Settling the Score: Friday’s results

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Nearly one year removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, Orioles catcher Matt Wieters made his long-awaited return last night. And he didn’t much time to shake the rust, going 2-for-3 with an RBI double and a sacrifice fly in a 5-2 win over the Indians at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

The game was tied 2-2 until Adam Jones hit a go-ahead solo home run off Shaun Marcum in the sixth. The Orioles got some insurance in the eighth inning when Jones had an RBI triple and Wieters drove him in with a sacrifice fly. Chris Tillman allowed two runs over 6 1/3 innings in the victory. He had been winless over his previous seven starts.

After losing five in a row, the Orioles have now won back-to-back games. While Baltimore is just 25-29 on the year, they are only 4 1/2 games out in the American League East. Finally having Wieters back behind the plate could go a long way in helping them close the gap.

Your Friday box scores:

Orioles 5, Indians 2

Angels 7, Yankees 8

Cubs 5, Nationals 7

Astros 2, Blue Jays 6

Giants 5, Phillies 4

Athletics 2, Red Sox 4

Padres 6, Reds 2

Pirates 10, Braves 8

Brewers 10, Twins 5

Tigers 3, White Sox 4 (11 innings)

Marlins 6, Rockies 2

Rangers 4, Royals 0

Mets 2, Diamondbacks 7

Rays 1, Mariners 0

Cardinals 2, Dodgers 1

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

Minnesota Twis v Kansas City Royals
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.