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Chen to start Wednesday, Gonzalez expected in Chicago

While the Orioles remain mum on the future of right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez in the rotation, the club is expected to recall Miguel Gonzalez from the Minor Leagues at some point this weekend in Chicago.

Gonzalez, who was optioned to clear a roster spot for Jimenez to return from the disabled list, will throw a simulated game for Double-A Bowie on Monday that will be around 75 pitches.

[That will] set him up for coming back to us and pitching out of the ‘pen if needed or as a starter if needed,” manager Buck Showalter said of Gonzalez, who he made a priority to speak to on Sunday morning to discuss the plans for the next week.

“We would like for him to pitch Monday so we have Saturday and Sunday as an option with him…I didn’t want him to sit around that long of a period of time and not have an elongated outing. He’s real good at that, too. some guys aren’t good at sim games. He’s real good at getting something out of it.”

Gonzalez, who could be added as early as Tuesday, was originally thought to be a candidate for Wednesday’s start against the White Sox but Showalter said Wei-Yin Chen will stay on turn to start that game. Kevin Gausman, who is pitching Sunday’s series finale in Cleveland, figures to start one of the games at Wrigley Field later this week with the rest of the rotation still TBD.

Jimenez, who would be in line to start one of those games following Thursday’s off day, could be skipped or moved to the bullpen. Showalter reiterated on Sunday that he did not want to specify the plans for Jimenez –who allowed six runs over 4 1/3 innings in Saturday’s loss– and it’s also possible the right-hander gets another chance.

“I’m kind of decided but I’m not going to [say],” Showalter said of Jimenez’s next step. “We’ll see. we’ll see how the next few days ago.”

“His work day is the day after tomorrow. So, see how he is when we get there.”

The Orioles will have to clear a roster spot to add Gonzalez, with the team playing in a National League Park against the Cubs over the weekend making it easier to play with a shorter bench.

Orioles @ Indians Game 3

Greetings from Progressive Field, where the Orioles will try to avoid being swept for the first time since May 12-14 against the Tigers.

The big news in last night’s 6-0 series loss was the continued struggles of starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who manager Buck Showalter would not commit to giving another start to. You can read more on that here.

The Indians have recalled Danny Salazar for today’s start and optioned outfielder Tyler Holt to Triple-A To clear a roster spot.

ORIOLES LINEUP

Nick Markakis RF

Steve Pearce 1B

Adam Jones CF

Nelson Cruz DH

Delmon Young LF

J.J. Hardy SS

Chris Davis 3B

Nick Hundley C

Jonathan Schoop 2B

Kevin Gausman RHP

INDIANS LINEUP
Michael Bourn CF
Jose Ramirez SS
Michael Brantley LF
Carlos Santana 1B
Jason Kipnis 2B
Yan Gomes C
Lonnie Chisenhall 3B
Zach Walters DH
Chris Dickerson RF

Danny Salazar RHP

Orioles @ Indians Game 2

Greetings from Progressive Field, where the O’s will take on the Tribe for Game 2. The big news last night in the O’s 11-inning, 2-1 loss was the eighth inning play involving Adam Jones and manager Buck Showalter was more than happy to discuss it again this afternoon. You can read the specific details of that here, and Showalter reiterated that he felt Jones should have reached first base on a hit-by-pitch.

Asked if he felt like there would be any carryover between Jones –who was about as mad as I’ve ever seen him last night– and umpire Ron Kulpa, who signaled that Jones offered at the pitch in question, Showalter said he hoped not.

“I would hope there’s enough challenges with the game itself, not only us as a team and manager and players, but as much of a challenge umpiring,” Showalter said.

As for Jones fingers, they seem OK. The center fielder, like most of his teammates, is pretty beat up this time of year and he wouldn’t let anything keep him out of the lineup.

“One day I’m going to document all the stuff he’s got going on,” Showalter said.
Made sure [coach Wayne] Kirby helped him walk out to center field last night [to avoid a confrontation with Kulpa]. Best managerial move I made.”

*The Orioles starters for the first two games of the White Sox series are Bud Norris and Chris Tillman with Wednesday TBD and potentially Miguel Gonzalez. Gonzalez has been in the Minors and was recently moved to Double-A Bowie. If the O’s do have Gonzalez make that start it would give Wei-Yin Chen extra rest, which he typically pitches much better with.

