Andino could platoon at third base (Hunter allows another HR)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Robert Andino is starting at third base against a left-hander tonight, and he could return to the hot corner under similar circumstances in future games.

Wilson Betemit is batting .146 against left-handers, compared to .307 against right-handers. That’s one reason.

Omar Quintanila is swinging a pretty hot bat these days and manager Buck Showalter would like to keep him at second base. That’s another reason.

It looks like the Orioles could platoon at third base.

“I’d like to get Robert some time here and there, especially against left-handed pitching, keep everybody involved in playing,” Showalter said. “Robert’s going to play today and he’ll probably play on Sunday.”

The Rays are sending left-hander David Price to the mound on Sunday.

Showalter indicated that the Orioles could make a roster move after tonight’s game if Tommy Hunter is knocked out early and the bullpen needs a fresh arm. He didn’t say anything about outfielder Nate McLouth, but that’s another possible transaction.

As for Pat Neshek, the Orioles traded him for “future considerations.” Could be cash. Could be nothing.

Update: Tommy Hunter allowed his 25th home run of the season when B.J. Upton cleared the center field fence leading off the bottom of the fourth inning to break a scoreless tie.

Upton and his brother, the Diamonbacks’ Justin Upton, have both hit their 100th career home runs tonight.

The Orioles have stranded six runners through four innings. They’ve worked Rays left-hander Matt Moore for 81 pitches, but no runs.

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