OK, I couldn’t resist.
Left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada’s injury rehab assignment ends this weekend and he can’t be optioned to Triple-A Norfolk without his consent. It’s part of his contract.
Wada was torched last night for eight runs (seven earned) in 1 1/3 innings. He’s totaled only 24 1/3 innings in six starts with the Tides, allowing 33 hits and posting an 8.14 ERA.
He’s not ready for major league hitters.
The Orioles will try to convince Wada to remain with Norfolk past this weekend, a scenario that’s likely to play out.
“We need to do some work on that,” said executive vice president Dan Duquette. “I hope so.”
Wada underwent ligament-reconstructive surgery on his left elbow on May 11, 2012 and is working to regain full strength in his arm while also building up his stamina.
“It takes a little time to get back to pitching,” Duquette said. “He’s been very aggressive in his rehab program.”
Meanwhile, Jason Hammel was ejected today before completing his last warm-up toss. Plate umpire Andy Fletcher said Hammel was intentionally throwing at catcher Taylor Teagarden.
Hammel allowed an infield hit in the top of the first, but Albert Pujols grounded into a 5-4-3 double play. Pujols basically jogged to first base. Or maybe he’s running full speed and that’s all he’s got right now.
Hammel threw 17 pitches, 12 for strikes.
The Orioles are trying for their first three-game sweep of the Angels since Aug. 27-29, 2010 in Anaheim, and their first at Camden Yards since Aug. 3-5, 2010.
The Orioles have won four straight series finales and are 10-11 overall. They’re 4-6 in home series finales, but have won three in a row.
Game update: The Orioles scored twice in the bottom of the first on two ground balls to take a 2-0 lead.
Nate McLouth singled and Manny Machado followed with his 28th double, tops in the majors. His hitting streak has grown to 10 games, one short of tying his career longest.
Machado has 89 hits, two behind major league leader Miguel Cabrera.
McLouth scored on Nick Marakis’ grounder to second, and Machado came home on Adam Jones’ grounder to short.
Markakis has 12 go-ahead RBIs this season, tying Jones for the team lead. The Orioles are the only team with four players who have 10 or more, including Chris Davis (10) and Machado (10).
No other club has more than two players with 10 or more go-ahead RBIs.
Davis hasn’t driven in a run since June 2, a span of eight games. He flied to the warning track in left-center field to end the first inning.
Hammel retired the side in order in the second. He’s thrown 28 pitches, 21 for strikes.