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2014 Baltimore Orioles season

The 2014 Baltimore Orioles season was the 114th season in franchise history, the 61st in Baltimore, and the 23rd at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Birds would finish in first place in the American League East Division and return to the playoffs for the second time in three seasons, claiming their first division championship since 1997. The Orioles swept the Detroit Tigers in the Division Series and advanced to the AL Championship Series, where they were swept by the Kansas City Royals.

New Oriole Nelson Cruz led the majors in home runs with 40; following Chris Davis' 2013 championship this was the first time in franchise history two Orioles (or Browns) had won back-to-back home run titles. As a team the Birds hit 211 home runs to lead baseball, their third consecutive 200-homer season (another franchise first).

Preceding offseason

Entering the offseason, the Orioles had 11 arbitration eligible players, three contract options, and several outgoing free agents. They looked to make additions to their starting rotation, to add a "big bat", as well as to improve their bullpen, which was strong in 2012, but "average" in 2013.

Outgoing free agents

  • LHP Tsuyoshi Wada signed a minor league contract with invitation to spring training with Chicago Cubs on 12/19/13
  • 3B/1B Wilson Betemit – signed a minor league contract with invitation to spring training with Tampa Bay Rays on 2/6/14
  • IF Alexi Casilla – re-signed with Baltimore Orioles to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training on 1/10/14
  • RHP Zach Clark – re-signed with Orioles to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training on 1/7/14
  • OF Chris Dickerson – signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with Pittsburgh Pirates on 1/6/14
  • RHP Scott Feldman – signed a 3-year, contract with Houston Astros on 12/6/13
  • RHP Jason Hammel – signed a 1-year, contract with Chicago Cubs on 1/31/14
  • 1B Dan Johnson – signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with Toronto Blue Jays on 11/15/13
  • IF Alex Liddi – signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with Chicago White Sox on 11/18/13
  • OF Nate McLouth – signed a 2-year, contract with a third-year club option with Washington Nationals on 12/12/13
  • OF Michael Morse – signed a 1-year, contract with San Francisco Giants on 12/17/13
  • IF Yamaico Navarro – signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with New York Yankees on 11/19/13
  • OF Jason Pridie – signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with Colorado Rockies on 12/18/13
  • RHP Jon Rauch – signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with Kansas City Royals on 1/23/14
  • 2B Brian Roberts – signed a 1-year, contract with New York Yankees on 1/14/14 (Roberts was the longest tenured member of the Baltimore Orioles prior to his departure)
  • RHP Francisco Rodríguez – signed a 1-year, contract with Milwaukee Brewers on 2/7/14
  • C Chris Snyder – signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with Washington Nationals on 12/20/13
  • C Taylor Teagarden – signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with New York Mets on 1/6/14

    Incoming free agents

  • RHP Ryan Webb – signed a 2-year, $4.5 million free agent contract on 12/10/13
  • OF Quintin Berry – signed a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training on 1/03/2014 (Contract selected on 9/2/2014)
  • OF Delmon Young – signed a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training on 1/13/2014 (Contract selected on 3/30/2014)
  • SS Alex González – signed a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training on 1/31/2014
  • RHP Evan Meek – signed a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training on 2/5/2014 (Contract selected on 3/30/2014)
  • RHP Ubaldo Jiménez – Signed a 4-year, $50 million free agent contract on 2/14/2014
  • OF Nelson Cruz – Signed a 1-year, $8 million free agent contract on 2/24/2014

    Preseason trades

  • RHP Brad Brach – acquired from the San Diego Padres in trade for RHP Devin Jones on 11/25/2013
  • 2B Jemile Weeks – acquired from the Oakland Athletics along with C David Freitas in a trade for RHP Jim Johnson on 12/3/2013
  • OF David Lough – acquired from the Kansas City Royals in trade for 3B Danny Valencia on 12/18/2013
  • IF Steve Lombardozzi, Jr. – acquired from the Detroit Tigers in trade for SS Alex González on 3/24/2014

    Regular season



    March/April

    On March 31, the Orioles won their 2014 regular season opener against the Boston Red Sox, but then proceeded to lose their next four games. After a full week and a 4-2 loss to the New York Yankees, the Orioles were in last place in the American League East and 3 games below .500. Orioles All-Star 3rd baseman Manny Machado, still recovering from off-season surgery, did not play in any games for the Orioles during the month of April; but Orioles catcher Matt Wieters got off to an uncharacteristically fast start hitting .338 with 4 homeruns and 15 RBIs. The Orioles finished the month with 11 wins and 12 losses.

