Carroll County Times

Orioles get shut out in national spotlight

NEW YORK - It's been a long time since the Baltimore Orioles got this kind of national exposure. In fact, they hadn't been on ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" since Sept. 21, 2008. That was the night the last game was played in the old Yankee Stadium.

Perhaps manager Buck Showalter, who twice worked for ESPN between managerial jobs, knew what he was talking about when asked about his team's appearance on the network's showcase game.

"It's more about showcasing the Yankees, but we're happy to be a part of it," Showalter said.

The Orioles appeared on TBS during last season's postseason, and they'll appear on that network's game of the week next Sunday. They were on Fox a few times last season, and have several games scheduled this season.

Unfortunately for Baltimore, their offense never showed up Sunday. Hiroki Kuroda limited them to five hits in the Orioles' 3-0 loss to New York before 34,154 at Yankee Stadium.

"He was throwing all of his pitches for strikes. Getting ahead. It seemed like every time we had a guy up to the plate, he was getting ahead with strike one. He was throwing his offspeed for strikes, mixing his fastball. He was tough to hit tonight," Orioles first baseman Chris Davis said.

Baltimore's hits were all singles, and didn't have a runner reach second until two outs in in the ninth.

For four innings, Wei-Yin Chen matched him, but the Yankees broke through in the fifth. Brennan Boesch and Francisco Cervelli started the inning with singles. Boesch reached third on Lyle Overbay's fly and scored on Jayson Nix's sacrifice fly. Brett Gardner hit a long home run that hit the top of the right field foul pole to make it 3-0 after five.

Chen (0-2) pitched six innings, allowing three runs on six hits, He walked one and struck out two. He's now started 10 times in the regular season without a win. His last victory came on Aug. 19, 2012.

"I feel like it's an OK performance tonight," Chen said through his translator. "On the mound I was thinking too much and that caused the big inning."

Showalter continues to be pleased with Chen.

"He pitched real well. He gave us another really good chance to win. We just weren't able to score any runs," Showalter said. "We didn't make a couple plays behind him we should have made and we didn't take advantage of the scenarios they made."

NOTES: Conor Jackson, who nearly made the Orioles this spring, retired on Sunday. Manager Buck Showalter learned about the news in a text message from Norfolk manager Ron Johnson.Jackson lost out to Steve Pearce on the final day of spring training, and was batting .200 with two RBIs for the Tides.

"He was in a stage of his life where he wanted to be home. It's tough," Showalter said. "He said he'd been thinking about it for a little while."The 30-year-old Jackson, who signed a minor league contract last December, batted .300 for Arizona in 2008.

The first baseman/outfielder batted .271 in 658 major league games with the Diamondbacks, Oakland and Boston. He hasn't appeared in the major leagues since 2011.

"He's got a lot of things going for him. He's a smart, well-educated guy. Part of me hates to see him go, but I want him to be happy, too," Showalter said.Jackson was replaced on Norfolk's roster by Lew Ford, who was recalled from Bowie.

COMING UP: After Monday's off day, the Orioles begin a nine-game homestand against Tampa Bay on Tuesday. Jake Arrieta (0-0, 7.20), Chris Tillman (0-0, 7.00) and Miguel Gonzalez (1-1, 2.92) face the Rays' Roberto Hernandez (0-2, 6.08), Matt Moore (2-0, 0.00) and David Price (0-1, 5.82).