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Reynolds hoping to stay with Orioles

Mark Reynolds wasn’t surprised by today’s news that the Orioles declined to pick up his $11 million option for next season. He expected this outcome based on his diminished production this season. “Obviously, I didn’t have the year I wanted,” Reynolds said in a phone conversation. “I didn’t play to my standards and obviously the Orioles’ standards. But I’ve still got an arbitration year to

Orioles decline Reynolds’ option, add Clark to 40-man roster

The Orioles have declined to pick up first baseman Mark Reynolds’ $11 million option for 2013. They exercised the $1 million option on reliever Luis Ayala’s contract. Both of these moves were anticipated for months. Reynolds, 29, is arbitration-eligible, which leaves the Orioles with another decision. He made $7.5 million this season and a raise could increase his salary to around $9 million. The Orioles

Orioles living in the past defensively

Now that the Orioles have three Gold Glove winners in 2012, all that’s left is for Buck Showalter to be named the American League’s Manager of the Year and Chris Davis to take home the Rolaids Relief Man Award. Showalter already won The Sporting News award by edging out Oakland’s Bob Melvin in voting by his peers. The Baseball Writers’ Association of America award, the

Hearing from the three Gold Glove winners and their manager

Orioles center fielder Adam Jones joked tonight that manager Buck Showalter sees everything from the dugout, including subtle plays in the field that may go unnoticed by casual observers of the game. “He probably sees what I’m doing in California,” Jones said. “No,” Showalter said, laughing, “I’m glad I don’t.” The mood was jovial, to say the least, during a conference call with Showalter and

Orioles complete sweep: Wieters, Jones and Hardy win Gold Gloves

Orioles catcher Matt Wieters has won his second consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove, with the announcement coming tonight on ESPN2. Wieters beat out the Tigers’ Alex Avila, the Yankees’ Russell Martin and the White Sox’s A.J. Pierzynski. Wieters led the American League in defensive games (134) and putouts (994), ranked second in runners caught stealing (32) and range factor per game (7.81), and was third in

Opposing scout sizes up Orioles’ Gold Glove candidates

Rawlings will announce its Gold Glove winners beginning at 9:30 p.m. tonight on ESPN2. As I recall, the program was delayed in 2011 because a college football game lasted six hours. Tonight, the network is airing the “Global Rallycross Championship” live from Las Vegas. No chance for overtime, right? Matt Wieters is a finalist among the American League catchers. The same is true for J.J.

This and that

I’m drying off my pumpkins this morning, and I really wish that were a euphemism. The local news outlets continue to remind us to stay indoors. Amazing that anyone needs to be told. I’ll pass along my own suggestions. Don’t stick a fork in a light socket - once your power is restored, of course - and never kiss a rabid dog on the mouth.

Seven Orioles declare for free agency (World Series odds for 2013)

With the World Series ending late last night, seven Orioles joined the list of major league players declaring for free agency today: Outfielders Nate McLouth and Endy Chavez, pitchers Joe Saunders and Randy Wolf, designated hitter Jim Thome, first baseman Nick Johnson and infielder/outfielder Bill Hall. Stop me if you’ve heard this one: The Orioles are likely to pursue McLouth and Saunders, and they could

Orioles have three finalists for Gold Glove awards

The Rawlings Gold Glove winners for 2012 will be announced Tuesday night on ESPN2, and the list of finalists in the American League includes Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, shortstop J.J. Hardy and center fielder Adam Jones. Wieters and right fielder Nick Markakis won their first Gold Gloves last year. Jones was honored in 2009. Wieters is competing against the Tigers’ Alex Avila, the Yankees’ Russell

Bundy, Gausman top Baseball America’s list of top 10 Orioles prospects

The Orioles’ first-round selections in the last two First-Year Player Drafts head Baseball America’s list of Top 10 prospects in the organization. The publication’s list reads as follows: 1. Dylan Bundy, RHP 2. Kevin Gausman, RHP 3. Jonathan Schoop, 2B/SS 4. Nicky Delmonico, 1B/2B 5. Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP 6. LJ Hoes, OF 7. Xavier Avery, OF 8. Mike Wright, RHP 9. Branden Kline, RHP 10.

Talking about Jim Johnson

Taking the advice of family and friends, I bought 12 cases of bottled waters in preparation for Hurricane Sandy. Meanwhile, I spent a large part of my childhood drinking out of a garden hose. I’m a survivor. I’ll be brief this morning, as I continue to charge the batteries on my laptop and iPhone and stack my canned goods. I’m afraid that I’ll run low

Where the Orioles need to direct their attention

Did anyone think the Giants would jump out to a 3-0 lead on the Tigers in the World Series? Tim Lincecum has been a beast out of the bullpen. Another starter-turned-reliever success story. I’ve been asked who would replace Rick Peterson as the Orioles’ director of pitching development if he’s hired as the Red Sox’s pitching coach. I don’t know whether the club would fill

Tillman’s time is now

As we attempt to piece together the Orioles rotation for 2013, we must keep in mind that Chris Tillman is out of minor league options. Tillman can’t be sent down if he isn’t deemed worthy of a starting job, and he’s never pitched in relief. Fifty-one major league appearances, 51 starts. The Orioles have placed other starters in the bullpen, including Jake Arrieta and Brian

Willis released, Steve Johnson honored (Peterson update)

The Orioles have officially released left-hander Dontrelle Willis, according to Baseball America’s Matt Eddy. My first reaction was, “Dontrelle Willis was still in the organization?” The Orioles must have taken the hint when he retired July 2. They sent out a tweet to confirm it. But I guess releasing him after the season was some kind of a procedural move. Willis was 0-3 with an

Figuring out which free agents to put in the discard pile

As we learned a long time ago, the offseason is open season on free agent speculation. The Orioles are fairly quiet while the World Series plays out. Dana Eveland and Ronny Paulino elected to become minor league free agents. Third base coach DeMarlo Hale interviewed for the Red Sox managerial job. The Sporting News named Buck Showalter American League Manager of the Year. The Diamondbacks

Another look at the spring training schedule

The Orioles haven’t released their 2013 spring training schedule, but I’ll pass along some tentative dates off the Grapefruit League’s master list, put together by SpringTrainingOnline.com. Plan accordingly. The home games, of course, are held at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota. Feb. 23: Twins at Orioles Feb. 24: Orioles at Blue Jays (Dunedin) March 2: Orioles at Rays (Port Charlotte) March 3: Phillies at Orioles

Wieters fails to repeat as Fielding Bible winner

The 2012 Fielding Bible Award winners have been announced, and Orioles catcher Matt Wieters is excluded from the list after being selected last year. Wieters lost out to the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina. Here are the winners, chosen by a panel of 10 “experts,” including Peter Gammons, Bill James, Joe Posnanski, Doug Glanville and John Dewan: First Base: Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees (first-time winner) Second

Which Orioles were the most clutch?