    May

    Tommy Hunter started the season as the Orioles closer and was successful in 11 of his 12 save opportunities, but he blew 2 consecutive saves on May 10 and 13 and then was placed on the 15-day disabled list. On May 11, the Orioles placed catcher Matt Wieters on the disabled list. Wieters was hitting over .300 and would ultimately be lost to the team for the entire season. The Orioles finished May with 15 wins and 15 losses but moved up to 3rd place in the American League East. The one bright spot in an otherwise mediocre April–May was the torrid hitting of new Oriole Nelson Cruz; by May 31 Cruz led all of MLB with a staggering 20 home runs and 51 runs batted in.

    June

    On June 6, the Orioles lost to the Oakland Athletics, 4-3 in 11 innings, dropping them 6 and 1/2 games out of first place. It would be the farthest out of first that the Orioles would be all season. Adam Jones batted .348 with nine homers and 20 RBIs in June. Utility player Steve Pearce, who had appeared in only 3 games for the Orioles in April, batted .361 in June with 5 home runs and 13 RBI's. The Birds finished the month with 16 wins and 12 losses, trailing the first-place Blue Jays by one game.

    July

    On Saturday July 5, the Orioles split a double-header with the Boston Red Sox and moved into sole possession of first place in the American League East and would remain in first place for the rest of the season. By the All-Star break, the Orioles had increased their lead to 4 games and three Oriole players were voted by the fans to the American League squad: Matt Weiters (his third), Adam Jones (his fourth) and Nelson Cruz (his third). This marked the first time in club history that three Orioles were voted onto the American League squad in consecutive years. By the end of the month, new Oriole closer Zach Britton had 11 saves for the month and the Orioles led the American League East by 1.5 games.

    August

    On August 9, reserve catcher Caleb Joseph hit a homerun in the Orioles' 10-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals; making him the first Oriole's catcher to homer in 5 consecutive games. Orioles 3rd baseman Machado injured his right knee on an awkward swing against the New York Yankees on August 11. After going on the disabled list and trying to rest his knee, he decided to have his knee surgically repaired thus ending his season. Oriole shortstop J. J. Hardy batted .322 for the month with 5 homeruns and 18 RBI's. First baseman Chris Davis filled in for Machado at third and hit 7 homeruns with 17 rbi's for the month. The Orioles ended the month of August with four consecutive wins; increasing their lead in the American League East to 9 full games over the second place Yankees.

    September

    The Orioles started the month with a 6-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins but still maintained an 8 and 1/2 game lead over the second place Yankees. Newly acquired outfielder Alejandro De Aza also started the month with the Orioles and before September was over he would hit 3 triples, 3 homeruns, drive in 10 runs and bat over .300. On September 7, the Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-5; Nelson Cruz went 4-for-5 with two home runs and 7 RBIs. On September 12, Orioles' first baseman Chris Davis was suspended for 25 games for testing positive for amphetamine. Davis claimed he tested positive due to the use of adderall—for which he previous had a "therapeutic use exemption" but did not have for the 2014 season.

    On Tuesday, September 16, the Orioles clinched the American League East Championship by beating the second place Toronto Blue Jays 8-2. The Orioles had not won an American League East title since 1997 and Tuesday marked the first time since 1969 that the Orioles won a division title in front of their fans at home. Steve Pearce, who had replaced Chris Davis at first base, blasted a three-run homerun off Toronto right-hander Drew Hutchison to give the Orioles a 3-1 lead in the first inning. Oriole right-hander Ubaldo Jiménez, who hadn't been in the starting rotation for a month, picked up the win. On September 25, the Orioles gave up a walk off hit to Derek Jeter in his final game at Yankee Stadium. The Orioles finished the season with 211 homeruns. 2014 is the third consecutive season the Orioles hit more than 200 homeruns and the first time in franchise history that they did it 3 years in a row. The Orioles 401 walks were also the fewest walks as the modern Orioles and their 44 stolen bases were their fewest since 1961.

