ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Catcher Matt Wieters is heating up.
Wieters has collected four hits in his last nine at-bats, including his ninth home run today leading off the top of the second inning.
Wieters hadn’t homered since May 13 against Tampa Bay’s James Shields. He hadn’t homered from the right side all season.
It’s going to be a process for Wieters to fatten up his average. He’s 11-for-73 in his last 22 games, taking his average from .300 to .237. But it’s slowly on the rise.
Maybe it took an ejection in Toronto on Tuesday to snap Wieters out of his funk.
The Orioles had a chance to pad their lead in the second after Mark Reynolds followed Wieters home run with a single and Ronny Paulino walked. Steve Pearce flied to deep right field in his first at-bat with the Orioles, advancing Reynolds to third base. Steve Tolleson and Robert Andino struck out to end the threat.
The Rays flied out for the cycle against Jake Arrieta in the first inning - center field, left field and right field.
Update: Wieters grounded a single up the middle in the third inning for his fifth hit in his last 10 at-bats.
Reynolds flied out to strand two runners, raising the Orioles’ total to five in the first three innings. They’re 0-for-4 with RISP.