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Someone upset with O’s celebration? Give me a break

A couple of thoughts before we head into the first weekend since March without Orioles baseball. * Peter Gammons said of Terry Francona on MLB Network: “Sometimes you measure Boston managers in dog years and Tito managed 56 years.” By the way, the Red Sox averaged a robust 5.4 runs per game during their 7-20 September. But here are the ERAs for some of their

Notes on Dylan Bundy and O’s instructional league

Here are a few things I have heard about the Orioles’ instructional league workouts currently going on in Florida. The first thing I should point out however, is fans should realize instructional league is about instruction, of course and teaching the players. While they do play games there, you can’t put a lot on evaulating any stats or results. No scores or stats are released

Baseball America ranks Machado as No. 1 prospect in Carolina League

Even though he hit just .219 his last 33 regular-season games with the Frederick Keys, Baseball America today named Manny Machado of the Orioles as the top prospect in the Carolina League. Earlier Machado was named second-best prospect in the South Atlantic League. He started the 2011 season with Delmarva. At Frederick, Machado elevated his game in the playoffs and drove in seven runs during

Some thoughts and notes on an amazing night of baseball

As Orioles fans woke up today, they realized something. That was not a dream last night. That happened. The Red Sox were one out from winning in the ninth and Tampa Bay was one out from losing in the ninth. How about this stat: The Red Sox entered last night’s game with a record of 77-0 this year when leading after eight innings. They are

Nolan Reimold talks about the win and his double in the ninth

Nolan Reimold knocked in 14 runs for the Orioles over his last 12 games this season and he saved one of the best for last. His two-out, RBI double off Jonathan Papelbon in the last of the ninth tied the game at 3-3 and set the stage for Robert Andino’s game-ending single as the Orioles beat Boston 4-3. Minutes later, when Tampa Bay won, the

Andino talks about his game-winning hit against Boston

Just a few minutes after his game-ending and season-ending RBI single gave the Orioles a walk-off win over the Boston Red Sox tonight, Robert Andino said he enjoyed handing the Red Sox such a crushing loss. “To end the season like this and make Boston go home sad and crying, I’ll take it all day. I’ve got no words for it. You saw Boston’s faces,”

Reimold and Andino with the clutch hits in the 9th as the O’s stun Boston

The last game of the year produced one of the best finishes ever at Camden Yards. Down to their last out, the Orioles scored twice off Jonathan Papelbon in the bottom of the ninth to stun the Boston Red Sox with a comeback, 4-3 victory. With two outs and none on, Chris Davis doubled to right and Kyle Hudson came on to pinch run. Then

The starters struggled most of the year and Simon did tonight too

The Orioles’ starting pitching has been a flop most of this year. The starters’ ERA for the season is in the 5.30 range and yes, that is awful. Alfredo Simon struggled in his start tonight, giving up three runs and six hits over just 4 1/3 innings. Simon will finish this season winless in eight starts against AL East teams with an ERA of 5.91.

Can O’s resurgent offense get to Lester tonight?

The Orioles, in case you have not noticed, have been putting up a lot of runs lately. They have scored six runs or more in four straight, nine of ten and 12 of the last 14 games. The Orioles have scored 84 runs on 22 homers those last 14 games, averaging 6.0 runs per game in that time. They have some batters who are hitting

Well, the Red Sox skipper is loose

His team may have baseball’s second-worst September record at 7-19, but Red Sox skipper Terry Francona didn’t seem to be feeling any pressure today during his pregame interview session with reporters. If the Red Sox play tonight as loose as their manager was, they probably have a pretty good chance to win here at Camden Yards as they try to secure the AL wild-card berth.

Hardy on his season and finishing second in MVO vote

In what was a very close vote, Adam Jones edged out J.J. Hardy for this year’s Most Valuable Oriole award. The Orioles don’t release the voting results, but it appears that Jones won by one single vote over Hardy. The Orioles shortstop had not yet heard he had finished second and was informed by reporters when the clubhouse opened to the media today. “I haven’t

Orlando Gomez on Frederick’s Carolina League title, plus Lester notes (updated)

While Tim Bascom and Jonathan Schoop picked up the top Orioles’ minor league awards this week, it was great to see Single-A Frederick manager Orlando Gomez win the Cal Ripken Sr. Player Development Award. Gomez has spent seven years in the O’s organization and 47 years in pro baseball. Like Ripken, he is just a solid and unassuming baseball guy. He seemed to relate well

Britton reflects on his season and Jones on tonight’s game

Moments after the game ended, and the Orioles had fallen short by 8-7 to Boston, starting pitcher Zach Britton blamed himself for the loss and was disappointed he gave up two homers. “It just came down to the execution of those two pitches,” Britton said. “I don’t think I threw the ball well, but if I execute those pitches it’s a different game. “The energy

Red Sox use longball to top Orioles, 8-7

After they scored just three runs with 12 left on base last night, tonight the Boston Red Sox used a four-homer barrage to beat the Orioles 8-7 in front of 22,123 at Camden Yards. Tampa Bay won its game with the Yankees, so now Boston and the Rays go to the final day tied for the wild card playoff berth with identical 90-71 records. The

Ellsbury ... again and Britton note

Jacoby Ellsbury just hit yet another big homer for the Boston Red Sox. His two-run shot off Zach Britton in the top of the third gives the Red Sox a 2-1 lead on the Orioles, who got an RBI double from Vladimir Guerrero in the first inning. Ellsbury’s career high in homers was nine before this year and now he has 32. He also now

Jim Johnson expresses a preference to be a starter next year

Even though he has been one of the better relievers in the American League this year and is 7-for-7 in save chances since Sept. 7, the talk about Jim Johnson moving into a starter’s role next year won’t go away. No one has committed to it yet for 2012, but Johnson today expressed a preference to be a starter next season. “I’ll do what the

Camden Yards was rocking for the Boston-O’s series opener

What a great atmosphere at Camden Yards last night. There were plenty of fans cheering for each side, each roaring most of the night at each other, and they made 21,000 fans sound like and feel like 51,000. As a friend said (and that was with Orioles fans basically wanting to ruin another team’s season), what could it be like if it were the Orioles

