Orioles pregame notes on Rays game, McKenna, Wells and more

CLEVELAND – The trainers’ room on the visiting side at Progressive Field attracted a large crowd this afternoon.

The Orioles didn’t have injury issues. It wasn't about receiving treatment.

They had a strong curiosity about the finish of the Rays-Angels game, and that's the television they chose over the ones inside their clubhouse.

Tampa Bay rallied for a 5-4 win and reduced the Orioles’ division lead to two games. The magic number holds at seven to clinch it.

Players gathered to watch the ending and reacted to every missed opportunity by the Angels to help them. A botched double-play grounder in the ninth set up the Rays for the walk-off. The groans were audible.

Manager Brandon Hyde also tracked it from his office and said he was a “huge Angels fan.”

“It didn’t turn out the way we wanted. We didn’t close it there in the ninth inning,” Hyde said.

“I was hoping for some defense there late, but Tampa does what Tampa does. Win those late games there at home. Seen it before.”

* Ryan McKenna is on the bench tonight after replacing Ryan Mountcastle on the active roster. He provides more options for late-game strategy, which Hyde could have used Monday after Aaron Hicks left with cramping in his hamstring, players were bouncing to different positions, and the designated hitter was lost.

“Let’s hope that doesn’t happen,” Hyde said, laughing.

“Mac adds a ton to our club. It’s not just the defensive versatility at all three spots in the outfield, but now if he’s not in the lineup, another guy who can run off the bench, which is huge. Tonight, with (Jorge) Mateo and McKenna not playing, I can pinch-run, it helps our versatility and makes us more athletic. So, happy to have him here.”

The reports on Tyler Wells at Triple-A Norfolk apparently are more favorable than his stats.

Wells worked two-thirds of an inning last night and was charged with one run and two hits. He has a 9.00 ERA and 1.833 WHIP in six innings.

“Sounds like his stuff was pretty good, so that’s encouraging,” Hyde said. “I know the line wasn’t great, but the stuff is ticking up a little bit. So, I think he’s definitely an option for us down the stretch.”

* Hyde is managing his 699th game with the Orioles tonight and 700th overall, including one in an interim role with the Marlins in 2011.

* First baseman Ryan O’Hearn is slashing .361/.361/.597 (26-for-72) in his last 20 games, with nine extra-base hits and 19 RBIs.

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