“We’ve got a different situation on Tuesday [the first day Gonzalez is eligible]. We’ve got three options,” Showalter said. “We can bring back Miguel and pitch him out of the bullpen,bring him back starting or leave him there. Those are the three things we have to decide.”

*Showalter moved Chris Davis back down to the fifth spot last night after Davis –who had hit second in the previous two games– went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts (three looking) last night. Davis enters tonight with a .193 batting average which ties his lowest (minimum three games) this season.

“You can’t look at your numbers too much,” Davis said. “Obviously at some point you have to sit down and be realistic and call a spade a spade. But you always get another chance. You are not going to benefit yourself or anyone else if you go back there and feel sorry for yourself. This hasn’t been the greatest year as far as I’m concerned but we’ve done a lot of positive things. We are still in first place. So I’ll go out there and continue to try to put good at-bats together and be as productive as I can.”

Davis, who has a League-leading 145 strikeouts, has looked poised to break out numerous times this season. And Showalter has kept running him out there, citing his defense and the threat of Davis regaining form at any time as primary reasons.

“Believe me, he thinks every day is the start of something special. I wouldn’t sell him short. It’s there. Sometimes it’s late. He has a couple of games where it looks like he is really going to get going and spoil us with the level he is capable of and then it kind of goes away for a little while,
Showalter said. “When you have some tough times there is something he and we try to pinpoint. He’s got a lot of people in his ear. And that could be a challenge too.

“He knows what’s at stake. He knows there’s always going to reach a point with everybody where [it’s how far do you go? But with Chris, because he defends, because he plays with great effort and he gets some walks now and then, you think about all the big hits he has had for us. So it doesn’t send a good message to throw him under the truck.”

Here are your lineups….

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
David Lough LF
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz DH
Chris Davis 1B
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Flaherty 3B
Caleb Joseph C
Jonathan Schoop 2B

Ubaldo Jimenez RHP

INDIANS LINEUP
Michael Bourn CF
Jose Ramirez SS
Michael Brantley LF
Carlos Santana 1B
Jason Kipnis 2B
Yan Gomes C
Lonnie Chisenhall 3B
Zach Walters DH
Chris Dickerson RF

Carlos Carrasco RHP

Orioles vs. Indians Game 1

Greetings from Progressive Field, where the Orioles kick off a two-city, three-series trip with stops in Cleveland and Chicago (White Sox and Cubs)/

Shortstop J.J. Hardy is back in the lineup after missing three games with a strain left thumb suffered on Saturday. Hardy, who was out early taking some batting practice and testing his thumb, said he spoke with manager Buck Showalter and is good to go. He is batting sixth.

Chris Davis is still in the second spot in Manny Machado’s absence with Ryan Flaherty playing third. Machado is with the team –along with catcher Matt Wieters– and will continue his rehab on the road.

Here are your lineups…

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
Chris Davis 1B
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz LF
Delmon Young DH
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Flaherty 3B
Caleb Joseph C
Jonathan Schoop 2B

Wei-Yin Chen LHP

INDIANS LINEUP
Jason Kipnis 2B
Mike Aviles 3B
Michael Brantley CF
Carlos Santana 1B
Yan Gomes C
Ryan Raburn RF
Zach Walters DH
Tyler Holt LF
Jose Ramirez SS

Corey Kluber RHP

Machado diagnosed with ligament sprain

The Orioles announced Tuesday night that Manny Machado has been diagnosed with a right knee ligament sprain after an MRI taken earlier in the day. Machado was not available for an interview –with most of the teams player gone given the rainout– and the team said an update on his condition will be provided on Wednesday.

Speculating any kind of timetable for Machado, who exited Monday night’s game with the injury, is impossible at this point without any more information on the extent of the sprain and where the damage is. At this point, the Orioles are still gathering information and trying to determine whether Machado will go to the disabled list or not.

Machado, who was originally slated to have the MRI at 10 a.m. had some issues with the machine being down and had to go to another facility along with shortstop J.J. Hardy, who had an MRI on his left thumb. Hardy’s MRI confirmed his sprain and the team hopes to have him back later this week, according to executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette.

