Two more games before the All-Star break. Two more games before sweet relief.
I’ll remind all of the pessimists that the Orioles can’t go 0-10 on this road trip. They won a game. Stop being so negative.
Speaking of sweet relief, the Orioles could use it after Zach Britton lasted two-thirds of an inning last night and Brad Bergesen tried to shake hands with David Ortiz’s line drive.
The Orioles have allowed 10 runs or more in four of their last five games. Now their starters can’t get through the first inning.
Britton owes Kevin Gregg an expensive meal after the closer removed much of the attention from him.
Maybe we’ll find out today whether Gregg is facing a suspension after last night’s brawl. Gregg had the audacity to pitch inside to Ortiz, who would have needed to tip over to get smacked in the midsection. Gregg wasn’t trying to hit him, but Ortiz clearly didn’t believe it.
Ortiz might have considered the pitch payback for posing at home plate on his three-run homer in the first inning. Or for the line drive that nailed Bergeson on the right forearm, though it’s hard to prove intent on that one. And it’s hard to nail down Ortiz, who left the clubhouse without speaking to reporters.
Ortiz popped up the next pitch and lingered around the plate - something he usually does at meal time. Gregg motioned for him to run and must have fired off a few choice words, since he was ejected before Ortiz could take a step toward the reliever.
“You hit a lazy fly ball,” Gregg said, “you’ve got to run the bases.”
Maybe Ortiz was just being lazy.
I gained quite a bit of respect for Gregg. He wasn’t going to be bullied by the Red Sox. He wasn’t going to be intimidated by their bloated payroll or their bloated designated hitter.
Gregg has his faults, and plenty of fans here carry a laminated card in their wallets listing each one, but he’s a good teammate. And he’s clearly fed up with the losing and whatever tactics from the Red Sox have been deemed as disrespectful.
The Orioles showed some fire, some attitude. Maybe it will be a rallying point. Maybe they’ll fall behind by 18 runs in the first inning. But at least they didn’t take their beating lying down.
So will we have a roster move today?
Alfredo Simon is starting, so he’s not available to pitch in long relief. I figured out that one on my own.
The Orioles could summon Triple-A Norfolk left-hander Mark Hendrickson, who’s 2-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 19 games, with 39 hits, 12 walks and 22 strikeouts in 47 innings.
I’m not sure what Troy Patton needs to do to get noticed. He’s 4-1 with a 2.06 ERA in 15 games.
Josh Rupe has a 6.67 ERA in 21 games. Clay Rapada gave up two runs and three hits in one inning last night, leaving his ERA at 18.00.
Jeremy Accardo hasn’t allowed a run in five games. He’s given up three hits, walked two and struck out five in eight innings.
Speaking of Norfolk, Nick Green homered twice and drove in seven runs last night. He’s hitting .210 with 10 homers and 43 RBIs. Ryan Adams homered and knocked in four runs.
Update: A team official confirmed that Hendrickson is joining the club in Boston. A corresponding move is “TBD.”