The Orioles are contemplating a roster move for Friday to add another reliever after using six in tonight’s 5-4, 13-inning win over the Boston Red Sox at Camden Yards.
Brian Matusz threw 26 pitches, Tommy Hunter 21, Darren O’Day 26, Troy Patton five, Jim Johnson 10 and T.J. McFarland 16. Patton and Matusz also pitched Wednesday afternoon against the Angels.
“We didn’t overextend anybody,” said manager Buck Showalter. “Tommy’s pitch count was down. Darren had two days off going today and felt good. We’ll look at it. We’re contemplating some things. Freddy (Garcia), we could conceivable stick him in the ‘pen tomorrow. He went down there about the 10th inning.”
Garcia is scheduled to start Saturday night.
McFarland earned his first major league win with a 1-2-3 13th inning.
“You should have seen the clubhouse,” Showalter said. “He’ll remember that postgame. We’ll leave it at that.
“Actually, I thought Brian (Matusz) threw the ball well. Got some big outs and gave up a couple flares. Couldn’t quite turn the double play because of the speed of their guy. Everybody threw the ball well. I was trying to stay away from Jimmy. Took a one-inning pop with him there. And Tommy threw the ball well. I’m glad we had them available tonight.”
Showalter was making a point with that last sentence. Do you see what he did there?
McFarland had a rare opportunity to pitch in a game that the Orioles won. He’s the designated long man, which means he’s called upon when the starter falters and can’t get into the middle innings.
“Some of it is because what he’s here to do for us initially is to pitch extended outings and keep us from using other guys,” Showalter said. “He’s a guy with a starting background and capable of throwing multiple innings. He’s been valuable to us, even though it may not always seem on the surface. He’s been very valuable to us. Kept us from making a lot of moves with our bullpen.
“The Rule 5 guys we’ve taken the last two years, (Ryan) Flaherty and him, one, they’re really good young men, teammates. And I know the players really pull for them. The ball hadn’t hardly left the infield and fell, and guys were talking about it being Mac’s first win. Everybody knew it.
“They’ve been very respectful of the level they’re at and very professional. They’ve had a lot of people kind of show them the way. But they came with that. These are two good guys who are going to give themselves a chance to be as good as they’re capable of being.
“Mac’s interesting. He can sink the ball and he can do some things. We’re going to feel pretty fortunate if we get through the year that we have him in the organization. He just turned 24. There aren’t many left-handers with that kind of sink floating around. He got some good hitters out. That’s some club they have.”
Kevin Gausman was in line for his first major league win before Boston scored twice off Matusz in the seventh to tie the game.
“I think he established the fastball on the inner half, and when you have the type of fastballs that guys have to hurry to a little bit, if you can get something soft over, it really makes it better,” Showalter said.
Showalter also told reporters that second baseman Brian Roberts felt good hitting in the cage today.
Update: The Orioles announced after the game that they optioned Gausman to Triple-A Norfolk. A corresponding move will be announced on Friday.
The Orioles need a bullpen arm. That’s the only reason they’re sending down Gausman, who can come back up in 10 days unless he’s replacing an injured player or one who goes on paternity leave.
Josh Stinson was scheduled to pitch tonight for Norfolk, but the game was rained out. Jair Jurrjens is scheduled to start Friday night.