Looking back on the 2012 season, it’s worth mentioning again that the Orioles had only one losing month, not counting their 1-2 record in October. They were 14-9 in April, 15-13 in May, 13-13 in June, 13-14 in July (but 10-7 on the road), 18-9 in August and 20-11 in September/October. The Orioles were above .500 on every day of the week except Mondays, when

Showalter named Sporting News AL Manager of the Year

Buck Showalter has been named the Sporting News American League Manager of the Year for 2012. The Nationals’ Davey Johnson made it a clean beltway sweep by winning the National League honor. Showalter and Johnson were chosen by a panel of 17 major league managers. The Orioles improved from 69-93 in 2011 to 93-69 in 2012, winning the wild card game in Texas and pushing

Who’s next to debut for the Orioles?

The cutoff for Super Two status this offseason is two years and 139 days of service time, according to The Associated Press. The cutoff would have been two years and 144 days under the old collective bargaining agreement. Super Two status enables a player to obtain a fourth year of arbitration eligibility. Jim Johnson qualified in 2010, Brad Bergesen in 2011. None of the Orioles

Answering the PTBNL question

The August trade that sent reliever Matt Lindstrom and a player to be named later to the Diamondbacks for left-hander Joe Saunders and cash has been completed. The teams couldn’t agree on a PTBNL. The Orioles instead will send an undisclosed amount of cash to Arizona. It’s a done deal. The PTBNL was supposed to be determined after the season. In the meantime, Saunders went

Orioles don’t have many decisions to make on their own free agents

A few days ago, I gave you the rundown of arbitration-eligible Orioles and educated guesses on which players could be non-tendered. There are enough names on the list to keep any team executive busy. The Orioles don’t have nearly as many pending unrestricted free agents. The 40-man roster includes outfielders Nate McLouth and Endy Chavez, pitcher Joe Saunders and designated hitter Jim Thome. Pitcher Randy

Showalter staying busy this month (spring training note)

Because so many fans wanted to know, I’ll pass along that manager Buck Showalter’s knee surgery was a success and he’s rehabbing at home. No complications. No fun, either, if you’ve ever rehabbed a knee. Here are a few more Showalter-related notes: A week after being the honorary captain at a Ravens game, Showalter will appear on this season’s first episode of “Basketball and Beyond

Looking back on Zach Clark’s season

Zach Clark managed to do the impossible this season. He won 15 games, posted an ERA below 3.00 and went largely ignored. It’s the Dylan Bundy factor. And later, it became the Kevin Gausman factor. Top pitching prospects who garnered most, if not all, of the media’s attention. Until 2012, Clark was best known for having pitched at UMBC. He was “local.” He also was

Will Orioles coaching staff stay intact?

The Red Sox did exactly what had been rumored pretty much since their former manager, Bobby Valentine, criticized Kevin Youkilis earlier this year. They arranged for John Farrell to become their new manager. Orioles third base coach DeMarlo Hale interviewed for the job, but the Red Sox made their decision a long time ago. They just needed to complete the rare player-for-manager trade with the

Starting to wonder about the rotation

Yesterday, we kicked around ideas for second base. Today, we’ll ponder whether the Orioles need to upgrade the rotation or play the hands - right and left - that they’ve been dealt. The Orioles’ starters posted an ERA under 4.00 after Aug. 1 and a 2.00 ERA in the playoffs. The pitching staff finished with a 3.90 ERA that ranked 14th in the majors. Their

Who’s on second?

While the left side of the infield is set for 2013, the right side is open for business. The Orioles probably won’t pick up Mark Reynolds’ $11 million option. They could non-tender him and attempt to re-sign him, rather than risk going to arbitration. Second base is especially unsettled, with Robert Andino and Omar Quintanilla non-tender candidates and Ryan Flaherty a possibility to start the

Trembley back in the majors (with quotes)

The Houston Astros announced today that former Orioles manager Dave Trembley has been hired as a coach. Trembley, 60, will join new manager Bo Porter’s staff. His position hasn’t been determined. “I’m real appreciative,” Trembley said in a phone interview. “Bo is still sorting through where he’s going to place everybody. He’s got a couple more hires to make, so he’s kind of holding off

Orioles will be kept busy with arbitration decisions

There isn’t a team in baseball with more arbitration-eligible players than the Orioles, who lead the field with 15. Too bad they can’t be exchanged for runs. The list in alphabetical order reads as follows: Robert Andino Chris Davis Lew Ford Jason Hammel Tommy Hunter Jim Johnson Brian Matusz Darren O’Day Troy Patton Steve Pearce Omar Quintanilla Nolan Reimold Mark Reynolds Taylor Teagarden Matt Wieters

Do you feel better or worse?

The bad news for the Yankees is they were swept by the Tigers in the American League Championship Series. The good news is Alex Rodriguez now has a date for Saturday night. Have the Orioles ever been swept in the postseason? Don’t think so. Watching the Yankees stumble out of the ALCS like a drunk after last call should bring pleasure to fans here, but

A split decision in left field

The Orioles are settled at most positions for the 2013 season, with Adam Jones set in center field, Nick Markakis in right, Manny Machado at third, J.J. Hardy at shortstop and Matt Wieters behind the plate. They would like to retain first baseman Mark Reynolds, but they must decide at what cost. Left field is a moving target, to borrow one of manager Buck Showalter’s

Steve Johnson talks about his season and upcoming clinic

It doesn’t seem that long ago that Steve Johnson was deciding whether he should re-sign with the Orioles. And later, whether he should become a minor league free agent if the Orioles didn’t place him on the 40-man roster. Now he’s still washing champagne out of his hair. Johnson’s professional life took some crazy turns, including the one that pointed him toward the playoffs. He

Eveland, Paulino elect free agency (and notes)

Pitcher Dana Eveland and catcher Ronny Paulino, among the 52 players who appeared in games with the Orioles this season, have filed for free agency. Eveland, acquired from the Dodgers on the last day of the Winter Meetings for Jarret Martin and Tyler Henson, went 0-1 with a 4.73 ERA in 14 appearances with the Orioles, including two starts. He cleared waivers twice this summer

Is Thome’s time up in Baltimore?

Just when I’m convinced that I’ve kept up with all the firsts with the Orioles this year, I stumble across another one. On Sept. 26, Jim Thome became the oldest player to homer for the Orioles at 42 years, 30 days. Thome was 11 days older than the previous record older. Can you name him? Answer below. No fair looking it up or scrolling down.

