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Former AL MVP Tejada says he has deal with Royals

Former AL MVP Tejada says he has deal with Royals

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) Former AL MVP Miguel Tejada has reached a minor league deal with the Kansas City Royals and says he is ready to return to the majors.

The 38-year-old infielder got a one-year contract that will be worth $1.1 million if he makes the big leagues. There is an additional $400,000 in performance bonuses.

The six-time All-Star last played in the majors in 2011 with San Francisco, hitting .239 with four home runs and 26 RBIs in 91 games.

``I'm very pleased with this. The contract with the Royals is a done deal,'' Tejada told The Associated Press. `` I'm going to try to help this team and their younger players. I'm so happy because this is what I was aiming for, a chance to get back to the majors.''

Tejada played 36 games in Triple-A for Baltimore last season, batting .259 with no homers and 18 RBIs. He was released from his minor league deal on June 25 at his own request when he didn't see an opportunity to play for the Orioles in the near future.

Tejada has been playing for the Aguilas Cibaenas in the Dominican Republic Winter League. He says he lost 15 pounds during the summer.

``I believe I can be valuable for Kansas City in different facets. They haven't told me what specific role they have in mind for me, but what is important is that I'm healthy and I know that I can help,'' he said.

Tejada spent 15 seasons in the majors and was the 2002 AL MVP with Oakland. He is a career .285 hitter with 304 homers and 1,282 RBIs with the A's, Orioles, Houston, San Diego and the Giants.

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Worley denied game ball after first save

Worley denied game ball after first save

BALTIMORE—Vance Worley filled out another line in his statistical record on Tuesday night. Worley pitched the final three innings of the Orioles’ 8-1 win to record his first career save. 

Like Ubaldo Jimenez on Aug. 7, who also picked up his first save, Worley didn’t know he had done that.

“No. I was just worried about making pitches and getting it over as quick as I could,” Worley said.

“It felt good. The first inning was a little rough, but after that I settled down and made some pitches and closed it out.”

Worley is an extremely versatile pitcher. He’s started four times, and now he’s gotten a save.

“It’s just another thing that I can say that I’ve done. This year, I’ve done every role now, now that I have a save. Excited to have it under my belt and just being able to contribute,” Worley said. 

“I just wait on that call. I’m pretty much ready from the first pitch of the game. I know that at some point of that game, I could get a call whether it’s early, middle of the game, end of the game. It depends on the score, how our other pitchers are doing, do they need a blow? I’m the guy they call on.”

Worley learned he had gotten the save after Clint Robinson flied to Nolan Reimold in left to end the game.

“I heard the announcer say that I got my first major league save, so that was cool. I then asked Nolan for the ball, and he says: ‘I threw it in the stands.’ I didn’t want that ball anyway,” Worley joked.

MORE ORIOLES: SHOWALTER SAYS JIMENEZ IS ORIOLES' BEST OPTION TO START

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Showalter says Jimenez is Orioles' best option to start

Showalter says Jimenez is Orioles' best option to start

WASHINGTON—Ubaldo Jimenez is Buck Showalter’s choice to start Thursday, and he’s not backing down from it. 

“He’s actually probably the most equipped. He’s pitched well here and against these guys, and two-fold, we’ve looked at our options and [he’s] the one most worthy of getting the opportunity,” Showalter said. 

“Actually, [it] makes our bullpen work a little bit better too the other four days. He’s a guy who is physically better suited to pitch, to start.” 

Vance Worley threw three innings on Tuesday night, and that eliminated him. 
“Here’s the part of that. If he doesn’t pitch that game last night, probably Zach [Britton] or [Brad] Brach or [Mychal] Givens or all three of them would have been in that ballgame. In order for us to be good tonight and the next night, we need somebody to do that job,” Showalter said, adding: “It’s not a given that Vance would do well as a starter.”

Jimenez has pitched well, and in 2010 had even a better year than Chris Tillman is having now.  

“Ubaldo’s got that type of pedigree. He’s pitched well in this situation before. He pitched well in Minnesota that day, all things considered. It’s going to be tough on him because he hasn’t started in a while, but he’s built up and he’s the most experienced option we have. I’m not going to get into critiquing what our other options are. I do know one thing. Everybody’s getting blocked and claimed this time of year. We think Ubaldo is our best option right now,” Showalter said. 

Showalter thinks that Wright will do better in this stint with the Orioles because he won’t be starting—for now.

“It’s a different role than he had before because he provided length and could fit the role that we needed because Parker [Bridwell] hadn’t pitched back-to-back much, so we have to be careful there. Parker comes in and pitches, two, three innings tonight we’d probably get somebody to replace him because we’re not going to go without arms to protect everybody. We’ll see when the smoke clears today what we’re going to do tomorrow,” Showalter said. 

Showalter said that T.J. McFarland, who’s currently rehabbing with Bowie was discussed as an option for the role Wright is going to fill, and could be added if Bridwell is swapped out. He did say that ideally, he’d prefer McFarland get one or two more outings before he’s brought back.

NOTES: Joey Rickard, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a thumb injury, will be reexamined on Sept. 2. … Brian Duensing (elbow) threw seven pitches in the Gulf Coast League in his first rehab appearance.  … LHP Ashur Tolliver (hamstring) is throwing batting practice for Norfolk. 

MORE ORIOLES: AFTER TWO STRAIGHT WINS AT HOME, ORIOLES GO TO DC

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Jimenez replaces Tillman in starting rotation

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USA TODAY Sports

Jimenez replaces Tillman in starting rotation

WASHINGTON—The Orioles officially sent Chris Tillman to the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Sunday with right shoulder bursitis. 

Ubaldo Jimenez will start in his place on Thursday, and to take his roster spot, the Orioles recalled Mike Wright from Triple-A Norfolk. 

Jimenez is 5-10 with a 6.94 ERA in 22 games, 18 of them starts.

“It’s never a good feeling when you have to take the spot when someone gets hurt, especially Tilly, the way he was pitching. We really need him to be out there, but it’s part of the game. Whatever adversity you have to face, you have to go through. I think that’s something I’m going to be doing tomorrow, try to be the best I can for the team,” Jimenez said. 

Jimenez’s last start came on July 28 in Minnesota after an extraordinarily long time in between starts due to the All-Star break and paternity leave.

“I don’t think it’s going to be as bad as my last start when I had to pitch with [19] days. I’ve been in a couple games before tomorrow, so I don’t think it’s going to be that bad. I’ve been working on stuff, I’ve been able to get on the mound and get my innings,” Jimenez said. 

Wright, who was 3-4 with a 5.97 ERA in 14 games, 12 starts. He was 3-3 with a 3.17 ERA in 11 starts with Norfolk. 

“I’m back here where we’re making a push for the playoffs and it’s an exciting time,” Wright said. 

“I’ve been down there for awhile, but no matter what level you’re at, that’s where you’re at and you’re trying to compete and do well. It doesn’t matter if it’s there or here, you’re trying to do well. And if you’re competing, you’re going to be all right.” 

MORE ORIOLES: AFTER TWO STRAIGHT WINS AT HOME, ORIOLES GO TO DC