For Matt Wieters, it had been a while between home runs. It had been a while between extra-base hits.
Wieters homered off Roberto Hernandez leading off the last of the second tonight to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead at the time. It was his second homer of the season. His first had come in the first inning of the first game when he took David Price deep for a two-run shot on April 2 at Tropicana Field.
That was the last game where Wieters, who entered tonight batting .200, had an extra-base hit as he went 2-for-3 with a double and a homer on opening night.
Wieters’ homer was the 12th of his career against Tampa Bay, the most he has against any team. He began tonight batting .341 with 11 doubles, 11 homers and 39 RBIs with a slugging percentage of .553 against what has been a very solid Tampa Bay pitching staff.
Wieters had also been just 1-for-14 over his past four games and 2-for-26 over the last eight.
He also was struggling against right-handed pitching, coming into this game 4-for-30 with a slugging percentage of .133 against right-handers.
There have even been some commenters here wondering if Wieters should continue to switch-hit. I don’t see any changes coming there.
The bottom line is it is early, but Wieters needed a hit and got a big one in the second tonight. Now will that jump-start his bat during this homestand?
Bowie’s Joseph injured: Double-A Bowie’s Caleb Joseph left tonight’s game after one at-bat due to a shin contusion. Joseph was helped from the field, but walked to the clubhouse under his own power after a collision at first base.
He entered tonight batting .313 with two homers, 15 RBIs and a .929 OPS. Joseph drove in a run before leaving tonight for his 16th RBI. More impressively, it was the eighth consecutive game he drove in at least one run and he now has eight RBIs over his past four games. He began tonight as the Eastern League RBIs leader.