Little going right for Wright in AFL

So, it appears that Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is being skewered by the New York media for trying to score from the dugout. According to a New York Post article, Rodriguez flirted with two young women sitting in the stands after he was removed for a pinch hitter in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series. The Yankees were losing 4-0. Rodriguez, who’s

Looking back - and way back

One of the primary reasons why the Orioles snapped their streak of 14 consecutive losing seasons was their ability to win on the road. The Orioles recorded 46 road victories, 16 more than their total in 2011 and their most since 1997 (52). The 46 road wins were the most in the America League. It also helps when a team goes 29-9 (.763) in one-run

Showalter or Melvin on Nov. 13?

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America will begin announcing its 2012 award winners Nov. 12 with the American and National Leagues Rookies of the Year. The Angels’ Mike Trout will run away with the honor, followed by the Athletics’ Yoenis Cespedes and the Rangers’ Yu Darvish. Not much drama attached to this one. The AL and NL Managers of the Year will be revealed Nov.

Orioles must decide Matusz’s role in 2013 (Hale to interview for Red Sox job)

I wasn’t at M&T Bank Stadium yesterday, but I heard that Orioles manager Buck Showalter received a huge ovation while walking to midfield as the Ravens’ honorary captain. He stood on their sideline for the anthem, though the FOX announcers didn’t seem to notice. Showalter was positioned in plain view beside coach John Harbaugh. You couldn’t miss him. Ravens and Orioles. It’s always nice when

Do the Showalter bucks stay here?

I checked the comments on this blog throughout the day and night, and I’m so appreciative of the many kind words. Please don’t think for a minute that they went ignored. They meant a lot to me. I plan on watching football today and perhaps consuming a drink that includes an olive or two. There could be a cigar in my future. But I wanted

Buck Showalter: The day after

Now that the Orioles are done playing in 2012, manager Buck Showalter will undergo surgery Wednesday on a right knee that’s required treatment all season and often left him limping or using a fungo bat for support. Less painful was the time he spent chatting with reporters in the home dugout this afternoon. On whether it felt weird to wake up this morning without a

Dan Duquette: The day after

The Orioles estimated that about 500 fans waited to greet them at Camden Yards early this morning when they arrived from New York at 12:50 a.m. The crowd formed a human tunnel and cheered as players, coaches and manager Buck Showalter walked through it. Executive vice president Dan Duquette signed autographs again this afternoon before making it inside the Orioles’ clubhouse, where a few players

It seems like only yesterday ...

NEW YORK - The finality slowly hit me. The Orioles are done playing in 2012. The thrill ride has ended, final destination a long, long way from where it was expected to be back in spring training. Remember spring training? Top stories included the arrival of Dontrelle Willis and Ronny Paulino’s car, a highly unexpected appearance by slugger-turned-agent Gary Sheffield (whose client, pitcher Josh Banks,

Final comments from the clubhouse after Game 5

NEW YORK - The Orioles’ inability to generate any semblance of an offense will most likely be the primary focus of the 2012 postseason. They batted .187 in the American League Division Series, which negated the 2.52 ERA posted by their pitching staff. “Nobody hit,” said first baseman Mark Reynolds. “They didn’t hit, we didn’t hit. There was some really good pitching, I guess. Just

Reynolds, McLouth want to return in 2013

NEW YORK - Mark Reynolds is arbitration-eligible and the Orioles hold an $11 million option on his contract for next season. Nate McLouth can become a free agent. If Reynolds and McLouth have their way, they will remain with the Orioles in 2013. “I’d definitely like to come back,” Reynolds said. “This is the most fun I’ve ever had playing baseball, this group of guys.

Showalter speaks after 3-1 loss in Game 5

NEW YORK - Orioles manager Buck Showalter walked into the interview room one last time in the 2012 postseason. Here’s the transcript: Q. Buck, can you go for a little bit about the (Nate) McLouth call and what the umpires told you on that. SHOWALTER: “They didn’t tell me, you know, they said it was foul. And I appreciate them checking. And there is something

Duquette: “We’re a first-division outfit”

NEW YORK - Though the ending to the 2012 season stung the Orioles, it didn’t cloud their view of what they accomplished. Executive vice president Dan Duquette said he was “proud of the effort of the whole organization.” “We took some great strides forward,” Duquette said after leaving manager Buck Showalter’s office. “We’re a first-division outfit. To win 96 games is really an accomplishment and

Angelos comments on season and future, umpires issue statement

NEW YORK - Majority owner Peter G. Angelos visited a quiet Orioles clubhouse tonight, shaking hands with players and speaking briefly with reporters. “These young men and certainly Buck (Showalter) and Dan Duquette and all the other officials of the organization have done a spectacular job,” Angelos said following a 3-1 loss to the Yankees in Game 5 of the American League Division Series. “We

Orioles’ season comes to an end

NEW YORK - The Orioles’ first trip to the playoffs in 15 years has ended in Game 5 of the American League Division Series. Left-hander CC Sabathia retired the side in order in the top of the ninth inning, and the Yankees held on to defeat the Orioles 3-1 before a non-sellout crowd of 47,081 at Yankee Stadium. Adam Jones led off the inning by

Orioles argue McLouth homered, umps say otherwise (O’s down 3-1)

NEW YORK - What’s a playoff game at Yankee Stadium without a little controversy? Or a big one? No fan interference this time, but we had a situation here that brought manager Buck Showalter out of the dugout and led umpires to huddle for a review. Nate McLouth sent a long fly ball to right field with two outs in the sixth inning that appeared

Orioles get a baserunner, might need starter for Game 1 of ALCS (O’s down 1-0)

NEW YORK - Nine up, nine down for Jason Hammel. Nine up, nine down for CC Sabathia before Nate McLouth singled leading off the top of the fourth inning. McLouth’s eight postseason hits tie Derek Jeter for the most among American League players. He’s been quite a McPest to the Yankees. McLouth stole second with two outs, but Chris Davis flied to center. These teams

Britton and Betemit joining team, ALCS times set

NEW YORK - Just in case the Orioles advance to the American League Championship Series, they’ve made arrangements for left-hander Zach Britton and infielder Wilson Betemit to join them in New York this afternoon as potential additions to their playoff roster. Britton and Betemit would fly with them to Detroit, though their inclusions on the ALCS roster haven’t been decided. It’s just easier to have

Ford the DH, Thome sits

NEW YORK - Lew Ford will serve as the Orioles’ designated hitter today for Game 5 of the American League Division Series. Jim Thome is on the bench. Robert Andino gets the start at second base, as manager Buck Showalter continues to platoon him with Ryan Flaherty. Alex Rodriguez has been benched by Yankees manager Joe Girardi. He’s 2-for-16 with nine strikeouts in the Division

Thome continues to marvel at Machado

NEW YORK - Whether 42-year-old future Hall of Famer Jim Thome is in today’s Game 5 lineup for the Orioles or sitting on their bench - well, he’d be doing it either way, since he’s the designated hitter - he will continue to appreciate the contributions of 20-year-old rookie third baseman Manny Machado. Machado is 2-for-14 in the American League Division Series, but he’s homered,

It’s Hammel vs. Sabathia in Game 5

NEW YORK - So it comes down to this. Jason Hammel gets the ball this afternoon knowing the Orioles’ bullpen is running on fumes, knowing the entire team is attempting to move forward while having its backs against the proverbial wall. Do or die, just like the wild card and Game 4 of the American League Division Series. Win and advance. Lose and go home.

