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Baltimore Orioles Winning Despite Nelson Cruz and Chris Davis Extended Slumps

July 23rd, 2014 at 8:51 AM
By Josh Michael

Nelson Cruz has been arguably the biggest bargain of the 2013-14 off season as the Baltimore Orioles All Star is a legitimate American League MVP candidate after signing a one year, $8 million deal with the Birds this off season. Chris Davis finished third in AL MVP voting in 2013 and both he and Cruz have experienced an extended slump recently and the Orioles are still managing to win despite it.

'Adam Jones, Nelson Cruz, Chris Davis' photo (c) 2014, Keith Allison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Over his last 22 games, Cruz has hit just .233 with four home runs, 10 RBI, and eight extra base hits and has seen his season average drop all the way to .279 after hitting over .300 for a majority of the beginning of the season. Do not get us wrong, Cruz has been the most feared bat in the Orioles lineup for the majority of the season and it is hard to imagine where this team would be without him this season.

Davis has not had near the season that most expected from him as he has struggled all season at the plate, but over the same stretch of Cruz's slump, Davis has hit .135 with three home runs, 10 RBI and just four total extra base hits in 21 games played. He has also struck out 34 times in those 21 games.

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Manny Machado Day-to-day with Back Spasms After Late Scratch Tuesday Night

July 23rd, 2014 at 7:13 AM
By Josh Michael

Manny Machado has been labeled day-to-day with lower back spasms after being a very late scratch for the Baltimore Orioles prior to Tuesday Night's 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.

'Manny Machado' photo (c) 2013, Keith Allison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Just prior to Manager Buck Showalter taking the lineup card out to home plate, Machado informed him he could not go.

“He walked over to me and said, ‘Skip, I don’t think I can go,’” Showalter said to Baltimore Sun's Eduardo Encina. “And I looked and said, ‘Are you serious?’ We were ready to take out the lineup card. Talk about pressure to come up with a lineup.”

Machado wasn't too thrilled about having to take himself out of the lineup.

“It took a lot for me [to not play]. I was out there, and tried running more sprints to see if it was going to go away. But it kept getting tighter and tighter. I really didn't want to, but it was best for the team. In the situation I was at, I wasn't going to be able to be an elite player and help the team win. It was a better situation for me and the team,” Machado told Encina and reporters.

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Miguel Gonzalez Arm, Three-run Sixth Propel Baltimore Orioles to 4-2 Victory and Series Win

July 23rd, 2014 at 6:57 AM
By Josh Michael

The Baltimore Orioles guaranteed themselves a series win over the Los Angeles Angels with their second straight 4-2 victory over the halos on Tuesday Night thanks to a fine start from Miguel Gonzalez and a three run sixth inning.

'Jonathan Schoop' photo (c) 2014, Keith Allison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

With the game still scoreless in the top of the sixth, Chris Davis found himself at the plate with two outs and two strikes on him and he proceeded to get an 'excuse me' hit off the end of the bat to extend the inning. JJ Hardy took advantage as he followed with a RBI double that scored a hustling Davis to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead. The fun was not over yet, as Jonathan Schoop delivered a two run bomb into the rocks to give the Birds a 3-0 lead.

Hardy would add a second RBI double to his stat line in the eighth when he drove in Nelson Cruz for what turned out to be a big insurance run.

Hardy and Schoop each went 2-4 with two RBI, while Cruz, Davis and Caleb Joseph all had one hit on the night to account for the seven total that the O's would garner.

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Do the Baltimore Orioles Need to Acquire a Starting Pitcher? We Don’t Think So

July 22nd, 2014 at 9:26 AM
By Josh Michael

We have been flooded with questions from our readers and followers asking about the Baltimore Orioles trying to acquire a starting pitcher at the deadline, and who they should get. While we do answer the questions as to who may be fits for the rotation, we do not believe that the Orioles need to acquire a starting pitcher.

'Kevin Gausman' photo (c) 2014, Keith Allison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

That stance may not be popular among Orioles fans, but hear us out first.

First off, of the starting pitchers that are legitimate aces or even number twos, and we are talking about David Price, Jon Lester, James Shields, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, only the two Philadelphia Phillies pitchers are legitimate possibilities because neither the Rays or Red Sox would trade their guys within the division and the Royals believe they are still in the race, so they are not going to dump their best pitcher, at least not yet.

Hamels and Lee are both really expensive and would cost top prospects and the Orioles have stayed the course on not including top prospects in trade offers, and we have not heard anything to the contrary regarding that stance. Now it is possible a bunch of mid-level prospects could get the deal done, including guys like Eduardo Rodriguez, Mike Wright, Dariel Alvarez, Buck Britton, Tim Berry and others, but would you want the Orioles to essentially drain their minor league organizations for either Lee or Hamels? We wouldn't.

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Adam Jones Blasts Two, Bud Norris Solid as Baltimore Orioles Down Los Angeles Angels 4-2

July 22nd, 2014 at 6:57 AM
By Josh Michael

After a tough series against the Oakland A's, the Baltimore Orioles rebounded to take game one of their three game set with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4-2 courtesy of two, two run home runs from Adam Jones and a strong start from Bud Norris.

'Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones (10)' photo (c) 2011, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
 

Jones and the Orioles did not wait long to get things going as Nick Markakis led off the game with a single and two batters later, Jones crushed a no-doubter over the left field wall for a two run shot and a 2-0 lead before Norris even took the mound.

Baltimore's bats laid quiet after the first until the sixth, when that man, Mr. Jones came to the plate with two outs and Markakis on second, who doubled two batters prior. Jones' first home run was a no doubter, but the 1-1 pitch he launched over the left center field wall was borderline majestic as it traveled an estimated 443 feet, his longest home run of the season, and more importantly broke a 2-2 tie to give the O's a 4-2 lead, that they would not relinquish.

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