Orioles vs. Yankees Game 1- DH

Greetings from Camden Yards, where the Orioles will take on the Yankees for two games today as part of a doubleheader makeup from earlier in the year.

The big news today was Chris Davis’ suspension for 25 games, which you can read all about here. Kelly Johnson is at third base, with Steve Pearce at first.

Shortstop J.J. Hardy returns to the lineup tonight, after missing a week with low back soreness.

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
Alejandro De Aza LF
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz DH
Steve Pearce 1B
J.J. Hardy SS
Kelly Johnson 3B
Nick Hundley C
Jonathan Schoop

Kevin Gausman RHP

YANKEES LINEUP
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Martin Prado 3B
Brian McCann DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Chris Young LF
Stephen Drew 2B
John Ryan Murphy C
Brendan Ryan SS
Antoan Richardson RF

Brandon McCarthy RHP

More on Davis’ 25 game suspension

BALTIMORE— The Orioles were dealt another major blow on Friday morning, as Major League Baseball officially announced a 25-game suspension for first baseman Chris Davis due to testing positive for amphetamines associated with the Adderall drug.

The suspension —which means this was Davis’ second violation — is effective immediately, and will cause him to miss the remaining 17 regular season games as well as eight postseason games should Baltimore advance that far. The O’s, who entered Friday’s doubleheader with a 10-game lead in the American League East, are now without catcher Matt Wieters (Tommy John surgery), Manny Machado (knee surgery) and Davis as they head into October.

Davis —who hit a Major League-leading 53 home runs with 138 RBIs last year— issued a statement through the MLB Players Association shortly after the news broke, explaining the positive test.

“I apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Orioles organization and especially the fans,” Davis said. “I made a mistake by taking Adderall. I had permission to use it in the past, but do not have a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) this year. I accept my punishment and will begin serving my suspension immediately.”

Davis found out on Thursday night and called manager Buck Showalter to personally deliver the news. The All-Star first baseman also reached out to several of his teammates.

“It was tough. Put a little damper on the Ravens game, that’s for sure,” Showalter said of his conversation with Davis. “You’ve got to learn to deal with the problems and the challenges along the way and if they’re self inflicted there’s no woe-is-me. And this is self-inflicted. Chris is, like he does a lot of things, I think you guys will see the next day or so he’s going to attack it head on.”

Davis, named the Most Valuable Oriole last season, has not been able to replicate his monster 2013. The slugger has hit 26 homers with 72 RBIs in 127 games, but hit just .196 with 173 strikeouts, dealing with prolonged slumps and even the occasional benching. But with Machado out for the season, Davis has shifted to third base quite a bit and has given the team steady defense despite his struggles at the plate.

How will this positive test be viewed in light of Davis’ accomplishments last season?

“At this point it’s not up to me to gauge what’s fair or not fair,” Showalter said of the perception perhaps shifting around Davis. “I know what the positive test was for and believe me I’m not condoning any positive test. Everybody knows what the rules are, so it is what it is. We’ve all made mistakes and none of us would like to have our whole life judged by our worst decision.”

“I’m disappointed,” Showalter added. “I know Chris is too, but it is what it is. We’ll try to deal with it and move on. Timing’s never good, but it’s one of those challenges. It’s why we have this in place. Fully supportive of it. These are the things that everybody knew about beforehand and it’s another way that we want our fans to be able to trust a lot of things.”

The Orioles are 72-55 this season with Davis and 14-4 without him in the lineup. They enter Friday with a magic number of eight and will rely on some of their smaller role players to fill the void. New Oriole Kelly Johnson, who the team acquired in a trade late last month, started at third base in the first game Friday, with Steve Pearce over at first. Showalter said the team is also weighing bringing up an extra infielder from the taxi squad in Sarasota, Fla. But having to cover for a major loss on the field is nothing new for this year’s club.

“We asked that same question where Matt was concerned, where Manny was concerned, where J.J.’s been concerned, where some pitchers we’ve had go down,” Showalter said. “I’ve got a lot of confidence in our guys. We’re always looking at the what-ifs. Chris has had some physical issues that we’ve been able to plug some people in that did a nice job for us, so we’ll see.”

Davis suspended 25 games

Chris Davis has received a 25-game suspension without pay after testing positive for an Amphetamine in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The suspension is effective immediately and includes all regular season and postseason games in which he would have been eligible to play. Basically if the O’s get that far, Davis can’t play for the first eight games. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Davis called him last night to tell him the news and he also reached out to several of his teammates. For now, the team has Kelly Johnson at first base and are weighing whether to bring up another infielder from the taxi squat in Sarasota, Fla.

