The Orioles’ Steve Pearce will have an MRI in the morning. He left tonight’s game before the top of the fourth inning with a right abdominal strain.
Pearce said it was not that painful, and he felt it could be a very short-term injury. The Orioles want to try and resolve this before it gets any worse.
When did Pearce first become aware of this issue?
“Yesterday,” he said. “Taking some swings felt some discomfort. Was hoping it was just cramps. Felt it again today, so right now it’s just the beginning stage and they took me out as a precaution to prevent this from lingering.
“Just hoping it’s a day or two thing. I’m not feeling any pain, just discomfort. Nothing tonight affected it.”
Pearce went 0-for-1 tonight, snapping an 11-game batting streak, and was replaced by Jimmy Paredes.
He informed hitting coach Jim Presley of the issue during the game.
“He was asking me how I was feeling. Just told him scared it doesn’t do further damage to it and I miss the rest of the season and the playoffs,” Pearce said. “I think he took it from there that he needed to say something (to manager Buck Showalter).
“I’m not all that concerned. It is not affecting me doing anything else. I’m not in pain, even when I swing. I just feel something there. Just want to get ahead of it and get back pretty soon.”
In 85 games, Pearce is batting .289 with 16 homers, 37 RBIs and a .532 slugging percentage.
As for tonight’s game, Chris Davis had the biggest swing. His grand slam in the fourth inning gave the Orioles a 5-0 lead, and they beat the Twins 9-1.
It was Davis’ fourth career slam and second of this season. He hit his first June 17 at Tampa Bay.
“I was sitting dead-red that whole at-bat,” Davis said. “He (Trevor May) was struggling with his command, hit a couple guys and walked J.J. (Hardy). So I was looking for a fastball to hit. The 3-1 count he threw it over the plate and left it up just enough where I could put a good swing on it and drive in all of us.
“There have been games where I’ve had a rough couple of at-bats and come up late and hit a home run or had a big hit. That is the way you have to approach when you are not swinging the way you want to all time. Have to take advantage of opportunities to drive in runs.”
For Davis, seven of his last 13 hits have been homers. He was asked if he is finally starting to feel better at the plate.
“Yeah, I’ve felt pretty good the last two or three weeks,” he said. “Made a few adjustments the last few days and it’s translated into the game. Something I have to continue to grind out.”
Now, the Orioles wait to find out if Davis will move back to playing first base if Pearce is out for any length of time.
“It’s part of it. You never want to see a guy go down but you understand that is part of the game,” Davis said. “Think it was big getting Jimmy (Paredes) in here, had a couple of at-bats. I’ve played against him a little bit, I like him as a player. Hope we don’t to have to use him too much but it’s nice to know you have him in your back pocket.”
On the mound tonight, Miguel Gonzalez had a strong outing, allowing four hits and one run over seven innings. Gonzalez has pitched to an ERA of 1.86 his last three start and 2.33 over his last eight.
“Caleb (Joseph) early was calling some balls up and four seams and we did a pretty good job changing speeds,” Gonzalez said. “It is definitely better to pitch with that type of lead. Our offense and defense was great and that is what wins ballgames.”
“You have to keep working hard. You can’t take anything for granted and you have to stay focused.”
Meanwhile Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was very critical that a replay review did not overturn the call that Delmon Young homered in the fifth inning. Gardenhire felt a fan pulled the ball over the fence and the homer call should have been overturned.
“Somewhere between here and New York something got lost,” he said. “Somebody up there in New York, I don’t think they were supposed to be in the building and they called that a home run. The person that looked at that film, shouldn’t have been working there because that is a joke.
“That’s embarrassing, the system didn’t work tonight. Because the guy caught the ball over the fence. That can’t happen at this level. We’re supposed to get it right.”