman is making his first start for the Orioles this season, and he’ll have Matt Wieters behind the plate in a day game following a night game. For the Orioles: Xavier Avery LF J.J. Hardy SS Chris Davis RF Adam Jones CF Jim Thome DH

About last night ... (Hammel update)

You’ve heard of good wins. Last night’s win was a good one. It helps little old ladies across the street. It picks up your tab. It mows your lawn in the middle of the summer. It raises your allowance. It restores your power. It lets you merge into heavy traffic. It hires Lindsay Lohan to work your next bachelor party. Wei-Yin Chen turned in an

What a difference an Avery makes (O’s win 5-4, S. Johnson optioned)

It’s unfortunate that an injury is the reason why outfielder Xavier Avery is back in the majors, but he’s making an impact again tonight. Batting leadoff with Brian Roberts on the disabled list, Avery is 2-for-3 with a run scored, and he’s a central figure in this game, which had been scoreless until the sixth inning. Avery led off the inning with his second hit

Roberts to DL, Avery rejoins team

Second baseman Brian Roberts is going on the disabled list with a strained groin, which explains the Orioles’ delay in posting tonight’s lineup and outfielder Xavier Avery’s arrival in Seattle. Avery has been recalled from Triple-A Norfolk after being optioned on Sunday. He didn’t need to spend the required 10 days in the minors because he’s replacing a player who’s on the DL. Roberts is

While waiting for the Orioles’ lineup... (roster move coming?)

Congratulations to the Orioles for being the only team in baseball that hasn’t posted its lineup. Maybe they’re waiting on Brian Roberts, who didn’t play last night because of a sore groin. In the meantime... For the Mariners: Ichiro Suzuki RF Casper Wells LF Kyle Seager 3B Jesus Montero DH Miguel Olivo C Michael Saunders CF Justin Smoak 1B Dustin Ackley 2B Brendan Ryan SS

A noteworthy afternoon

One night after Jason Hammel tried to make amends for tying his career high for most runs allowed in a start, left-hander Wei-Yin Chen will attempt to do the same. Hammel limited the Mariners to one run heading into the seventh inning last night before being charged with four in 6 2/3. Chen gave up six runs to the Indians in 6 1/3 innings after

About last night... (Hammel update)

You’ve heard of bad losses. Last night’s loss was a bad one. It makes a fist and punches you in the gut. It takes up two parking spaces. It uses up all the hot water. It raises gas prices. It hides the remote control. It brings 20 items into the express lane. It sits behind you in the theater and won’t stop talking. It hires

Hammel’s timing: From bad to good (O’s lose 6-3)

Jason Hammel tied his career high by allowing eight runs in his final start before the All-Star selections were announced. Bad timing. Hammel is one of five finalists for the Final Vote, joining fellow pitchers Jonathan Broxton, Yu Darvish, Ernesto Frieri and Jake Peavy. Tonight, he’s held the Mariners to one run through six innings. Good timing. Hammel has given up five hits, including John

Rotation could spin in different directions (updated)

Orioles manager Buck Showalter, during his pregame session with reporters in Seattle, indicated that Chris Tillman could start Wednesday against the Mariners instead of Thursday against the Angels. Executive vice president Dan Duquette told me earlier today that Tillman was scratched from his start in Triple-A Norfolk in case he was needed to pitch against the Angels, but Jake Arrieta could be pushed back a

Orioles and Mariners lineups

Robert Andino is starting at second base and batting leadoff tonight for the Orioles as they begin a three-game series in Seattle. Brian Roberts is taking a seat on the bench. Jim Thome is serving as the designated hitter again after going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts yesterday in his debut. Wilson Betemit has moved up to third in the order for the first time this

Roster move and Willis retirement official, and other notes

The Orioles confirmed today that pitcher Steve Johnson has been recalled from Triple-A Norfolk and joined the team in Seattle. He’s wearing No. 52. Johnson and his father, Dave, will become the sixth father-son duo to play for the Orioles, joining Bob and Terry Kennedy, Don and Damon Buford, John O’Donoghue Sr. and John O’Donoghue Jr., Dave and Derrick May, and Tim Raines Sr. and

