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SPORTS
By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 11, 2014
When the Toronto Blue Jays overtook the New York Yankees for second place earlier this week and then won their game Wednesday night, the Blue Jays guaranteed that the Orioles couldn't capture the American League East crown until Monday at the earliest. That ruined a delicious scenario for the Orioles this weekend, potentially sweeping the Yankees at Camden Yards to clinch their first division title in 17 years. You would have needed a jumbo, battery-charged broom for that one. As it stands, the most the Orioles can do this weekend is eliminate the Yankees from the divisional race, which, for an organization that has been in the deep shadows of the Bronx Bombers for decades, is a solid consolation prize.
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SPORTS
By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 16, 2014
The big news Monday night was that the Orioles won again and have reduced their magic number for clinching the American League East to one over the Toronto Blue Jays. The New York Yankees have been eliminated from the division title hunt. With the Orioles' next win, the champagne corks pop and the club secures its first AL East crown since 1997. The subplot from Monday was perhaps more intriguing. In the fifth inning, veteran infielder Jose Reyes came dashing home on a single and catcher Caleb Joseph attempted to tag him out. Fairly routine play.
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SPORTS
Peter Schmuck | September 13, 2014
While the Orioles deal with the reality that slugger Chris Davis cannot come back this year unless they get past the divisional round of the playoffs, it might be time for Orioles fans to deal with the possibility that he won't be coming back at all. Davis is still under club control for one more season, but even before he was suspended for 25 games for a second violation of baseball's amphetamine policy, you had to wonder whether he would start...
SPORTS
Peter Schmuck | September 16, 2014
It's almost hard to get your arms around. Three years ago, the Orioles were a divisional doormat with a 14-year losing streak and a frustrated fan base that didn't know if the franchise would ever figure out which way was up. Six months ago, they were a projected third-place team - at best - with a one-dimensional offense and a questionable pitching staff. Today, they are American League East champions and they are headed for the postseason with a chance to reach the World Series for the first time since 1983.
SPORTS
By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 12, 2014
With a doubleheader sweep of the New York Yankees at Camden Yards on Friday combined with the Toronto Blue Jays' 1-0 loss at home against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Orioles magic number is five. Five. What that means is if they go just 5-3 in the remaining eight games on this homestand they have clinched their first American League East title since 1997. They don't need anyone else's help so long as they go 5-3. Put it another way. If they win just one of their remaining two against the Yankees this weekend and then beat the Blue Jays two of three from Monday to Wednesday, the Orioles are AL East champs.
SPORTS
By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 11, 2014
The Orioles haven't yet clinched a playoff spot or figured out their seeding for the postseason, but assuming they are playing in October, their first game will be Oct. 2 on TBS. Major League Baseball announced its postseason schedule today, and the playoffs will kick off -- assuming there are no ties -- with the American League wild-card game Sept. 30, with the National League wild-card game the next day, Oct. 1. If the current standings hold, the Orioles will get the No. 2 seed in the AL and will host the first two Division Series games at Camden Yards on Oct. 2 and Oct. 3. They'd then travel for games three and four (if necessary)
SPORTS
By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | September 13, 2014
The Orioles' September surge to the cusp of an American League East championship has been characterized by their strong starting pitching in general, and right-hander Miguel Gonzalez in particular. Gonzalez could tell early on against the New York Yankees that he didn't have his best stuff Saturday afternoon. His fastball command was off, making it difficult to put away opposing hitters. Still, Gonzalez held the Yankees to just three runs over six innings, giving the Orioles their 10th quality start over their past 12 games.
SPORTS
Peter Schmuck | September 12, 2014
The same simple question comes up every time another major league baseball player tests positive for a controlled substance during this era of universal testing, and it's fair to apply it to Orioles slugger Chris Davis. How could anyone be this stupid? The testing protocols are known to every player. The rules are posted in every clubhouse. There are a couple of decades of steroid scandal in the rear-view mirror and the performance-enhancing drug era is littered with players who have endangered their team's playoff chances by either failing to clear a substance with the team's medical staff or taking the chance that they won't be caught.
SPORTS
By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 13, 2014
When Nelson Cruz was first introduced as an Oriole at a February news conference in Sarasota, Fla., eight of his new teammates attended to show support. It meant the world to Cruz, who was coming off a 2013 season in which he was suspended 50 games for his involvement in the Biogenesis performance-enhancing-drug scandal. One of those eight was Chris Davis, the club's 2013 Most Valuable Oriole and an outspoken opponent of PED users. Seven months later, Davis has been suspended 25 games for testing positive for the amphetamine Adderall.
SPORTS
By Eduardo A. Encina, The Baltimore Sun | March 30, 2014
Even though the Orioles have made plans to honor late public relations director Monica Barlow as part of a pregame ceremony on Opening Day, players would like to have another way to remember Barlow on the field throughout the season. That's not the easiest thing to do, because Major League Baseball has strict uniform regulations that prevent players from making alterations to uniforms on their own. The Orioles will honor Barlow - as well as team investor and Baltimore-born novelist Tom Clancy, former Gold Glove outfielder Paul Blair and 10 other members of the Orioles family who passed away since last Opening Day - during a pregame video tribute Monday before the Orioles play their season opener against the Boston Red Sox. Barlow died Feb. 28 after a nearly four-and-a-half - year battle with lung cancer at age 36. But Orioles first baseman Chris Davis said this past week that Barlow meant so much to them as players that they have discussed ways to carry her memory onto the field with them during every game.
