Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he hadn’t heard the news of Vi Ripken’s abduction yesterday morning and safe return early today until told by a reporter around 4 p.m.
“Obviously, our thoughts and prayers go out to the Ripken family,” he said. “That’s something that happened to my mother years ago. Someone broke into the house at night. It’s tough. It’s a crazy world. I know the Ripken family and I know the stock, not only from Senior, but from Vi.”
The story truly hit close to home for Showalter as he reflected on his mother’s encounter with an intruder.
“He tied her up with the cord to the radio that she used to listen to the game,” he said. “We were in Atlanta, I think. A few years back. I found out later she knew the guy. She took him around and showed him where all the cash was. Made sure he got enough.
“That dog didn’t stay around much longer. He didn’t do a very good job.”
As for injury updates, pitcher Joel Pineiro underwent surgery yesterday to repair a SLAP tear in his right shoulder, and the damage apparently was more a little more extensive than anticipated.
“We had a suspicion it might,” Showalter said.
“Joel’s got some challenges in there that hopefully Dr. (James) Andrews helped him with.”
Head athletic trainer Richie Bancells spoke with Brian Roberts, who continues to do baseball-related activities in Sarasota.
“I’ll probably talk to him today or tomorrow and see what the next step is in his mind,” Showalter said.
Bancells is encouraged by the progress made by Robert Andino, who’s on the disabled list with a left shoulder injury. Andino is expected to fly down to Sarasota while the Orioles head to New York following Sunday afternoon’s game.
“That’s kind of ahead of schedule,” Showalter said.
“Richie’s actually really upbeat about where (Andino) is compared to where he thought he might be normally, which doesn’t surprise anybody that knows Robert.”
The Orioles have allowed three runs or fewer in seven straight games for the first time since Sept. 28, 2000-April 5, 2001. The last time they went as many as eight straight games allowing three runs or fewer was Sept. 26, 1995-April 5, 1996 as part of a nine-game streak.
Jinx alert: Despite being last in the majors with a .979 fielding percentage, the Orioles haven’t made an error in their last five games since Chris Davis dropped a fly ball in the seventh inning on July 19. They have a 46-inning errorless streak.
Matt Wieters is 1-for-23 in his last six games. However, as I pointed out earlier, he’s 7-for-21 lifetime against Rays left-hander David Price.
In their last 15 games, the Orioles have been held to one hit with runners in scoring position four times and held hitless seven times.
The Phillies reportedly are willing to trade outfielder Shane Victorino for bullpen help. The Orioles like Victorino.
For the Rays:
Desmond Jennings LF
B.J. Upton CF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Matt Joyce RF
Jeff Keppinger DH
Carlos Pena 1B
Ryan Roberts 3B
Jose Lobaton C
Elliot Johnson SS
David Price LHP