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Showalter, Duquette sign extensions with Orioles

Showalter, Duquette sign extensions with Orioles

BALTIMORE (AP) Buck Showalter was tired of hearing about his contract. Ever since the end of the most successful season in 14 years, the Baltimore Orioles manager was pestered about the contract.

Showalter would tell everyone that he had a deal for the 2013 season, and he had more job security than most American workers. He wasn't worried.

Now, Showalter has more job security than almost any American worker including almost all his players, and so does the Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette.

On Wednesday, the Orioles announced extensions for both. Showalter's is a five-year extension; Duquette's a four-year one. They'll be under contract through the 2018 season with the Orioles.

The 56-year-old Showalter was eager to leave the press conference and join many of his players who had gathered for a three-day mini-camp.

``I'm ready to go down to that locker room,'' Showalter said. ``I'd like to think that nothing changes from my perspective.''

When Showalter joined the Orioles in Aug. 2010, he had a contract that ran through 2013. Duquette joined the team on a three-year contract in Nov. 2011. In their first season together, Baltimore won 93 games and the American League Wild Card game in Texas before falling in five games to the New York Yankees in the AL Divisional Series.

Duquette, 54, was hired by the Orioles after being out of the game for nearly a decade.

``I was very grateful for the opportunity. I missed baseball and was glad to be back,'' Duquette said.

Only one of Showalter's players, outfielder Adam Jones, has a contract as long as the manager's. Last May, before signing a six-year extension, Jones sought out the manager to make sure Showalter was committed for the long-term. Convinced he was, Jones re-signed.

``I'm really looking forward to having the focus be back on our players,'' Showalter said.

Duquette and Showalter hardly knew each other before teaming in Baltimore. Now, they make jokes about talking baseball on Christmas.

``He's one of the great pros in the game,'' Duquette said. ``I've never had more fun working with a man or more respect working with a manager. He's one of the great managers in the game. We're so lucky to have him here in Baltimore.''

The Orioles will begin spring training on Feb. 12, and Showalter can't wait.

``When we get to spring training,'' he said, ``I'll be right back to being the same grumpy old guy I guess I am.''

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Orioles bats rally to compete sweep of Rangers

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USA TODAY Sports

Orioles bats rally to compete sweep of Rangers

BALTIMORE -- Jonathan Schoop and Adam Jones both homered and drove in three runs, and the Baltimore Orioles rallied to beat Cole Hamels and the Texas Rangers 9-7 on Thursday night to complete a four-game sweep.

Mark Trumbo and Chris Davis also went deep for the Orioles, who trailed 5-1 in the fifth inning before coming back to hand Hamels (4-1) his first loss in 10 starts this season.

Baltimore hit 10 home runs in the series and outscored Texas 34-11.

The Orioles' four-game winning streak is their longest since a six-game run in early May, and it puts them within three games of .500 (46-49) for the first time since July 4.

Miguel Castro (2-1) worked the sixth for Baltimore after starter Wade Miley allowed five runs over five innings.

Mike Napoli homered for the Rangers, whose five-game skid matches their season high.

Adrian Beltre had two hits for Texas and has 2,985 for his career, tied with Sam Rice for 31st place on the all-time list.

Hamels brought a 21-inning scoreless streak into the game and extended it to 24 -- third-longest of his career -- before Schoop homered in the fourth.

Jones and Trumbo connected in the fifth, and Hamels was lifted after Baltimore used three straight singles to pull even in the sixth. Jones greeted Jeremy Jeffress with an RBI double, and Schoop capped the uprising with a two-run single for an 8-5 lead.

Davis homered in the seventh, and the Rangers scored two in the ninth off Zach Britton.

Hamels gave up seven runs, along with a season-high nine hits and three home runs.

Beltre singled in a run for Texas in the first inning, and Carlos Gomez made it 2-0 with an RBI double in the fourth.

Napoli hit his 21st home run with two on in the fifth.

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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.