Davis issued a statement on the matter just now: “I apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Orioles organization and especially the fans. I made a mistake by taking Adderall. I had permission to use it in the past, but do not have a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) this year. I accept my punishment and will begin serving my suspension immediately.”

Baltimore has 17 regular season games remaining on their schedule (including two Friday against the Yankees) and lead the AL East by 10 games.

Davis is batting .196 with 26 homers and 72 RBIs this season.

I’ll have more on Orioles.com shortly.

Orioles @ Red Sox lineups

Greetings from Fenway Park, where the Orioles will try to sweep the Red Sox and whittle their magic number, which enters the day at nine.

Baltimore will head home tonight for a long 10-game homestand and it’s very possible they clinch the American League East at Camden Yards. That would be the first division celebration in Baltimore since Camden Yards opened in 1992. The O’s have actually only had one celebration at home, which was when they won the AL Division Series against Seattle in 1997.

If you recall in 2012, the Orioles were on a plane when they found out they had made the postseason for the first time since 1997, which officially happened when the Angels lost the second game of a doubleheader to Texas. That plane, which was headed to St. Petersburg, also made an emergency landing in Jacksonville because of smoke.

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
Alejandro De Aza LF
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz DH
Chris Davis 3B
Steve Pearce 1B
Caleb Joseph C
Ryan Flaherty SS
Jonathan Schoop 2B

Wei-Yin Chen LHP

RED SOX LINEUP
Mookie Betts CF
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Yoenis Cespedes LF
Allen Craig 1B
Daniel Nava RF
Carlos Rivero 3B
Dan Butler C
Jemile Weeks 2B

Brandon Workman RHP

Orioles @ Red Sox Game 2

Greetings from Fenway Park, where the Orioles will play the Red Sox for the second game of a three-game set.

In case you missed it, the O’s got good news today on shortstop J.J. Hardy and they are still expecting him to play again Friday. More on that here.

The O’s will pitch Kevin Gausman and Bud Norris in that doubleheader, with Miguel Gonzalez and Chris Tillman after that. Wei-Yin Chen will pitch on Monday and Tuesday is TBA, with options in-house including Joe Saunders, T.J. McFarland and Ubaldo Jimenez. They can also give that start to someone in the Sarasota extended camp, with Mike Wright and Tyler Wilson options in that scenario.

Here are your lineups…

ORIOLES LINEUP

Nick Markakis RF
Alejandro De Aza LF
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz DH
Chris Davis 3B
Steve Pearce 1B
Nick Hundley C
Ryan Flaherty SS
Jonathan Schoop 2B

Chris Tillman RHP

RED SOX LINEUP

Mookie Betts CF
Daniel Nava RF
David Ortiz DH
Yoenis Cespedes LF
Mike Napoli 1B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Will Middlebrooks 3B
Jemile Weeks 2B
Christian Vazquez C

Anthony Ranaudo RHP

Hardy gets injection, MRI unchanged

BOSTON— Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy received a Cortisone injection in his sacroiliac (SI) joint on Tuesday and the plan is still for him to return to the lineup for Friday’s doubleheader.

“The MRI [on Tuesday] was unchanged since April so he will come in for treatment on Thursday and hope he’s ready to go on Friday,” manager Buck Showalter said of Hardy, who left the team on Monday to fly back to Baltimore and be examined by team orthopedist Dr. Michael Jacobs.

“That’s what we were kind of expecting.”

Hardy, who hasn’t played since Friday, will be shut down for 48 hours or so and the Orioles remain optimistic that they’ve gotten out in front of the issue.

Orioles @ Red Sox, Hardy to leave team

Greetings from Fenway Park, where the Orioles will take on the Red Sox for a three-game set.

*The big news pre game is shortstop J.J. Hardy, who is leaving for Baltimore tonight where he will be examined by team orthopedist Michael Jacobs, likely on Tuesday morning. Hardy, who has missed three straight games with low back soreness, will probably have an MRI and doesn’t seem overly concerned as he reminded reporters that he was dealing with more aggressive back spasms back in April.

Both Hardy and manager Buck Showalter said this is a precautionary move and if the team, up 9 1/2 games entering today, was in a different situation Hardy would probably play. The O’s are clearly trying to get things right so Hardy is OK for the postseason and there’s no expectation he will return to Boston at any point during this series. With an off day on Thursday and a doubleheader on Friday, Hardy could play on Friday.

Hardy, who has been dealing with this issue for a week, did baseball activities this afternoon at Fenway Park and said throwing was OK but hitting was more of an issue. Hardy missed six games in April, including five consecutive, with back spasms that he says were much more serious. The team is hoping to get in front of the issue this time around.

