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Most star pitchers missing from US WBC roster

Most star pitchers missing from US WBC roster

NEW YORK (AP) Toronto's R.A. Dickey heads a starting pitching staff missing David Price, Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver, Clayton Kershaw and Matt Cain on the preliminary U.S. roster for the World Baseball Classic.

Milwaukee's Ryan Braun, Miami's Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees' Mark Teixeira and the Mets' David Wright are among 27 players on the roster announced Thursday. The roster also includes Joe Mauer and Jimmy Rollins, and the bullpen is headed by Atlanta's Craig Kimbrel.

Final 28-man rosters are due Feb. 20 and must include at least 13 pitchers and two catchers. The U.S., managed by Joe Torre, opens against Mexico on March 8, then plays Italy and Canada to complete its first-round group.

Venezuela's roster includes AL Triple Crown winner MVP Miguel Cabrera, World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval and pitcher Felix Hernandez. The Dominican Republic has Robinson Cano, Jose Reyes, Adrian Beltre and Hanley Ramirez, and Puerto Rico has Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina.

Chien-Ming Wang is on Taiwan, and Bruce Chen is the first major leaguer on China's team. Cuba's roster does not include any defectors in the major leagues. Japan also does not have any major leaguers.

Italy's roster includes Francisco Cervelli (born in Venezuela), Jason Grilli (born in Oak Hill, Mich.) and Nick Punto (born in San Diego).

The U.S. roster:

Pitchers: Jeremy Affeldt (San Francisco), Heath Bell (Arizona), Mitchell Boggs (St. Louis), Steve Cishek (Miami), Tim Collins (Kansas City), R.A. Dickey (Toronto), Luke Gregerson (San Diego), Derek Holland (Texas), Craig Kimbrel (Atlanta), Kris Medlen (Atlanta), Chris Perez (Cleveland), Glen Perkins (Minnesota), Vinnie Pestano (Cleveland), Ryan Vogelsong (San Francisco)

Catchers: J.P. Arencibia (Toronto), Jonathan Lucroy (Milwaukee), Joe Mauer (Minnesota)

Infielders: Willie Bloomquist (Arizona), Brandon Phillips (Cincinnati), Jimmy Rollins (Philadelphia), Mark Teixeira (N.Y. Yankees), David Wright (N.Y. Mets)

Outfielders: Ryan Braun (Milwaukee), Adam Jones (Baltimore), Giancarlo Stanton (Miami), Shane Victorino (Boston), Ben Zobrist (Tampa Bay).

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Orioles' Kevin Gausman finds his groove against Texas Rangers

Orioles' Kevin Gausman finds his groove against Texas Rangers

All of a sudden, the Baltimore Orioles' starting rotation is pitching magnificently.

The question is: Has this struggling staff finally found its groove, or is it because the opposition is the Texas Rangers?

MORE ORIOLES: ZACH BRITTON RETURNS TO O'S

Kevin Gausman pitched six innings of four-hit ball, Adam Jones homered and scored three runs and Baltimore beat the faltering Rangers 10-2 on Wednesday night.

Gausman (6-7) gave up one run, struck out eight and walked two. The right-hander came in with a 6.39 ERA and had yielded a total of 14 runs in his last two starts.

Though the Orioles' faulty rotation is one big reason why the team is four games under .500, the starters in this series have combined to allow three runs over 18 innings.

"It's a roll we'd like to get on," manager Buck Showalter said. "Start kind of passing the baton to the next guy."

Having thus far outscored Texas 25-4 in the series, the Orioles will attempt to complete a four-game sweep on Thursday.

"I think we all know that we need to pitch better and, you know, we're trying to do that," Gausman said. "Obviously the offense is what's kind of given us a bigger margin for error."

Trey Mancini contributed two hits in a seven-run seventh inning, including a bases-loaded triple, and Jonathan Schoop finished with three hits and three RBIs.

Joey Gallo hit his 22nd home run for the Rangers, who have dropped four straight and scored only eight runs in their last five games.