Andino and Guerrero comment after the O’s beat Boston

Two Orioles players, about 10 feet apart in the clubhouse, were feeling very happy after this game for different reasons. Vladimir Guerrero was smiling after his single in the sixth made him baseball’s all-time hits leader for Dominican-born players. Robert Andino was excited about his inside-the-park homer and that his father got to see it in person. There were a few smiles in that clubhouse

Andino, Davis and Guerrero lead O’s past Boston, 6-3

Given yet another chance tonight to play the spoiler’s role, the Orioles took it and ran with it, beating the slumping Boston Red Sox 6-3 in front of 21,786 at Camden Yards. The game featured the Orioles again getting to Josh Beckett, Vlad Guerrero setting a career hits record and Robert Andino coming up with the first-ever, Orioles’ inside-the-park homer at Oriole Park. The Red

Getting to Beckett ... again

Josh Beckett entered this start tonight second in the majors in opponent batting average at .207 and third in the American League in ERA at 2.70, but he trails the Orioles 6-2 after six innings after that stirring three-run, inside-the-park homer from Robert Andino. That was the first-ever Orioles inside-the-park homer here at Camden Yards. Through the sixth tonight, Beckett has allowed 12 runs in

Tim Bascom: What started in the bullpen, ends with Jim Palmer award

When the 2011 season began, right-hander Tim Bascom found himself in an unfamiliar spot. The bullpen. After pitching to a record of 3-4 and ERA of 3.43 in 11 Double-A starts last year, Bascom was on Bowie’s opening day roster, but not in the season-opening rotation. “Once they told me that, it got me a little angry,” Bascom said here today at Camden Yards. “It

Jonathan Schoop talks about his Player of the Year award

Just a few minutes ago, on the field at Camden Yards, Jonathan Schoop talked about being named the winner of the Brooks Robinson Award as the Orioles minor league Player of the Year. “I’m real happy. There are a lot of good players (in the organization),” Schoop said. “This means a lot to me. Just keeps me focused for next year. It’s good.” Schoop felt

Feeling good about his season, Adams now heads for Tuesday surgery

Orioles infielder Ryan Adams has had just four at-bats since the middle of the month and has not played in a week as he deals with a sports hernia. He will undergo an operation next Tuesday and he said the recovery time is only a few weeks. He should have a normal offseason after that. He’s been playing in some pain most of this year

Jonathan Schoop, Tim Bascom take O’s top minor league honors

The Orioles today named Jonathan Schoop as the winner of the Brooks Robinson Award as their minor league Player of the Year. They named pitcher Tim Bascom the winner of the Jim Palmer Award as minor league Pitcher of the Year. The 19-year-old Schoop began the year at Single-A Delmarva and moved to Single-A Frederick in early June. Between those clubs, he hit .290 with

Orioles minor league award winners not easy to call

Here is a good question: Which players are going to be named the Orioles’ minor league Player and Pitcher of the Year for 2011? Unlike last year, when Joe Mahoney and Zach Britton were honored, the races for those awards are much more wide-open this season. The Orioles are expected to announce the winners later today. In alphabetical order, here are five candidates for player

Tigers hit four homers as O’s lose 2011 road finale

The Detroit Tigers produced nine runs on four swings today in beating the Orioles 10-6 at Comerica Park as the clubs split a four-game series. It was the Orioles final road game of the year. They went 5-3 on this road trip and finish with a 30-51 road record. Brian Matusz gave up six runs and seven hits over five innings to take the loss,

Reynolds moves into O’s top 10 homers list

When Mark Reynolds hit his 37th homer on Saturday against Justin Verlander, he moved into a tie with Albert Belle and Boog Powell for ninth most homers by an Oriole in one season. Powell hit 37 in 1969 and Belle did it in 1999. Reynolds may not add to his total today as he is not in the lineup this afternoon in Detroit. He has

Some Orioles news and notes before the season’s final road game

Some notes to ponder as the Orioles play their last road game of the year today at Detroit. The Orioles are 67-91. If they can go 3-1 or better in the remaining games, they will have their first 70-win season since 2006, when they were 70-92. * The Orioles have been playing a lot of close games lately. Of their past 19 games, 13 have

Orioles use homers to get the lead, then little ball to win against Detroit

In a game where the Orioles used two homers to take an early impressive lead against likely Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, the Orioles used little ball to win the game. The game was tied 5-5 starting the ninth when Detroit’s Daniel Schlereth came on and gave up a leadoff single to Chris Davis. Kyle Hudson came on to pinch run. He advanced all the

Angle and Reynolds homer as O’s take early lead against Verlander

Detroit’s Justin Verlander has not suffered a loss since July 15 against the Chicago White Sox, but he trails the Orioles tonight 5-0 in the third inning. Verlander, who is 24-5 with an ERA of 2.29, gave up a homer to Matt Angle leading off the game. It was Angle’s first major league homer after 69 at-bats without one. He hit four homers in 424

There is still time for the AL wild card race to get wild

No major league team has ever overcome a deficit of nine games in the standings in September to make the playoffs. The Tampa Bay Rays were nine games behind Boston in the wild-card race on Sept. 2 and they are 2 1/2 games back going into today’s games. Since then, Tampa Bay is 12-8 while Boston is 5-14. Boston hasn’t won a game over the

“Moneyball” was OK, I guess

I certainly didn’t hate “Moneyball.” I didn’t dislike it, so I guess I liked it. A little anyway. I don’t think it’s a great movie by any stretch and certainly not a great baseball movie. Bull Durham and Eight Men Out, those are great baseball movies to me and this is not in that class. It is still very much worth seeing and sure better

Victor Martinez wins it in 11 as Tigers tame the O’s, 4-3

The Orioles got some early offense tonight, but they didn’t score after the third inning and finally lost the game at Detroit, 4-3, in 11 innings. In the last of the 11th, Brandon Inge drew a leadoff walk against Willie Eyre and Danny Worth came in to pinch run. He reached second on a one-out single and scored the winning run on a Victor Martinez

Picking up the pace on offense

The Orioles began play tonight ranked eighth in the American League in runs scored. They have been even better than that, going 19-13 over the last 32 games. They are averaging 4.9 runs per game during that 32-game stretch. If you scored that many over the entire season, they would rank fourth in the AL in runs scored. Scoring 4.9 per game is an upgrade