An X-ray done on Machado Monday night came back negative and manager Buck Showalter –who knew a little bit more than he let on to reporters on Tuesday– said he felt optimistic but was still waiting to find out what the doctors thought.

“I haven’t heard anything negative,” Showalter said of Machado, who had the MRI around 2:30 p.m. “Manny seems to be in good spirits. That’s good. So we’ll see what the day brings.”

Showalter said the team has rooms for both Hardy and Machado for Friday’s game in Cleveland, but that could certainly change. Hardy was diagnosed over the weekend with a sprain as well and has missed the past two games, putting the Orioles left side of the infield in serious jeopardy.

“I like the fact that he was a tad better today,” Showalter said of Hardy, who suffered the injury to his non-throwing hand on a slide at home plate on Saturday. “He came in with the same feeling again. When you got that thing in a splint all night long you are going to have some stiffness when you take it off. Even Manny, I’ve been real pleased with their body language today if there is such a thing.

Machado’s injury was suffered in the third inning of Monday’s game on a broken-bat ground ball swing that sent him writhing to the ground in pain and forced his exit. The 22-year-old All-Star was in relatively good spirits afterward and was able to hobble around without crutches when speaking with the media.

Orioles expect word about Machado, Hardy MRIs soon

The Orioles are waiting for team orthopedist Dr. Michael Jacobs to come in and read the results of Manny Machado’s MRI on his right knee on Tuesday afternoon. Machado, who was originally slated to have the MRI at 10 a.m. had some issues with the machine being down and had to go to another facility along with shortstop J.J. Hardy, who had an MRI on his left thumb.

Machado was diagnosed initially with a right knee sprain and the Orioles are waiting to find out the extent of the injury. An X-ray done on Monday came back negative and manager Buck Showalter –who knew a little bit more than he let on to reporters on Tuesday– said he felt optimistic but was still waiting to find out what the doctors thought.

“I haven’t heard anything negative,” Showalter said of Machado, who had the MRI around 2:30 p.m. “Manny seems to be in good spirits. That’s good. So we’ll see what the day brings.”

Showalter said the team has rooms for both Hardy and Machado for Friday’s game in Cleveland, but that could certainly change. Hardy was diagnosed over the weekend with a sprain as well and has missed the past two games, putting the Orioles left side of the infield in serious jeopardy.

“I like the fact that he was a tad better today,” Showalter said of Hardy, who suffered the injury to his non-throwing hand on a slide at home plate on Saturday. “He came in with the same feeling again. When you got that thing in a splint all night long you are going to have some stiffness when you take it off. Even Manny, I’ve been real pleased with their body language today if there is such a thing.

Machado’s injury was suffered in the third inning of Monday’s game on a broken-bat ground ball swing that sent him writhing to the ground in pain and forced his exit. The 22-year-old All-Star was in relatively good spirits afterward and was able to hobble around without crutches when speaking with the media.

Asked for his gut feeling Monday night about what the diagnosis might be, Machado –who had season-ending surgery on his left knee– said: “I have no idea. I mean it doesn’t feel too bad, but we’ll see. You can’t really say something now, because we don’t know what’s going on in there. So whatever comes out of my mouth about it might be a lie or might not. So we’ll just wait for the results. Hopefully, it is on the good side rather than the bad.”

Machado waiting for Tuesday MRI

The Orioles were dealt a potentially devastating blow on Monday night as Manny Machado left the game against the Yankees after crumpling to the ground clutching his right knee following a third-inning at-bat.

How serious the injury, initially diagnosed as a right knee sprain, actually is still remains to be seen. Machado, who had an X-Ray that came back negative, is slated to have an MRI on Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. which should shed much more light on the 22-year-old’s knee.

“It’s been a lot more positive than the way it probably looked,” manager Buck Showalter said of Machado’s injury, which was suffered on a broken-bat ground ball and sent him writhing on the ground in pain. “I just got through talking to him a little bit…But he seemed in pretty good spirits considering. He’s had some experience with it. We’re hoping for good news tomorrow. There’s a chance we may have dodged a bullet. We’ll see.”

Machado, who was able to be part of the team’s handshake line following the Orioles 11-3 win over New York, walked into the clubhouse without help and was hoping to keep the crutches up against his locker as merely decor.