"We have to continue to believe in our offense. That's a challenge for us right now," manager Jeff Banister said. "It's been a bit of a stretch where one run has been the case for us and it's coming off solo shots."

Adrian Beltre hit a fourth-inning double to move within 17 hits of 3,000 for his career. It was his 602nd double, breaking a tie with Barry Bonds for 16th place on the all-time list.

But there were few other highlights for the Rangers, now 2-4 on a 10-game trip out of the All-Star break.

"It just seems tough to score right now," said Elvis Andrus, who went 0 for 4.

Texas had eight hits -- only two for extra bases.

"We can score runs. We need to get back to that and show our identity again," Gallo said. "I don't think anyone in this clubhouse is worried or panicking."

Jones got Baltimore started with a leadoff homer off Martin Perez (5-7), and Schoop made it 3-0 with a two-run double in the third.

Gallo connected in the fifth, but the Orioles pulled away in the seventh. Baltimore got six hits and took advantage of an error by catcher Robinson Chirinos to score four unearned runs.

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Orioles blast Rangers behind two homers from Chris Davis

Orioles blast Rangers behind two homers from Chris Davis

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Chris Davis homered in a six-run first inning, added a grand slam in the fourth and finished with a career-high six RBIs to help the Baltimore Orioles breeze past the Texas Rangers 12-1 on Tuesday night.

It was the 19th career multihomer game for Davis, making his fifth start since coming off the disabled list with an oblique strain. Baltimore's cleanup hitter hadn't gone deep since June 10 and has 16 home runs after hitting 38 last season.

The Orioles scored six runs against Tyson Ross (2-2) before making an out, and that was enough to send Baltimore to its second straight win over Texas following a three-game sweep by the Chicago Cubs.

Dylan Bundy (9-8) allowed one run and four hits in six innings to earn his first victory since June 24.

Vying to stay afloat in the AL playoff picture, Texas pitched poorly and sputtered at the plate. In addition, center fielder Carlos Gomez got his glove around Davis' first-inning drive before the ball escaped over the wall.

Shin-Soo Choo homered for the Rangers, who have lost three in a row and scored only six runs in their last four games.

After Choo hit the 23rd leadoff homer of his career, Baltimore responded with gusto in the bottom of the first. Jonathan Schoop doubled in two runs, Davis followed with the drive that eluded Gomez's grasp and Trey Mancini capped the uprising with a two-run homer.

In the fourth, Ross was lifted after a single, an error and a walk loaded the bases. Davis hit the second pitch from Austin Bibens-Dirkx into the center field seats. It was his eighth career grand slam, the first this season.

Ross gave up nine runs, eight earned, in 3 1/3 innings. He's 0-3 with an 18.23 ERA in eight career games against Baltimore.

Seth Smith homered in the eighth to complete the Orioles' most lopsided win of the season.

NO DAY TRADER

Rangers manager Jeff Banister isn't thinking about buying or selling as the non-waiver trade deadline nears. "We need to go out and win baseball games with these guys," Banister said. "We don't worry about where we are in the division. The bottom line is that we have to go out with this group of players. We believe in these guys."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: Banister said he's "not sold" on the idea of a rehab assignment for RHP Keone Kela (right shoulder soreness) before the reliever comes off the DL. ... LHP Jake Diekman (ulcerative colitis) is in a throwing program and still has hope of playing this season. ... RHP A.J. Griffin (oblique), on the 60-day DL and eligible to be activated on July 26, is set to pitch for Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday. He pitched three scoreless innings Friday for the Rangers rookie league team in Arizona.

Orioles: RHP Hunter Harvey, the 22nd overall pick in the 2013 draft, is slated to start in the Gulf Coast League on Wednesday -- his first outing since elbow ligament replacement surgery last summer.

UP NEXT

Rangers: Martin Perez (5-6, 4.55 ERA) starts Wednesday in the third game of the series. He's 3-0 in his last four starts and his ERA hasn't been this low since May 29.

Orioles: Kevin Gausman (5-7, 6.39 ERA) looks to rebound from a horrid start out of the All-Star break, when he gave up eight runs in three innings against the Cubs.