Players react to Game 4 victory

NEW YORK - My favorite quote from the Orioles’ clubhouse tonight was provided by shortstop J.J. Hardy, whose RBI double in the top of the 13th inning broke a 2-2 tie and allowed the Orioles to avoid elimination in the American League Division Series. The Orioles were hitting .208 in the Division Series coming into tonight, and the bats went cold again after Nate McLouth’s

Showalter speaks after 2-1, 13-inning win

NEW YORK - The Orioles and Yankees have met 22 times this season and split the games right down the middle. It seems appropriate that they’ll play again Friday afternoon with the winner advancing to the American League Championship Series. First pitch for Game 5 of the Division Series is set for 5:07 p.m. in the Bronx. Here’s the transcript from manager Buck Showalter’s late-night

Game 4 goes into extra innings (O’s force Game 5)

NEW YORK - Regulation can’t hold these two teams. Darren O’Day induced a ground ball from pinch hitter Raul Ibanez to send Game 4 of the American League Division Series into extra innings. He also got rid of a royal pain for the Orioles. The Orioles are 16-3 in extras, with all three losses coming against the Yankees. They dropped two in April, and Ibanez

Orioles wasting early scoring chances (O’Day keeps game tied)

NEW YORK - After going 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position last night, the Orioles are 0-for-6 through three innings tonight in Game 4 of the American League Division Series. Forget playing in Yankee Stadium. The Orioles have ventured into The Land of Missed Opportunities. Nate McLouth drew a leadoff walk against Yankees starter Phil Hughes in the top of the first inning, and he

McLouth talks about moving on from Game 3 defeat

NEW YORK - Left fielder Nate McLouth didn’t rush back to his hotel room last night and stare at highlights from the Orioles’ Game 3 loss to the Yankees in the American League Division Series. He didn’t plop down on his bed with the remote and channel surf until he came upon SportsCenter, which kept replaying Raul Ibanez’s two home runs. McLouth had a good

Showalter meets the press before Game 4

NEW YORK - The first question directed at Orioles manager Buck Showalter during today’s pre-Game 4 interview session went as follows: “What’s the mindset of your guys after last night?” Showalter’s response: “To win.” “Got to win a game,” he continued. “We’ve been in this position before, and you know, see how it turns out. Our guys are the same ... in a good frame

Orioles and Yankees lineups (with additional notes)

NEW YORK - Orioles manager Buck Showalter didn’t overhaul his lineup or do any tweaking for Game 4 of the American League Division Series. Meanwhile, Derek Jeter will serve as the Yankees’ designated hitter tonight. Alex Rodriguez moves down to fifth in the order. For the Orioles: Nate McLouth LF J.J. Hardy SS Chris Davis RF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Jim Thome DH

Does Johnson get the ball again tonight?

NEW YORK - It’s a situation that manager Buck Showalter would sign up for in blood, to use one of his favorite expressions. The Orioles take a slim lead into the ninth inning tonight. Does Jim Johnson close Game 4 of the American League Division Series? Johnson threw 22 pitches last night, a fairly low total considering that he worked two innings. He’s been kept

For Orioles, it’s win or go home

NEW YORK - A guy who homers twice in a playoff game figures to start the following night, but the Yankees’ Raul Ibanez could be the exception. Ibanez is 8-for-23 (.348) with a double, two homers and six RBIs lifetime against left-hander Joe Saunders, who starts Game 4 tonight for the Orioles. But he might be more valuable to manager Joe Girardi coming off the

Showalter speaks after Game 3 defeat

NEW YORK - Orioles manager Buck Showalter was asked tonight about the size of the knot in his stomach following a 3-2, 12-inning loss to the Yankees in Game 3 of the American League Division Series. “I don’t have no knot in my stomach,” he replied. Why not? “Why not?” he replied. “Is that what I’m supposed to do? Is that what conventional thinking is?

Players react to 3-2, 12-inning loss

NEW YORK - The Orioles had won 16 straight extra-inning games. They were 76-0 when leading after the seventh inning, including two playoff wins. Two streaks ended in Game 3 of the American League Division Series. “It’s a tough loss, but we play again tomorrow and there’s nothing this team is prepared more for than getting ready to go the next day after a tough

Saunders will start Game 4

NEW YORK - Left-hander Joe Saunders will take the ball again for the Orioles in a must-win situation. Manager Buck Showalter confirmed that Saunders will start Game 4 of the American League Division Series on Thursday, with the Orioles pushed to the brink of elimination after tonight’s 3-2, 12-inning loss to the Yankees. Saunders also started the wild card game in Texas and allowed one

Bats have gone silent (Ibanez with walk-off home run)

NEW YORK - We’ve moved to the top of the 12th inning at Yankee Stadium. Maybe the Orioles will bring their bats. The Orioles have one hit since Manny Machado’s home run in the fifth inning, and it came from a player who wasn’t in the starting lineup. Robert Andino, a defensive replacement for Ryan Flaherty, singled in the 10th and moved to second on

Flaherty ends Orioles’ postseason home run drought (we’re tied)

NEW YORK - I’ve had numerous people ask me via Twitter and the blog why Robert Andino isn’t starting tonight. Manager Buck Showalter has been platooning him at second base, using him only against left-handed starters. And Showalter must have known that Ryan Flaherty was going to hit a home run. The guy’s always one step ahead of everyone else. Flaherty broke a scoreless tie

Saunders and Tillman: The two-headed Game 4 starter

NEW YORK - Manager Buck Showalter walked out of the interview room at Yankee Stadium this afternoon, and pitchers Joe Saunders and Chris Tillman took a seat at the head table. One of them will start Game 4 of the American League Division Series. It’s just not public information at this hour. “We were kind of hoping you would tell us, because we don’t know

