Orioles manager Dave Trembley explained to first baseman Garrett Atkins that he’s going with the hot hand again tonight. That means Rhyne Hughes stays in the lineup and Atkins stays on the bench.
“I gave it to him straight,” Trembley said. “I’ve got a guy who came up from Triple-A and he’s hotter than a firecracker. He’s going to stay there as long as he hits.”
Could this turn into a platoon situation?
“That depends how Hughes hits,” Trembley replied. “That depends when Atkins gets back in the lineup if he hits. I’m not opposed to putting anybody out there or taking anybody out if they don’t get the job done.
“Give me a reason to put you in the lineup. Give me a reason to give you the ball.”
Atkins understands that the Orioles are “riding the hot lineup” after collecting 13 runs and 31 hits the last two games in Boston.
If it ain’t broke...
“You just sit back and work on things and wait for your opportunity,” he said.
“I’ll be ready tomorrow against a lefty and go from there.”
The “lefty” happens to be CC Sabathia. Good luck, Garrett.
“Every pitcher you face is tough,” Atkins said. “Just go out there and try to put together three or four good at-bats. That’s all I’m really focused on right now, getting myself right.”
Atkins is trying to get his timing down and work on hitting line drives, anything to inflate a .220 average.
“Obviously, it’s early,” he said. “I’m just trying to find my swing, and when that happens, things will get better.”