Nick Markakis went 2-for-4 with a home run last night to record his 27th multi-hit game this season. Only four players in the American League had more than 27.
Markakis has 363 career multi-hit games, leaving him two behind Melvin Mora for the 10th-most in franchise history.
Markakis is batting .438 (7-for-16) with a home run, a walk and two runs scored in his last four games against the Indians dating to July 21, 2012.
Among players with at least 50 at-bats against the American League Central this season, Markakis ranks first with a .403 average (25-for-62).
If you thought the Orioles were fabricating Steve Pearce’s wrist injury to keep Travis Ishikawa on the roster, well, Pearce had both wrists wrapped last night and received a cortisone injection in the left one.
Asked when the discomfort started, Pearce said, “A month ago. It’s been a long time. So I just tried to play through it the whole time. But it’s been hampering me for a while.”
Pearce will fly to Sarasota today to rehab. He’s hoping to be ready when his 15 days are up.
“Right now, I think we’re just going to let the wrist calm down and stay away from here being tempted on swings,” he said.
“I don’t get the luxury to sit around. I’ve got to hit. The only time it’s going to heal is to stay off it and not use it. So that’s what we’re going to do right now with the injection. We’re just going to let it heal.”
Ryan Flaherty extended his hitting streak to a career-high six games last night by going 2-for-3 with a walk. Flaherty is 10-for-22 during the streak, with three home runs, four RBIs and four runs scored.
Flaherty has seven multi-hit games in 52 games this season. He had four in 77 games last season.
I’d be surprised if the Orioles optioned Flaherty to make room for second baseman Brian Roberts, who could be activated from the disabled list this weekend. It only happens if they want Flaherty playing every day, rather than sitting on the bench here.
It doesn’t appear that Alexi Casilla’s spot on the roster is in jeopardy, though he rarely plays. But things do change quickly around here, so stay tuned.
Flaherty is 2-for-5 with a walk against Justin Masterson, who starts tonight for the Indians.
Matt Wieters is 4-for-19 with a double against Masterson. Adam Jones is 4-for-20 with two doubles and a triple. Markakis is 4-for-22.
Casilla is 9-for-26 (.346) with a double, triple, home run and eight RBIs against Masterson. Should he get the start tonight, or should manager Buck Showalter stick with Flaherty?
Danny Valencia is 6-for-16 with a double and six strikeouts against Masterson. He struck out as a pinch-hitter last night.
Orioles pinch-hitters are 3-for-27 this season. The three hits tie the White Sox for fewest in the majors.
Jones was 9-for-9 in stolen base attempts before being thrown out last night by Indians catcher Carlos Santana.
Wieters is 5-for-8 with three doubles, a home run, four RBIs and a walk in two games batting seventh. No reason to move him up tonight. Let J.J. Hardy continue to bat sixth.
I sense that Showalter would rather have Kevin Gausman’s next start come with Norfolk instead of the Orioles, who need someone to take the mound Friday night against the Yankees.
Gausman is here only because the Orioles needed a long man in the bullpen. The club discussed bringing up Jair Jurrjens, but he started Friday night and worked eight innings - giving up four runs and 12 hits.
Freddy Garcia may have gone to the bullpen instead of being optioned yesterday if he hadn’t pitched so poorly Sunday afternoon in Toronto. Then again, how would the Orioles make room for him? That’s always the issue with Darren O’Day and Brian Matusz being the only relievers with options.
One consideration is going with eight relievers and a three-man bench, but that’s a gamble.
The Orioles continue to discuss promoting Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia to Norfolk, and it could happen in the near future. They would just have to make room for him.
Urrutia went 1-for-2 with a double and two walks last night, leaving his line at .356/.427/.553 in 49 games. He has 16 doubles, seven homers and 35 RBIs this season.
Urrutia is batting .313 against left-handers and .371 against right-handers. He gave up switch-hitting and bats exclusively from the left side.
And quite well, it appears.
He’s got the Eastern League pretty much figured out. Let’s see what he can do in the International League.