SPORTS
By Childs Walker and The Baltimore Sun | September 16, 2014
The Orioles clinching a division title had been inevitable for weeks. But for fans who'd waited 17 years to reclaim bragging rights in the American League East, witnessing the actual moment at Camden Yards Tuesday night seemed essential. A sweet moment it was, with orange and white confetti raining from the upper deck as the Orioles formed an exultant mob on the field after beating the Toronto Blue Jays, 8-2, to seize their first divisional title since 1997. “This was awesome.
SPORTS
By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 16, 2014
When the Orioles clinch their first division title in 17 years, outfielder Delmon Young will be in the middle of another postseason celebration - his sixth in six years with four different teams. “I've been fortunate enough to be on teams where you have good players, good managers, a good front office, good young players that come up and a knack for winning,” said Young, who has batted .288 with seven homers in 77 games with the Orioles through Monday. Heading into this season, the Cleveland Indians' Nick Swisher had the longest playoff streak among active players with six consecutive from 2008 to 2013, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
SPORTS
By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | September 16, 2014
Mike Soukup was driving southbound on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway on Monday afternoon when he saw a stream of brake lights and then a pillar of smoke. He then saw a pickup truck sideways on its passenger side. One person had been ejected from the vehicle, he said, and another was pinned underneath the truck. He noticed a pool of gasoline forming on the pavement. Soukup, 55, pulled over where he saw a man waving at him in the middle of the highway to come help. He began helping the man try to push the truck back on its wheels.
SPORTS
By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 16, 2014
Somehow, some way, the Orioles are the 2014 American League East champions. With the embattled Ubaldo Jimenez going five innings for the victory and scrap-heap addition Jimmy Paredes hitting a solo homer and cut-and-re-signed first baseman Steve Pearce smashing a three-run blast, the Orioles won Tuesday night's clincher, 8-2, over the Toronto Blue Jays the way they've done it all year. Power, good pitching and a pass-the-baton offense - which included a three-run triple by scorching newcomer Alejandro De Aza in the seventh to put the game and title out of reach.
NEWS
By Matthew Hay Brown and The Baltimore Sun | September 15, 2014
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was discharged from the University of Maryland Medical Center Sunday, where she had been since experiencing chest pains and shortness of breath Saturday night at the Star-Spangled Spectacular concert at Fort McHenry. Doctors performed what the mayor's aides described as "a series of tests to assess her medical condition" before releasing her. She spent less than 24 hours at the hospital and has cancelled her public appearances for Monday. After her release, Rawlings-Blake said she had pushed herself "a bit too hard" amid the celebrations to mark the bicentennial of the Battle of Baltimore and the creation of the Star-Spangled Banner.
SPORTS
By Eduardo A. Encina and Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 15, 2014
Orioles manager Buck Showalter fidgeted in his chair, admitting he was uncomfortable about the possibility of tying his mentor, Billy Martin, on the all-time managerial wins list. Monday night's 5-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays was the 1,253rd of Showalter's career, tying Martin for 36th place in baseball history. Showalter said he didn't know he was drawing close to Martin, who managed the New York Yankees when Showalter was an up-and-coming minor league manager in the Yankees system, until his daughter, Allie, informed him recently.
SPORTS
By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 14, 2014
Orioles manager Buck Showalter has been shuffling his pitching staff all season. If he can find a way to get a starter some rest or bring an extra pitcher into the bullpen for a day or two, he'll do it. The obvious result is that his relievers, for the most part, have maintained their health while pitching effectively. Heading into Saturday's game against the New York Yankees, Orioles relievers had the fourth-best ERA in the American League and sixth-most innings pitched. Only closer Zach Britton was among the league's top 10 in appearances, with 66. Darren O'Day was tied for 25th, with 62, and neither pitched in Saturday's 3-2 loss.
SPORTS
By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 9, 2014
The Orioles believe they received good news Tuesday as an MRI on shortstop J.J. Hardy's lower back showed no changes. The club believes he could return to the starting lineup as early as Friday. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Hardy met with team orthopedist Dr. Michael Jacobs on Tuesday afternoon and received a cortisone shot in the sacroiliac joint in his lower back. It's similar to what Hardy underwent in April, which alleviated a much more intense pain in his back at that time.
SPORTS
By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 15, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons thought his team had a real chance to make a move on the Orioles in the American League East race coming back from the All-Star break. The Blue Jays were four games out of first place, but they were facing three struggling teams, two at home, while the Orioles had to start on the West Coast with the Oakland Athletics, the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners. The Orioles went 6-4 on that trip, won five of their next seven games and then took two of three from the Blue Jays in Toronto.
SPORTS
By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | September 15, 2014
All the postseason math - all the talk of magic numbers and scoreboard watching - is now a thing of the past. Just one win now separates the Orioles and their first American League East division title since 1997. Opening up their three-game series with the second-place Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night at Camden Yards, the Orioles' path to the postseason was simple: Win two of the games and punch a ticket to the playoffs. And the Orioles took one humongous step Monday toward winning the division with their 5-2 win over Toronto, giving the club an opportunity to clinch a division title with a win Tuesday.
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