“I hate crutches,” said Machado, who underwent offseason left knee surgery to repair a torn medial patellofemoral ligament and missed the first month of the season rehabbing back from it. “I thought I put those down a long time ago. We’ll see. I don’t want to use them. I feel not too bad to use them, but I’m going to use them to stay off my feet. We’ll see where it goes.”

Machado said he had not watched the replay to look at what went wrong, but the television replay showed his knee buckling right as he went to swing. The All-Star immediately went down to the ground with head athletic trainer Richie Bancells and Showalter rushed out to the field. Machado was helped off the field by the pair, hobbling while using Bancells and Showalter to help shoulder his body weight.

Asked for his gut feeling on what Tuesday’s diagnosis might be, Machado said: “I have no idea. I mean it doesn’t feel too bad, but we’ll see. You can’t really say something now because we don’t know what’s going on in there. So whatever comes out of my mouth about it might be a lie or might not. So we’ll just wait for the results. Hopefully it is on the good side other than the bad.”

Showalter was equally hopeful and said Machado’s spirits in is office post-game were as well as can be expected.

“If you’ve been through what he’d kind of been through in the past, that initial feeling is pretty negative,” Showalter said, “but the doctors have looked at it and everything. He’s getting some best-case scenarios that we’re going to dwell on until the MRI says something different.”

A Platinum Glove Award winner and All-Star in his first full season in 2013, this year hasn’t gone as smoothly for Machado, who also served a five-game suspension for a bat-throwing incident against Oakland.

Machado, who doubled in his first at-bat, has 12 home runs and 32 RBIs on the season and — after a slow start — had hit .346 with eight home runs in his previous 34 games. He was replaced at third base by Chris Davis, who hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning.

“Your heart kind of goes in your stomach when you see something like that,” Yankees third baseman Chase Headley said of watching Machado go down. “He’s not on our team, but he’s one of the bright young players in all of the major leagues. I hate to see it happen to anybody; I hate to see it happen to him again. Hopefully it’s not as bad as what it could be. Just a tough thing to see happen regardless of whether you’re on the team or competing against him.”

Added Orioles starter Bud Norris: “I think it was a scare for all of us. We didn’t like seeing it in Tampa last year and obviously that was pretty frightening here today. We’re going to get some results from that, but we’re obviously praying for him and so forth. We’ve got a great training staff and great decision making with Buck and everybody else, so we’re just going to take it at a time. Obviously we want him out there with us, but we want him out there when he’s 100 percent and he can play the caliber of baseball he can play.”

Any significant loss of time for Machado now would be a huge hit to an O’s club already currently without shortstop J.J. Hardy (left thumb sprain). An integral part of the Orioles’ 2012 playoff run, Machado had not missed a start from his callup in August 2012 until he sustained the season-ending knee injury last September.

Will the Orioles add another infielder, perhaps Steve Lombardozzi, as insurance?

“We don’t have to,” Showalter said. :It’s certainly something we’re considering. I was looking at it in the dugout. We actually looked at it before the game because we had a similar subject matter where J.J. was concerned if we had to go there. Dan [Duquette] and I will talk shortly.

Miguel [Gonzalez is] scheduled to pitch tomorrow. We’re going to push his start back to Wednesday. His normal day was Tuesday. We’re going to push him back. If we DL somebody we could legally get him back.”

Machado leaves with right knee sprain

BALTIMORE—The Orioles were dealt a potentially devastating blow on Monday night as Manny Machado left the game after crumpling to the ground clutching his right knee following a third-inning at-bat.

Machado was ruled initially to have a right knee sprain and the team announced he will be reevaluated on Tuesday, presumably when they have more information following some tests.

Machado, 22, broke his bat on his final swing off Yankees starter Chris Capuano and his back leg gave out to send him immediately down to the ground. The All-Star was writhing in pain as head athletic trainer Richie Bancells and manager Buck Showalter rushed out to the field. Machado was helped off the field by the pair, hobbling while using Bancells and Showalter to help shoulder his bodyweight, and the severity of his injury was not immediately known.

Machado underwent offseason knee surgery this winter to repair a torn medial patellofemoral ligament in his left knee and he missed the first month of the season rehabbing back from it. A platinum Gold Glove winner and All-Star in his first full season in 2013, this year hasn’t gone as smoothly for Machado, who also served a five-game suspension for a bat-throwing incident against Oakland.