Just like last year, the Orioles are winning again late in the season

The Orioles are doing it again. They are playing well late in the season. They went 34-23 in the last 57 games last year for a winning percentage of .596. After Thursday’s win at Detroit, they are 19-13 in their last 32 games this year for a winning percentage of .594. They just started a bit later this season. In 2010, they began the 57-game

O’s lost lead, but won game at Detroit

The Orioles lost a 5-0 lead, but not the game on Thursday night at Detroit. After the Tigers rallied to tie the Orioles at 5-5 on Delmon Young’s three-run homer in the fifth, the Orioles reclaimed the lead an inning later on a Nolan Reimold RBI infield single and went on to a 6-5 win. With the victory, the Orioles have now won eight of

Some notes on the Orioles and Tigers

Checking in with some notes on both clubs as the Orioles and Tigers begin a four-game series tonight. * The Tigers clinched the AL Central title last Friday and it was their first division title since they won the AL East in 1987. Detroit is 25-7 since August 19. * Any team going to the playoffs probably has pretty good pitching and Detroit does. Over

After another tough season, Billy Rowell has a few things to say

In a wide-ranging telephone interview Wednesday, Billy Rowell discussed his 2011 season, said he felt the Orioles failed to live up to their word to bring him back to Double-A Bowie after a midseason injury and said he had no interest in being converted to a pitcher. Rowell also admitted he turned down an assignment to short-season Single-A Aberdeen, said his power potential is still

Reynolds with two homers and Guerrero with two RBIs in win over Sox

For the second night in a row, the Orioles posted a come-from-behind win over the slumping Boston Red Sox. This time it was a Vladimir Guerrero single to center in the eighth that scored two runs to break a 4-4 tie as the Orioles beat Boston 6-4 at Fenway Park. Jim Hunter asks Buck Showalter his thoughts on the O’s 6-4 win over the Red

Reynolds homer notes

When the Orioles acquired power hitting Mark Reynolds, some suggested he could become the first Oriole with 35 homers since Albert Belle hit 37 in 1999. Tonight, Reynolds hit No. 35. It was a solo shot in the second off Josh Beckett that gave the O’s a 1-0 lead. That is three homers in the last four games for Reynolds and four in 16 games

Winning is nice, but enough about the spoiler’s role already

This is just the way an Orioles fan probably envisioned it several weeks ago. Rick VandenHurk would not make it into the fourth inning. But Willie Eyre would come on to get the win. Pedro Strop would pitch a shutout eighth inning. Jim Johnson would get a save and, of course, Jo-Jo Reyes would pitch three key shutout innings. To top if off, Robert Andino

Andino’s clutch three-run double gives O’s a come-from-behind win over Boston

The Boston Red Sox asked Jonathan Papelbon, a pitcher that had converted a career-best 25 straight save chances since May 13, to try and get a five-out save on Tuesday night against the Orioles. He couldn’t do it. With Boston leading 5-4, Papelbon came in with two on and one out in the top of the eighth. He fanned Chris Davis for the second out,

Two Orioles prospects make top 20 list in the Gulf Coast League

Two Orioles made the list of the top 20 prospects in the Gulf Coast League as selected by Baseball America, which released the list today. Outfielder Roderick Bernadina was ranked 12th and pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez 18th. Both were international signings. Bernadina, who turned 19 on Aug. 10, is from Curacao and the 18-year-old Rodriguez is from Venezuela. Bernardina hit .239 in 51 games for the

Just the stats

Checking in with some stats and notes before the Orioles and Red Sox meet in Game 3 of their series tonight. * Over his last six games, Chris Davis is 9-for-24 (.375) with a homer and four RBIs. Over his last 10 games, Davis is batting .395 (15-for-38) with six doubles, a homer, seven RBIs and five multi-hit games. * Vlad Guerrero is batting .406

A few random thoughts

A couple of random thoughts while pondering another poor night for Brian Matusz. Hard to believe what we saw from him this time last year and contrast that with how he is pitching now. * Chris Davis has some impressive power. He has hit some balls to left field lately that really show his strength. A scout mentioned to me how impressed he is with

Red Sox hammer Matusz, O’s pitching in 18-9 romp

Two weeks later, it didn’t get any better for Brian Matusz. Making his first start since he gave up five runs in 1 1/3 innings on September 5 against the Yankees, tonight Matusz gave up six runs in 1 2/3 as Boston beat the Orioles 18-9 to gain a split of the day-night doubleheader. That was a season-high in runs allowed by Orioles’ pitchers, who

Orioles end Lackey’s quality starts streak

I certainly was not aware of this stat, but Boston pitcher John Lackey entered tonight’s start against the Orioles with 15 straight quality starts against the Birds since August 3, 2005. That is the longest run ever against the Orioles. The good news is the O’s ended the run tonight. The bad news is Lackey has a 11-5 lead after the third inning. He can

Has Matusz made progress? Fenway Park awaits (updated)

Brian Matusz will be back on the mound tonight in the evening portion of the doubleheader at Fenway Park. Matusz has not pitched in two weeks since he gave up five runs in just 1 1/3 innings against the Yankees. He said yesterday at Camden Yards that he feels like he has made some progress in his recent side sessions, working with pitching coach Rick

Orioles use three homers to take Game 1 at Fenway, 6-5

Robert Andino, Nolan Reimold and J.J. Hardy homered as the Orioles beat the Red Sox 6-5 in Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader at Fenway Park. The struggling Sox saw their lead for the wild card berth over idle Tampa fall to a game and a half. Boston has lost 10 of its last 12 games and is 4-14 in September. Matt Angle’s two-run double

Can Simon eventually be a nugget?

I am trying to figure out if Alfredo Simon is one of Buck’s nuggets for the future or not. Maybe if I’m not sure, that means he isn’t. But he sure has games where he looks very nugget-like. Last year, Simon was, at times, a dependable late-inning reliever. This year, at times, he’s been a solid-looking starter. What he can’t seem to do is pitch

Simon: “I’m going to defend my players”

If anyone wondered if the pitch that Alfredo Simon threw that hit the Angels Mark Trumbo in the first inning today was a purpose pitch, it was. At least that is what Simon indicated after the game. Alfredo Simon talks to reporters about his start in the O’s loss to the Angels “We got hit yesterday and I’m going to defend my players,” Simon said.

