ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles will summon one or two pitchers from Sarasota for Saturday’s game against the Rays, according to manager Buck Showalter and executive vice president Dan Duquette.
No names have been revealed, but left-hander Zach Britton is a likely choice to join the expanded roster.
Showalter said the Orioles were going to bring up a pitcher or two no matter how long tonight’s game lasted. The decision was made earlier in the day.
“I know we’ll add at least one,” Showalter said following a 5-4, 18-inning loss to the Rays before 21,247 at Tropicana Field. “It wasn’t necessarily because of tonight. We were probably going to do it anyway. I had Richie (Bancells) text Dan during the game about our options. We’ll add one or two.
“We’ve got a lot of people who pitched tonight who can pitch tomorrow. And we also have Miguel (Gonzalez), who we hope gives us some innings. Of course, they’ve got one of their best pitchers maybe throwing as good as anybody with (Alex) Cobb tomorrow. But I think the big question I’ve got to wrestle with his how many guys we rest tomorrow that played.”
Matt Wieters caught 12 innings on Wednesday and 18 tonight. He won’t be starting the second game of this series.
“There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not impressed with Matt just walking in the door,” Showalter said. “I kept asking him and he just winked at me. I was kidding with him about the 11th. I said, ‘Any doubt about you catching...’ I know he had in the back of his mind to catch the rest of the games the rest of the way out, but obviously we won’t do that tomorrow.”
Showalter instructed his players to stay away from the ballpark until at least 11 a.m. He wants them to get some rest after an early morning arrival in Tampa and a marathon game that ended poorly.
“It was impressive,” he said. “Two teams wanting something very badly and a small margin, and that’s why those games go on like that. Real proud of everybody. My gosh. Our guys pitched great. Ham (Jason Hammel) didn’t give in and got a lot of great innings pitched out of the bullpen. Unfortunately, they did, too. The game’s not always fair. Somebody’s going to come out... But they’ve been battling, too.
“The schedule’s not always (fair), but you can go back to three or four situations where Tampa had some tough travel or whatever. It’s not always fair that night, but it usually equals out. We’re operating under the same umbrella and it’s part of the job description that you know going in there are going to be some times that will be challenging.”
This game was especially challenging for the Orioles, who are 2 1/2 games behind Cleveland in the wild card race.
“It was very tough,” said left-hander T.J. McFarland, who tossed a scoreless 14th and 15th inning. “I’ve never been a part of anything like that. The whole team, we just kept battling, grinding through. Unfortunately, we didn’t pull this one out. But, it’s just tiring. We just played two full games.
“Very proud (of the bullpen). Everyone just came out there and threw well. Everybody did. Every single person in that ‘pen that came out today was on point, attacking hitters.
“Nobody in our ‘pen, nobody on our pitching staff would ever deny the ball. Everybody wants the ball. That’s how I felt.”
Third baseman Manny Machado won’t soon forget his first professional game as a leadoff hitter.
“Long. Devastating, obviously,” he said. “Would have been much better if we would have came out with the win. But they came (out) on top.
“It’s tough, obviously, getting in at 3 and then coming here and playing extra-inning games. It was definitely tough, but we try to put that aside and try to win games. It didn’t work out for us today. We didn’t get key hits. We didn’t really get so many hits after the ninth inning. So we just have to put this game aside of us and come back tomorrow. I mean, we’ve got another game in a couple hours, so we’re going to have to come back and get mentally ready and keep going.
“They’re in a pennant race, too. They’re trying to win just like we were. It’s just whoever comes out on top, and they had the better luck of it today.”