Britton plays catch, ready for bullpen session

Britton plays catch, ready for bullpen session

BALTIMORE -- Orioles closer Zach Britton (left forearm strain) played catch and threw off of flat ground prior to Monday's game, and said he "felt good" about the next step in his progression.

The left-hander was slated to see a hand specialist later in the day, and is scheduled to throw a regular bullpen session Wednesday. Britton was placed on the 10-day disabled list April 16, and the club hasn't said whether he will need a rehab outing.

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Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miley ready to extend hot streak vs. Rays

Miley ready to extend hot streak vs. Rays

Two pitchers hoping to continue the road they are on will square off Tuesday when the Rays face the Orioles in the second game of a three-game series at Camden Yards.

Wade Miley will start for the Orioles, and will be opposed by Erasmo Ramirez.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Machado in middle of 8th-inning tiff

Machado in middle of 8th-inning tiff

BALTIMORE -- Tensions from Friday night between the Orioles and Red Sox spilled over again in the eighth inning of Sunday's 6-2 Boston win as Orioles third baseman Manny Machado was nearly beaned by reliever Matt Barnes.

"I wasn't expecting anything, no," Machado said of the pitch. "I thought I did a good slide [on Friday]. Everyone knows. Everyone saw the replay on that side. That's on them. Whatever happened today, I'm going to keep doing me."

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Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Ben Standig contributed to this story.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bats quiet as O's drop finale

Bats quiet as O's drop finale

BALTIMORE -- Struggling Orioles starter Kevin Gausman was a perfect elixir to a sluggish Boston lineup. The Sox homered three times, including Hanley Ramirez's first of the year, in Sunday afternoon's sweep-avoiding, 6-2 win over Baltimore at Camden Yards.

Boston, which had just two homers total in the previous first five games of its road trip, jumped on Gausman for four runs before he could record an out. Mookie Betts delivered the big three-run blow, with Ramirez following. Mitch Moreland also went deep in the fifth off Gausman, who lasted 5 1/3 innings and saw his season ERA rise to 7.50.

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Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Ben Standig is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fan asks Davis to prom, gets souvenir instead

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Fan asks Davis to prom, gets souvenir instead

O's fan Mia Thomas knew that her favorite team -- and her favorite player, Chris Davis -- had a game the same day as her prom. And yet, she was reminded of the immortal words of Wayne Gretzky (and Michael Scott): "You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take."

So, while taking in Baltimore's 4-2 win over the Red Sox on Saturday night, Thomas decided to shoot her shot anyway. Thomas recruited some friends, brought a sign and asked the question.

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Mancini, Schoop HRs spark big inning, win

Mancini, Schoop HRs spark big inning, win

BALTIMORE -- The first-place Orioles continued to feast on Steven Wright's knuckleball on Saturday, with Trey Mancini and Jonathan Schoop hitting back-to-back homers for the second time this month off the Red Sox righty in a 4-2 series-clinching win.

Baltimore, the team with the best record in baseball, improved to 12-4, while Boston lost back-to-back games for just the second time this season.

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Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Red Sox on Saturday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Aquino impresses in audition, gives O's depth

Aquino impresses in audition, gives O's depth

BALTIMORE -- Jayson Aquino was picked for Saturday's start because of an impressive spring, and as manager Buck Showalter aptly put it, the Orioles needed to see what they had in the young left-hander.

If Saturday is any indication, the O's have another solid starting option. Aquino held Boston to two runs -- both of which came on Jackie Bradley Jr.'s homer -- over six innings in his first career start, picking up the win in the 4-2 victory.

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Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Britton to see hand doc, could throw after that

O's double-checking with specialist, since closer's trouble more related to grip

Britton to see hand doc, could throw after that

BALTIMORE -- Orioles closer Zach Britton will see a hand specialist on Monday, and he could resume throwing after that, as manager Buck Showalter called it the final step for the left-hander in his rehab from a left forearm strain.