Simon hit hard as Angels avoid sweep against the Orioles

The Orioles’ run of solid starting pitching that had carried them to four straight wins over playoff contenders ended this afternoon at Camden Yards. Alfredo Simon gave up six runs and eight hits over five innings as the Angels beat the Orioles 11-2 at Camden Yards to keep the Orioles from their sixth series sweep of the season. Angels leadoff hitter Erick Aybar went 4-for-4

O’s have a chance to sweep the Angels today & other notes

Some notes as the Orioles and Angels wrap up a series today and the Orioles end a six-game homestand. * Today the Orioles have a chance for their sixth series sweep of the season and first since they took four in a row at Minnesota in late August. The Orioles’ five series sweeps this year: April 1-3: 3 games at Tampa. May 10-12: 3 games

Matusz talks about his start Monday night in Boston

When Brian Matusz takes the mound in Fenway Park on Monday night, it will have been two weeks since he last pitched in a game. He gave up five runs in just 1 1/3 innings on September 5 at New York and now he is slated to start the evening game of Monday’s day-night doubleheader at Boston. “Yeah, I’m excited to get out there and

Zach Britton on his outing against the Angels

After he pitched the Orioles to a 6-2 win over Los Angeles, Zach Britton talked about his seven-inning outing where he gave up just three hits and one run. Zach Britton speaks with the media after a solid performance in the O’s win over the Angels “It’s good. I know I’m capable of it,” Britton said. “The last couple outings it just came down to

Showalter with an update on Reynolds and other postgame comments

After tonight’s win over the Angels, manager Buck Showalter provided an update on Mark Reynolds who was hit in the batting helmet in the third inning and left the game in the fifth. “They took Mark down to University for a CT scan. Just precautionary and we’ll see how he is tomorrow,” Showalter said. “Doctor looked at him up the runway, just thought from a

O’s use Britton and longball combo to top the Angels

Zach Britton had given up eight runs in 10 innings over his last two starts, but tonight the rookie lefty had an excellent outing against the Los Angeles Angels, pitching the Orioles to a 6-2 win at Camden Yards. Britton took a no-hitter into the fifth and gave up just three hits and one run over seven innings. He improves to 10-10 with an ERA

Britton is strong early against the Angels and Reynolds exits (updated)

Zach Britton is trying to make it four straight quality starts for the Orioles’ pitching staff tonight against the Angels. Over the last three games Alfredo Simon, Jeremy Guthrie and Tommy Hunter have worked to a combined ERA of 1.71. They have pitched a total of 21 innings giving up 16 hits and four runs with seven walks and 24 strikeouts. So far, Britton has

Angle using speed and bunting ability to make an impression

The Orioles have four sacrifice bunts in the entire month of September and Matt Angle has two of them. He also had a bunt single and double in Wednesday’s win over Tampa Bay and is 6-for-7 stealing bases for the Orioles. While Angle is hitting just .173, at 9-for-52 in 19 major league games, he has made a positive impact on this team with his

Showalter talks about Frederick’s Machado and Schoop

Buck Showalter mentioned the Single-A Frederick Keys in his postgame comments last night and he spent some time today talking about the new Carolina League champions, who wrapped up their series with Kinston winning 11-3 last night. Showalter had praise for the talented 19-year-old, middle infield duo of shortstop Manny Machado and second baseman Jonathan Schoop. “I was thinking today about Machado and Schoop, They

Reynolds rapped one off his good friend Friday night

Mark Reynolds may have some bragging rights on the golf course this winter. His solo homer in the fifth inning last night helped the Orioles beat the Angels and the homer came off Dan Haren. Reynolds and Haren are close friends and played together for three seasons in Arizona. “Oh, yeah, he is one of my best friends in baseball,” Reynolds said. “We were together

Frederick tops Kinston to win Carolina League championship

The Single-A Frederick Keys beat Kinston 11-3 tonight at Grainger Stadium to win the Carolina League championship. The Keys lost Game 1 of the best-of-five series, but then won the next three games to claim the fourth championship in their 23-year history. Frederick also won titles in 1990, 2005 and 2007. The 2007 club was the last Orioles minor league team to win a championship

With his outing, Hunter helped his former and current teams

The Texas Rangers are trying to hold off the Angels and win the American League West. Tonight, a former Ranger provided Texas a lift. Tommy Hunter pitched seven shutout innings as the Orioles beat the Angels 8-3 at Camden Yards. Even before Hunter did his postgame interview he had heard from some of the Rangers. “They texted me,” Hunter said. “I looked at my phone

Adam Jones: “I am going to play”

Adam Jones is expected to have an MRI tomorrow on his sore right thumb, even if he hadn’t heard that when reporters were allowed in the Orioles clubhouse after the game. When asked about the MRI, Jones asked reporters who had said that. He was told it was manager Buck Showalter and Jones said he hadn’t talked to Showalter at that point. Jones said he

Tommy Hunter pitches seven scoreless as O’s top Angels

This spoiler role seems to suit the Orioles. After taking two of three from the Rays, the Orioles crushed the Los Angeles Angels 8-3 tonight at Camden Yards. Los Angeles began the night 3.5 games out of first in the AL West and four back in the wild card with eight wins over their last 11 games. Tommy Hunter entered with a record of 2-3

With an 11-run third inning, Frederick closes in on a title

Needing one win for their fourth Carolina League championship, the Frederick Keys came to bat in the top of the third at Kinston tonight trailing 2-0. Frederick scored 11 runs in that inning and holds an 11-2 lead in the fourth. The Keys would win the Mills Cup finals series three wins to one with a victory tonight. The big third inning featured a Miguel

Tommy Hunter could use a good outing tonight against L.A.

Orioles right-hander Tommy Hunter could use a good start tonight. In his eight O’s starts since his trade from Texas, he is 2-3 with an ERA of 5.98. He has allowed four runs or more in seven of the eight games. Hunter enters tonight’s start with a 1-4 record and ERA of 8.79 in seven career games versus the Angels. He is 24-15 with an

The September evaluations

You hear people in baseball all the time say that stats compiled in spring training and in September can be deceptive. In some instances players are facing less than major league caliber players in spring and in September, the rosters are expanded and some teams might be playing out the string. So how does Buck Showalter weigh September performances by his players? “It’s kind of

Is Wieters starting to win over most of the fans?

