It wasn’t necessarily supposed to work out this way, but Matt Wieters homered in the second inning as the Orioles’ replacement cleanup hitter, and Nolan Reimold did the same as the replacement designated hitter.
Orioles 2, Indians 1.
Then, in the blink of an eye, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-run homer off Jake Arrieta in the top of the third.
Indians 3, Orioles 2.
Manager Buck Showalter indicated earlier today that he might have to use different players in the cleanup and designated hitter roles while Vladimir Guerrero is out of the lineup, depending on who’s got the hot hands, but the ideal arrangement would be for one player to seize the opportunity.
It also would be ideal if Arrieta could give the Orioles their third quality start in the last 18 games, but it’s going to be a challenge with three runs already on the board.
Down on the farm, Zach Britton is making his first start for Double-A Bowie. He’s allowed one run in two innings - a home run by Richmond’s Wes Hodges - and struck out two.
Britton is slated to go three innings tonight.
And finally, we already established that the Orioles would have to give J.J. Hardy a three-year extension if they were going to keep him. Two years wouldn’t get it done. Well, multiple reports say the two sides could be nearing an agreement that would pay Hardy between $21 and $27 million. The Sun estimates that the extension would pay Hardy between $7 million and $8.5 million per season.
Update: Nick Markakis singled for his 1,000th career hit and scored on Adam Jones’ double to tie the game in the bottom of the third.
Britton allowed one run and two hits, with two strikeouts, in three innings at Bowie.
Update II: Grady Sizemore hit a two-run homer off Arrieta in the top of the fifth, and Adam Jones hit a two-run shot in the bottom half of the inning. Orioles 5, Indians 5.
Arrieta is done after five innings. Another Orioles starter is done before we clear six innings. This is beyond ridiculous.