Second baseman Ryan Adams saw two pitches in his first major league at-bat, getting ahead 1-0 before bouncing to third base on an 88 mph fastball from Nationals starter Jason Marquis.
Adams was hitting .303 with 10 doubles, two triples, two home runs and eight RBIs for Triple-A Norfolk, but the Orioles are paying closer attention to his defense. He committed four errors with the Tides, and the reports apparently have been encouraging.
“I think it’s as much for Ryan selling himself to the importance of it,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s always been a quality hitting prospect. Everybody had good reports on his attention to it.”
Adams won’t play every night while he’s here, but the Orioles will work him into the lineup.
“He has a chance to give you some quality at-bats,” Showalter said. “He’s making the biggest jump in professional sports, though, from the Triple-A level to the major league level. College football to NFL, NBA to high school, this is the biggest jump in sports. That’s one reason why you stress defense so much, because most guys are going to go through some struggles at times offensively when they come up and the thing that allows you to continue to play them is their ability to defend. That’s a cleaned up version of the conversation that we had with him before we left.”
Adams has been a fairly patient hitter at Norfolk.
“At that level, he has been. He’s had a lot of quality at-bats,” Showalter said. “We’ll see if it plays up here.”
Meanwhile, Jake Arrieta just had a 10-pitch inning while retiring the side in order in the third. And Zach Britton’s brother, Buck, is starting at third base tonight for Double-A Bowie after playing second base for Single-A Frederick. He’ll also be used in left field.
The Orioles like to move around some of their minor league players to increase their value.
Update: Matt Wieters’ two-run double with two outs in the third cut Washington’s lead to 3-2, and Luke Scott tied the game with a single to center field.
Marquis got the first two outs before Nick Markakis and Vladimir Guerrero singled. Guerrero has tied a career high with six straight multi-hit games (he also did it Sept. 29, 1999 to April 4, 2000.)
Nationals center fielder Roger Bernadina should have caught Wieters’ fly ball. He was backpedaling on the warning track, began to stumble and the ball popped out of his glove. Wieters was given a double. Bernadina apparently was given a pair of roller skates instead of spikes.
Update II: So much for the tie. Arrieta hit a batter with one out and allowed a go-ahead triple to Danny Espinosa, who only needs a single and double for the cycle. Espinosa scored on Jerry Hairston Jr.’s single.
Arrieta had allowed three runs or fewer in eight of his nine starts before tonight.