Hammel would start Game 5

NEW YORK - Right-hander Jason Hammel will start Game 5 of the American League Division Series if needed. Hammel would be working on normal rest after starting Game 1 at Camden Yards and allowing two runs and four hits in 5 2/3 innings. The Game 4 starter remains a mystery. Chris Tillman and Joe Saunders followed manager Buck Showalter into the interview room today and

Orioles and Yankees lineups (updated)

NEW YORK - Orioles manager Buck Showalter is breaking out a familiar lineup for Game 3 of the American League Division Series. Jim Thome is serving as the designated hitter against Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda. Ryan Flaherty is starting at second base. For the Orioles: Nate McLouth LF J.J Hardy SS Chris Davis RF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Jim Thome DH Mark Reynolds

Jones named finalist for Hank Aaron Award

NEW YORK - Seventeen All-Stars from the 2012 season, including Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, have been named finalists for the Hank Aaron Award. Beginning today and continuing through Oct. 16, fans will have the opportunity to select one American League and one National League winner. The winners of the 2012 Hank Aaron Award will be announced during the World Series. “Named in honor of

Checking out Gonzalez’s splits

NEW YORK - Chris Tillman and Joe Saunders are scheduled to appear in the interview room today as potential Game 4 starters for the Orioles in the American League Division Series. It’s like a game show. Maybe they’ll both stand for a few minutes, and the first one to sit is confirmed for Thursday. There’s no mystery for tonight. Miguel Gonzalez is starting Game 3,

Gonzalez ready for latest Yankee Stadium challenge

NEW YORK - Miguel Gonzalez loves pitching in important games. The bigger the crowd and the stakes, the more he welcomes it. He’s just doing it in the U.S. this year. That’s the only real difference. “That’s what I’ve been doing for the last eight years here and in Mexico, especially,” he said earlier today during a conference call with reporters. “I have a little

Still no confirmation on Game 4 starter

NEW YORK - Orioles manager Buck Showalter joked today about needing a cup of coffee before he could begin his conference call with reporters. He also needs a starter for Game 4, which he isn’t ready to disclose. “Well, it’s kind of like you know the options that we have, and a lot will depend on what happens tomorrow night,” he said. “We’re going to

Orioles won’t work out today (more ALDS game times)

The Orioles had to cancel their workout this afternoon at Yankee Stadium because of “travel complications,” according to a press release from Major League Baseball. Did the train catch fire? Actually, power outages cause major issues for everyone, including the media. My train also was canceled this morning, but I was able to get on a later one. One reporter on the beat drove to

Johnson back in form for Game 2

Jim Johnson loaded the bases with two outs in Friday night’s wild card game before nailing down a 5-1 victory over the Texas Rangers. He allowed five runs, four earned, in the ninth inning of Game 1 of the American League Division Series, turning a 2-2 tie into a 7-2 loss to the New York Yankees. By Johnson’s standards, I guess this qualified as a

Showalter speaks after 3-2 win

Here’s the transcript from manager Buck Showalter’s media session following the Orioles’ 3-2 win over the Yankees in Game 2 of the American League Division Series: Q. I know this is going to be a piercing look into the obvious, but how important was it to get out of here 1-1 instead of 0-2? SHOWALTER: “Well, you know, the math is you’ve got to win

Wieters talks about Chen, the ‘pen and a bizarre play at the plate

The Orioles won their first home playoff game since Oct. 8, 1997, exactly 15 years ago. Wei-Yin Chen played a prominent role tonight by holding the Yankees to one earned run in 6 1/3 innings in his first playoff start in the U.S. “He’s been a solid starter throughout the year,” said catcher Matt Wieters. “He’s going to go out there and throw the ball

Angelos visits clubhouse

Orioles majority owner Peter G. Angelos was a surprise visitor to the Orioles’ clubhouse following tonight’s 3-2 victory over the Yankees in Game 2 of the American League Division Series. Angelos was accompanied by his son, Louis, executive vice president Dan Duquette and Lou Kousouris, the club’s vice president/special liaison to the chairman. He moved from locker to locker, shaking hands with players and congratulating

Showalter’s strategy in the seventh (O’s win 3-2, even series)

Orioles manager Buck Showalter brought in left-hander Brian Matusz to face left-handed hitting Robinson Cano with one out, a runner at first base and the Orioles clinging to a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning. Or so it seemed. Cano was 9-for-28 lifetime against Matusz, with a double, two home runs and six strikeouts. Matusz retired him last night on a ground ball. On deck

Bizarre start to delayed Game 2 (O’s lead 3-1)

The start of tonight’s Game 2 of the American League Division Series was delayed 40 minutes by a light rain. If the top of the first inning is any indication, the wait will be worth it. The Yankees took a 1-0 lead on Robinson Cano’s two-out double off Wei-Yin Chen, who surrendered 21 runs in the first inning during the regular season. He remains something

A few minutes with Dan Duquette (Markakis and rain delay updates)

The Orioles still don’t have a starter listed for a possible Game 4 on Thursday. The Yankees will start Phil Hughes. Nate McLouth has driven in two runs in each postseason game so far to become the sixth player to record consecutive multi-RBI games in Orioles postseason history, joining Mike Bordick, Todd Zeile, Kiko Garcia, Brooks Robinson and Boog Powell. The postseason may provide executive

Showalter meets the press before Game 2

Orioles manager Buck Showalter went against the left-right percentages and decided to start Jim Thome against veteran southpaw Andy Pettitte. Showalter considered starting Thome against left-hander CC Sabathia last night, but used Lew Ford as his designated hitter. “Tough not playing him last night,” Showalter said. “He’s got his shin guards and his batting gloves on about three-fourths of that game last night. He had

Orioles lineup against the Yankees (with ALCS ticket information)

Jim Thome is serving as the Orioles’ designated hitter tonight in Game 2 of the American League Division Series. Manager Buck Showalter has been sitting Thome against left-handers, but not tonight. Chris Davis remains in right field. For the Orioles: Nate McLouth LF J.J. Hardy SS Chris Davis RF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Mark Reynolds 1B Jim Thome DH Manny Machado 3B Robert

Orioles take another swing at Pettitte (updated)

Andy Pettitte is facing the Orioles tonight. Hold on, this might be an old notebook. Nope, it’s the one I’ve used this summer. Pettitte is starting Game 2 of the American League Division Series. Does this mean Roger Clemens goes in Game 3? The Orioles haven’t faced Pettitte since he decided to make a comeback this season. The only player who’s had an at-bat against

Oh, what a night for O’Day

You probably didn’t recognize Jim Johnson last night, since he wasn’t pitching in a save situation and he wasn’t churning out another drama-free inning. (OK, the same thing happened Friday night in the wild card game, though with much better results. Just work with me here.) It was like an imposter stole Johnson’s No. 43 jersey and his entrance music. But that was Darren O’Day