    In-season transactions



  • RHP Preston Guilmet – acquired from Cleveland Indians in trade for 2B Torsten Boss on 4/7/2014
  • LF Steve Pearce – released on 4/27/2014
  • LF Steve Pearce – signed to a 1-year, $850K free agent contract on 4/29/2014
  • C Nick Hundley – acquired from San Diego Padres in trade for LHP Troy Patton on 5/24/2014
  • OF Nolan Reimold – claimed off waivers by Toronto Blue Jays on 7/6/2014
  • 3B Jimmy Paredes – acquired from Kansas City Royals for cash on 7/24/2014
  • LHP Andrew Miller – acquired from Boston Red Sox in trade for LHP Eduardo Rodríguez on 7/31/2014
  • OF Alejandro De Aza – acquired from Chicago White Sox in trade for RHP Mark Blackmar and RHP Miguel Chalas on 8/31/2014
  • 3B Kelly Johnson and 3B Michael Almanzar – acquired from Boston Red Sox in trade for 2B Jemile Weeks and 2B Ivan De Jesus, Jr. on 8/31/2014

    Injuries etc.



  • March 31 – May 1: 3B Manny Machado on 15-day disabled list retroactive to 3/21 (offseason left knee surgery)
  • March 31 – May 1: LHP Troy Patton on restricted list (25-game suspension for amphetamine use imposed 12/20/2013)
  • April 7 – OF Nolan Reimold on 60-day disabled list (July 2013 back surgery)
  • April 26 – May 11: 1B Chris Davis on 15-day disabled list (oblique strain)
  • May 11 – August 13: C Matt Wieters on 15-day disabled list (right elbow strain)
  • May 22 – June 8: RHP Tommy Hunter on 15-day disabled list (left groin strain)
  • May 25 – May 27: 1B Chris Davis on paternity list
  • May 31 – June 17: RHP Miguel González on 15-day disabled list (oblique strain)
  • June 2 – June 9: RHP Johan Santana on 15-day disabled list (April 2013 shoulder surgery)
  • June 9 – RHP Johan Santana transferred from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list
  • June 17 – C Matt Wieters underwent Tommy John surgery (out for season)
  • June 22 – July 21 RHP Bud Norris on 15-day disabled list (right groin strain)
  • June 30 – July 5: 3B Manny Machado on restricted list (5-game suspension for bat throwing)
  • July 8 – August 9: RHP Ubaldo Jiménez on 15-day disabled list (right ankle sprain)
  • August 12 – September 2: 3B Manny Machado on 15-day disabled list (right knee sprain)
  • August 13: C Matt Wieters transferred from 15-day to 60-day disabled list
  • August 27: 3B Manny Machado underwent right knee surgery (out for season)
  • September 2: 3B Manny Machado transferred from 15-day to 60-day disabled list
  • September 12 – 1B Chris Davis on restricted list (25-game suspension for amphetamine use)

    Season standings



    American League East

    Record vs. Opponents

    Game Log

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    Post-season



    Division Series



    The Orioles swept the Detroit Tigers in the Division Series.

    ALDS notes

  • The 12 runs scored by the Orioles in Game 1 were the most runs the Orioles have ever scored in a post-season game.
  • The Orioles sweep of the Tigers was their first post-season sweep since 1971 when they beat the Oakland Athletics 3-0.
  • By winning successive games against 2011, 2012 and 2013 Cy Young Award winners Justin Verlander, David Price and Max Scherzer, the Orioles became only the fourth team to win a postseason series over three Cy Young winners, the only one ever to do so in consecutive games, and the only one not against the 1990s Braves trio of Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz. In fact, with the final regular-season win over Toronto's R.A. Dickey, the Orioles won 4 consecutive games started by Cy Young winners, an unprecedented feat.

    Championship Series

    The Orioles were swept by the Kansas City Royals 4 games to 0 in the AL pennant series.

    Postseason game log

    2014 ALDS Composite Box Score

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    Accolades

    The following players represented the Orioles in the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

  • Nelson Cruz (3rd appearance)
  • Adam Jones (4th appearance)
  • Matt Wieters (3rd appearance)

    DH Nelson Cruz won the MLB and American League home run championships with 40

    Center fielder Adam Jones and Right fielder Nick Markakis both won the Rawlings Gold Glove Award.

    Manager Buck Showalter was named the American League Manager of the Year, his third award.

    General Manager Dan Duquette was named The Sporting News' Major League Baseball Executive of the Year

    Roster

    Farm system