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More clubhouse chatter in the Bronx

NEW YORK - Miguel Gonzalez hadn’t pitched in 11 days before taking the ball tonight at Yankee Stadium. Some pitchers would be too strong, would lose their feel and their command. Others, like Gonzalez, simply dominate. Gonzalez tossed seven scoreless innings, striking out a career-high nine batters and lowering his ERA to 3.31. “We had a couple changes,” he said. “We have some new guys

Showalter speaks after 6-1 win

NEW YORK - Orioles manager Buck Showalter met with reporters outside the visiting clubhouse following tonight’s 6-1 victory over the Yankees, and Miguel Gonzalez was the hot topic, as you would expect. Gonzalez seems to enjoy the pressurized settings. The better the opposing pitcher, the more he dials it up. “Obviously, when you’re facing one of the best pitchers in the league, you’ve kind of

Reynolds second-decks Kuroda (Reynolds homers twice in 6-1 win)

NEW YORK - Manager Buck Showalter pointed out yesterday that the Orioles weren’t going to New York to soak up the atmosphere. He mentioned today that he looks “up” at the standings, not down to check on the teams giving chase. Message received. The Orioles have taken a 3-0 lead over the Yankees in the second inning on Chris Davis’ sacrifice fly and Mark Reynolds’

Pregame notes and quotes (and more)

NEW YORK - Orioles manager Buck Showalter needed a lead blocker today to get through the visiting dugout at Yankee Stadium and take a seat on the bench for his pregame session with the media. This series is getting a lot of attention from national media and New York reporters who normally would hang in the home dugout during batting practice. Is there more importance

For Wolf, going to Orioles is “a silver lining in a nightmarish year”

NEW YORK - Wilson Betemit also arrived at Yankee Stadium today, joining Xavier Avery, Luis Exposito and Steve Tolleson as Friday additions to the expanded roster. Betemit will be activated from the disabled list after playing two rehab games at Double-A Bowie, where he hit a grand slam last night. The group of call-ups will expand. These are just the guys who reported early. Zach

A few things about Wolf (with lineup and call-up updates)

NEW YORK - Randy Wolf will officially become a member of the Orioles this afternoon at Yankee Stadium. His debut could come this weekend as the second left-hander in the bullpen. Wolf has made only five relief appearances in his 371 major league games - allowing six runs and 10 hits, and striking out 11 in nine innings - but he figures to stay in

Trying to close out the month with another win

NEW YORK - The Orioles are 17-9 in August, including 12-4 at home, the most wins in any month this season. The last time they won 17 games in any month was August 2010. So, how long has it been since they won 18 games in a month? Try September 2004. Tonight, the Orioles will try to equal that mark. They’ve got one chance remaining

Back to the Bronx

The Orioles trail the first-place New York Yankees by three games in the American League East. They begin a three-game series tonight in the Bronx. You can do the math. It’s another monumental challenge, with the Orioles sending out two rookie starters and a 24-year-old with a career 10.69 ERA in four outings in the Bronx. But I wouldn’t bet against Miguel Gonzalez, Wei-Yin Chen

Showalter speaks after 5-3 win

Twice this season, the Orioles have taken a four-game series from the Chicago White Sox, who continue to lead the American League Central. Reason to be proud? “It is for today,” manager Buck Showalter said following a 5-3 victory at Camden Yards. “There’s another challenge starting tomorrow.” That challenge takes the Orioles to the Bronx, where a three-game sweep would put them in a first-place

Britton optioned to make room for Wolf

Minutes after earning his fourth victory by holding the White Sox to one run over eight innings, left-hander Zach Britton was shipped back to the minors. It’s a tough business. The Orioles optioned Britton to Triple-A Norfolk. They will announce on Friday that they’ve signed left-hander Randy Wolf, who threw today in the Camden Yards outfield. Britton is 4-1 with a 4.80 ERA in eight

A Teagarden party turns into free-for-all (O’s win 5-3)

Not many people showed up for it today, but what did you expect? The Orioles may have their smallest crowd of the season, but it’s not expected to be a record-low. The fans who maneuvered around all the road closures to get here today just saw Taylor Teagarden hit his second home run, a solo shot with two outs in the bottom of the third

Notes and updates

The Orioles are 20-14 against left-handed starters this season. They were 19-28 last year and 18-33 in 2010. Their last winning record vs. left-handed starters was 33-19 in 2007. The Orioles will try to improve to 22-19 in series finales. They’ve won five of their last six finales at home. Randy Wolf played catch today, but he wasn’t scheduled to throw in the bullpen because

Reynolds batting cleanup, Wieters gets day off (Wolf is here)

The Orioles are going with an unusual lineup for an unusual 12:35 p.m. starting time for today’s game against the White Sox at Camden Yards. Mark Reynolds is batting cleanup for the first time this season. He’s hit fifth in eight games, the highest he’s risen in the lineup before today. Manny Machado moves up to seventh despite a 5-for-33 slump. Taylor Teagarden is catching

The search for Henry Urrutia (and me)

I’m preparing to leave the house and fight the traffic to Camden Yards, where I hope to make it before the seventh inning stretch. Rush hour mixed with road closures for the Grand Prix figure to complicate my morning. I’m packing a snack in case it takes longer than expected. And a lunch. Anyway, I wanted to pass along an update on Cuban outfielder Henry

Showalter and Saunders speak after 8-1 loss

Orioles manager Buck Showalter isn’t going to judge Joe Saunders after one outing. He expects the left-hander to contribute down the stretch. Tonight, Saunders gets a mulligan. “I think he’s had eight days off. Probably a little rusty. Then he settled in and pitched pretty well there. Gave up an unearned run,” Showalter said following the Orioles’ 8-1 loss to the White Sox. “He’ll be

Slow start for Saunders, sensational start for Arrieta (O’s lose 8-1)

This isn’t the way left-hander Joe Saunders imagined that his Orioles debut would unfold. Four of the first five White Sox reached base against Saunders, who allowed four runs and four hits in the first inning. Chicago loaded the bases on two singles and a walk, and Alex Rios stroked a two-run double. Alexei Ramirez looped a two-out, two-run single into right field before catcher

Pregame notes and quotes

With a win tonight, the Orioles would move to within 2 1/2 games of the first-place Yankees in the American League East. The Blue Jays posted an 8-5 victory in the Bronx earlier today. Also, the Orioles would be 15 games above .500 for the first time since the end of the 1997 season, when they posted a 98-64 record and reached the American League

Orioles preparing to send Dylan Bundy to instructional league

Orioles manager Buck Showalter indicated today that the Orioles will send pitcher Dylan Bundy to the fall instructional league once Double-A Bowie’s season ends, which apparently will keep the organization’s top prospect from making his major league debut in 2012. Bundy, 19, has long been rumored as a September call-up at the latest, with the possibility of him working in relief or getting a start.

Davis, Quintanilla back in lineup (and AFL note)

The Orioles’ lineup tonight leans to the left, with Nate McLouth batting third, Chris Davis serving as the designated hitter and Omar Quintanilla playing second base. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Nate McLouth LF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Chris Davis DH Mark Reynolds 1B Omar Quintanilla 2B Manny Machado 3B Joe Saunders LHP Seven Orioles farmhands are included on

Turning over a new roster (and note)

The magnetic lineup board outside the Orioles’ clubhouse and across the hall from manager Buck Showalter’s office contained only one name after last night’s game against the White Sox. Joe Saunders was listed as tonight’s starting pitcher. The batting order will remain blank until this afternoon. Saunders will be the 29th player to make his Orioles debut this season. Is that a lot? Once the

Hearing from Jones and Tillman

The Pirates released Erik Bedard today. Adam Jones hit the 100th home run of his major league career tonight, and Chris Tillman improved to 7-2 by shutting out the White Sox on one hit over seven innings. You see where I’m going here. “We’re winning, we’re playing good baseball,” Jones said. “That’s the most important part. Individual accolades, they’re awesome, but we’re winning.” Jones mentioned

Showalter speaks after 6-0 win

Buck Showalter moved above .500 as Orioles manager tonight, and his club moved 14 games above for the first time in seven years. The Orioles have won 16 of their last 22 games and 12 of their last 15 at home. Chris Tillman allowed one hit, the infield variety, over seven innings and improved to 7-2 with a 3.26 ERA. “He was really good,” Showalter

Jones homerless streak the longest of his career (O’s win 6-0)

Adam Jones struck out looking tonight with J.J. Hardy on first base and one out in the bottom of the first inning. Jones wasn’t happy with plate umpire Jordan Baker’s call on the third strike. He can’t be too pleased with his homerless drought, either. Jones hasn’t homered since July 27, a stretch of 109 at-bats that’s the longest of his career. He went 108

News and notes on Wolf, Thome, Patton, Hammel, the rotation (updated)

