O’s nearing contract extension with manager Buck Showalter

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From Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun comes word that Orioles owner Peter Angelos and manager Buck Showalter have “established parameters for a multi-year contract extension” that should be made official at some point in early-to-mid January.

Showalter, who makes his offseason home near Dallas, met with Angelos several times last week in Baltimore and will return for the finalization of this new long-term pact shortly after the holiday season.

“Because of the trust we have in each other, [Angelos] knows I am not going anywhere,” said Showalter, who is currently locked in only through 2013. “He has expressed interest in doing something and I’ve expressed interest in staying. And we think that can happen.”

Showalter led the Orioles to their first postseason appearance since 1997 this past fall and owns an impressive 196-185 managerial record since taking over the job near the end of the 2010 campaign.

Dallas Keuchel to return to Astros’ rotation on Friday

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Astros manager A.J. Hinch told the media, including MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, that starter Dallas Keuchel will come off of the disabled list and rejoin the rotation on Friday against the Tigers. Keuchel has missed nearly two months with a neck injury.

Prior to landing on the DL, Keuchel was 9-0 with a 1.67 ERA and a 69/18 K/BB ratio over 75 2/3 innings. He seemed to be on his way to potentially win another Cy Young Award.

Hinch also noted that Collin McHugh will start on Saturday and Lance McCullers will start on Sunday.

Video: Ketel Marte hits an inside-the-park home run

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Braves starter Aaron Blair had a nightmarish bottom of the third inning on Wednesday afternoon against the Diamondbacks. He had just given up a run on a Daniel Descalso triple hit to center field that center fielder Ender Inciarte read poorly. In the following at-bat, Ketel Marte laced a curve ball to right field. Sean Rodriguez wasn’t able to get to it in time, so the ball bounced off the fence and caromed back towards the stands along the right field line. By the time Rodriguez was able to retrieve the ball, Marte was already on his way home and scored standing up.

The inside-the-park homer will certainly provide a boost to Marte’s stats. He entered Wednesday’s action batting .196/.255/.370 in 51 plate appearances.