Orioles vs. Nationals- first half finale

Greetings from Camden Yards, where the Orioles will close the first half with the series finale against the Nationals. Chris Davis, who was a late scratch with a stomach bug on Saturday night, is back in the lineup for the rubber match.

As a reminder, the O’s will have pitching prospect Zach Davies in this afternoon’s Futures Game as part of Team USA. MLB.com will have exclusive coverage of the game in Cincinnati. It can be seen live on MLB Network and MLB.com and can be followed live on MLB.com’s Gameday. You can also check Orioles.com later for an O’s specific story on Davies.

You can also check Orioles.com throughout the All-Star Break for exclusive on-site coverage of the O’s four All-Stars in Tuesday’s game as well as Manny Machado’s performance in Monday’s Home Run Derby.  MLB.com has a great team of beat reporters, national reporters and columnists already there who are on hand to capture all of the best moments, and there will be plenty of Oriole-specific coverage on Orioles.com.

I’ll also have a midterm report mid-week with a recap of the first half and a lookahead to the second half of the season which should (hopefully) be enough to satisfy your baseball fix until I land in Detroit Friday morning. The blog and endless stream of Twitter updates, that will go on through today’s game, will also pick back up when I land in Detroit.

Here are your lineups for today…

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Jimmy Paredes DH
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis RF
Matt Wieters C
Chris Parmelee 1B
J.J. Hardy SS
David Lough LF
Jonathan Schoop 2B

Wei-Yin Chen LHP

Os set second half rotation

BALTIMORE— The Orioles have set their second-half rotation with Ubaldo Jimenez, Chris Tillman and Miguel Gonzalez starting the team’s three-game series in Detroit.

Following an off day, Wei-Yin Chen will get the ball for the series opener in New York on July 21.

“It fit the best for the needs of our guys and where it fits best for the rest of the month,” manager Buck Showalter said of what went into the decision.

Kevin Gausman, who will start twice for Triple-A Norfolk, is expected to be added to the roster and pitch the fifth game after the All-Star Break, though Showalter wouldn’t commit either way on Saturday.

“We have some options there [with the off day],” Showalter said. “We have it mapped out through the rest of the month if everything stays.”

Orioles vs. Nationals

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Jimmy Paredes DH
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis RF
Chris Parmelee 1B
Travis Snider LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Caleb Joseph C

Miguel Gonzalez RHP

Orioles vs. Nationals

Greetings from Camden Yards, where the O’s are coming off a road trip in which they lost five of six games split between Chicago and Minnesota. Not much pregame news today, but the team does plan on tweaking the rotation order for the second half.

Kevin Gausman, who was optioned to stay on turn, will throw Sunday and Friday in the Minor Leagues before re-joining the O’s and pitching the fifth game after the All-Star Break. The rest of the order we should have in the next day or so.

Here are your lineups…

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Steve Pearce 1B
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Chris Davis RF
Nolan Reimold LF
Jimmy Paredes DH
J.J. Hardy SS
Jonathan Schoop 2B

Chris Tillman RHP

NATIONALS LINEUP
Yunel Escobar 3B
Danny Espinosa 2B
Bryce Harper RF
Wilson Ramos DH
Clint Robinson LF
Ian Desmond SS
Jose Lobaton C
Tyler Moore 1B
Michael A. Taylor CF

Gio Gonzalez LHP

Machado on the Derby: I’m not going to go out there and blow out my back, try to overdo it.

BALTIMORE— Manny Machado isn’t worried about the 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders messing up his second-half swing. As the 23-year-old said Friday he’s just participating to live out a lifelong dream.

“I’m not going to go out there and blow out my back, try to overdo it. I’m just going to try to put some good swings out there and put on a show,” said Machado, who watched the Derby as a every year growing up. “I’m just going to try to hit the ball hard somewhere and if they go out, they go out. If they don’t, I guess I will be the one without homers there. Just go out there and have fun, I don’t think you have to go out there and try to win the thing. Just go out and have fun.”

Machado entered Friday with a career-high 19 homers and 48 RBIs and a .301 batting average out of the leadoff spot. O’s manager Buck Showalter said he’s not planning on moving Machado don in the order anytime soon and also isn’t concerned about his participation in the Derby.

“I’m not one of those guys that thinks the Home Run Derby [messes with guys swings], I’m sure you could find something statistically,” Showalter said. “It’s something that Manny has earned and I don’t want to take it away from him. It’s great for him and his family. If something like that is going to happen, it’s not meant to be anyway. We are not very strong mechanically if something like that will get in the way.”

Machado is one of four All-Stars for the Orioles this season— along with Adam Jones, Darren O’Day and Zach Britton—and has picked assistant hitting coach Einar Diaz to throw his batting practice.

“He’s always thrown to me for the last couple years and we have a chance of doing some good things out there,” Machado said.

Os to celebrate Cal’s streak anniversary

BALTIMORE— On Tuesday September 1’s game, the Orioles will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Cal Ripken, Jr.’s record-breaking 2,131st consecutive game.

The game is one of baseball’s most iconic moments as Ripken  Ripken passed New York Yankees legend Lou Gehrig on September 6, 1995.

Ripken will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Orioles-Rays game that night as one of many celebrations. Starting Thursday, the Orioles are holding a special 2131 sweepstakes, in which fans are encouraged to submit their photos from the historic record-breaking game, record-tying game, other Streak Week games or activities, or any photos taken with Ripken on Twitter or Instagram using #My2131.  The Orioles will select one fan to receive four tickets to the September 1 game along with a pre-game, on-field experience and an autographed copy of the Cal Ripken, Jr. authentic retirement commemorative program.