“There are no Cinderellas in baseball. Those pumpkins don’t play in this league.” - Orioles manager Buck Showalter Veteran left-hander Randy Wolf is headed to Baltimore and is expected to throw here before signing a contract. The Athletics were among the teams that held serious interest in Wolf, but the Orioles apparently have won out. Wolf could pitch in relief or be used as a

Orioles close to signing Randy Wolf (updated)

In a move that would add depth to the rotation and maybe provide a second left-hander to the bullpen, the Orioles are nearing an agreement with pitcher Randy Wolf, according to an industry source. Wolf, in his 14th major league season, was 3-10 with a 5.69 ERA in 25 appearances (24 starts) with the Brewers before they let him go. He allowed 179 hits in

Orioles lineup against White Sox

Another right-handed lineup tonight for the Orioles, which means Lew Ford is the designated hitter, Robert Andino is the second baseman and Matt Wieters is the cleanup hitter. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Lew Ford DH Mark Reynolds 1B Nate McLouth LF Manny Machado 3B Robert Andino 2B Chris Tillman RHP Tillman has allowed seven

Fitting Betemit on the roster

The Orioles are 3 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the American League East. They head to the Bronx after Thursday afternoon’s tilt with the White Sox. You see where I’m going here? It’s gone from interesting to really, really interesting. Manager Buck Showalter and his players aren’t thinking about the wild card. They’re focused only on the division lead. Oh yeah, and Yankees first

Showalter speaks after 4-3 win

The Orioles won their 70th game tonight, one more than the entire 2011 season. They also improved to 45-18 in games decided by two runs or fewer, and tied their season high by moving 13 games above .500. Buck Showalter’s record improved to 173-173 since he took over as manager on Aug. 3, 2010. Tonight provided another example of how different players seem to step

Ford and McLouth provide 1-2 punch in 4-3 win

Lew Ford and Nate McLouth were teammates at Triple-A Norfolk this summer. They didn’t envision hitting home runs on the same night at Camden Yards. It’s been that kind of a season. Ford led off the bottom of the second inning with a home run, his first with the Orioles. He also singled in the sixth. And McLouth’s two-run shot in the eighth erased the

Arrieta optioned to Norfolk

Jake Arrieta’s latest stint with the Orioles was a brief one, as the right-hander was optioned back to Triple-A Norfolk to make room for Joe Saunders after the game. Arrieta didn’t pitch for the club after being called up prior to Sunday’s rainout. He’s eligible to return to the Orioles on Sept. 4. He’ll start for the Tides within the next three days.

Chen gets through the first unscathed (McLouth gives O’s 4-3 victory)

Wei-Yin Chen allowed 19 runs in the first inning before tonight, the most of any inning. He retired the White Sox in order, getting two fly balls and striking out Adam Dunn. Maybe that’s a good sign. The Orioles tried to give him a lead in the bottom of the first, getting a leadoff single by Nick Markakis and a two-out single by Matt Wieters.

Hearing from Showalter before tonight’s game

Manager Buck Showalter fielded a variety of topics during today’s pregame media session. Showalter spent part of the afternoon watching Jason Hammel’s simulated game. “Things went well for Ham today,” Showalter said. “He was up throwing. What did he have, 58? He took a few more fielding his position, so he had a little over 60. Three-plus innings. We’ll see how he is tomorrow, and

Updates on Saunders, Britton, Hammel and more

Joe Saunders is traveling to Baltimore and is expected to arrive tonight. He will be in uniform on Tuesday and most likely start on Wednesday against the White Sox. Saunders did some throwing before leaving Arizona and is “excited” to come here, said manager Buck Showalter. The Orioles are expected to announce a corresponding roster move following tonight’s game. Showalter said left-hander Zach Britton will

Orioles and White Sox lineups

Lew Ford gets the start at designated hitter tonight, as manager Buck Showalter breaks out the first of his three right-handed lineups for this series. Left fielder Nate McLouth drops to seventh in the order, with Adam Jones moving from cleanup to third. Also, the Orioles won’t add pitcher Joe Saunders to the 25-man roster until Tuesday. No roster move today. For the Orioles: Nick

A little more on the Saunders trade

Yesterday qualified as a strange day at Camden Yards. The heavy lifting took place before the scheduled first pitch, with Matt Lindstrom being traded to the Diamondbacks for Joe Saunders, and Jake Arrieta being called up from Triple-A Norfolk. Lindstrom met with the media outside the clubhouse. Manager Buck Showalter met with the media in the auxiliary clubhouse. Executive vice president Dan Duquette met with

Chen starting Monday, Tillman pushed back

The Orioles’ rotation has undergone another change. Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen will start Monday night against the White Sox at Camden Yards. Chris Tillman, whose start today was rained out, will take the ball Tuesday. The Orioles haven’t announced starters for Wednesday or Thursday, but left-hander Joe Saunders figures to make his Orioles debut after Tillman. Miguel Gonzalez, who had been listed as Tuesday’s starter, or

Showalter talks about the trade (today’s game postponed)

Manager Buck Showalter was late arriving to today’s media session because he was trying to wait until the Joe Saunders trade became official. Instead, he dropped hints to reporters until the news finally broke. In the blink of an eye, we received confirmation that Saunders was acquired, along with cash, for Matt Lindstrom and a PTBNL, and that Jake Arrieta had been recalled from Triple-A

More talk and analysis from today’s trade

Joe Saunders is being placed today on baseball’s version of a taxi squad. He won’t officially join the team until Monday, at which point a corresponding roster move must be made. (CORRECTION): Saunders signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Diamondbacks over the winter. He can become a free agent after this season. The Orioles talked to Saunders’ representative over the winter and to

Orioles acquire Joe Saunders from Arizona for Matt Lindstrom (updated)

Eager to add a veteran starter to their rotation for the stretch run, the Orioles have acquired left-hander Joe Saunders from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for right-handed reliever Matt Lindstrom. The Orioles also acquired cash in the deal and will send a player to be named later to the D-backs. The 31-year-old Saunders was 6-10 with a 4.22 ERA in 21 starts for the

Wieters catching again today

So much for a starting catcher sitting out a day game following a night game. Matt Wieters is behind the plate again today. He spent a few minutes in manager Buck Showalter’s office before bench coach John Russell posted the lineup. Omar Quintanilla is starting at second base. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Nate McLouth LF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters

Orioles match last year’s win total, but who’s counting?

If I didn’t know better, I’d swear that the Orioles aren’t keeping track of the standings. They’re not counting up the wins. They’re not comparing this season to last season. They really are ... gulp ... taking it one day at a time. “We’re a better team than we were last year,” reliever Kevin Gregg said last night after striking out the side in the

Showalter speaks after 8-2 win

I guess it’s up to fans and the media to be impressed with how the Orioles have matched last year’s victory total with more than a month remaining in the regular season. Does manager Buck Showalter allow himself a few minutes to step back and appreciate the accomplishment? “No form or fashion,” he said following tonight’s 8-2 victory over the Blue Jays. “I don’t think

Orioles playing from behind on HOF night (O’s win 8-2)

Mike Mussina gave a short induction speech tonight. The Blue Jays forced Steve Johnson into a long first inning. Mussina slipped on his green Orioles Hall of Fame jacket, thanked a few people, said he hoped the game would be played because he hated rain and was done. Johnson threw 24 pitches and served up a two-run homer to Edwin Encarnacion. Johnson gave up a

Thome may receive second epidural, Patton ready to throw (Hammel update)

Orioles designated hitter Jim Thome will be examined by another doctor and may receive a second epidural injection because of lingering inflammation caused by a herniated disc in his neck. Thome tried to swing a bat in Sarasota and still is experiencing some weakness and discomfort in his lat muscle. The Orioles aren’t viewing it as a major setback, but it’s disappointing news after he

Orioles lineup against Blue Jays

The Orioles are using the same lineup tonight as the one that produced a victory last night. The only difference is the starting pitcher. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Nate McLouth LF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Chris Davis DH Mark Reynolds 1B Ryan Flaherty 2B Manny Machado 3B Steve Johnson RHP Jones is homerless in his last 99 at-bats,

Where does Bundy factor into the Orioles’ season?

