Orioles finally set to hire Buck Showalter as new manager

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For the past few weeks Baltimore has been said to be on the verge of hiring Buck Showalter as manager and according to Tim Kurkjian of ESPN.com they’re finally ready to make things official.
Kurkjian reports that Showalter’s first game at the helm will be next Tuesday against the Angels, which is the first game of a seven-game homestand at Camden Yards.
Juan Samuel has served as interim manager since the Orioles fired Dave Trembley on June 4, going just 16-31 (.340) after Trembley went 187-283 (.398) in four seasons on the job. Samuel interviewed for the full-time job along with Showalter, Bobby Valentine, Rick Dempsey, and Eric Wedge.
Showalter is 54 years old and hasn’t managed since being fired by Texas in 2006, but is a two-time Manager of the Year and has a .514 winning percentage in 11 seasons with the Yankees, Diamondbacks, and Rangers. Interestingly, New York and Arizona both won the World Series the year after letting him go. Baltimore hasn’t had a winning season since 1997, going through seven different managers during that time.
UPDATE: Showalter’s contract reportedly runs through 2013.

Astros stave off AL West elimination, beat the Diamondbacks

Colby Rasmus, Gary Pettis
AP Photo

Facing an elimination number of one, the Astros staved off elimination in the AL West by beating the Diamondbacks on Friday night by a 6-1 margin. The Rangers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Angels on Saturday afternoon, which temporarily put the Astros’ fate in their own hands.

Colby Rasmus hit a pair of solo homers and Jose Altuve added a solo shot of his own. Starter Collin McHugh tossed seven innings of one-run ball, limiting the Diamondbacks to six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Reliever Will Harris allowed a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth, but Luke Gregerson closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.

The Astros trail the Rangers by one game in the AL West and lead the Angels by one game for the second AL Wild Card slot. The Rangers can clinch the AL West on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Astros loss. The Astros can clinch the second AL Wild Card on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Angels loss.

The Yankees lost both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles and lead the Astros by only one game for the first AL Wild Card slot.

If the Astros win and the Rangers lose on Sunday, they will play an AL West tiebreaker in Texas. The winner will win the second AL Wild Card if the Yankees win on Sunday, or the first AL Wild Card if the Yankees lose on Sunday.

If the Astros lose and the Angels win on Sunday, the two teams will be tied for the second AL Wild Card. They would play a tiebreaker in Houston, and the winner would play the Yankees in New York in the Wild Card game.

Video: Kelby Tomlinson slides in for an inside-the-park home run

Kelby Tomlinson
AP Photo
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Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson looked more like Ladainian Tomlinson the way he was running during Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rockies. In the first inning with one out against starter Chris Rusin, Tomlinson hit a fly ball into the right-center field gap at AT&T Park, a great place to go if you’re in the mood for an inside-the-park home run.

Neither Carlos Gonzalez nor Chris Dickerson could corral the ball before it rolled all the way to the 421-foot marker at the fence. Tomlinson motored around the bases, but Gonzalez made a strong throw into cut-off man D.J. LeMahieu, and LeMahieu made a great throw in to catcher Tom Murphy, but Tomlinson slid in safely just ahead of the tag.

It was an exciting play and the hit proved important as the Giants eked out a 3-2 win against the Rockies.