During another losing Orioles season, there have been a few positive developments. The improvement of catcher Matt Wieters might rank at the top of that list. At a time when some players are wearing down, Wieters seems to be just getting cranked up. His bat is heating up and he is hitting homers at a greater rate than he ever has in the majors. From

Frederick wins to move within a win of the Carolina League title

A three-hour rain delay couldn’t keep the Single-A Frederick Keys from winning last night and the six-hour overnight bus ride to North Carolina that followed didn’t stop them tonight. Manny Machdo drove in the go-ahead run as Frederick won 7-3 at Kinston’s Grainger Stadium tonight to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five Carolina League championship series. The Keys are now one win from their

Berken fondly remembers the 2007 champion Frederick Keys

With the Single-A Frederick Keys currently playing for the Carolina League championship, some people have fond memories of the 2007 Keys’ team. The last Frederick team to win the Carolina League championship. Among them is Orioles’ pitcher Jason Berken, a starting pitcher on that Frederick team. “We started off really slow,” Berken said of that Frederick squad. “I think we were one of the worst

After long rain delay, the Keys rally to beat Kinston

Down by one run and down to their final four outs, the Frederick Keys rallied to beat Kinston 3-2 to even the best-of-five Carolina League championship series at a win each. The game started after 10 p.m. Wednesday after a rain delay of three hours and seven minutes. It ended at 12:44 a.m. Thursday at Harry Grove Stadium. Now the Mills Cup final series shifts

Postgame comments with Wieters, Davis and Guthrie

Chris Davis hit a big three-run homer tonight that gave the Orioles the lead in the last of fourth over Tampa Bay. It came on a pitch, he said, he probably should not have even swung at. “It was definitely a ball,” Davis said of the 0-2 pitch from Wade Davis. “It might have gone to the backstop if I didn’t hit it, but in

Guthrie’s strong outing leads the Orioles over Tampa Bay

With a strong outing tonight, Jeremy Guthrie got a win over Tampa Bay. He also tied his career high in strikeouts and failed to set a new career high in losses. Guthrie led the Orioles to a 6-2 win over the Rays, who could have closed to within three games of Boston for the wild card with a victory. Rick Dempsey breaks down Jeremy Guthrie’s

O’s look to even season and all-time series with Tampa Bay

A win here tonight by the Orioles would, not only be damaging to Tampa Bay’s playoff hopes, but also allow the Orioles to end the season series with Tampa tied at nine wins each. The Rays have won the last three season series by 15-3, 10-8 and 11-7 last year. Plus, the all-time series would be even at 120 wins each with an Orioles victory

Showalter with some praise for Angle and Hudson

The Orioles rank next to last in the American League with 67 stolen bases as a team. But with the September call-ups of Matt Angle and Kyle Hudson the club has more team speed and is now running more. The Orioles had just eight stolen bases in 29 games in August. They have 15 in 13 games this month. The number of 15 ties the

Wieters on his solid season and recent longball surge

Matt Wieters has now homered in back-to-back games for the Orioles and has hit five homers in his last 12 games. Wieters’ next homer will be his 20th on the year. He has 19 this season in 457 at-bats. Pretty impressive when you compare it to the fact he hit 20 combined homers in 800 at-bats during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Wieters said he

The scoop on Schoop: He might be the best player in O’s minors

Jonathan Schoop had surfaced on the radar by the end of last season when he was named the Orioles’ 10th best prospect by Baseball America. At the end of this season, the 19-year-old Schoop is going to be ranked even higher than that and has to be considered a leading candidate - maybe the top candidate - to be named the Orioles’ minor league Player

Keys fall short as Kinston beats Frederick 3-1 in Game 1

FREDERICK, Md. - Last night, Single-A Frederick used solid starting pitching and stellar defense to beat Potomac in the fifth and deciding game of a first-round playoff series. But both were missing tonight and Frederick’s offense struggled as well as the Keys lost to Kinston 3-1 in Game 1 of the Mills Cup championship series here at Harry Grove Stadium. Kinston scored once in the

Kinston has a 3-1 lead in the fourth at Frederick (updated)

FREDERICK, Md. - The Single-A Frederick Keys trail the Kinston Indians 3-1 in the last of the fourth of Game 1 of the Mills Cup finals. Kinston’s Jesus Aguilar led off the top of the fourth with a solo homer to left off Nick Haughian to give the Indians the 2-1 edge. The next batter, Tyler Cannon, doubled to right. He would score on a

Pregame notes and quotes from Frederick

FREDERICK, Md. - Here are some notes on the Single-A Frederick Keys as they begin the Carolina League championship series here tonight, hosting Kinston. First baseman Aaron Baker, who joined the Orioles after his July 30 trade from Pittsburgh in the Derrek Lee deal, said the Keys are a close team with very good chemistry. Baker hit a big two-run homer last night against Single-A

Frederick’s lineup for Game 1 of the championship series

FREDERICK, Md. - The Single-A Frederick Keys didn’t have long to celebrate their Game 5 win in the playoffs last night against Potomac. Tonight, they host the Kinston Indians in Game 1 of the Mills Cup championship series, looking for their first title since 2007. Frederick will start left-hander Nick Haughian tonight in game one. A ninth-round pick in 2008, the 24-year-old Haughian went 8-7

Frederick Keys have used an old O’s formula to close in on a championship

The 2011 Frederick Keys are a team the Orioles of yesteryear would like. They win thanks to pitching and defense and the occasional clutch homer. Single-A Frederick used that formula to post the best record in the Carolina League this year at 80-59 and used it again to beat Potomac in a five-game first-round playoff series, winning Game 5 last night. The Keys have reached

Pettit pitches Frederick to Game 5 win over Potomac

FREDERICK, Md. - Jake Pettit pitched Frederick to a win in Game 1 of this playoff series and the lefty came up big tonight in Game 5 as well. Pettit gave up just three hits and one run over six innings, just as he did in game one, to pitch Frederick to a 3-2 win over Potomac in the fifth and deciding game of this

With a pair of first-inning homers, Keys get the jump on Potomac (updated)

FREDERICK, Md. - The Frederick Keys have jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first inning of Game 5 of their playoff series with Potomac here at Harry Grove Stadium. After Dale Mollenhauer led off the last of the first with a foul out, Jonathan Schoop drilled a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left center to put Frederick ahead 1-0. Schoop is now