Zach Britton turned in his second consecutive quality start last night since being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk. Jason Hammel threw a simulated game without any discomfort in his right knee and is nearing a rehab assignment. Steve Johnson is making his second major league start tonight. Tommy Hunter has been optioned to Double-A Bowie. The Orioles’ rotation is a constant work in progress. I’ve seen

Hearing from Davis and Britton

The Orioles won their 68th game tonight, one fewer than they totaled in 2011. Marinate in that one for a while. And while you’re at it, check out these quotes from Chris Davis on his three-homer night: “These games are important to us,” he said. “Obviously, we’re doing everything we can to win, no matter what it takes. I felt good at the plate tonight,

Showalter speaks after 6-4 win

Tonight’s attendance: 25,754 The Orioles improved to 44-18 in games decided by two runs or less. Elias says you can add one more name to the list of people who have a three-homer game and a win in the same season: Louisville’s Guy Hecker in 1886. Manager Buck Showalter was asked for his thoughts on Chris Davis’ three-homer night. “It’s about time. We’ve had it

Davis with homer hat trick (Orioles make history, win 6-4)

Chris Davis has homered onto Eutaw St. tonight. He’s homered into the back row of seats in right field. He’s homered to left field. He’s on a home run rampage. Davis became the first Oriole to hit three home runs in the same game since Nick Markakis kept harassing the Twins’ Carlos Silva on Aug. 22, 2006. Tonight marks the 19th time that an Orioles

Game update and Romero (Chris Davis homers twice)

Anyone out there tonight? Not many comments coming on a day that included an Orioles Hall of Fame luncheon and multiple roster moves. Maybe you’ve hit a wall. It happens to the best of ‘em. Zach Britton shut out the Tigers on six hits over seven innings in his first start after being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk, but he fell behind, 1-0, tonight in the

Hearing from Showalter and Matusz (Hunter update)

At the risk of bombarding you with too much news and too many quotes, here are a few comments from manager Buck Showalter that came from his pregame session with the media. On Jason Hammel’s simulated game: “Hamm’s thing went well today. We’ll see how it feels tomorrow before we kind of set the next part of his schedule. But so far, so good.” On

Recapping a busy day at Camden Yards

The Orioles optioned Tommy Hunter today, destination unknown, and designated left-hander J.C. Romero for assignment. They recalled left-hander Brian Matusz and activated infielder Ryan Flaherty from the disabled list. Matusz is the only left-hander in the bullpen, but the Orioles could select Zach Phillips’ contract from Triple-A Norfolk. It’s still being discussed. Hunter will be assigned to Norfolk or Double-A Bowie. Romero is considering retirement.

Flaherty, Matusz at Camden Yards (updated)

The Orioles haven’t announced any roster moves, but Ryan Flaherty and Brian Matusz are at the ballpark. Flaherty’s equipment bag is at his locker and Matusz has actually been seen here. It’s possible that Matusz will replace J.C. Romero on the 25-man roster and Flaherty could become the fourth bench player with pitcher Tommy Hunter optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. Update: Flaherty has now been seen

Mussina and Dauer talk about going into the Orioles Hall of Fame

Mike Mussina still has the same thin build that we remember when he stood on the mound for 18 seasons, including the first 10 in Baltimore. The only real change in his appearance is the goatee, which is speckled with gray hairs. Otherwise, he looks like the same guy who won 147 games and spun three one-hitters with the Orioles. Mussina and former second baseman

If Flaherty is here, who goes?

The Orioles begin a seven-game homestand tonight, and they’re expected to go back to a four-man bench. Ryan Flaherty didn’t play in Triple-A Norfolk’s game at Durham last night, and I’ve heard that the Orioles are prepared to activate him from the 15-day disabled list. We’ll see. I got the impression - and yes, I do impressions - that the Orioles were going to keep

Cubs claim Socolovich, Orioles change plans with Berken (and note)

The Orioles announced this afternoon that the Chicago Cubs claimed reliever Miguel Socolovich off waivers. They designated him for assignment nine days ago to make room for left-hander J.C. Romero on the 40-man roster. The Cubs optioned Socolovich to Triple-A Iowa. Socolovich posted a 1.90 ERA in 28 games at Triple-A Norfolk and was named to the International League All-Star team. However, he registered a

Sorting through the latest changes to the rotation

There’s no crying in baseball and there’s no reason to shed any tears over a 3-3 road trip to Detroit and Texas. The Orioles fell to 24-40 last night when their opponent scores first and 17-43 when they score three runs or fewer. So... they need to score first and score more than three runs. Simple as that. The Orioles are now 33-26 when they

Homers hurt Hunter again (O’s lose 12-3)

Tommy Hunter has served up three more home runs in four innings tonight, including two to Rangers third baseman Adrian Belte and a grand slam to Mitch Moreland. Beltre’s two-run shot in the fourth broke a 1-1 tie, and Moreland’s slam later in the inning gave the Rangers an 8-1 lead. Hunter faced eight batters in the inning and didn’t retire any of them. Beltre

Orioles and Rangers lineups (rotation update)

Orioles manager Buck Showalter is breaking out his right-handed lineup against Rangers left-hander Derek Holland. Lew Ford replaces Chris Davis as the designated hitter. Adam Jones moves up to third in the order, with Matt Wieters batting fourth and Nate McLouth seventh. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Mark Reynolds 1B Lew Ford DH Nate McLouth

More on Jim Johnson and the rotation (updated)

Since giving up six earned runs in one-third of an inning on July 27 against the Athletics, Orioles closer Jim Johnson has recorded eight saves in nine appearances and allowed only three runners into scoring position. In those nine games, Johnson has permitted only three hits, walked one and struck out six over nine innings. Opponents are batting .100 against him, going 3-for-30, and he’s

Back of the ‘pen isn’t broke, so don’t fix it

Didn’t we spend a chunk of the winter debating whether Jim Johnson should be a starter instead of the closer? Didn’t manager Buck Showalter suggest that Johnson could make some starts last September, or be placed on a starter’s schedule in spring training? Will we have the same argument and hear the same talk this winter? I’ll say again that Johnson is my choice for

Strop wins battle with Hamilton (O’s win game, 5-3)

If the Orioles are going to win tonight’s game against the Rangers, they will need their bullpen to step up again. Darren O’Day tripped after replacing Chris Tillman with two outs in the seventh. He walked Ian Kinsler and gave up a single to Elvis Andrus. Pedro Strop replaced O’Day with Josh Hamilton representing the go-ahead run. He fell behind 2-0 on 97 and 96

McLouth makes big contribution with small ball approach (O’s lead 5-3)

Nate McLouth isn’t your prototypical No. 3 hitter, but Nick Markakis shouldn’t be batting first if we’re playing by those rules. McLouth scored the Orioles’ only run tonight in classic small-ball manner. He walked with two outs in the top of the first inning, stole second base, took third on a throwing error by Rangers catcher Geovany Soto and scored on a wild pitch by

Orioles and Rangers lineups

Shortstop J.J. Hardy is back in the Orioles’ lineup tonight, and Omar Quintanilla is back at second base. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Nate McLouth LF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Chris Davis DH Mark Reynolds 1B Omar Quintanilla 2B Manny Machado 3B Chris Tillman RHP For the Rangers: Ian Kinsler 2B Elvis Andrus SS Josh Hamilton CF Adrian Beltre

Matusz tosses scoreless inning

Left-hander Brian Matusz made his third relief appearance today for Triple-A Norfolk, and the results were much better. Matusz walked one Gwinnett batter in a scoreless eighth inning. He didn’t allow a hit, and he threw 10 of 19 pitches for strikes. Pat Egan pitched the ninth and completed an 8-0 victory that moved the Tides, winners of six of their last seven games, to

Who gets the call in September?

Teams can expand their rosters beginning Sept. 1, which is right around the corner, and the Orioles are in a different mindset from previous seasons. They’re thinking like playoff contenders. Well, when they actually think about it. “Thought about it? Not that much, to be honest with you,” manager Buck Showalter said last week. “Trying to do the things for the next two weeks that

Patton and game updates (O’s lose 5-1)

Orioles reliever Troy Patton is eligible to come off the disabled list on Aug. 27, but that’s no longer a realistic target date. Patton said in a text message tonight that it’s been a little slower to get the swelling out of his sprained right ankle than he anticipated. He still hasn’t been cleared to run or throw while rehabbing at the Ed Smith Stadium

Hardy out of tonight’s lineup (updated)

J.J. Hardy isn’t in the Orioles’ lineup tonight. He’s due for a rest, and as I pointed out earlier, he’s 2-for-27 lifetime against Rangers starter Ryan Dempster. Robert Andino is starting at second base and Omar Quintanilla has shifted to shortstop. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF Robert Andino 2B Nate McLouth LF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Chris Davis DH Mark Reynolds 1B

Orioles getting rare chance to go Dempster diving

Ryan Dempster will make his fourth start with the Rangers tonight, and only his second career start against the Orioles, who begin a three-game series in Arlington. Dempster has surrendered eight earned runs in two of his three starts since the Cubs traded him, and he’s sporting an 8.31 ERA in the American League. He’s served up five home runs in 17 1/3 innings. In

A few random thoughts (and Pettit note)