Britton's MRI exam on his left elbow and forearm came back with no significant issues on Friday, and the O's want him to see a specialist just so they can avoid having this forearm issue crop up again. Britton's elbow structurally looks great, and the discomfort he was having, which is now gone, is more related to his grip and is why he had trouble finishing his pitches early on this season.

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Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tillman makes second rehab start

Tillman makes second rehab start

BALTIMORE -- Orioles starter Chris Tillman went 3 2/3 innings in his second rehab start on Saturday night, allowing three runs on five hits with three strikeouts against Double-A Harrisburg.

Tillman was originally slated to pitch for the O's Class A Frederick affiliate, but with ominous weather, the team opted to keep him with Double-A Bowie, where Tillman made his first rehab start. It was a smart move as the Frederick game was rained out.

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Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bundy, Machado keep O's rolling vs. Red Sox

Bundy, Machado keep O's rolling vs. Red Sox

BALTIMORE -- Coming off one of their best road trips in recent years, the Orioles kept right on rolling Friday night at Camden Yards. Backed by a terrific seven-plus innings from Dylan Bundy, who is looking more and more like the frontline starter Baltimore badly needs, the O's bested Boston, 2-0, to keep a firm hold atop the American League East.

Baltimore, at 11-4, owns baseball's best record and handed Boston just its second loss in seven games. The third-place Red Sox, who also trail the Yankees, had numerous missed opportunities and went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, including stranding a pair of runners in the eighth.

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Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Red Sox on Friday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Increased cutter use helping Bundy excel

Righty notches 4th consecutive quality start with 7-plus scoreless vs. Red Sox

Increased cutter use helping Bundy excel

BALTIMORE -- There were many moments last season that almost screamed for Dylan Bundy to throw his cutter. But that wasn't the plan.

Because no matter how devastating the extra pitch was to Bundy's arsenal, having the right-hander -- who had Tommy John surgery in 2013 -- healthy enough to throw it for an entire big league season was most important. Nights like Friday showed why, as Bundy turned in his fourth consecutive quality outing, tossing seven-plus scoreless innings in the Orioles' 2-0 win over the Red Sox.

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Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brach delivering in ninth with Britton out

MRI on injured closer's arm reveals no issues as replacement remains perfect

Brach delivering in ninth with Britton out

BALTIMORE -- Brad Brach converted his third save in as many days in Friday's 2-0 win over the Red Sox, as the right-hander has filled in for lefty closer Zach Britton without missing a beat.

Britton, who had an MRI on his elbow/forearm come back with no issues on Friday, was placed on the disabled list on Sunday and will keep progressing along. As for using Brach for the third consecutive day, which is something he typically avoids, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said:

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Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Machado slide leads to tense Sox-O's ending

Pedroia injured in collision with Baltimore 3B, prompting discussion about double-play rule

Machado slide leads to tense Sox-O's ending

BALTIMORE -- The Red Sox missed on a number of good scoring chances on Friday, a big reason the Orioles handed them a 2-0 loss in the opener of a three-game series. After the game, though, the bigger subject of conversation in the Boston clubhouse was that the team nearly lost second baseman Dustin Pedroia. The play in question was, in fact, a primary topic in both clubhouses.

Pedroia hurt his left leg when Manny Machado slid into him as the second baseman was catching a throw at the bag in the eighth inning. The Red Sox needed to help Pedroia off the field after the play, but he said if he feels OK Saturday, he will try to play.

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Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com based in Baltimore. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mountcastle belts 2 in big performance

Mountcastle belts 2 in big performance

No pitcher has been more dominant than Class A Columbia's Merandy Gonzalez to begin the season. That trend continued on Friday night, as the Mets' No. 14 prospect extended his scoreless innings streak to 20 2/3 by tossing seven frames in a win against Lexington.

Gonzalez allowed just three singles and struck out a season-high seven batters en route to his third win in as many starts for the Fireflies. He retired nine consecutive batters at one point before setting down the final seven he faced to finish with 88 pitches (64 strikes).