Showalter speaks after 7-2 loss

Orioles manager Buck Showalter has spoken in the past about how closer Jim Johnson can spoil a team with his lengthy string of successful outings. A glitch comes out of nowhere. It’s never anticipated. Johnson entered Game 1 of the American League Division Series with the score tied in the top of the ninth. He walked off the mound having retired only one batter, four

Orioles’ bullpen still clutch, game still tied (O’s lose 7-2)

Left-hander Troy Patton replaced starter Jason Hammel with two outs in the sixth and a runner on first, gave up a single and retired Curtis Granderson on a fly ball to keep the game tied. Clutch. Darren O’Day only let six of 43 inherited runners score during the regular season. He inherited two in the seventh inning tonight and stranded them to keep the game

Game 1 finally starts (Hammel done)

The crowd erupted for the first time tonight when the first chords of “Sweet Home Alabama” were heard over the PA system. The next ovation came when three members of the grounds crew walked onto the field with brooms to sweep away puddles on the warning track, which was followed by a “Let’s Go O’s” chant. Yeah, the fans are fired up for the first

The decision to start Chen in Game 2, Gonzalez in Game 3

Confirmation on the Orioles’ Game 2 starter came earlier today when reporters were notified via e-mail that Wei-Yin Chen would be available in the interview room following manager Buck Showalter, who indicated yesterday that the Taiwanese left-hander would likely get the assignment. Another rookie, Miguel Gonzalez, will start Game 3 Tuesday in New York. Chen hasn’t pitched since Monday, which isn’t a bad thing. He’s

Showalter explains roster, lineup and more

Let me begin this entry by posting the Yankees lineup for Game 1 of the American League Division Series. And this is the correct version. I promise. Derek Jeter SS Ichiro Suzuki LF Alex Rodriguez 3B Robinson Cano 2B Nick Swisher RF Mark Teixeira 1B Curtis Granderson CF Russell Martin C Raul Ibanez DH CC Sabathia LHP Manager Buck Showalter had to make some hard

Updated Orioles lineup (plus ALDS roster)

Here’s the correct version of the Orioles’ lineup for Game 1 of the American League Division Series: Nate McLouth LF J.J. Hardy SS Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Mark Reynolds 1B Manny Machado 3B Chris Davis RF Lew Ford DH Robert Andino 2B Jason Hammel RHP The Game 1 ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by Perry Hall High School guidance counselor Jesse Wasmer,

Roster to undergo more changes

The Orioles must submit their American League Division Series roster by 10 a.m. today, and manager Buck Showalter already has sat down with executive vice president Dan Duquette to discuss its composition. I don’t know when the Orioles will announce it, but my guess is sometime between 11 a.m. and noon, while I’m joining Tom Davis and Dave Johnson on “Wall to Wall Baseball” on

Showalter talks about his rotation, updates Reynolds and more

Though he’s working on minimal sleep, Orioles manager Buck Showalter looks refreshed today. He certainly looks drier than I remember him. Showalter spoke with reporters for about 20 minutes this afternoon, again coming across as loose, confident and respectful of his opponent. In other words, just another day. Showalter settled on Jason Hammel as his starter for Game 1 after sorting through what he called

Hammel gets the Game 1 assignment

Orioles manager Buck Showalter confirmed that Jason Hammel will start Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Yankees. The rest of his rotation? Too soon. Showalter indicated that Wei-Yin Chen will start Game 2, followed by Miguel Gonzalez in Game 3 at Yankee Stadium. However, he also said the weather could influence those plans. Showalter didn’t name a Game 4 starter, if

Assuming it’s Hammel ... (Yankees playoff rotation)

The Orioles get the pleasure of resetting their playoff roster for the Division Series that begins Sunday at Camden Yards. Weather permitting, of course. Before anyone asks, I can only assume that a postponement Sunday would push the first two games to Monday and Tuesday, with the Orioles and Yankees losing their workout day in the Bronx. Just a hunch. Let’s cross that washed-out bridge

Saunders makes Orioles history

ARLINGTON, Texas - The alarm on my phone jolted me from a deep sleep, one that lasted under three hours. My champagne-soaked clothes are stuffed in a bag inside my suitcase. I look forward to unleashing that aroma once I’m back in Sykesville. I’ll be filing blog entries from Camden Yards later today. The Orioles are holding a workout that Adam Jones wished would be

Showalter speaks, and dries off, after 5-1 win

ARLINGTON, Texas - Players kept asking, “Where’s Buck?” Once they found him amidst the bedlam inside their clubhouse, they rushed him with bottles of champagne and absolutely soaked him. Showalter had won his first playoff game since 1995. Naturally, he deflected the credit, passing it first to his starting pitcher. “You know, in regards to what happened during the course of the game, it all

Champagne and comments from inside the Orioles’ clubhouse

ARLINGTON, Texas - If anyone wondered whether the Orioles would celebrate a wild card game victory, they did so with great enthusiasm and impressive aim. Champagne and beer soaked the walls, the floor, the players, coaches, manager and executive vice president. Team employees, and yes, every member of the media. I learned that my shoes aren’t liquid-proof. I’m just glad I don’t have to drive

Orioles are going to the ALDS

ARLINGTON, Texas - Orioles manager Buck Showalter always says he can’t wait to find out what the boys have in store for him. Tonight, they won the wild card game and finally got to celebrate. No wonder he couldn’t wait. Joe Saunders held the Rangers to one run over 5 2/3 innings, and the bullpen worked its usual magic in a 5-1 victory over the

Saunders stepping up for Orioles (O’s lead 3-1)

ARLINGTON, Texas - Manager Buck Showalter is being rewarded for his faith in Joe Saunders. Saunders had held the Rangers to one run in five innings, and the Orioles have taken a 2-1 lead in the sixth on Adam Jones’ sacrifice fly. J.J. Hardy and Chris Davis opened with singles, and Jones lifted a fly ball to right field to break the scoreless tie. Yu

Flaherty ruling among the postseason Rule 5s (we’re tied)

ARLINGTON, Texas - The Orioles’ starters were just introduced, joining the reserves to form a long line from home plate to third base. Ryan Flaherty was the next-to-last player to run out of the dugout. He’s also the first Rule 5 player to start a postseason game after being drafted the previous winter since the Dodgers’ Chad Fonville in 1995, according to STATS Inc. Fonville

Showalter meets the press before tonight’s wild card game

ARLINGTON, Texas - The Rangers have left the field and it’s the Orioles’ turn to take batting practice. Manager Buck Showalter met with the media this afternoon, sitting in a chair low enough to put him eye-level with the microphone. “I know we’re underdogs, but...” he said. “Maybe I’ll stand today.” Showalter wanted to know the name of Secretariat’s jockey (that would be Ronnie Turcotte).