A road trip that was supposed to crush the Orioles has produced two wins in the first three games. Reminds me of the trip to New York and Tampa Bay that was supposed to crush them. This just in: The bullpen is still really, really good. It’s the No. 1 reason why the Orioles would make the playoffs if the season ended today. Jim Johnson

The Matusz relief experiment after two games

Brian Matusz made his second relief appearance tonight for Triple-A Norfolk, and he lasted one inning against Charlotte before Tides manager Ron Johnson went back to his bullpen. Matusz replaced starter Jason Berken with two outs in the seventh and was charged with two runs and two hits, with two walks, one strikeout, one wild pitch and one balk. He stranded two inherited runners in

First inning challenges Chen again (O’s win 7-5)

Wei-Yin Chen fell behind by five runs today before he could record his second out of the game. The first inning continues to challenge Chen. He’s allowed 19 runs in the opening frame this season, the most in any inning. The Royals took a 4-0 lead against him on Aug. 9 before finally making an out. The Rays led 5-0 in the first back on

Orioles and Tigers lineups

Taylor Teagarden gets the start behind the plate today for the Orioles. Mark Reynolds and Manny Machado continue to handle the infield corners. Chris Davis moves up to fifth in the lineup. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Nate McLouth LF Adam Jones CF Chris Davis DH Mark Reynolds 1B Manny Machado 3B Omar Quintanilla 2B Taylor Teagarden C Wei-Yin Chen LHP

Is Davis a nugget?

As the Orioles approached the 2012 season, I implored them to give Nolan Reimold and Chris Davis a minimum of 500 at-bats and determine whether they were legitimate major league hitters with a future in Baltimore. Play Reimold in left field. Keep Davis at first base. Figure it out. Reimold hasn’t played since April 30 because of a herniated disc in his neck that required

Britton forcing the Orioles into a tough decision (O’s win 3-2)

Zach Britton is shutting out the Tigers tonight on five hits over five innings. He’s slithered out of a few jams. He’s bearing down on a quality start. The Orioles can’t get him a lead, which is the only downside to Britton’s night. The Orioles don’t have a game when Britton’s turn comes up again on Thursday. They can go back to a four-man rotation

Mahoney optioned, Reynolds in lineup

The Orioles have optioned first baseman Joe Mahoney to Triple-A Norfolk to make room for left-hander Zach Britton on the 25-man roster. Steve Johnson remains on the roster and is available to pitch in relief. He’s the designated long man. Manager Buck Showalter will work with a three-man bench tonight: Omar Quintanilla, Lew Ford and Taylor Teagarden. Robert Andino is getting the start at second

Reynolds earns high marks for honesty

Last summer, reliever Kevin Gregg won over a few Orioles fans by yelling at David Ortiz, standing his ground when the burly designated hitter took a few steps toward him and ripping the Red Sox for their sense of entitlement. Now it’s Mark Reynolds’ turn. Reynolds already had been cheered more after heating up at the plate during the last homestand. Fewer people were wondering

Orioles confirm Britton back in rotation

In news that won’t come as a shock, the Orioles confirmed in a tweet that Zach Britton will start Saturday night’s game against the Tigers at Comerica Park. It makes sense, since Britton is in Detroit. He didn’t fly there to visit Greektown. The Orioles didn’t have to officially recall Britton tonight. He was placed on baseball’s equivalent of a 24-hour taxi squad. A corresponding

Small ball, big debate (big homer, big controversy, O’s lose 5-3)

J.J. Hardy has batted twice tonight against Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander. He’s laid down two sacrifice bunts. Good execution. Bad idea? Neither bunt led to a run, though some of the blame lies at the feet of plate umpire Tim Timmons, who blew a call in the first inning. Nick Markakis clearly was safe, beating Prince Fielders’ throw, but Timmons wouldn’t remove the blindfold. Manager

Showalter breaks out familiar lineup in Detroit (updated)

Manager Buck Showalter is sticking with his usual lineup tonight against a right-handed starter, including Nate McLouth batting third and playing left field and Omar Quintanilla batting ninth and playing second base. Joe Mahoney is listed among the reserves. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Nate McLouth LF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Chris Davis DH Mark Reynolds 1B Manny Machado

Up next: Another roster move (with Tigers lineup)

As soon as Steve Johnson returned to the mound for the ninth inning last night, I figured he no longer was a candidate to make Saturday night’s start in Detroit, unless he recorded three outs on three pitches or learned how to throw a knuckleball. Johnson was listed as Saturday’s starter earlier in the day, but manager Buck Showalter couched it by saying the plans

For one inning, hot corner burns Machado

The Red Sox broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the sixth inning last night when rookie Manny Machado couldn’t field Dustin Pedroia’s slow bouncer with runners on second and third and two outs. Machado charged the ball, but didn’t come up with it. Not an easy play, but one that had to be made. “They got lucky,” said reliever Luis Ayala, who took

Showalter and Tillman speak after 6-3 loss

Orioles manager Buck Showalter told reporters after tonight’s 6-3 loss to the Red Sox that Steve Johnson was still “somewhat of an option” to start Saturday in Detroit. However, I doubt that it’s going to happen after Johnson threw 28 pitches tonight. We’ll see. “There’s still that potential he can pitch there,” Showalter said. “He hadn’t pitched in seven days. We didn’t want to pitch

Jones is drilled, bringing cold stare from Showalter (O’s lose 6-3)

Manager Buck Showalter can count the number of times that Adam Jones has been hit by a pitch this season. He probably can name each body part that’s been bruised. Now it’s Showalter’s face that’s turning purple. Showalter didn’t hide his displeasure with the Red Sox as he walked toward first base to check on Jones, who was drilled in the backside by a Clay

Orioles ‘pen is still mightier, Hardy’s defense looks golden (O’s lead 3-1)

With a win tonight, the Orioles would move 12 games above .500 for the first time since June 17. They also would gain another game on the New York Yankees, closing to within five in the American League East. Over the last 12 games, the Orioles’ bullpen has posted a 0.45 ERA by allowing two earned runs in 39 2/3 innings. During that span, the

Betemit has cartilage tear in wrist

The MRI taken on Wilson Betemit’s right wrist this morning revealed a small cartilage tear and a bone bruise. Betemit will receive a cortisone injection later today and fly down to Sarasota tomorrow morning. The Orioles will shut him down for a week before he’s cleared to begin baseball activities. Betemit hasn’t played since Saturday, making him eligible to come off the disabled list on

Orioles lineup against the Red Sox (Mahoney up, Betemit to DL)

Mark Reynolds continues to start at first base, as the Orioles try to complete a three-game sweep of the Red Sox at Camden Yards. The reserves aren’t listed on the magnetic board outside the clubhouse, leaving us to guess whether Wilson Betemit is headed to the disabled list. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Nate McLouth LF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters

Is Mahoney headed to Baltimore?

Joe Mahoney started at first base today for Triple-A Norfolk, but he was removed for a pinch hitter before his first at-bat. Jamie Hoffman batted for Mahoney and moved to right field, with Ryan Flaherty going to first base. Wilson Betemit underwent an MRI on his right wrist at 11 a.m., so it’s possible that Mahoney is headed to Camden Yards in case the Orioles

Matusz says he’s “excited” about switch to bullpen

Triple-A Norfolk manager Ron Johnson called Brian Matusz into his office on Monday and made official the left-hander’s move to the bullpen. And so began the next phase of Matusz’s professional life. Whether it’s a passing phase has yet to be determined. The decision was born after numerous conversations involving Johnson, Orioles manager Buck Showalter, executive vice president Dan Duquette, director of pitching development Rick

Showalter speaks after 5-3 win

The Orioles went from being no-hit tonight to taking a 5-3 lead in the sixth inning. What the heck happened? J.J. Hardy got the first hit off Boston starter Aaron Cook with a single into left field, and the Orioles sent 10 batters to the plate. “J.J. got a pretty good swing on a ball. That’s about it,” said manager Buck Showalter. “It’s one of

Hearing from Gonzalez and Jones

The Orioles have taken the lead in the wild card race with tonight’s 5-3 victory over the Red Sox, and they’re in sole possession of second place in the American League East. The Orioles are 4-0-1 in their last five series against the Yankees, Rays, Mariners, Royals and Red Sox. Miguel Gonzalez registered his third consecutive quality start and has allowed three runs in his

Aaron Cook, Laz Diaz keep Orioles hitless (O’s win 5-3)

Red Sox starter Aaron Cook has allowed one baserunner through four innings tonight, and it came on a leadoff walk to Nick Markakis in the bottom of the fourth. That’s it. Cook and Miguel Gonzalez were working on dueling shutouts before Jacoby Ellsbury’s ground-rule double scored Scott Podsednik in the fifth. Nick Punto, who followed Podsednik’s single with one of his own, scored on Carl

Duquette says Matusz’s move to bullpen is only “for now”

