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BALTIMORE — Adley Rutschman has still never been swept in the regular season as a big leaguer.

With that streak on the verge of ending, the Baltimore catcher took matters into his own hands Wednesday, hitting a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2. The Orioles have now gone 105 consecutive regular-season series of at least two decisions (no ties) without being swept. Only two teams have had longer runs.

“Our guys are really resilient, they have been all year,” Rutschman said. “Always the next guy up. We never think we’re out of it.”

Baltimore’s streak lost some of its luster when the Orioles were in fact swept in last year’s AL Division Series by Texas, but the regular-season run is still fascinating. Of the 105 series, 76 have been three games, 19 have been four, nine have been two, and there was one five-gamer. Baltimore’s overall record during the span is 197-132.

Even for a team with a winning percentage of .599, the chances of going through all those series without being swept are around 0.08%.

There are other stats that also reflect the team’s ability to avoid extended slumps. The Orioles haven’t lost any of their last 17 series against the AL East, going 12-0-5. They’re also one of three teams in the majors, along with Philadelphia and the Chicago Cubs, that haven’t had a three-game losing streak this year.

The most recent time Baltimore was swept was May 13-15, 2022, at Detroit. So the streak has now hit two years. Rutschman made his big league debut May 21, 2022, and the Orioles started playing a lot better almost immediately.

The streak is tied for third in major league history, according to information from the Elias Sports Bureau via the team. The 1942-44 St. Louis Cardinals went 124 series without being swept, and the 1906-09 Chicago Cubs went 115. The 1903-05 New York Giants also had a 105-series run.

On 14 occasions, the Orioles have needed a win in a series finale to avoid a sweep. They’ve pulled it off each time, including a 12-inning win at Washington earlier this month that prevented a two-game sweep, and then Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays, when Baltimore didn’t score at all between Jordan Westburg‘s leadoff homer in the first inning and Rutschman’s walk-off shot.

“You normally don’t win games like that when you leave that many guys on base and have that many scoring opportunities,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “But we did because of our pitching today.”

The Orioles had baserunners in eight of the nine innings. They had men on second and third with nobody out in the seventh and first and third with one out in the eighth. Both times they failed to score.

None of that mattered when Rutschman delivered his second career walk-off homer.

“We don’t make it easy on ourselves sometimes,” Hyde said. “We’d like to start cashing in some of these runs and getting some leads and not play so many of these types of games.”

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Projecting the X factors, tactics and key matchups that will swing Rangers-Panthers




Projecting the X factors, tactics and key matchups that will swing Rangers-Panthers

The NHL’s conference finals have arrived, and if you asked around in September, the four teams remaining were some of the most likely answers to the question, “Who will win the Stanley Cup?”

We didn’t get here the way many would have imagined, though. In the East, there can be no debate that the Florida Panthers and New York Rangers are the best teams, and were the best teams over the course of the season.

The West, however, was a little more surprising. The Dallas Stars battled the Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets all season for the No. 1 spot in the West, with all three teams having spells at the top. The Edmonton Oilers had times during the season when they were wholly unconvincing as playoff threats, including a dismal start that saw them nine points out of a playoff spot in November, leading to the dismissal of coach Jay Woodcroft.

In our series previews, we look at specific areas: key points of difference in the series, the X factor, which team my model favors and the reasons why, along with a projection on the series result.

The model is a neural network that accounts for player strength, offensive, defensive and special teams performance, goaltending, matchup ratings and rest. As the model ingests data, it improves, with the heaviest weights on recent play. The model allows for players to be added and removed, with their impact on the game results measured.

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M’s Rojas: Yankees’ Schmidt ‘was clearly tipping’




M's Rojas: Yankees' Schmidt 'was clearly tipping'

NEW YORK — With a little nod of his neck as he took his lead off second base, Josh Rojas seemed to signal Mariners teammate Dylan Moore that a cutter was coming from Yankees pitcher Clarke Schmidt.