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hardy's RBI 1B, Miley's 11 K's lift O's in 10

Hardy's RBI 1B, Miley's 11 K's lift O's in 10

CINCINNATI -- J.J. Hardy had two hits, but the one the Orioles needed the most came in the top of the 10th inning. Hardy's RBI single with two outs scored Mark Trumbo for a 2-1 victory over the Reds on Thursday that gave Baltimore two of three games in the series.

Reliever Darren O'Day pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth inning to get the victory, and Brad Brach earned his second save in the bottom of the 10th. Following a two-inning, five-strikeout performance by Reds reliever Raisel Iglesias, Cincinnati summoned Blake Wood for the top of the 10th of a 1-1 game. Trumbo picked up a one-out walk and went to second base on a Jonathan Schoop slow groundout to set up the winning run. Hardy lifted a single to left field, and Trumbo scored well ahead of the throw to the plate and catcher Tucker Barnhart's sweep tag.

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John Fay is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Orioles on Thursday.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

8 Miley: Lefty keeps O's rotation hot with gem

Southpaw follows up Jimenez's 12-K start by fanning 11 Reds in finale

8 Miley: Lefty keeps O's rotation hot with gem

The Orioles left a rainy Cincinnati on Thursday night with a series win, a 6-3 road trip and -- perhaps most importantly -- two fantastic starts from Ubaldo Jimenez and Wade Miley for a Baltimore team in dire need of them.

Miley went eight sensational innings in the O's 2-1, 10-inning win over the Reds on Thursday night, the longest outing by a Baltimore starter this year and one that kept the rotation rolling.

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Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

John Fay contributed to this story.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Knee-dful Things: Davis destroys bat after K

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Knee-dful Things: Davis destroys bat after K

Chris Davis is a large, strong man -- which helps in his ability to hit balls a really long way. That's a positive result. That's good. We like dingers.

But being a man of such a large, strong nature also works in a different way when he strikes out. Like in the bottom of the seventh of Thursday's Reds-Orioles game, when he went down swinging and put his bat on the eternal disabled list.

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O's, Davis avoid quirky DP vs. Reds

O's, Davis avoid quirky DP vs. Reds

CINCINNATI -- For a minute during the fourth inning of a 2-1, 10-inning loss to the Orioles, it looked like the Reds had a unique double play. But, not quite.

With Manny Machado on first base and one out, the Reds employed a right-side shift against lefty-hitting Chris Davis. On a first-pitch fastball from Scott Feldman, Davis sharply lined a ball to third baseman Eugenio Suarez, who was stationed between first and second base.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jimenez finds success in first win of season

Jimenez finds success in first win of season

CINCINNATI -- After Ubaldo Jimenez went 4 1/3 innings and allowed five runs in each of his first two starts, he knew he needed to get better in a hurry.

"There was no doubt I needed a start like this," Jimenez said. "I needed to be there for my team. I was able to do that tonight."

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John Fay is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Orioles on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Petriello

Jones playing deeper in center field

Averaged 309 feet from home in 2016; 324 feet this year

Jones playing deeper in center field

Back in February, the state of Baltimore's outfield defense became a topic of discussion after longtime center fielder Adam Jones and executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette each made their thoughts on the situation known. Jones rightly pointed out that while Mark Trumbo and Seth Smith would help the offense, neither were considered strong outfield defenders. Duquette replied that there were perhaps some things the current outfielders could do to improve their defensive efficiency.

We tried to take all of that together and find some ways the Orioles could improve their outfield defense, ultimately deciding that since it was too late in the offseason to move Jones to a corner or find a starting-caliber defense-first outfielder, the best course of action might be to push the notoriously shallow playing Jones back a little further. Given that Jones is entering his 10th season as the starting center fielder in Baltimore, it's a suggestion that's been floating around for years, but it's never led to on-field changes.