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter still view left-hander Brian Matusz as a starter down the road. It’s the current path that has led Matusz into the bullpen. As I wrote earlier, Matusz is available to pitch in relief tonight at Triple-A Norfolk. It’s conceivable that he could rejoin the Orioles in that same role as they attempt to end their

Betemit to undergo MRI on wrist (updated)

Wilson Betemit is out of the lineup again tonight because of a sore right wrist, and the Orioles have scheduled an MRI for tomorrow at 11 a.m. Betemit hasn’t started the last two games against Boston right-handers Josh Beckett and Aaron Cook. He was expected to platoon at first base with Mark Reynolds after Manny Machado became the regular third baseman. Betemit is hitting .306

Matusz moves to Norfolk’s bullpen (with O’s lineup)

The Orioles’ experiment of making Brian Matusz a reliever begins tonight. Matusz no longer will start Thursday night at Triple-A Norfolk. He’s available to pitch out of the bullpen for tonight’s game against Gwinnett. Tides manager Ron Johnson summoned Matusz into his office yesterday and discussed the role change, which the Orioles believe could create a shorter path to getting the left-hander back into the

This and that

The Orioles have a chance tonight to move 11 games above .500 for the first time since June 18, when they were 39-28 after the first of three straight losses to the Mets at Citi Field. They’re 10 games above .500 for the first time since June 24, right before they lost six of their next seven games. Brian Matusz and Jason Hammel each lost

Reynolds: “I know what I’m capable of”

Mark Reynolds has been in an offensive funk for most of the 2012 season. Now, he’s catching fire. How does he explain it? “It’s just baseball,” he said. “That’s all I can say.” That’s not enough. Reporters need more. Must dissect his game like a frog in science lab. How well is he seeing the ball? “I don’t know if it’s that,” he said. “I’ve

Postgame chatter following 7-1 victory

The Orioles have won seven of 10 games against the Red Sox this season, 11 of their last 15 and 13 of 17. Mark Reynolds is 8-for-22 with three doubles, three homers, seven RBIs and six runs scored on the homestand. Is Reynolds heating up and looking like a guy who could make a big impact down the stretch? “I hope so,” manager Buck Showalter

Quintanilla keeps muscling up (O’s win 7-1)

The Orioles traded for Omar Quintanilla this summer because they regarded him as a defensive upgrade in the middle infield. As a guy who could add speed to the lineup. As a guy who might improve the team’s on-base percentage. He wasn’t supposed to hit home runs. Quintanilla belted his third homer with the Orioles tonight, a solo shot leading off the bottom of the

Orioles DFA Socolovich (Gausman moving up to Frederick)

The Orioles made room for left-hander J.C. Romero on their 40-man roster today by designating reliever Miguel Socolovich for assignment. Socolovich posted a 1.90 ERA in 28 games at Triple-A Norfolk and was named to the International League All-Star team. However, he registered a 6.97 ERA in six appearances and 10 1/3 innings with the Orioles during two stints with the club. The Orioles will

Showalter talks about Matusz

Manager Buck Showalter casually mentioned the Orioles’ plans to convert left-hander Brian Matusz to a reliever. He was asked whether he was disappointed that Matusz and Jake Arrieta hadn’t dominated at the Triple-A level. He noted that Arrieta usually is bitten by one bad inning. Then, he surprised reporters with news about Matusz’s changing role. Showalter and executive vice president Dan Duquette have discussed the

Orioles prepared to move Matusz to bullpen (with rotation update)

The Orioles have discussed placing left-hander Brian Matusz in Triple-A Norfolk’s bullpen, a move that is expected to happen in the near future and could lead to a role change in the majors. Matusz is still scheduled to make another start for the Tides, but he most likely will be pulled from the rotation. Manager Buck Showalter said the club has discussed this move for

Patton on injury, Romero on joining the Orioles

Troy Patton sprained his right ankle Sunday night after rolling it in his parking garage, a “freakish” injury that’s forcing him on the 15-day disabled list. “I was walking in the garage where I stay and caught it on the edge of the curb, at angle, and just turned it quick,” he said. “I didn’t think it was very bad until I woke up the

Chen starting, Steve Johnson in bullpen, Patton heading to DL

Wei-Yin Chen remains the starter for tonight’s series opener against the Red Sox at Camden Yards. Steve Johnson and J.C. Romero are listed among the relievers. Troy Patton, with crutches leaning against his locker, is headed to the disabled list with an ankle injury. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Nate McLouth LF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Chris Davis DH

Just to recap ... (with Hammel update)

The Orioles have a lot to learn about taking a day off. They completed a trade yesterday for left-handed reliever J.C. Romero, who will join the team this afternoon at Camden Yards. They altered their plans to call up pitcher Jason Berken after discovering that left-hander Troy Patton rolled his ankle Sunday night after leaving the ballpark. They summoned Steve Johnson from Triple-A Norfolk in

Machado wins honor; Orioles reacquire Romero (Patton likely headed to DL)

Manny Machado’s first taste of the majors keeps getting sweeter. Machado and Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez have been named the American League Co-Players of the Week for the period ending August 12th. Machado batted .375 (6-for-16) with a double, triple, three home runs, seven RBIs and five runs scored in four games after the Orioles selected his contract from Double-A Bowie on Thursday.

A few off-day notes

Triple-A Norfolk infielder Blake Davis has been named the International League’s Batter of the Week after he hit .565 with four RBIs, four runs scored and five multi-hit games. Davis collected 13 hits in 23 at-bats. He had four hits Friday night against Charlotte. Davis is batting .265/.313/.365 with 17 doubles, four triples, two homers and 32 RBIs in 93 games. Jason Hammel threw in

The rotation and the Most Overlooked Oriole

The Orioles are off today, which means that I’m sort of off today. My immediate plans are to go outside and run around in circles while waiving my arms over my head. That’s it. Just ... go outside and run around in circles. And the arms thing. In case you missed my tweet last night (and shame on you for not following me at @MASNroch),

Socolovich optioned to Norfolk

The Orioles have optioned reliever Miguel Socolovich to Triple-A Norfolk. A corresponding roster move will be announced later. Socolovich has appeared in six games, allowing eight earned runs in 10 1/3 innings for a 6.97 ERA. He let two inherited runners score last night after replacing starter Chris Tillman and also was charged with one run. Socolovich has posted a 1.90 ERA in 28 appearances

Machado: “I haven’t settled in yet, but I’m getting there”

Imagine how good Manny Machado will be once he actually settles in and gets comfortable. Machado is 6-for-16 with a double, triple, three home runs, seven RBIs and five runs scored in his first four major league games. He shares the Orioles club record with at least one extra-base hit in four consecutive games to begin his career, joining Ray Knight (1987), Lee May (1975)

Showalter speaks after 5-3 win

The Orioles are nine games above .500 again. They improved to 17-11 in two-run games with today’s 5-3 victory over the Royals. They’re also 47-0 when leading after the seventh inning and 49-1 when leading after the eighth. Credit the bullpen with four scoreless and hitless innings, beginning with Luis Ayala and ending with closer Jim Johnson. Manager Buck Showalter also used Troy Patton and

Machado does it again (O’s win 5-3)

Just Manny being Manny again. Manny Machado hit his third major league home run today, and his first that was reviewed by umpires. Machado’s two-run shot, initially ruled a double, gave the Orioles a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. The ball hit the top of the center-field fence and kicked off the back wall. The review lasted about 12 seconds. Machado

Pregame notes on Hammel, Jones, Flaherty and more

Jason Hammel said his knee felt good after throwing off the front slope of the mound yesterday. He has a bullpen session scheduled for Monday morning. Hammel doesn’t know how many pitches he’ll throw or what he’ll do after Monday. It’s one step at a time. Hammel told Orioles manager Buck Showalter that he got out of bed and didn’t give the knee a thought,

Jones serving as DH today, Machado moves up the order

One way to provide a little rest for Adam Jones is to take him out of center field and make him the designated hitter. Nate McLouth is only the second player to start in center field for the Orioles. Manny Machado has moved up to seventh in the lineup. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J Hardy SS Nate McLouth CF Adam Jones DH Lew

While waiting for the lineup...

