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Team Report - BALTIMORE ORIOLES

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INSIDE PITCH

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles didn't get the kind of starting pitching that's carried them for the last three months during the four-game series against Tampa Bay this week. Except for a solid seven-inning effort from right-hander Chris Tillman in Monday's victory, the starters struggled.

However, the bullpen came through once again, throwing 14 1/3 scoreless innings through the four games to help the Orioles win three times. They needed to go at least 4 1/3 innings twice as the Orioles came from behind in each victory.

"Four-game series are so hard to win, especially with the some of the pace of the games we've played the last four games," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Our bullpen was just solid. Didn't let anything get in the way, just kept making good pitches."

The bullpen posted 11 strikeouts with just two walks and only four hits in those 14 1/3 innings. Elias said that this was the most scoreless innings in a series by an Orioles bullpen since June 22-24, 1979. During that four-game series against the Tigers, the Orioles' bullpen threw 15 1/3 scoreless innings.

What helped Baltimore more is all parts of its bullpen came through -- long and middle relief did good work while closer Zach Britton pitched three times and earned two saves.

Newly acquired left-hander Andrew Miller threw 1 2/3 shutout innings in Thursday's 5-4 victory over the Rays, setting up for Britton in the ninth. Miller, who came over from Boston late last month, said he's been impressed by this bullpen so far.

"They've been throwing well, and they've been doing a great job," Miller said. "I'm just trying to fit in and help out where I can. It's been, honestly, a lot of fun."

The Orioles added two more shutout innings from their bullpen in Friday's 9-1 victory over the Twins. Now, the bullpen hasn't given up a run in 18 straight innings, going back to last Sunday's loss against the Cubs.

And it continues to be a major strong point of this team's drive to the playoffs.

NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 77-56

STREAK: Won two

NEXT: Twins (RHP Kyle Gibson, 11-10, 4.31 ERA) at Orioles (RHP Chris Tillman, 11-5, 3.41 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--RHP Miguel Gonzalez gave the Orioles a strong seven-inning effort in Friday's 9-1 win over the Twins. He gave up just one run on four hits, struck out six with just one walk and improved to 7-7 on the season. "It's definitely better to pitch with that type of lead," Gonzalez said. "I thought our offense did a good job later in the game. Our offense and defense was great, and that's what (we need)."

--1B Chris Davis hit his second grand slam of the season to break open Friday's game. Davis crushed a 3-1 pitch to right to give the Orioles a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. He now has 24 homers and 67 RBIs despite hitting just .189. "I'm real proud of the way he's continued to fight through it," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "A lot of people could have or would have given in, but he hasn't."

--C Matt Wieters, already out for the season due to elbow surgery earlier, had Lasik (eye) surgery on Thursday. Manager Buck Showalter said Wieters and his doctors thought this would be a good time to do the procedure since the catcher's not in any rush to get back now.

--DH Nelson Cruz, who signed a one-year deal with Baltimore before the season, told the media before Friday's game that he'd like to come back to the Orioles next season and longer. He's just not sure how it's all going to play out now.

--1B Steve Pearce was pulled from the game after three innings with a right abdominal strain. Jimmy Paredes was going to pinch-hit for him in the third and didn't get to bad. Instead he went to third base in the fourth and Chris Davis moved from third to first. Pearce will have an MRI Saturday morning. "I'm just hoping it's a day or two thing," Pearce said. "I'm not feeling any pain or anything, just discomfort."

--LF Delmon Young ended an 0-for-9 slide with his seventh homer of the season, a two-run shot in the bottom of the fifth off RHP Trevor May. Young hit a fly ball that just eluded LF Jordan Schafer and made it into first row of the stands. The play was reviewed but upheld, and the Orioles took an 8-0 lead.

--3B Jimmy Paredes made his Orioles debut in Friday's game. He came on in the fourth inning after the injury to 1B Steve Pearce and went to third so Chris Davis could shift to first. Paredes singled in his first at-bat and scored later in the Davis grand slam. Paredes finished 1-for-2 with a run scored and a walk. The Orioles called him up from Triple-A Norfolk Thursday after acquiring him from the Royals on July 24 for cash. "He was solid," Showalter said.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm real proud of the way he's continued to fight through it. A lot of people could have or would have given in, but he hasn't." -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter on 1B Chris Davis after a win over the Twins on Friday.

ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH:

--1B Steve Pearce (right abdominal strain) left after three innings Aug. 29. Manager Buck Showalter said afterward that Pearce is going to have an MRI on the area Aug. 30 so they can see what they're dealing with.

--3B Manny Machado (partially torn ligament in right knee) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 12. He underwent season-ending surgery Aug. 27. He will remain on the West Coast until mid-September before continuing his rehab in Baltimore or at the Orioles' facility in Sarasota, Fla.

--C Matt Wieters (sore right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list May 11, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on Aug. 13. He underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery June 17. He began rehabbing his elbow in Atlanta on June 20. Already out for the year due to elbow surgery, he had minor eye surgery (Lasik) on Aug. 28. He'll be ready for spring training.

--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.

ROTATION:

RHP Chris Tillman

RHP Bud Norris

RHP Miguel Gonzalez

BULLPEN:

LHP Zach Britton (closer)

RHP Ubaldo Jimenez

RHP Darren O'Day

RHP Tommy Hunter

LHP Brian Matusz

LHP T.J. McFarland

RHP Brad Brach

LHP Andrew Miller

CATCHERS:

Caleb Joseph

Nick Hundley

Steve Clevenger

INFIELDERS:

1B Steve Pearce

2B Jonathan Schoop

SS J.J. Hardy

3B Chris Davis

INF Ryan Flaherty

INF Jimmy Paredes

OUTFIELDERS:

LF Nelson Cruz

CF Adam Jones

RF Nick Markakis

OF David Lough

OF Delmon Young

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