Mark Reynolds doubled twice tonight and drove in a run, giving him multiple extra-base hits in the same game for only the second time since June 14 against the Pirates and the third time since May 5 against the Red Sox.
Those doubles were part of a 3-for-3 night that lifted his average to .212.
“I’m not relieved,” Reynolds said. “I’ve been working my butt off with Pres (hitting coach Jim Presley) in the cage. Early BP. Just trying to figure this thing out.
“It’s nice to see some results, but it’s just one night. I’ve got to keep doing it. If we want to go where we want to go, I’ve got to contribute. Tonight was just one night.”
Tonight was about more than his bat.
Reynolds had another outstanding game in the field, including a lunging grab of closer Jim Johnson’s wide throw to first base in the ninth inning that saved a run from scoring. In the eighth, he cut off Adam Jones’ throw from center field and fired to shortstop J.J. Hardy at second base to cut down Munenori Kawasaki trying to advance on an RBI single that reduced the Orioles’ lead to 3-1.
How much pride is Reynolds taking in his defense at first?
“A lot, because I’m not contributing offensively the way I want to,” he said. “I feel like if I have a bad night at the plate, I can help us out defensively. Been working hard over there, too, and whatever anyone else does, if we’re struggling offensively, I’m able to contribute defensively. Tonight, I was able to put both of them together.”
Reynolds committed six errors in 15 games at third base. He’s committed four in 57 games at first. He’s also become adept at scooping out throws in the dirt, saving his teammates from padding their error totals.
“It’s a whole new position,” he said. “I’ve been playing it going on my second year now. I’m starting to learn a lot more and feel a lot more comfortable with the different angles, throws and things like that. It came together for me.”