The Orioles have a later reporting time today after last night’s debacle. May as well let the players catch a few hours sleep before they try to catch a fly ball. Former Orioles left-hander Bruce Chen is starting for the Royals, which means manager Buck Showalter will break out his right-handed lineup. Taylor Teagarden will catch today, and Showalter must decide whether to use Matt

Showalter speaks after 7-3 loss

A rain delay that lasted more than three hours tonight provided a convenient excuse for the Orioles if they chose to reach for it. Manager Buck Showalter’s arms aren’t that long. “It was a challenging night and they did a better job with it than we did,” Showalter said after the Orioles lost to the Royals 7-3 at Camden Yards. “It was impressive that Tilly

Machado hits for the cycle - in three days (O’s lose 7-3)

Not only did Manny Machado break up Luis Mendoza’s shutout in the seventh inning, he hit for the cycle in a three-day period. I know it doesn’t count, but humor me. Machado tripled and reached on an infield hit Thursday in his major league debut, and he homered twice on Friday. All that remained was the double, which he collected off Mendoza to score Wilson

Flaherty will report to Norfolk

Infielder Ryan Flaherty, on the disabled list with a bacterial infection, is scheduled to report to Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday. He could begin his rehab assignment that night if his health has improved. Flaherty can remain on his assignment for a maximum of 20 days (30 for pitchers), but only if his physical condition warrants it. Major League Baseball makes sure players aren’t being stashed.

McLouth moves up in the lineup, Machado stays in it

Nate McLouth is batting third tonight for the Orioles, with Chris Davis dropping down to seventh. Manny Machado remains at third base and in the eighth slot. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Nate McLouth LF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Wilson Betemit 1B Chris Davis DH Manny Machado 3B Omar Quintanilla 2B Chris Tillman RHP

Remembering how Machado got here

I’ve heaped a lot of praise on manager Buck Showalter this season, and rightfully so, but let’s not forget that former scouting director Joe Jordan used the third pick in the 2010 player draft on Miami prep shortstop Manny Machado. The Orioles had serious interest in Texas high school right-hander Jameson Taillon, but the Pirates grabbed him with the second pick. That left Machado, who

It starts at the bottom

With all due respect to new leadoff hitter Nick Markakis, the bottom third of the Orioles’ lineup did the heavy lifting last night. No. 7 hitter Nate McLouth, No. 8 hitter Manny Machado and No. 9 hitter Omar Quintanilla were a combined 7-for-12 with a double, three home runs, seven RBIs and four runs scored. Seven RBIs. In a 7-1 victory over the Royals. That’s

Machado and Gonzalez talk about their nights

Manny Machado had a crowd of reporters waiting for him after tonight’s game. He also had traces of the shaving cream pie he received still wedged in his ears. I suppose he wouldn’t mind having to clean it off every night. “I wouldn’t mind that at all,” he said. Machado had a pretty good idea that the first ball was going to settle into the

Showalter speaks after 7-1 victory

Manager Buck Showalter would like to keep the Manny Machado hype at a reasonable level. You can tell by the tone of his voice and the measured responses, how he points out the small number of games that the kid has played and how a new one is coming up tomorrow. Machado isn’t make it easy on Showalter. “He had a nice night, put a

Machado making history tonight (O’s win 7-1)

It’s only been two games, but Manny Machado doesn’t look like a kid who was rushed to the majors. Machado hit his second home run tonight, a three-run shot deep into the left field seats in the bottom of the fifth inning to give the Orioles a 7-1 lead. Machado is the youngest Orioles player to hit a home run since Jim Palmer, who was

Gonzalez burned by HR and benefits from one (Machado home run note)

Miguel Gonzalez had allowed a home run to the first batter he faced in both home starts this season - Detroit’s Austin Jackson and Tampa Bay’s Desmond Jennings - which made his battle tonight with Kansas City’s Alex Gordon must-see TV. Gordon struck out. No repeat tonight. Gonzalez retired the side in order, but catcher Salvador Perez homered with one out in the second inning

Chavez staying in organization, Hammel to throw off mound Saturday

Outfielder Endy Chavez has cleared waivers and will report to Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday. Chavez could have opted to become a free agent, but he agreed to stay in the organization. The Orioles are expected to call him up when rosters expand on Sept. 1. Pitcher Jason Hammel is expected to rejoin the Orioles on Saturday unless he runs into some sort of travel issue.

Machado starting again tonight

If you wondered whether Manny Machado would be part of a platoon at third base, he’s starting again tonight against Royals right-hander Luke Hochevar. Wilson Betemit slides over to first base. Chris Davis is the Orioles’ designated hitter. Mark Reynolds is on the bench. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Chris Davis DH Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Wilson Betemit 1B

What I know

This will be a short blog entry, as you can imagine. The Orioles optioned Steve Johnson yesterday because they don’t have a game on Monday and won’t need a fifth starter until Saturday. They don’t want him sitting in the bullpen or throwing 30-40 pitches in a relief outing and then being expected to throw 90-100 in a start. A Sept. 1 call-up is assured,

Showalter speaks after 8-2 loss

Do you want the good or the bad first? Let’s start with the good, which would be Manny Machado going 2-for-4 with a triple and run scored in his first major league game. “I thought Manny did well,” manager Buck Showalter said following an 8-2 loss to the Royals that halted the Orioles’ winning streak at five games. “Presented himself well tonight. I’m proud of

Bad start to Wei-Yin Chen T-shirt Night (Machado 2-for-4)

Anyone know how to say “do over” in Mandarin Chinese? Wei-Yin Chen threw 26 pitches, served up two home runs, gave up four hits and took a shot off his left knee in the first inning. That’s no way to celebrate your own T-shirt night. Or is this Manny Machado Night? I’ve sort of lost track. Alex Gordon hit his eighth career leadoff home run,

Showalter: “We’ll see what each day brings” (Steve Johnson optioned)

Orioles manager Buck Showalter isn’t revealing his plans for Manny Machado beyond tonight’s game at Camden Yards. The same is true for Wilson Betemit and any other players who could be impacted by Machado’s arrival. Machado is batting ninth and playing third base tonight. Whether he starts again tomorrow and is a regular presence in the lineup is assumed, but not confirmed. “We’ll see how

Machado at third, batting ninth

Not only is Manny Machado here and soon to be officially added to the roster, but he’s making his major league debut tonight against the Royals. Machado is batting ninth and playing third base for the Orioles, who have yet to announce the corresponding roster move. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Lew Ford LF Mark

More on Manny Machado in the majors (plus his uniform number)

The Orioles are facing a left-handed starter tonight, with the Royals sending Will Smith to the mound. Manny Machado could be in the starting lineup at third base. Is he ready? I’ve been asked that question over and over, on the blog and via Twitter, since the Orioles announced late last night that Machado’s contract was being selected from Double-A Bowie. There’s only one way

Orioles selecting Manny Machado’s contract (updated)

The Orioles just announced that they’re going to select the contract of Double-A Bowie shortstop Manny Machado before tomorrow night’s game against the Royals at Camden Yards. How’s that for a surprise? The Orioles stated in the press release that Machado, the third-overall pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, will be making his major league debut. However, he won’t necessarily start tomorrow. And he’s

Showalter and Wieters talk about Johnson’s first major league win

Manager Buck Showalter didn’t give any assurances that Steve Johnson will remain in the Orioles’ rotation. You will have to read between the lines. “Let us get through (tonight),” Showalter said. “We’ve got a lot of moving parts right now. He certainly presented himself well tonight.” You decide. “Stevie was good, huh?” Showalter said. “That was fun to watch. I tried to watch it as

Steve Johnson talks about his big night

As Steve Johnson walked off the mound tonight after the top of the sixth inning, he had no idea whether he would come back out for the seventh. Manager Buck Showalter considered it - the sentimental side nudging at him - but he didn’t want Johnson having another “up” and reliever Troy Patton perhaps entering an inning that wasn’t clean. The night was a huge

Wieters wielding a hot bat

Matt Wieters caught 14 innings last night. In the heat. In August. His body is screaming for rest, but not tonight. Not with Steve Johnson making his first major league start. Wieters called the pitches for Johnson and made certain that the rookie would have lots of run support, too. He’s 2-for-4 with two doubles and five RBIs, as the Orioles have taken a 9-2

Steve Johnson striking a pose in the first inning (O’s lead 7-2)

Steve Johnson threw 12 pitches in the top of the first inning tonight, all of them for strikes. He struck out the first two Mariners, gave up a soft single on an 0-2 pitch and struck out the cleanup hitter. Who is the last Orioles pitcher to strike out the side in the first inning in his first major league start? Get Elias on the

Did you know...?