Orlando Gomez on his Game 5 pitching decision

FREDERICK, Md. - As Frederick plays host to Potomac tonight in the deciding game of this series, it is the first Game 5 of a playoff series in Frederick since 1990, the first year the Keys played here at Harry Grove Stadium. Frederick defeated Kinston and Jim Thome 7-5 that night to win the Carolina League championship. A win tonight by the Keys and they

Keys close to finalizing a 10-year agreement with the city of Frederick

FREDERICK, Md. - After a summer of some uncertainty about the future of pro baseball in Frederick, the Keys are about to finalize a new 10-year lease to remain at Harry Grove Stadium through the 2021 season. For a while earlier this year, the independent Atlantic League tried to get a deal with the city of Frederick and, in effect, push the Keys out of

The starting lineups for Game 5 in Frederick

FREDERICK, Md. - Lefty Jake Pettit has made 11 starts this season for the Single-A Frederick Keys, including one in the playoffs, and Frederick is 10-1 in those starts. The Keys hope that winning trend continues tonight when Pettit pitches the fifth and deciding game against Potomac in the Carolina League playoffs. Tonight’s winner will advance to host Kinston tomorrow night in Game 1 of

Catcher Brian Ward emerged as a real key for Frederick (updated with tonight’s starters)

The Single-A Frederick Keys will host Potomac tonight in the fifth and deciding game of their playoff series. The Keys are one win from the Carolina League championship series. There are many reasons why the Keys set a club record with 80 regular season wins and now are a win away from advancing in the playoffs. One somewhat unheralded player that should get some of

Toronto rallies in seventh to take game and series from the Orioles

This time the Orioles let the lead get away in the seventh inning. Trailing 5-3 heading to the last of the seventh, Toronto scored three runs then to post a come-from-behind 6-5 win over the Orioles. Buck Showalter talks to Jim Hunter about the O’s 6-5 loss in Toronto Toronto took the series two wins to one and wins the season series, 12-6 against the

Potomac rallies and beats Frederick to force Game 5

The Frederick Keys took a 1-0 lead to the eighth inning this afternoon at Potomac. Six outs from advancing to the Carolina League championship series, the Keys could not maintain the shutout. Potomac came up with six runs in the last of the eighth to post a 6-1 victory that evens the best-of-five series at two wins and sends the clubs back to Frederick Monday

The bullpen recently

Even with how yesterday’s game ended, the Orioles’ bullpen has posted an ERA of 0.83 over the last five games, allowing just two runs over the last 21 2/3 innings. Here is the rundown: Tuesday at NYY: 1.1 IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K Wednesday at NYY: 6IP, 4H, 0R, 2BB, 6K Thursday vs. NYY: 6IP, 0H, 0R, 1BB, 8K Friday at Tor: 2IP, 0H, 0R,

It looks like the Orioles need to find a new closer

Probably the most disappointing thing about the struggles of Kevin Gregg this year - beyond just blowing games that should be Orioles wins - is how much he contributes to his own demise. If he were getting crushed on the mound or giving up homers with the game on the line that would be one thing. But two of the three runners that reached yesterday

Kevin Gregg gives up two in the ninth as Jays stun Orioles (Frederick wins)

What a way for the Orioles to end a run of 21 2/3 straight scoreless innings by their bullpen. Kevin Gregg suffered his seventh blown save of the year as Toronto scored twice in the last of the ninth to win 5-4. After Clay Rapada began the last of the ninth with a strikeout, Gregg came on and got a second strikeout. There were two

It’s refreshing to see some speed on the Orioles right now

In baseball, they say speed doesn’t go into a slump, and it’s good to see the Orioles using some speed today and in recent games with callups like Matt Angle and Kyle Hudson. Hudson dropped a beautiful bunt toward third base and made second on a throwing error in the second inning this afternoon. Pedro Florimon was called out when he followed with another bunt.

Season winding down, Machado reflects on his first full year in pro ball

As his first full season as a pro ballplayer winds down, Manny Machado feels pretty good about how it has gone. He began the year as an 18-year-old in the South Atlantic League. Now, five months later, he’ll end it as a 19-year-old in the Carolina League. In between, the Orioles’ 2010 first-round pick got off to a blazing hot start at the plate, dealt

Guthrie pitches a gem as O’s take series opener at Toronto

Reversing a recent stretch where he had not pitched that well, Jeremy Guthrie shut down the Toronto Blue Jays tonight in the Orioles 2-0 win at Rogers Centre in game one of the three-game weekend series. Guthrie had given up seven runs in his last start against Tampa Bay and worked to an ERA of 5.50 in his last six starts. But tonight, he pitched

Stats and notes as O’s and Jays begin a weekend series

Here are a couple of notes as the Orioles and Blue Jays begin a weekend series tonight. * The Orioles went 3-15 against Toronto last year and this season are 5-10. The Orioles have lost 30 of the last 42 games between the teams. * It’s been a mixed bag in recent games for Orioles’ pitching. The bullpen has put together three straight games without

Guthrie’s musical “intervention”

Check out this pretty funny video with Jeremy Guthrie and the guys at that MLB Fan Cave in New York. Guthrie is known to be a fan of Justin Bieber and boy bands and the guys in New York wanted to discuss that with him. Click here for that.

Orioles’ instructional league roster includes Bundy, Machado

The Orioles’ last two first-round draft picks, pitcher Dylan Bundy and shortstop Manny Machado, head the list of young players on the O’s instructional league roster. The instructional league workouts in Sarasota, Fla., begin Sept.15 and run through Oct. 8. Several O’s minor league coaches and instructors will be on hand and Mike Bordick will oversee the workouts and serve as manager when the Orioles’

Robert Andino on his walk-off hit and the win over New York

For the second day in a row, the Orioles enjoyed an extra-inning win against the Yankees, winning today 5-4 in the 10th on Robert Andino’s RBI single. “It is always good to have a walk-off game, especially against the Yankees,” Andino said. “We battled the whole game and pitching kept us in it. To walk them off like that, everybody wants to beat the Yankees.”

