BOSTON - The Orioles are challenged again to come up with a suitable number of starters to get through the last week of the season.
The Tuesday vacancy remains and a replacement for Yefry Ramírez is needed for Wednesday’s series finale due to a cut on the rookie’s right thumb.
Ramírez could pitch again this week, but he needs more time for the cut to heal.
“I’d like to give him an extra day or two,” said manager Buck Showalter.
“I think Yefry will pitch again but I’m not sure when. It’s like Dan (Duquette) and I were talking today that when we get done tonight’s game we’ll know who’s going to pitch tomorrow.”
Left-hander John Means, whose contract was selected earlier today from Triple-A Norfolk, is a candidate to start against the Red Sox in his major league debut.
“I’ve got a couple guys with some length, but I need them today and tomorrow,” Showalter said.
Means was back home in Kansas City when he heard from Kent Qualls, the Orioles’ director of minor league operations.
“It definitely came as a little bit of a surprise, but I knew there was a chance,” he said. “There was only me and Dillon Tate throwing and he actually I think got shut down. He just had some issues throwing. But, yeah, I think there was a good chance just because I was the only one down there.
“I went home after the season and went home for two weeks, I think it was. I was sitting on my couch and I get a call from Kent Qualls saying, ‘What have you been doing? Have you been working out, throwing?’ I actually had been. I was throwing every other day, just in case, just making sure.
“He called me and was like, ‘Can you go to Florida and get warmed up a little bit?’ Of course, I was like, ‘Sure.’ And here I am.”
Means is in Boston because the Orioles are running short on pitching. He understands the situation. He’s on the club’s radar, but he wasn’t necessarily forcing the issue.
“I was really happy with the season I had,” he said. “There were definitely some ups and downs, but I thought it was pretty consistent for the most part. I didn’t finish the year like I wanted to and I honestly wasn’t surprised when I didn’t get called up in September because I just didn’t finish as strong as I wanted, but I’m glad I can kind of redeem myself here.
“I’m just going to go out there trying to do the best I can and be the pitcher I am. I’m just going to go in and do it. I’m excited about next year and ready to go.”
Means has no idea how the Orioles intend to use him.
“I haven’t been told anything yet,” he said. “We’ll see what happens.”
This isn’t his first visit to Fenway Park.
“I’ve been here once before,” he said. “I played in the Cape Cod League and came out here for batting practice one time and we actually got to go out on the field, so it’s actually pretty neat this is where I’m starting.”
Showalter confirmed that Tate has been shut down from throwing in Sarasota because his right shoulder responded poorly to it after a period of being idle. The Orioles wanted Means and Tate to stay ready, but the competition thinned.
“Didn’t like the way his shoulder responded to the work, with some of the down time and then getting going,” Showalter said.
“A little more sore than we thought. And John’s had a good year, you know? Actually got better as he went up. I thought he pitched as well if not better in Triple-A than Double-A and we probably would protect him anyway.”
Adam Jones hasn’t started in left field since Sept. 30, 2007 in his final game with the Mariners. He made 11 starts among 26 appearances.
DJ Stewart is in right field tonight while Jones settles in front of the Green Monster.
“We get one opportunity to come in here and we think DJ’s got a chance to contribute up here and I want to take the opportunity for him to play right field here,” Showalter said. “Tomorrow or the next day, get some innings in left field. I want to make sure we don’t leave here without him getting ... that’s why he played left and right in New York and I just want them to gain every possible thing they can from coming here.
“Adam ... left, right. It’s closer to the dugout.”
Rookie catcher Chance Sisco remains in concussion protocol and there are no plans to bring him to Boston.
Update: Dylan Bundy allowed four runs in the second inning, the last two on Mookie Betts’ home run. Brock Holt had an RBI double and he scored on Christian Vázquez’s single.
Update II: Donnie Hart replaced Bundy in the fourth and the Red Sox scored twice for a 6-0 lead. Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts had RBI singles.
Tim Beckham scored on a wild pitch in the fifth.
Update III: Jones’ sacrifice fly in the eighth reduced the lead to 6-2.