Moore drove the 93.1 mph pitch 386 feet into the left-field seats for a 2-0 lead, helping Seattle to a 6-3 win over New York on Tuesday night.

“Everybody’s always trying to look for something,” Rojas said Wednesday. “We’re out there trying to find anything we can to gain an advantage.”

MLB Network showed a frame-by-frame comparison of Schmidt in the set position with Moore at the plate in the third inning. Rojas could see none of the ball before a sinker, a little of the ball ahead of a sweeper and a significant portion before a cutter.

Moore had fouled off Schmidt’s first full-count pitch, a sweeper, before the right-hander came back with a cutter.

“You can see in the video he was clearly tipping,” Rojas said.

Schmidt, 28, said after the game the Yankees were aware of the tipping and quickly worked to ensure it wouldn’t happen again.

“Obviously tipping is a part of this game and it’s a factor and it’s always in the back of our heads and something that we’re well aware of,” Schmidt said. “They got two runs on it. But I was able to make adjustments after we saw the video and just part of the game. Another factor in it.”

Schmidt said tipping had been an issue with him in the past.

“It’s just something that we’re constantly with all our guys paying attention to and working on,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

Mariners manager Scott Servais, a big league catcher from 1991 to 2001, said technology has forced teams to become more alert to tipping.

“You didn’t have all the cameras and all the people working in front offices. It was actually a learned skill,” Servais said. “The days that you weren’t playing, you’re just locked in on that pitcher. Where does he comes set? When does his hand go into his glove? Where’s his eyes? Does he bite his lip when he throws his slider? There’s all kinds of stuff that happens, and in our day, you would just sit and stare at the guy until you try to figure it out for yourself.”

Asked who was the best at picking up tips, Servais brought up his own experience.

“Veteran players that didn’t play much — like myself — knew what to look for,” he said. “I always thought catchers had a good sense for it because they all knew that pitchers all did something a little bit different.”

Rojas said figuring out pitch tips “is a pretty common thing.”

“Even if you have something, it’s still pretty hard to get a hit,” he said.

Major League Baseball’s approval in 2022 of the PitchCom device for communication between pitchers and catchers has largely eliminated catchers signaling pitchers — and the ability of runners at second to pick up those signs. That causes runners to focus on the pitchers.

“Now it’s strictly a game of trying to find little things like that that will give you a tell,” Rojas said.

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Padres’ Bogaerts broke shoulder diving for ball




Padres' Bogaerts broke shoulder diving for ball

CINCINNATI — San Diego Padres All-Star second baseman Xander Bogaerts broke his left shoulder attempting a diving pickup and was placed on the 10-day injured list Wednesday.

“I’m not a big timetable guy,” Padres manager Mike Shildt said. “Obviously he’ll be on the sidelines for a period of time. It’s really impossible to say how long. We’re still gathering information.”

Bogaerts injured his shoulder while diving for a ground ball in the first game of a doubleheader Monday against the Atlanta Braves. Bogaerts was escorted off the field after being evaluated by training staff.

Initial imaging of Bogaerts’ shoulder came back negative, but the fracture was revealed when further tests were done on Wednesday.

“Not as good (of news) as we clearly would have hoped, especially after the initial imaging,” Shildt said.

The Padres said Bogaerts, 31, did not suffer a labrum tear and does not require surgery at this time. The bone needs time to heal, but Bogaerts said he hopes to return to the lineup by late summer.(

Bogaerts, who was placed on the IL retroactive to May 21, is hitting .219 with four homers and 14 RBIs.

In related roster moves, the Padres selected the contract of outfielder David Peralta and transferred right-handed pitcher Luis Patiño to the 60-day IL.

Luis Arraez started at second base for the second straight game on Wednesday. Shildt said he will get creative in terms of replacing Bogaerts moving forward.

“The good news is, we have options between three or four different guys,” Shildt said. “We’re still in the process of figuring things out.”

The Associated Press and Field Level Media contributed to this report.

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