Additionally, the 2,131st person to check-in using the MLB Ballpark app the weekend of July 10-12 when the Orioles host the Washington Nationals, will win four tickets to the game on September 1 and a Cal Ripken, Jr. autographed commemorative item.

Jones to start ASG

BALTIMORE— Baltimore will get a starter in this year’s All-Star Game after all.

Orioles centerfielder Adam Jones will take the place of Kansas City’s Alex Gordon, who suffered a groin injury and will be unable to play. Jones, originally named as one of the American League reserves, received the highest number of votes from player balloting and is a five-time All-Star.

This will be Jones’ third consecutive All-Star start.

“I’m truly humbled that the players selected me,” Jones said following Monday’s announcement. “I think it’s humbling because I just go out and play every day. I don’t play for accolades except the [World Series] ring and it’s humbling that the players around the league see that I play every day and I play hard every day, and they see what I mean to this team and what the team means to me … I just do it for my teammates and the name across my chest so it’s humbling that the players around the league they see that.”

Jones is one of four All-Stars for the Orioles, who also have Manny Machado, Zach Britton and Darren O’Day.

Os get four All-Stars

The Orioles will be very well represented at this year’s 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game with four players —Adam Jones, Manny Machado, Darren O’Day and Zach Britton— unveiled Monday night as part of the American League team.

It marks the first All-Star selections for both Britton and O’Day, who have helped keep Baltimore’s back end of the bullpen one of baseball’s best.

The 27-year-old Britton is among the League leaders with 23 saves and has converted a career-high 19 consecutive opportunities. O’Day is 5-0 with a 1.14 ERA in 33 games. Over 31 2/3 innings, the siderarmer has allowed just four earned runs with eight walks against 42 strikeouts.

Of the group, Jones is the veteran as this marks his fifth All-Star selection and comes despite some injuries this season. After missing just five games over the previous three years, Jones was sidelined with both ankle and shoulder injuries but managed to avoid the disabled list. He is batting .286 with 10 homers and 38 RBIs entering Monday’s game.

Machado is having a fantastic first half and has already hit a career-high 17 home runs. He has 46 RBIs and, despite a rocky start, is playing sensational defense at third base. This marks his second All-Star selection.

Machado— who turned 23 Monday— has a team-high 13 steals  and also leads the O’s in on-base percentage (.356), runs scored and doubles out of the leadoff spot.

The 86th All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 14, will be televised nationally by FOX Sports (7 p.m. ET air time, 8:15 first pitch), in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.

Orioles @ White Sox Game 3

CHICAGO— Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop returned to the starting lineup on Sunday for the first time since April 17 and the infielder admitted he didn’t get much sleep Saturday night.

“I said to J.J. [Hardy] on the bus, ‘Help me out a little bit because I feel a little bit nervous. Like  [it’s] my first day in the big leagues’,” Schoop said.  “He started laughing.”

Schoop, who has been rehabbing from a right knee strain, played in just nine games before suffering the injury at Fenway Park. He entered Sunday’s contest batting .259 with three homers and seven RBIs and gives the O’s a power threat in the bottom of the lineup.

“It’s been a long road for him and now he gets another test. He’s still another speed. It’s a different intensity here. I don’t care how much rehab you take,” manager Buck Showalter said of Schoop, who hit eighth in the series finale against the White Sox.

“Unfortunately experience will tell you, they get a little splash quick and then baseball inactivity kind of slaps you a little bit and you go downward a bit and then you pick it back up and find your level. That’s usually how it works. But you have to start somewhere. He’s done everything possible. He’s probably in the best shape of his life. Brady [Anderson] and him both said he worked real hard. It’s exciting to get him back.”

The 23-year-old Schoop, in his second Major League season, worked with Anderson closely in his rehab assignments in Double-A Bowie and Class-A Frederick.

“He helped me a lot,” Schoop said of Anderson, who is the organization’s vice president of baseball operations. “The thing I like about it is he doesn’t let you do it, he does it with you and he beats you. And he tells you you have to be better. It helped me a really, really lot. Because I feel like I’m in better shape than before.”

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Nolan Reimold LF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis RF
Steve Pearce 1B
Jimmy Paredes DH
J.J. Hardy SS
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Caleb Joseph C

Miguel Gonzalez RHP

WHITE SOX LINEUP
Adam Eaton CF
Jose Abreu 1B
Melky Cabrera LF
Adam LaRoche DH
Avisail Garcia RF
Conor Gillaspie 3B
Alexei Ramirez SS
Tyler Flowers C
Carlos Sanchez 2B

Carlos Rodon LHP

Schoop to be activated Sunday , Flaherty optioned

CHICAGO— Second baseman Jonathan Schoop was in Chicago on Saturday and the second baseman was officially activated from the disabled list, with Ryan Flaherty optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, following Baltimore 3-2 loss to the White Sox.

Schoop was in the Orioles clubhouse on Saturday afternoon and said he’s ready to go. He was placed on the disabled list April 18 with a sprained right knee and rehabbed at Double-A Bowie and, most recently, Class-A Frederick.

In nine games for the Orioles this season, Schoop hit .259 with three homers and seven RBIs.

The Flaherty move is interesting, but the Orioles are setting it up so he won’t miss a full 10 games. With Nolan Reimold slated to go on paternity leave after Sunday’s game, and miss three games, Flaherty can be the team’s extra player. There’s also the looming All-Star Break that counts toward the 10-day minimum stay.

The Orioles don’t have a lot of roster flexibility, particularly with Kevin Gausman now in the rotation and Bud Norris in the bullpen and they didn’t want to go short another pitcher again. Flaherty has hit .248/.328/.386 with six doubles, three triples, three home runs, and 20 RBI over 51 games, including 45 starts at second base, with the Orioles this season.

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