*Nelson Cruz was named Co-American League Player of the Week along with Miguel Cabrera. Cruz led the Majors in RBIs last week after driving in all seven of Baltimore’s runs on Sunday against the Rays. He’s the first O’s player to rack up seven RBIs since Luke Scott on July 7, 2009 and the first AL player since Garret Anderson (May 8, 2003) to drive in all seven of his team’s runs in a game. The slugger leads the Majors in homers (39) and is second in the AL with 101 RBIs.

*In case you missed it, Major League Baseball announced the 2015 schedule and you can see the Orioles here.

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
Alejandro De Aza LF
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz DH
Chris Davis 3B
Steve Pearce 1B
Caleb Joseph C
Ryan Flaherty SS
Jonathan Schoop 2B

Miguel Gonzalez RHP

RED SOX LINEUP
Mookie Betts CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Yoenis Cespedes LF
Mike Napoli 1B
Daniel Nava RF
Xander Bogaerts SS
Will Middlebrooks 3B
David Ross C

Joe Kelly RHP

Os announce Minor League awards

BALTIMORE— Orioles infielder Christian Walker and right-handed pitch Tyler Wilson have been named the organization’s Minor League Players of the Year, the club announced on Thursday.

Walker, the Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year, hit a combined .288/.357/.489 with 53 extra-base hits, 96 RBI and 73 runs scored in 139 total games with Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk leading all Orioles minor leaguers in home runs (26) and RBIs this season.

The 23-year-old, selected by the Orioles in the fourth round of the 2012 First Year Player Draft, was named the first baseman for this year’s Eastern League Season-ending All-Star team, finishing the season among the League leaders despite being promoted in July.

Wilson, the Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year, went a combined 14-8 with a 3.67 ERA in 166 2/3 innings pitched for Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk this season.  He led all Orioles Minor Leaguers in wins (14) and strikeouts (157) and ranked seventh in ERA (3.67). 

The 24-year-old Wilson was a 10th round selection in the ’11 Draft out of the University of Virginia. He was named was named the Organizational Pitcher of the Month for April, when he went 4-0 with a 2.76 ERA in five starts for the Baysox.  He also received EL Pitcher of the Week honors for the week ending April 27. 

Other awards include right-handed pitcher Mark Blackmar named this year’s recipient of the Elrod Hendricks Minor League Community Service Award. Blackmar was traded to the White Sox for Alejandro De Aza last week.

The Delmarva Shorebirds coaching staff of Ryan Minor (manager), Alan Mills (pitching coach), Paco Figueroa (hitting coach), and Shawn McGill (coach) has been named the winner of the Cal Ripken Sr. Player Development Award, presented to a minor league staff member(s) who exemplifies the qualities of the late Oriole who is regarded as the architect of “The Oriole Way.”

The winners will be honored in an on-field ceremony before Thursday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds, with awards presented by Director of Player Development Brian Graham and Director of Minor League Operations Kent Qualls.

The Orioles will also recognize Chance Sisco for winning the 2014 South Atlantic League batting crown.  Sisco, 19, batted .340 (145-426) and also led the SAL in on-base percentage (.406).

Orioles vs. Reds series finale

Greetings from Camden Yards, where the Orioles will take on the Reds in the series finale with hopes of a sweep. The O’s are fresh off last night’s win, which was highlighted by Miguel Gonzalez’s first career shutout.

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
Alejandro De Aza LF
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz DH
Chris Davis 1B
J.J. Hardy 6
Kelly Johnson 3B
Nick Hundley C
Jonathan Schoop 2B

Chris Tillman RHP

REDS LINEUP
Jason Bourgeois CF
Ramon Santiago 2B
Todd Frazier 3B
Devin Mesoraco DH
Donald Lutz LF
Yorman Rodriguez RF
Jack Hannahan 1B
Jake Elmore SS
Tucker Barnhart C

Mike Leake RHP

Orioles vs. Reds series finale

Greetings from Camden Yards, where the Orioles will take on the Reds in the series finale with hopes of a sweep. The O’s are fresh off last night’s win, which was highlighted by Miguel Gonzalez’s first career shutout.

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
Alejandro De Aza LF
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz DH
Chris Davis 1B
J.J. Hardy 6
Kelly Johnson 3B
Nick Hundley C
Jonathan Schoop 2B

Chris Tillman RHP

REDS LINEUP
Jason Bourgeois CF
Ramon Santiago 2B
Todd Frazier 3B
Devin Mesoraco DH
Donald Lutz LF
Yorman Rodriguez RF
Jack Hannahan 1B
Jake Elmore SS
Tucker Barnhart C

Mike Leake RHP

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