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Team Report - BALTIMORE ORIOLES

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INSIDE PITCH

BALTIMORE -- There's just something about the first inning that seems to bring out the best in center fielder Adam Jones.

Jones homered in the first inning of Tuesday's win and did it again Wednesday, hitting a two-run shot off Angels starter Garrett Richards that put the Orioles in front for good in a 4-3 victory in the second game of this three-game series.

This isn't just something that's been happening over the past few days. Jones now has hit 21 homers this season, and 11 have come in the first inning -- a number that's tops in the majors.

That gave right-hander Kevin Gausman an early lead. The Orioles eventually stretched it to 4-0 before the Angels bounced back, but that early homer from Jones proved crucial.

Jones said he's not really sure why the home runs keep coming in the first inning, but if it gives the team and some of its younger pitchers a lead early on, that's fine with him.

"It makes it a little more comfortable. Doesn't matter how you get across any runs," Jones said. "But if you are able to get some runs across early, I think it allows the starting pitcher to breathe, especially young guys that we have on our team."

Those 11 first-inning homers are the most by an Oriole since Brady Anderson banged out 13 in 1996. Baltimore also is 10-1 when Jones hits those homers.

NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 60-46

STREAK: Won three

NEXT: Angels (LHP Tyler Skaggs, 5-5, 4.49 ERA) at Orioles (RHP Bud Norris, 6-7, 3.94 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--RHP Kevin Gausman turned in another strong performance in Wednesday's 4-3 victory over the Angels. Gausman retired the first 14 batters, didn't allow a hit until the fifth and gave up three runs on three hits in seven innings. "I thought overall I did a good job of getting ground balls and just kind of pitching to my defense," Gausman said. "Our defense has been incredible all year, and they just continue to make amazing plays behind us."

--CF Adam Jones continued his first-inning power display on Wednesday. He hit a two-run homer off RHP Garrett Richards to give the Orioles an early lead. Eleven of Jones' 21 homers this season have come in the first inning. "I don't care who I hit them against," Jones said. "You hit them against veterans, you hit them against young guys. We just needed some runs and we were able to get some."

--1B Chris Davis was held out of the starting lineup for the second straight game due to some kind of a flu-like illness. Manager Buck Showalter said, "The doc checked on him. He's getting there; he's not there yet. I hope tomorrow he's all the way back."

--LF David Lough lined an RBI double to left in the fourth inning Wednesday night. That snapped a long dry spell as Lough hadn't knocked in a run since June 7; he's been playing mostly as a defensive replacement in recent weeks.

--LHP T.J. McFarland will be rejoining the team on Thursday. The Orioles placed him on the bereavement list on Monday after the death of his grandmother; he is eligible to return Thursday and will do so, according to manager Buck Showalter.

--RHP Hunter Harvey, the team's first-round pick in last year's draft, will be shut down for the rest of the season due to elbow problems. GM Dan Duquette told reporters that rest has been ordered for Harvey due to a flexor mass strain. Harvey went 7-5 this season with the Class A Delmarva Shorebirds of the South Atlantic League.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It makes it a little more comfortable. Doesn't matter how you get across any runs. But if you are able to get some runs across early, I think it allows the starting pitcher to breathe, especially young guys that we have on our team." -- CF Adam Jones, on his first-inning home run Wednesday.

ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH:

--1B Chris Davis (flu-like symptoms) did not play July 29-30. He could return July 31.

--RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (sprained right ankle) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 8. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Aberdeen on July 29.

--C Matt Wieters (sore right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list May 11. He underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery June 17. He began rehabbing his elbow in Atlanta on June 20.

--LHP Johan Santana (left shoulder surgery in April 2013, torn Achilles tendon) tore his Achilles tendon June 6 and is done for the year. He did not pitch in the majors this season, and he went on the 15-day disabled list June 2. He was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 9.

--RHP Dylan Bundy (Tommy John surgery in June 2013) threw bullpen sessions throughout April and early May. He pitched in his first game June 15 for short-season Class A Aberdeen, then moved to Class A Frederick on July 4. Baltimore hopes he will be able to join the major league team before the end of the season.

ROTATION:

RHP Chris Tillman

LHP Wei-Yen Chen

RHP Kevin Gausman

RHP Bud Norris

RHP Miguel Gonzalez

BULLPEN:

LHP Zach Britton (closer)

RHP Darren O'Day

RHP Tommy Hunter

RHP Ryan Webb

LHP Brian Matusz

LHP T.J. McFarland (bereavement list)

RHP Brad Brach

RHP Preston Guilmet

CATCHERS:

Nick Hundley

Caleb Joseph

INFIELDERS:

1B Chris Davis

2B Jonathan Schoop

SS J.J. Hardy

3B Manny Machado

INF Ryan Flaherty

OUTFIELDERS:

LF Steve Pearce

CF Adam Jones

RF Nick Markakis

DH Nelson Cruz

OF David Lough

OF Delmon Young

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