The Orioles are 64-36 against the Mariners at Camden Yards since it opened in 1992. The Orioles are on pace to win 87 games in Buck Showalter’s second full season as manager, which would be an 18-game improvement over last year’s 69-93 record. In 2004, Showalter’s second full year in Texas, he led the Rangers to an 18-game improvement and was named the American League’s

Updates on Hunter, Flaherty, Hammel and Thome

Tommy Hunter is expected to start on Sunday against the Royals, taking Zach Britton’s spot in the rotation, unless he’s needed in relief tonight. Manager Buck Showalter said the Orioles may have kept Britton on the 25-man roster if last night’s game hadn’t gone into extra innings. Once it crept into the 14th, they needed to send him down and bring up Steve Johnson to

Flaherty on disabled list, Socolovich recalled (with Mariners lineup)

The Orioles have placed infielder Ryan Flaherty on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to August 2, with a bacterial infection and recalled reliever Miguel Socolovich from Triple-A Norfolk. Flaherty left the ballpark before last night’s game with a 103-degree fever. He was getting blood work done today to determine whether he had mononucleosis. Socolovich has posted a 9.00 ERA in seven innings over four appearances

Flaherty’s season takes another strange turn

Ryan Flaherty sat at his locker yesterday afternoon, a smile on his face, and talked to a small group of reporters about his favorite NFL team (he’s from Maine, so cut him some slack) and how much he looks forward to Sundays in the fall. He asked about the Ravens, another team he roots for, and we agreed that their rivalry with the Steelers is

Random quotes following 8-7, 14-inning win

The Orioles are 5-0 in games that last 13 innings or more, which borders on the ridiculous. Asked if he’s ever seen anything like this, manager Buck Showalter replied, “I’d have to look back through it. I’m a pretty old guy. I doubt it. “You know, it’s not a team that’s sitting there going, ‘Woe is me. Let’s get this over.’ They grind it. They

Britton optioned, Steve Johnson starting tomorrow, Flaherty could go on DL

The Orioles’ 14-inning win tonight was followed by a flurry of roster activity. Left-hander Zach Britton was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk after the game. Britton is 1-1 with an 8.10 ERA in five starts for the Orioles this season. Steve Johnson will be recalled from Norfolk and make his first major league start tomorrow night against the Mariners. Tommy Hunter, who was scheduled to start

Forgettable nights for Britton and Arrieta (another extra-inning win)

Zach Britton and Jake Arrieta left their respective games tonight almost at the exact same time. Neither one was feeling good about the results. Britton retired nine of 10 batters before Casper Wells tripled to lead off the sixth and scored on Mike Carp’s single. Left fielder Nate McLouth initially was charged with an error after falling and letting the ball roll past him, but

Bad breaks for Britton in the first inning (O’s trail 5-2)

If you view the glass as half full, Zach Britton didn’t allow an earned run in the first inning. If you view it as half empty, the Orioles are losing, 3-0. The Orioles must have been using a dribble glass. Britton committed an error when he failed to pick up leadoff hitter Dustin Ackley’s weak ground ball in front of the mound. He struck out

Chavez could stay in organization

The Orioles may not be parting ways with veteran outfielder Endy Chavez. Discussions are taking place that could allow the Orioles to keep Chavez in the organization. He would have to accept an assignment to Triple-A Norfolk if he clears waivers and isn’t traded. Chavez apparently is open to the idea of resuming his career in the minors and perhaps being a September call-up. And

Orioles and Mariners lineups

Manager Buck Showalter is going back to his left-handed lineup tonight, with Wilson Betemit at third base and Nate McLouth in left field. Omar Quintanilla gets another start at second base, while Ryan Flaherty takes another seat on the bench. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J.Hardy SS Chris Davis DH Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Wilson Betemit 3B Nate McLouth LF Mark Reynolds

Jones, Wieters honored by AL managers in survey

Baseball American’s annual survey of American and National League managers turned up a few interesting choices involving the Orioles. Adam Jones was voted the AL’s Best Defensive Outfielder ahead of the Angels’ Mike Trout and the Tigers’ Austin Jackson. Jones won a Gold Glove in 2009. Trout is going to be named Rookie of the Year, and perhaps Most Valuable Player, in 2012. May as

Orioles making heads spin with their rotation

Could someone please remind me whether the Orioles need a starting pitcher? I’m confused again. The rotation and bullpen combined for 28 consecutive scoreless innings before the Mariners pushed across a run in the eighth inning last night against Chris Tillman. The Orioles have allowed three runs in their last four games. The starters have posted a 1.00 ERA. You’ll notice that I stopped at

Reynolds came up big with the bat and the glove

Mark Reynolds doubled twice tonight and drove in a run, giving him multiple extra-base hits in the same game for only the second time since June 14 against the Pirates and the third time since May 5 against the Red Sox. Those doubles were part of a 3-for-3 night that lifted his average to .212. “I’m not relieved,” Reynolds said. “I’ve been working my butt

Showalter speaks after 3-1 win (and more)

The Orioles improved to 16-11 in two-run games tonight, 26-2 when their starter goes seven innings or more and 51-28 when they hit a home run. They’re also pretty good when Chris Tillman is dealing. Tillman won his fourth consecutive start and improved to 5-1 with a 2.38 ERA. “It’s an ongoing proving ground. He knows that,” said manager Buck Showalter. “I’ve said many times,

Tillman talks about his outing

Chris Tillman extended his career-long winning streak to four games tonight, holding the Mariners to one run over 7 1/3 innings and walking only one batter in a 3-1 victory at Camden Yards. “I think fastball command was a little better tonight. Not as good as I was early on when I first got here, but it was better tonight. My changeup and curveball kind

Scoreless streak ends, but the lead remains (O’s win 3-1)

The Orioles finally gave up a run tonight, ending their scoreless innings streak at 28 and sending Chris Tillman to the bench. Eric Thames led off the top of the eighth with a double into right-center field, and he scored on No. 9 hitter Munenori Kawasaki’s single into center field. Kawasaki was thrown out trying to advance to second base, and Tillman walked off the

First inning doesn’t trip up Tillman (O’s still ahead 3-0)

Chris Tillman retired the Mariners in order in the top of the first inning tonight, which might not seem like such a big deal until you consider how badly he’s struggled at the beginning of his starts. Tillman had posted a 11.57 ERA in the first inning in his five outings this season, and opponents were batting .462 against him. He gave up four doubles

Janet Marie Smith leaves Orioles

In a surprising bit of news, Janet Marie Smith has left the Orioles to accept a job as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Senior Vice President of Planning and Development. Dodgers president Stan Kasten made the announcement today. In her new role, Smith will oversee upgrades and enhancements to Dodger Stadium, according to a press release issued by the club. Smith rejoined the Orioles as Vice

Thome expected to miss three to four weeks (Thome says longer)

Orioles designated hitter Jim Thome is at Camden Yards today, but he’s no closer to getting back into the lineup. Manager Buck Showalter told reporters that Thome is expected to miss three to four weeks because of a herniated disc in his neck. The epidural injection from last week apparently has improved Thome’s condition, but not enough that he’ll make an early return. Thome received

Orioles and Mariners lineups

With another left-hander facing them tonight, the Orioles are going with their right-handed lineup for the series opener against the Mariners at Camden Yards. Robert Andino starts at third base and Lew Ford starts in left field. However, Chris Davis will serve as the designated hitter. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF Robert Andino 3B J.J. Hardy SS Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Chris

A few leftover notes and promotional reminder

In case you missed my tweet earlier, the Orioles placed Single-A Delmarva infielder Nicky Delmonico on the disabled list with a knee injury. Delmonico initially hurt the knee on June 26 - the diagnosis was a medial meniscus injury - and he re-injured it on Wednesday. He’s batting .248 with 22 doubles, 11 homers, 54 RBIs and a .763 OPS in 93 games. Delmonico eventually

Playing six games on the road vs. division opponents didn’t trip up the Orioles

TAMPA, Fla. - I’ve lost track of my road record this season, but I’m pretty sure that I’ve captured one of the wild card berths. I may lead my division. Tack on four more wins while I catch this 7:05 a.m. flight back to Baltimore and try to remember where I parked my car at the BWI train station. Garage 1, I believe. Or maybe

Hearing from Teagarden and Gonzalez at The Trop

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles are 1-0 in games when dogs are allowed inside Tropicana Field, DJ Kitty bobbleheads are given out and The Wiggles perform a concert in center field. No need to bother Elias with that one. It’s a day that Taylor Teagarden won’t soon forget. His two-out RBI double off Rays reliever Joel Peralta broke a scoreless tie in the 10th.