A few pre-wild card notes

ARLINGTON, Texas - It took 15 years for the Orioles to get back into the postseason, and they’re facing a team that’s beaten them 10 of their last 12 games and outscored them, 102-36. But nothing seems to faze them, so what’s another challenge? Besides, maybe the tide is due to turn. The Orioles hit .120 (11-for-92) in the Tampa Bay series. That probably won’t

O’s stick with same lineup for wild card game (with Rangers lineup)

ARLINGTON, Texas - Manager Buck Showalter is breaking out the same lineup tonight for the fifth consecutive game. It makes no difference that the Orioles are preparing for their first playoff game since 1997. Once again, Chris Davis is in right field and batting third. Ryan Flaherty is starting at second base and batting eighth, with Manny Machado hitting ninth. For the Orioles: Nate McLouth

Orioles announce wild card roster

ARLINGTON, Texas - No real surprises on the Orioles’ wild card roster except perhaps second baseman Omar Quintanilla, who was a bubble guy. Starters Miguel Gonzalez, Wei-Yin Chen and Chris Tillman were omitted because they wouldn’t have been available tonight. Keep in mind that manager Buck Showalter can make more changes to the roster if the Orioles advance to the Division Series. INFIELDERS/OUTFIELDERS/DH (12) Robert

Alan Mills talks about the Orioles and their bullpen

ARLINGTON, Texas - The Orioles had to submit their wild card roster by 10 a.m. today. That doesn’t mean they had to make it public. I’m still waiting for the club to release the names, as the Rangers did with their roster much earlier. In the meantime, I had a chance to catch up with former Orioles reliever Alan Mills, the pitching coach at short-season

Will Showalter go with his familiar lineup? (ALDS times announced)

ARLINGTON, Texas - The Atlanta Braves already posted their lineup for today’s National League wild card game. It actually was tweeted yesterday. Orioles manager Buck Showalter isn’t in quite the same hurry. We won’t know his lineup until later this afternoon, but it shouldn’t be difficult to figure out, based on the pattern that he’s established. Four of Showalter’s last six lineups have been identical,

Showalter’s return, the roster and Reynolds (updated)

ARLINGTON, Texas - No shortage of storylines here. You want the ex-Ranger factor? The Orioles have six of them: Chris Davis, Darren O’Day, Pedro Strop, Tommy Hunter, Taylor Teagarden and Endy Chavez. Perhaps a fired manager returning to the scene tickles your fancy. Buck Showalter guided the Rangers from 2003-06. What does it mean to Showalter to be back in Arlington in the postseason, with

A few words from Steve Johnson, Saunders and Jones

ARLINGTON, Texas - Unless Joe Saunders steps on a nail on his way to Rangers Ballpark on Friday, Steve Johnson will be sitting in the Orioles’ bullpen at first pitch. Johnson said he’s ready to help out in a relief role. No pain in his left knee and no hard feelings over being passed over for Saunders. “Disappointed wouldn’t be the right word,” he said.

Reynolds hurting but not sitting

ARLINGTON, Texas - Mark Reynolds has his left foot wrapped after fouling a ball off a bone near his big toe during Wednesday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. X-rays were negative, but he’s hurting. Just not badly enough to consider missing the wild card game. “It’s sore, but it’s not anything I’m going to sit out over,” he said. “It won’t be a

Saunders will start Friday (Reynolds update)

ARLINGTON, Texas - Orioles manager Buck Showalter is ignoring Joe Saunders’ career stats against the Rangers and will start him Friday night in the wild card game. Saunders, who will be working on normal rest, is 3-7 with a 6.48 ERA in 11 career starts against the Rangers, and 0-6 with a 9.38 ERA in Texas, with 41 hits allowed, 16 walks and 13 home

The game is bigger in Texas

TAMPA - The Orioles really wanted a home game. Flying to Dallas wasn’t their first or second choice. They’ll have to win a wild card game before they can get back to Camden Yards. If it’s any consolation, the Rangers aren’t thrilled about it, either. Jim Thome actually appeared in the last playoff game at Camden Yards as a member of the 1997 Cleveland Indians.

Hearing from Tillman, Davis and Jones

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Chris Tillman couldn’t locate his fastball to right-handed hitters tonight, which Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria - a right-handed hitter who feasts on misplaced fastballs - could easily attest. Tillman served up two home runs to Longoria and another to Ryan Roberts in a 4-1 loss to the Rays. “I didn’t make my pitches,” Tillman said. “I was trying to go away

Showalter speaks after 4-1 loss

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Manager Buck Showalter had a few words for his players tonight before leaving the clubhouse to do his postgame interview on MASN and meet with reporters. “I told our guys how proud I am, and just to be associated with this bunch,” he said following a 4-1 loss to the Rays that forced the Orioles onto the road for Friday night’s

Orioles’ tentative travel schedule comes into focus (O’s lose 4-1)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The playoff picture became a lot clearer this afternoon with the Athletics completing their improbable run toward the American League West title. The A’s have been in first place for one day - today. They fell behind, 5-1, and stormed back for a 12-5 win that pushed the Rangers into the wild card and a possible matchup with the Orioles. To

MLB announces playoff times (and notes)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - If the Orioles and Yankees finish tied for first place in the American League East, a one-game playoff will begin Thursday night at 7:10 p.m. at Camden Yards. For this scenario to unfold, the Orioles must win tonight and the Yankees must lose to the Red Sox. The American League wild card game will start at 8:37 p.m. on Friday. The

Steve Johnson tests knee and says he’s ready to pitch (updated)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Steve Johnson threw a light bullpen session today and did some fielding drills to test his left knee. Johnson said he felt “really good” and is ready to pitch if the Orioles need him. Johnson is wearing a “Hammel brace,” as he called it, similar to the one used by Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel. “It was just to get off a

Orioles lineup against Rays (corrected)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Chris Davis will attempt tonight to become the first Oriole to homer in seven straight games. Davis is 5-for-13 with a double lifetime against Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson. For the Orioles: Nate McLouth LF J.J. Hardy SS Chris Davis RF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Jim Thome DH Mark Reynolds 1B Ryan Flaherty 2B Manny Machado 3B Chris Tillman RHP

Was Tillman the right choice tonight?