Andino’s RBI single gives the Orioles a walk-off win in the 10th

On a day when their starter struggled and they fell behind early, the Orioles still got to celebrate a walk-off win over the Yankees. Robert Andino, whose RBI single tied the game 4-4 in the eighth, won it with an RBI single down the third-base line with one out in the 10th for the 5-4 victory. His hit scored Nolan Reimold, who reached on an

Rick Zagone takes the mound tonight for Frederick in Game 2

In Game 2 of the Carolina League playoffs tonight in Frederick, lefty Rick Zagone will take the mound trying to pitch the Keys to a 2-0 edge in the best-of-five series with Potomac. Zagone, the Orioles’ sixth-round pick in 2008, spent a lot of this season with Double-A Bowie, going 4-6 with a 4.84 ERA over 19 games and 16 starts. He went 4-2 with

Evaluating Chris Davis at bat

The Orioles were hoping to have a better picture of what Chris Davis could do by this point, but his right shoulder injury and recent trip to the disabled list slowed their evaluation process. “No, I haven’t seen enough of him yet,” hitting coach Jim Presley said this morning of his evaluation of Davis as a hitter. “Injuries happen. Nothing we can do about it.

Pettit, Abreu and Ward lead Frederick to Game 1 win

FREDERICK, Md. - The Single-A Frederick Keys began the Carolina League playoffs with a win last night as they seek the fourth title in their 23-year history. The Keys beat Potomac 5-1 in Game 1 of a best-of-five series in a contest that was shortened by rain to six innings. Frederick needs two more wins to reach the Mills Cup championship series. Miguel Abreu drove

The Frederick Keys beat Potomac in game one of the playoffs

FREDERICK, Md. - The Single-A Frederick Keys took advantage of a defensive mistake by Potomac and another good start from Jake Pettit to beat the Nationals 5-1 tonight in a game shortened to six innings by rain. The Keys take a one game to none lead in the best-of-five Carolina League semi-final series and host Game Two Thursday at 7 p.m. Pettit, who entered with

Potomac takes early lead on Keys (updated, Keys lead, game now delayed)

FREDERICK, Md. - After three innings of Game 1 of the Carolina League playoffs, the Potomac Nationals lead the Single-A Frederick Keys 1-0 at Harry Grove Stadium. After a scoreless first inning, Potomac first baseman Steven Souza hit a solo homer to left in the second to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead. It was his 12th homer of the year. Keys starter Jake Pettit,

Checking in with Frederick manager Orlando Gomez

FREDERICK, Md. - In baseball, good pitching and defense will carry you a long way. That has been a successful formula for the Single-A Frederick Keys this year, who host Potomac tonight in Game One of the Carolina League playoffs. While Frederick’s offense ranks near the bottom of the league in a few categories, the Keys’ team ERA ranks first at 3.22 and Frederick is

Tonight’s starting lineup as Frederick begins the playoffs

FREDERICK, Md.- Tonight’s scheduled playoff game between the Single-A Frederick Keys and the Potomac Nationals remains very much on. The rain has just about stopped as of just before 4 p.m. at Harry Grove Stadium and right now the tarp is not on the field. Frederick is set to begin its best-of-five Carolina League semifinal series against Potomac. The same teams met in the semifinals

The Matusz mystery

I can’t think of a player that has had a bigger swing in his performance from very good to very bad quite as dramatically as Brian Matusz. Over his last eight starts last year, he went 6-0 with a 1.57 ERA. In 10 starts this year, he is 1-7 with a 9.84 ERA. His ERA is 11.42 over his past four starts since he returned

After long delay, O’s fall to New York in water-logged game

In a game that began at 11:08 p.m. after a four-hour plus rain delay and ended at 2:15 a.m., the Yankees beat the Orioles 5-3 to take the first two games of this series. The game was played in a steady rain and the grounds crew had to enter the field often in the later innings to work on the wet surface. The Orioles fell

Wieters bat remains hot tonight/this morning

Proving he can hit even at 1 a.m. Matt Wieters two-run homer in the top of the sixth tied this game at 2-2. The game that began at 11:08 p.m. continues to be played in a rainstorm at Yankee Stadium. Wieters is 2-for-3 tonight. Over his last 15 games, he is batting .382 (21-for-55) with six homers, five doubles and 17 RBIs. He has now

Wait ... this is still East Coast baseball, right?

If an East Coast baseball game starts at 11 p.m. will anyone still be up to watch it? Or blog about it? Is this really in the best interests of the fans? You know the answer to that, so don’t even worry about answering that one. Hey, got to protect the integrity of the pennant face, even if it comes at the expense of everyone’s

Frederick gets set for the start of the playoffs

Even though they lost eight of their last 10 regular season games, the Single-A Frederick Keys are back in the playoffs and will host Potomac tomorrow night in Game 1 of a best-of-five league semifinal series. Frederick finished with the best record in the Carolina League at 80-59 and that is also Frederick’s best record ever. The Keys are in the playoffs for the fifth

Bowie notes on Hoes, Bascom and Florimon

It was kind of a strange day, the final day of the regular season in the Double-A Eastern League. Bowie entered Monday a half-game behind Richmond for a playoff berth. Richmond took the lead in its game, 2-1 at Altoona with an eighth-inning homer that was followed by a rain delay. At that point, observers in the press box at Bowie figured if the game

In Bowie, Davis on rejoining the O’s and Florimon on his callup

BOWIE, Md. - The Orioles confirmed after today’s game that Chris Davis will come off the disabled list and rejoin the team tomorrow in New York. After playing two injury rehabilitation games at Double-A Bowie, Davis said his strained right shoulder is doing very well. “I feel great,” Davis said after going 1-for-3 for the Baysox today and 2-for-3 Sunday. “I think today was the

Richmond wins and Bowie is eliminated from playoff race

BOWIE, Md.- Even though the Double-A Baysox are winning here against Erie by a 2-1 score, the word has come in from Altoona that the game there has been called by rain and Richmond wins 2-1 in eight innings. The Richmond win sends the Flying Squirrels to the Eastern League playoffs and eliminates Bowie. Wes Hodges hit a homer for Richmond in the top of

Baysox get early lead on Erie

BOWIE, Md. - Facing a must-win situation today to have a chance to get in the playoffs, the Double-A Bowie Baysox took a 2-0 lead in the last of the first this afternoon versus Erie. After right-hander Tim Bascom retired Erie with a 1-2-3 top of the first, Bowie came up with two runs on two hits in the home half. Xavier Avery led off

Today’s Bowie Baysox lineup and Frederick notes

BOWIE, Md.- Here is today’s starting lineup for the Double-A Bowie Baysox as they try to make the playoffs on the final day of the regular season. Bowie hosts Erie at Prince George’s Stadium at 2 p.m. Chris Davis, in his second game on an injury rehab assignment, will start at third base and is batting third. He went 2-for-3 for Bowie on Sunday. CF

Jim Johnson: Will it be the rotation or the ‘pen?

