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SPORTS
Peter Schmuck and The Schmuck Stops Here | October 11, 2014
If the soggy opener of the American League Championship Series proved anything, it is that there is no sense in trying to generalize about two teams that have spent this postseason defying baseball logic. The Kansas City Royals are supposed to be the team that doesn't hit for power, so they jumped out in front in Game 1 on a home run by a guy, Alcides Escobar, who had three home runs in the regular season and won the game on extra-inning blasts by Alex Gordon and  Mike Moustakas .  They are known for their speed but scored eight runs Friday night without stealing a single base.
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SPORTS
By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | October 11, 2014
The Orioles starting rotation had a 3.61 ERA in the regular season, the fifth-best mark in the American League. But in the postseason, the club's starters have struggled. Right-hander Bud Norris lasted just 4 1/3 innings in Saturday's Game 2 of the American League Championship Series, allowing four runs and nine hits. Norris struck out three batters and walked none. In five postseason games, four of the five Orioles starters have failed to go more than five innings. The exception was Norris' ALDS Game 3 outing, in which he tossed 6 1/3 shutout innings against the Detroit Tigers, allowing just two hits with six strikeouts and two walks.
SPORTS
By Jon Meoli and The Baltimore Sun | October 11, 2014
Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost, who was Orioles designated hitter Nelson Cruz's first manager with the Milwaukee Brewers, said the slugger has surpassed even Yost's high expectations for him since their time together in 2005. “I loved Nelson Cruz when he was there,” Yost said. “Nelly was right on the verge of becoming a special player at that time -- still struggling to make contact, but when he did make contact, it was loud contact. But you could tell down the road that he was going to be a big-time power hitter.” The Brewers, who Yost managed from 2003 to 2008, acquired Cruz from the Oakland Athletics in December 2004.
SPORTS
Peter Schmuck and The Schmuck Stops Here | October 11, 2014
There is only one hook left for the Orioles to hang their World Series hopes on, and it certainly isn't history. They have dug themselves a hole in the American League Championship Series that no team has ever climbed out of, so they'll have to dig deep into their own team chemistry to pull out this best-of-seven playoff after losing the first two games at home. The Orioles have been known for their resiliency throughout the Buck Showalter era. They have bounced back from all manner of adversity, especially during this unlikely AL East championship season, and they will have to do that over the next several days in Kansas City just to force the series back to Camden Yards.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley and The Baltimore Sun | October 11, 2014
A painting of a confident-looking bulldog wearing a Baltimore Orioles baseball cap propped outside the artist Robert McClintock's studio bears a caption reading, "How 'bout dem O's, hon!" The artist Tom Matarazzo's hand-painted screens of the Orioles Bird, with jauntily tipped cap and grinning beak, have never been more in demand than they are this month. Steve Mull's colored-marker drawing of an Orioles team jersey, mitt and a pair of steamed crabs evokes such strong associations with the city that you can practically taste the Old Bay seasoning on those crustaceans.
SPORTS
By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | October 11, 2014
Orioles manager Buck Showalter isn't announcing his starters for Monday and Tuesday yet. But assuming neither one is needed out of the bullpen Saturday, left-hander Wei-Yin Chen will start Game 3 and right-hander Miguel Gonzalez will pitch Game 4 of the American League Championship Series against the Kansas City Royals. Right-hander Bud Norris gets the nod for Game 2, partially because Chen has fared much better against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium than at home -- he has a 4.17 ERA in six starts overall, but a 2.84 ERA in two starts in Kansas City.
SPORTS
By Don Markus and The Baltimore Sun | October 9, 2014
If the circumstances were different, Matt Wieters might have been surrounded by reporters during Thursday's media availability at Camden Yards. As his Orioles teammates faced cameras and questions, the injured catcher faced the reality of sitting out the team's first American League Championship Series in 17 years. Wieters, who hasn't played since early May and underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in June, said the 2014 playoffs are the most significant games that he has missed since he had to sit out a summer All-Star game as a 13-year-old in Goose Creek, S.C. “It's difficult in the aspect that you want to be out there with your guys, you want to be out there on the battlefield playing, but at the same time, the way the guys have played have really made it easier for me,” Wieters said.
SPORTS
By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | October 9, 2014
There are more similarities between the Orioles and their American League Championship Series opponent, the Kansas City Royals, than not - they both have solid pitching, stellar bullpens and play exemplary defense - but the way they score runs is completely different. The Orioles led the major leagues with 211 home runs in the regular season, 25 more than the next-highest club, while the Royals were last with just 95. But when it comes to stolen bases, the teams rank the exact opposite, with the Royals leading the majors with 153 and the Orioles ranking last with 44. Over the course of the season, Orioles players have often said they never feel out of any game because they know they can change it with one swing of the bat. And one only needs to look at the AL wild-card game - in which Kansas City stole seven bases and erased a four-run, sixth-inning lead on their way to beating the Oakland Athletics - to see how they've made speed an X-factor.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | October 9, 2014
One of the things I like about baseball - and there are a lot of things to like, especially when the Orioles reach the American League Championship Series - is the way it marks time. You don't have to be a stats freak to remember the milestones. When your team is alive in October, the year of that happy development registers forever. In the Barry Levinson-directed film adaptation of Bernard Malamud's "The Natural," the fictional slugger Roy Hobbs shatters the glass clock in center field with a line-drive home run. That is to say: Baseball will never be ruled by time.
SPORTS
By Childs Walker and The Baltimore Sun | October 9, 2014
Cal Ripken Jr. remembers well the pleasures of playing in Kansas City the last time the Royals were contenders - the smart, respectful fans who adored their team but would also applaud an opponent's standout catch. "Playing in Kansas City was a lot like playing in Baltimore," the Orioles great said Thursday as his former club prepared to play the Royals in the American League Championship Series. It's hard to imagine two franchises or two fan bases better equipped to understand one another's journeys.
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