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - I’m getting ready to check out of my hotel, grab lunch, head to Tropicana Field for the game, drop off my rental car and check into the Marriott hotel inside the Tampa airport. I’ve got an early-morning flight home tomorrow, but my plans will change if the Orioles lose tonight. It’s a must-win game for the Orioles if they’ve got any

Setting up the playoff roster

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles remain one game behind the New York Yankees in the American League East with one game to play. They could at least guarantee the top wild card seeding with a victory tonight. They could end up tied with the Yankees and force a one-game playoff Thursday in Baltimore. They could lose and end up in Oakland or Texas for

Hearing from Gonzalez, Davis and Johnson (Yankees win)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez pitched extremely well tonight, but he had to appreciate the gem spun by Tampa Bay’s James Shields. “I was like, ‘He’s doing great. I’ve got to do better than him,’ ” Gonzalez said. “I think he did a pretty good job going out there and throwing a complete game. I’m happy for him. Fifteen strikeouts for him.

Showalter speaks after 1-0 victory

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Manager Buck Showalter called James Shields’ performance tonight for Tampa Bay “probably the best-pitched game that we’ve had pitched against us all year.” Fortunately for the Orioles, it didn’t result in a loss. Chris Davis’ home run off the roof of the restaurant in center field held up. One run was all that the Orioles needed. Shields was masterful with 15

Tillman gets the ball Wednesday night

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Every television in the visiting clubhouse at Tropicana Field is tuned to the Yankees-Red Sox game. Brian Roberts sat on one of the chairs, watching as the Red Sox tried to hold a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning. They couldn’t do it. Raul Ibanez hit a two-run homer to tie the game. Chris Tillman is the confirmed

Chris Davis joins Reggie Jackson in Orioles history (O’s win 1-0)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Is Chris Davis the straw that stirs the Orioles’ drink? Davis has joined Reggie Jackson as the only players in Orioles history to homer in six straight games. He drove a ball off the roof of the restaurant in center field after Rays starter James Shields retired the first 11 batters to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead. Davis has hit

Gausman gets his chance to hang out with the Orioles

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Manager Buck Showalter expects to announce Wednesday’s starter after tonight’s game against the Rays, and all signs point to Chris Tillman because of the importance attached to the regular season finale. That is, if it’s the last regular season game. The Orioles could finish tied with the Yankees for first place in the American League East and meet Thursday in Baltimore.

Hammel: “If needed, I’m ready to go”

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Jason Hammel said his right knee feels great after yesterday’s simulated game in Sarasota, where he threw 73 pitches in five innings. He may throw a bullpen session on Wednesday and will be available to start for the Orioles beginning on Saturday. “As of today, for the day after, it feels great. No setbacks, no soreness, no swelling,” he said. “If

Orioles lineup against Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles are breaking out a familiar lineup tonight against Rays right-hander James Shields. For the Orioles: Nate McLouth LF J.J. Hardy SS Chris Davis RF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Jim Thome DH Mark Reynolds 1B Ryan Flaherty 2B Manny Machado 3B Miguel Gonzalez RHP The Orioles are still listing Wednesday night’s starter as TBA. With a win tonight,

Gonzalez the right man on the mound

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Miguel Gonzalez is the only confirmed starter for the Orioles the rest of the week. He’s taking the mound tonight. When it comes to revealing his other starters, manager Buck Showalter is taking the fifth. I’ve broken down the possible scenarios, including Chris Tillman starting on Wednesday in a must-win situation. Confirmation should come later today. Showalter dropped Dylan Bundy’s name

Orioles only worried about themselves

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Yankees won again last night, and the Orioles didn’t seem to care in the least. The Red Sox rolled over again, like a puppy begging to have its belly rubbed. They’re not exactly rallying around embattled manager Bobby Valentine. Instead, they’re holding the door open and giving him a shove. He’s the only guy they can get out these days.

Machado won’t make excuses for error

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Rays scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning tonight to break a 1-1 tie, and a Manny Machado error on Evan Lorgoria’s bouncer to third base ignited the rally. “Should have caught it,” Machado said. “Took a little side spin on me, ate me up. Should’ve taken a step forward, but I should have made the out.”

Showalter and Chen speak after 5-3 loss

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he wasn’t aware of the Yankees-Red Sox score tonight. He was too preoccupied with his own team, which lost to the Rays, 5-3, at Tropicana Field. The Yankees throttled the Red Sox, 10-2, leaving the Orioles one game back in the American League East. “They win?” Showalter asked. “That’s a given. They’re playing home the rest

Long ball bug bites Chen again (Davis homers again in 5-3 loss)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Wei-Yin Chen surrendered his 29th home run of the season in the bottom of the fourth inning, with Ben Zobrist taking him deep to break a scoreless tie. Chen has surrendered six homers in his last four starts, and at least one in six of his last seven outings. Zobrist also singled in the first inning and is 7-for-14 lifetime against

Showalter and Jones talk about last night’s charter incident

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles continue to downplay last night’s unscheduled landing in Jacksonville, saying some of the media reports were exaggerated and it was really no big deal. “We’re fine,” said center fielder Adam Jones, clearly annoyed that the incident remained a hot topic today. Reminded how the Orioles’ celebration was delayed because of their unexpected stop, Jones replied, “Doesn’t matter. We’re still

Hammel nearing return

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles are encouraged by Jason Hammel’s simulated game today in Sarosota, and he remains a candidate to start this weekend in the playoffs. Hammel threw 73 pitches in five innings at Ed Smith Stadium. He’s scheduled to throw a bullpen session and could start Saturday, at the earliest, because manager Buck Showalter won’t use him on fewer than four days

Markakis won’t have pins removed from thumb for another week

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis was supposed to have the pins removed from his left thumb today, but the date has been pushed back a week after his examination today by a hand specialist in Sarasota. “They’re staying in another week, so I’ll get them out next Tuesday or Monday,” he said. “It was just crushed too bad in there and

Orioles lineup vs. Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Ryan Flaherty gets another start at second base tonight against Rays right-hander Alex Cobb. Chris Davis stays in right field and bats third. For the Orioles: Nate McLouth LF J.J. Hardy SS Chris Davis RF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Jim Thome DH Mark Reynolds 1B Ryan Flaherty 2B Manny Machado 3B Wei-Yin Chen LHP

Orioles release ticket information for possible tiebreaker game

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles today announced that tickets for a possible tiebreaker game to be played Thursday at Camden Yards go on sale tomorrow online at www.orioles.com. Here is the rest of the information: Full and 29-game season plan holders who paid their postseason invoice have already received tiebreaker tickets along with their postseason tickets and will be charged only if a tiebreaker

Off to Tampa and ...?

I packed up half of my closet and headed to the airport this morning for my 7:35 a.m. flight to Tampa. The Orioles and Rays are playing a three-game series, but what happens after Wednesday is anybody’s guess. A one-game playoff with the Yankees on Thursday at Camden Yards? A flight to Detroit? Chicago? Oakland? None of the above? Almost lost in the fuss over

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