Machado, who doubled in his first at-bat, has 12 home runs and 32 RBIs on the season and –after a slow start– has hit .346 with eight home runs in his last 34 games. He was replaced at third base by Chris Davis.

Any significant loss of time now would be a huge hit to an O’s club already currently without shortstop J.J. Hardy (left thumb sprain). An integral part of the Orioles 2012 playoff run, Machado had not missed a start from his call up in August 2012 until he suffered the season-ending knee injury September 23.

Orioles @ Yankees Game 1

Greetings from Camden Yards, where the Orioles will take on the Yankees for a three-game series starting tonight.

Shortstop J.J. Hardy is still out of the lineup after suffering a sprained left thumb during Saturday’s game, and said he didn’t feel much better today than he did on Sunday. Hardy wants to play, but manager Buck Showalter is being cautious with it. Right now, there aren’t any tests planned (he had an X-ray already) and the O’s are hoping it’s just a couple days.

Chris Davis is also out of the lineup, but Showalter said he’d be back in it tomorrow and he just wants to work Steve Pearce in.

Speaking of Showalter, he completed Adam Jones’ Ice Bucket Challenge (which raises funds for ALS) and taped that a few minutes ago with Jones dumping the bucket of water over his head. I’ll pass on that link when we get it.

Showalter was asked a lot pregame about Yankees captain Derek Jeter and he jokingly suggested that the Orioles farewell gift for the shortstop be a signed poster of the Jeffrey Maier “home run”. As a 12-year-old boy, Maier, a Yankees fan, pulled Jeter’s ball into the stands for a game-tying home run in Game 1 of the 1996 AL Championship series.

Then Orioles right fielder Tony Tarasco and manager Davey Johnson argued that Maier interfered with a ball that should have been in play, but the home run call stood and the Yankees went on to win the game in extra innings and, eventually the ALCS en route to a World Series win.

*On Thursday, August 28, the Orioles will host “Birdland Social” the second ever Social Media Night at Oriole Park. An exclusive pre-game party on the centerfield Roof Deck will host 250 of the Orioles’ most avid social media followers. Orioles All-Star center fielder Adam Jones (@SimplyAJ10) will take part in an exclusive Q&A session with those in attendance.

Tickets for the Birdland Social pre-game party start at $50 and include access to the party, a Eutaw Street bleacher seat, an exclusive @SimplyAJ10 T-Shirt, complimentary food, and two beverage tickets. Fans who purchase a $60 ticket will receive an upgraded seat on the Roof Deck overlooking the field.

The party will begin when gates open at 5:05 p.m. and last until 6:30 p.m. The limited number of tickets to the pre-game event are available at http://www.orioles.com/birdlandsocial.

YANKEES LINEUP
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran DH
Chase Headley 3B
Stephen Drew 2B
Martin Prado RF
Francisco Cervelli C

Chris Capuano LHP

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
Manny Machado 3B
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz LF
Delmon Young DH
Steve Pearce 1B
Caleb Joseph C
Ryan Flaherty SS
Jonathan Schoop 2B

Bud Norris RHP

Buck tossed

BALTIMORE—Orioles manager Buck Showalter was ejected from Sunday’s game by second base umpire Jeff Nelson after arguing on an overturned replay review call on a transfer play in the seventh inning.

Down a run, Orioles shortstop Ryan Flaherty made a diving stop on Cardinals’ outfielder Jon Jay and threw the ball to second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who lost the ball trying to remove it from his glove to pivot and throw to first base. The call was initially ruled as out at second base, but Cardinals manager Mike Matheny came on to argue and request a review of the transfer play, which was a hot-button topic earlier this season and eventually had the new ruling amended.

Matheny won the call after a two-and-a-half minute review and Showalter immediately came out onto the field, gesturing to the review crew to get on their headset and get in contact with the League’s operating headquarters in New York. He was ejected immediately by second base umpire Jeff Nelson, although Showalter kept arguing and using his hands animatedly to bring his point across.

The ejection, which was Showalter’s first of the season, was met with an ovation from the crowd of 27,779 Camden Yards, already on its feet during their manager’s arguing.

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