We keep hearing talk that Jim Johnson could get some starting pitching assignments before this season ends, but we haven’t seen that yet. Johnson clearly seems capable of handling that role. He has three very good pitches with his sinking fastball, curve and changeup. He may have the best changeup on the team. And Johnson’s power sinker has produced a ratio of 2.15 groundouts to

Bowie wins to keep its flickering playoff hopes alive (updated)

Before I mention the Bowie Baysox’s key win today, I should point out that in the last day or two, whatever I write about, the opposite seems to happen. On Saturday morning, I pointed out the Orioles pitching staff had an ERA of 1.60 leading the O’s to a 6-1 record this year at Tropicana Field. Then they went out and gave up 14 runs

Jones’ bat cools off and Bowie’s playoff chances takes a big hit

That great second half Adam Jones was having has been slightly derailed in recent games. Jones picked up a hit in last night’s game against Tampa, but is just 1-for-18 over his last five games and is batting .083 (3-for-36) over his last 11 games without a homer and just two RBIs. This has all dropped Jones’ batting average from .299 to .284. Maybe Jones

Markakis homers, but Simon struggles as Rays even series with victory

Coming into tonight’s game the Orioles had given up just 11 runs to Tampa Bay in seven games this year at Tropicana Field. Tonight, B.J. Upton drove in five runs by himself. Upton’s big night - he had a two-run double and three-run double - led Tampa Bay to a 6-3 win over the Orioles on Saturday night. The loss was the O’s 82nd and

Looking at the amazing performance this year by Orioles pitching at the Trop

The Orioles have put some together some rather stunning pitching stats this season at Tropicana Field. It is the place where they gave up just three runs total in sweeping a three-game, season-opening series. It is a place where they are 6-1 this year and have outscored the Rays there 30-11. The Orioles’ team ERA at the Trop is 1.60 on the season and the

Any room left on the Britton bandwagon?

Just about a month ago, some Orioles fans were jumping off the Zach Britton bandwagon. Now some of the same fans are probably looking to get back on. Britton began this year pitching very well and now it seems he is ending his season in the same fashion. Thanks to that seventh-inning rally Friday night, the Orioles’ young gun lefty outdueled one of the top

Britton outduels Price and O’s come out on top at the Trop

Orioles fans can dream of a future when a pitcher like Zach Britton goes toe to toe with Tampa Bay ace David Price and the Orioles escape with the victory. They can dream of it or just go back and watch the tape of tonight’s game. Britton settled down after giving up two runs in the first inning and J.J. Hardy came up with a

It could be hard to buy runs tonight against Price

The Orioles scored six runs Thursday against Toronto. They may not get to that total tonight facing Tampa’s David Price. He is a pitcher on a roll right now. Price has an ERA of 1.45 over his last four starts and has allowed a batting average of just .173 in those starts. He went 3-2 with an ERA of 2.13 in six August starts. He

Frederick Keys gear up for playoffs and other minor league notes

With four games to go, the Single-A Frederick Keys are putting the finishing touches on an excellent regular season and gearing up for the Carolina League playoffs. At 79-56, the Keys have the best record in the league despite losing five of the last six games. Frederick won the first half and leads the second half by a half-game over Potomac at 38-28. The Keys

Trying to figure out how Strop got here

I appreciated the many responses I got on Twitter yesterday when I tweeted my confusion over the Orioles’ acquisition of right-handed pitcher Pedro Strop. It was announced that he was claimed on waivers but also some reports said he was claimed as the player to be named later in the deal that sent Mike Gonzalez to Texas. I was confused about that. If he was

Eyre on the homer he gave up and Jones on the Toronto series

Orioles reliever Willie Eyre gave up the two-run homer to Brett Lawrie that broke a 6-6 tie in the eighth inning today and lifted Toronto to an 8-6 win over the Orioles. Eyre said it was a pitch that hit its intended spot, but still went out of the ballpark. Willie Eyre talks about giving up the home run to Brett Lawrie in the eighth

Markakis comments on the end of long series hitting streak

In losing last night, two Orioles hitting streaks ended, a 13-gamer by J.J. Hardy and a 10-game streak by Mark Reynolds. In losing today, Nick Markakis went hitless for the third game in a row in this series and his 182-series hitting streak ended as he went 0-for-3 with two walks today and 0-for-8 with four walks in this series. Nick Markakis discusses his 182-series

Blue Jays slug their way to another win in series finale

After scoring five runs in the first game of this series but losing, the Toronto Blue Jays made sure they had enough runs to win the series final two games. After scoring 13 runs on 20 hits last night, this afternoon Toronto hammered its way to an 8-6 win over the Orioles. Brett Lawrie’s two-run homer in the eighth off Willie Eyre broke a 6-6

Some mid-game notes from Camden Yards

In an eight-game stretch through Tuesday night’s game, Orioles starting pitchers had worked to an ERA of 3.09 with six quality starts. But Jo-Jo Reyes gave up eight runs over 2 2/3 last night and Tommy Hunter has allowed four today in the first four innings. Hunter has not been very impressive so far as an Oriole. Coming into today his ERA was 5.87 with

VandenHurk returns to Orioles after learning experience at Triple-A

It’s not often you hear a player with major league experience say going back to Triple-A was a good move for them, but pitcher Rick VandenHurk of the Orioles feels that way. VandenHurk was designated for assignment and removed from the 40-man roster late in spring training. He has spent all year with Triple-A Norfolk and rejoined the O’s today as a September call-up. VandenHurk

A lull in the offense and some minor league news and notes

Last night’s 13-0 blowout loss to Toronto was the seventh time this year the Orioles were shut out. They were blanked four times before the All-Star break and now three times in the second half. For a while there, the Orioles’ bats seemed to be picking up, but now the club has been held to three runs or less in four of its last five

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