Showalter speaks after 1-0 10-inning win

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.- The Orioles have won 11 straight extra-inning games. They’ve won 10 straight one-run games. They took four of six against the Yankees and Rays on a road trip that looked ominous on the schedule. “This time of the year, I’m sure you all are noticed there’s a lot of well-pitched games. That’s pretty normal from my experience,” manager Buck Showalter said after

Gonzalez has his finest day (Teagarden produces winning run)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Orioles pitcher Miguel Gonzalez did everything within his power to give the Orioles a victory today. He just couldn’t score runs for them. Gonzalez turned in the best start of his brief major league career, shutting out the Rays on two hits over seven innings. He walked four and struck out four. Darren O’Day pitched the eighth inning after Gonzalez threw

Reynolds stays in lineup (game scoreless through fifth)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Mark Reynolds is getting another start at first base today, as manager Buck Showalter looks to insert extra right-handed bats in the lineup against Rays left-hander David Price. He’s not exactly going with the hot hand. Reynolds has hit only eight home runs this season, and none since July 16 in Minnesota. He’s totaled five RBIs in his last 17 games,

Orioles lineup vs. Rays (Tolleson on DL)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Robert Andino moves up to second in the lineup today against Rays left-hander David Price, with J.J. Hardy dropping to third. This is the second time in 2012 that Andino has batted second, and the sixth time that Hardy has batted third. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF Robert Andino 3B J.J. Hardy SS Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters DH Lew

Davis’ bat heats up again

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.- It isn’t exactly breaking news that Chris Davis is a streaky hitter. We’ve been down that road before. Just when it appears that Davis won’t get another hit, he gets them in bunches. Davis went 2-for-5 last night to extend his career-long hitting streak to nine games. He’s batting .342 (13-for-38) with 12 RBIs during that span. The Orioles were 5-for-9 with

Wieters shows off his wheels, Chen simply deals

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Apparently, anyone on this team is free to run on the basepaths if he spots an opportunity. And that includes the catcher who doesn’t include “speed” on his list of tools. Matt Wieters stole two bases tonight, giving him three on the season and four in his major league career. The last Orioles catcher to steal two in the same game

Adair, Showalter and Wieters talk about Chen

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - By manager Buck Showalter’s count, left-hander Wei-Yin Chen has gone to a three-ball count only five times in his last two starts. Chen is only the second pitcher from Taiwan to win 10 games in a season, joining Chien-Ming Wang in 2006 and 2007. Has he exceeded expectations in his first year in the U.S.? “It’s hard to say because we

Weighing in on Wei-Yin (O’s win 4-0)

ST. PETERBURG, Fla. - Wei-Yin Chen continued his dominance in the second half, shutting out the Rays on five hits over seven innings and leaving his ERA at 1.95 ERA in five starts since the All-Star break. Chen walked one batter and struck out four. He threw 100 pitches, 73 for strikes. The guy also fields his position. What’s not to like? Chen has been

RISP streak can RIP (Machado hits for cycle)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - No need to check with Elias. The Orioles’ streak of going hitless with runners in scoring position came to a peaceful end tonight. Matt Wieters lined a single into right field with two outs in the top of the first inning to score Nick Markakis and give the Orioles a 1-0 lead. The Orioles had been 0-for-22 with RISP heading into

Showalter talks about today’s transaction and updates injuries

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette is trying to trade outfielder Endy Chavez, who was designated for assignment today to make room for outfielder Nate McLouth on the 25- and 40-man rosters. “Endy will end up on his feet shortly. I know Dan’s going to explore some things with him and we’ll go from there,” said manager Buck Showalter. “There are

Chavez designated for assignment, McLouth here (updated)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles have designated outfielder Endy Chavez for assignment and selected the contract of Nate McLouth from Triple-A Norfolk. McLouth, the Pirates’ All-Star representative and a Gold Glove winner in 2008, is starting in left field. The 30-year-old was batting .244/.325/.461 with 10 homers and 33 RBIs in 47 games with the Tides. Chavez batted .190 in 47 games with the

Yesterday and today

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles have been held hitless with runners in scoring position in 10 of their last 24 games. They’ve been limited to one hit in six other games. That’s not easy to do, even if you’re trying. The current streak is 0-for-22. I don’t know if records have been kept, though I’m guessing Elias has them. It will be worth checking

Reynolds: “I was overthinking a little too much”

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Orioles first baseman Mark Reynolds played a guessing game tonight with Rays catcher Jose Lobaton and didn’t get the desired results. Reynolds struck out three times and stranded six runners as part of an 0-for-4 night on his 29th birthday that lowered his average to .207. “I know we’ve got to get better. I’ve got to get better in those situations,”

Hearing from Showalter and Hunter

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Manager Buck Showalter suffered his 1,000th career loss tonight on the two-year anniversary of his first game with the Orioles. The result might have been different if the Orioles hadn’t gone 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10. And if Tommy Hunter hadn’t allowed two more home runs, though the lack of offensive support didn’t leave any margin for

Hunter takes over homer lead (Reynolds having unhappy birthday)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Tommy Hunter outlasted Tampa Bay left-hander Matt Moore tonight, but he allowed two homers and received no run support. In some ways, it’s been a typical night for Hunter. Solo shots by B.J. Upton leading off the fourth inning and Desmond Jennings leading off the sixth have given the Rays a 2-0 lead at Tropicana Field. Hunter has surrendered 26 homers

Andino could platoon at third base (Hunter allows another HR)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Robert Andino is starting at third base against a left-hander tonight, and he could return to the hot corner under similar circumstances in future games. Wilson Betemit is batting .146 against left-handers, compared to .307 against right-handers. That’s one reason. Omar Quintanila is swinging a pretty hot bat these days and manager Buck Showalter would like to keep him at second

Andino starting at third base, Thome receives epidural (Roberts update)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles haven’t announced any roster moves today. Nate McLouth isn’t here, and I’m told the club won’t find out today whether he exercised the opt-out clause in his contract. Lew Ford is starting in left field. Robert Andino has returned to the lineup. He’s starting at third base against Rays left-hander Matt Moore. The Orioles did make one deal yesterday

Showalter showing the way again (with notes)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Buck Showalter officially took the helm of the Orioles on Aug. 2, 2010, two years and one day ago today. We couldn’t celebrate his anniversary on an off-day. He’s got the Orioles five games above .500 and only 1 1/2 back in the wild card chase, which may come as a surprise to the folks who predicted his club would lose

Checking on Arrieta

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Jake Arrieta allowed one run tonight for Triple-A Norfolk. That’s a good thing. Arrieta failed to complete six innings again because of his high pitch count. That’s a bad thing. Greg Burke replaced Arrieta with the bases loaded and two outs, and he walked Columbus’ Matt Pagnozzi to force in a run. Arrieta is charged with two runs and five hits

The playoff chase moves to another city

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - It’s time for the next leg of this two-city road trip. I’m grateful to have made it out of LaGuardia Airport. I had reached a point where I intended to find a comfortable place in the security line to blog and tweet for the next four days. Outfielder Nate McLouth isn’t in Triple-A Norfolk’s lineup tonight. He can opt out of

What’s next for the Orioles?

NEW YORK - Just when it appears that the Orioles’ rotation and roster are settled, at least for the short term, more rumblings can be heard from miles away. Sort of like Sidney Ponson with an empty stomach. We don’t know whether left-hander Zach Britton will make his next start. We don’t know whether Tommy Hunter will start on Friday, though he’s scheduled to open

Britton talks about his start and the chances of another one

NEW YORK - Left-hander Zach Britton didn’t make excuses for today’s poor showing and he didn’t pretend that he’s a fixture in the Orioles’ rotation. He admitted to reporters that he’s concerned about being on a “short leash,” as the question was phrased, and that he needs to produce better results if he wants to avoid a return trip to the minors. “Yeah, you try

Will Britton get another start? (Bundy update)

NEW YORK - So much for the rotation being settled after the Orioles failed to make a trade for a starter. Zach Britton allowed seven runs and seven hits in 2 2/3 innings today, with three walks and three strikeouts. He sat at his locker after the game, his head bowed, his next start in doubt. Manager Buck Showalter didn’t offer Britton a vote of

Before you injure both fists bashing Kevin Gregg ... (O’s lose 12-3)

Here we go again. Kevin Gregg has a bad inning and the venom flows like Dick Vermeil’s tears. Fans demand that the Orioles trade or release him. They say he only pitches effectively if inactive for long periods. They say he never should enter a game with runners on base. They blame him for the economy and Arsenio Hall’s return to late-night television. OK, let’s

Orioles notes and quotes before series finale (O’s down 11-1)

NEW YORK - The Orioles are going for their first sweep of a three-game series in the Bronx since June 6-8, 1986. If it happens today, it would mark the first time that the Orioles have swept the Yankees and Red Sox on the road in the same season since 1980, according to Elias. The Orioles have won four straight games in the Bronx, their

Wieters behind the plate again today

NEW YORK - So much for my theory that Taylor Teagarden would catch an early game today. Matt Wieters is behind the plate. His rest will come tomorrow with an open date on the schedule. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS Chris Davis DH Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Wilson Betemit 3B Mark Reynolds 1B Endy Chavez LF Omar Quintanilla 2B

Will the Orioles bring their brooms to the Bronx?

NEW YORK - For whatever reason, the Orioles are playing a 1:05 p.m. game in the middle of the week. Had I planned it better, I would have taken the train back home tonight, spent the off day there and flown to Tampa on Friday. But enough about me. How about those Orioles? They’ve won three games in a row, and this is the first

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