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Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast. He has previously written for ESPN Insider and FanGraphs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brach notches his first save of season

Brach notches his first save of season

CINCINNATI -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter has kept a secret of who would close in Zach Britton's absence -- even from the candidates for the job.

"Buck hadn't said anything about anyone being the closer," right-hander Brad Brach said.

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John Fay is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Orioles on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Schoop backs strong pitching in win

Schoop backs strong pitching in win

CINCINNATI -- Wednesday brought brilliant displays of pitching from both a veteran in Ubaldo Jimenez of the Orioles and a rookie in the Reds' Amir Garrett. It was Jimenez and Baltimore that came away with a 2-0 victory at Great American Ball Park.

Entering with a 10.38 ERA through his first two starts, Jimenez put that behind him in fine fashion with 7 2/3 innings of work and two hits allowed for his first win of 2017. He walked four and struck out three.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

John Fay is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Orioles on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O's call up lefty Aquino, option righty Wilson

O's call up lefty Aquino, option righty Wilson

CINCINNATI -- The Orioles made a roster move Wednesday, recalling left-hander Jayson Aquino from Triple-A Norfolk and optioning right-hander Tyler Wilson to Norfolk.

Wilson, 27, was 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in five games with the Orioles. Aquino, 24, was 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA in two starts for Norfolk.

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John Fay is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Orioles on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gausman looks for answers after tough start

Gausman looks for answers after tough start

CINCINNATI -- Orioles starter Kevin Gausman summarized his outing this way: "Overall today, it was bad command. Bad execution. Getting myself in some holes. It just wasn't good."

Gausman, the 26-year-old right-hander, lasted 2 2/3 innings. He allowed eight runs on eight hits in a 9-3 loss to the Reds at Great American Ball Park. The outing was just one out longer than Gausman's shortest outing in the Majors.

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John Fay is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Orioles on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jones homers, but Orioles fall to Reds

Jones homers, but Orioles fall to Reds

CINCINNATI -- For at least one night, the team with the best record in baseball -- the Orioles -- was knocked down a peg. Led by Adam Duvall's five RBIs, the Reds ambushed Baltimore early and went on to a 9-3 victory on Tuesday at Great American Ball Park.

Bronson Arroyo not only earned his first win of 2017, it was his first victory in nearly three years. Working five innings, he won a big league game for the first time since his final start with the D-backs on June 15, 2014, ahead of Tommy John surgery on his elbow and later, a shoulder surgery. Arroyo allowed three earned runs and five hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

John Fay is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Orioles on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mancini ties MLB rookie home run record

Outfielder has hit seven homers in his first 12 career games

Mancini ties MLB rookie home run record

TORONTO -- If the Orioles ever need help out of an offensive funk they only need to look to Trey Mancini -- for more than one reason.

Playing first base with Chris Davis set as the DH, Mancini went 3-for-5 with two home runs and four RBIs as the O's defeated the Blue Jays, 11-4 on Sunday afternoon.

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Dhiren Mahiban is a contributor to MLB.com based in Toronto and covered the Orioles on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red-hot Orioles power up four times in win

Red-hot Orioles power up four times in win

TORONTO -- The Orioles rolled into Rogers Centre this weekend and made a clear statement that they are a force to be reckoned with in the American League East.

Trey Mancini homered twice while Manny Machado and Craig Gentry each added one of their own in an 11-4 victory over the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon. The Orioles have won five out of six games vs. Toronto this season and have a 6 1/2-game lead over their division rival.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Dhiren Mahiban is a contributor to MLB.com based in Toronto and covered the Orioles on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Mullins makes Pipeline Team of the Week

Mullins makes Pipeline Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances in the Minor Leagues from the previous seven days. Any player on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible.

Welcome back to the MLB Pipeline Prospect Team of the Week. Each week, the Pipeline staff will choose the top performers at each position in the Minor Leagues. This first edition covers a week and a half since the Minor League season began mid-week, giving us a slightly larger sample from which to choose. One new wrinkle in 2017: A reliever of the week will be chosen for the first time.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.