Tillman scratched, Willis may retire, Markakis took BP

Chris Tillman no longer is scheduled to start tonight for Triple-A Norfolk. Tim Bascom, the Orioles’ minor league Pitcher of the Year in 2011, will take Tillman’s turn in the rotation. Bascom is moving up from Double-A Bowie. Tillman is expected to move up to the majors and start Thursday night’s game in Anaheim. Tillman is 8-8 with a 3.63 ERA in 16 games with

More changes in store for the Orioles

When it comes to the Orioles these days, the great debate centers on the biggest concern. The defense? It’s been tagged for 69 errors in 78 games, most in the majors. The offense? It perked up a little over the weekend with a combined 14 runs in two games, but the Orioles managed only two yesterday and didn’t have a baserunner until the fifth inning.

Steve Johnson joining Orioles in Seattle (Britton update)

The Orioles are preparing to recall right-hander Steve Johnson from Triple-A Norfolk and insert him into their bullpen during their West Coast trip that begins tomorrow night in Seattle. Johnson will replace left-hander Brian Matusz on the 25-man roster. Matusz was optioned after today’s 6-2 loss to the Indians at Camden Yards. Johnson, 24, is 3-5 with a 2.73 ERA in 14 games, including nine

Showalter speaks after 6-2 loss

The Indians lost five straight games before arriving in Baltimore, but they took three of four in this series. Brian Matusz gave up five runs (four earned) and seven hits in four innings and was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. He hasn’t been the same pitcher since holding the Rays to one run and two hits in 7 1/3 innings back on June 2. What happened?

Matusz optioned to Triple-A Norfolk (with Duquette quotes)

The changes keep coming to the Orioles’ 25-man roster, and to their rotation. Less than 24 hours after Tommy Hunter was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, the Orioles made the same move with left-hander Brian Matusz following today’s 6-2 loss to the Indians at Camden Yards. Manager Buck Showalter confirmed the move after meeting with reporters. He called Matusz into his office to break the news.

Miguel Gonzalez pushing for rotation spot (updated)

The Orioles recalled Miguel Gonzalez from Triple-A Norfolk yesterday - he was scratched about an hour before his scheduled start for the Tides - because they needed a long reliever for today’s game against the Indians. He might be needed in the rotation later this week. Gonzalez must stay with the Orioles, no matter his role. He’s tossed four shutout innings in relief of left-hander

And the Thome era officially begins (Matusz’s day ends)

Jim Thome received a nice ovation as he walked to the plate with one out in the bottom of the second inning. The cartoon bird looked a bit strange on his helmet, but we’ll get used to it. He’s worn many hats over the years. In his first at-bat with the Orioles, who completed a trade with the Phillies yesterday that included Single-A pitcher Kyle

Jones, J. Johnson and Wieters chosen to All-Star team (Hammel in Final Vote)

For the first time since 2005, the Orioles will have more than one representative at the All-Star Game. Their streak remains of not having a player voted in - seven years and counting - but center fielder Adam Jones, closer Jim Johnson and catcher Matt Wieters were selected and will represent the Orioles in Kansas City on July 10. A fourth Oriole could join his

Avery optioned to Triple-A Norfolk

The Orioles have made two changes to their 25-man roster. Jim Thome is serving as the designated hitter today after being acquired from the Phillies in yesterday’s trade, and right-hander Miguel Gonzalez will work out of the bullpen as a long man. Tommy Hunter was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk last night, and outfielder Xavier Avery was optioned this morning after being recalled for a second

Thome in lineup, batting fifth (updated with Avery move)

Jim Thome will make his Orioles debut today in the finale of a four-game series against the Indians. He’s in the lineup, hitting fifth as the designated hitter. Here’s the Orioles lineup for Sunday: Brian Roberts 2B J.J. Hardy SS Chris Davis RF Adam Jones CF Jim Thome DH Wilson Betemit 1B Ryan Flaherty LF Ronny Paulino C Robert Andino 3B Brian Matusz, P Pitcher

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