ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Orioles catcher Matt Wieters will fly to Pensacola, Fla., Tuesday morning to have his right elbow examined by renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews. He’s scheduled to come back to the team later in the day, and manager Buck Showalter hopes to have him behind the plate for the second game of the series against the Rays.
Showalter didn’t provide much information beyond confirming that Wieters had an MRI on his elbow during yesterday’s break in the schedule.
“He’s been getting it treated for a while,” Showalter said following tonight’s 5-3 win over the Rays. “We just want to make sure we know what we’re dealing with. He’s going to fly in and out tomorrow. He’ll be back for the game tomorrow. He’s got an early flight to Pensacola and back.
“We got an MRI yesterday on the off-day and we just want to follow up now that we got it. We’re on the road and Pensacola is just around the corner, so to speak. Unfortunately he’s got to go through Charlotte to get there. Go figure. But he’s coming back on a direct flight, and hopefully he’s catching for us tomorrow.
“Until we got our arms around it, I didn’t want to play him tonight. Plus, I didn’t want Stevie (Clevenger) to sit five straight days.”
Wieters, who wasn’t available for comment, served as the designated hitter and singled twice to leave his average at .341.
The Orioles scored twice in the eighth to break a 3-3 tie. Steve Pearce drew a walk to load the bases following a 19-minute delay due to a portion of the lights going out.
“I thought Stevie had a big at-bat there,” Showalter said. “Everybody wants to be the guy. You’ve got to remember that when guys get to this level, they were the best hitter in Little League, the best hitter in high school, the best hitter in college. They made a living hitting. Guys want to hit up here and that’s why so many pitchers pitch out of the strike zone. And I would, too. They’re trying to make pitches appear strikes and leave the zone.
“I think we had a lot of patient at-bats. You know how much they want to hit there and be the guy to do it for the club. Stevie’s walk was key. A lot of guys let him get out of the zone there.”
Ryan Flaherty broke the tie with an RBI single, his second hit of the night.
“Ryan was big,” Showalter said. “He’s sitting around for a few days. He played a really good second base for us, too. I felt like coming in here with the left-handers the next two days, I wanted to get Ryan on the field. You just don’t want guys sitting around too long. But Ryan was a contributor. Matty was, too. He’s swinging the bat well.”
Flaherty was 13-for-67 before tonight, and he turned hero in the eighth.
“It was nice to get up there in that situation and help the team win,” he said. “Anytime you get up there with less than two outs and a guy on third base, you try to get him in.
“Second and third and the lights go out, but we picked up where we left off and got a couple of runs in in that inning.
“I saw it happen in the Super Bowl, but that was the only experience I’ve had watching lights go out. I saw a couple of their guys sitting in the outfield. Looney Tunes was on the scoreboard. It was kind of a bizarre moment.”
Chris Tillman was charged with three runs in six innings and gave the Orioles their 10th quality start in 30 games.
“He looked like a guy who hadn’t been sitting around for six days,” Showalter said. “He was a lot crisper and sharper.
“Zach (Britton) had some big outs. I thought Zach was one of the key innings in this game.”
Tillman hadn’t completed six innings in his past three starts.
“You always like to get deeper, but they put some good at-bats together tonight, laid off some tough pitches when they were behind in the count. That’s a credit to them,” he said. “I had a little better fastball command tonight and I was able to throw my off-speed pitches off that. But too many walks, too many deep counts. I’d like to have gotten deeper there.”
Evan Longoria was 10-for-24 with four home runs lifetime against Tillman before tonight, and his two-run shot in the first inning gave Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead.
“He beat me at my game plan,” Tillman said. “That’s what I was trying to do. Doesn’t make it any better, but we were trying to go away and I wanted to elevate a little bit, but he put a good swing on it and it happens.”
Apparently, so do delays in domes when the lights shut off.
“They don’t want it to happen. It hurts them as much as it does us, I’m sure,” Showalter said. “Zach hadn’t been in the game yet, so he’s fine. (Joel) Peralta is the one who had to sit around for a while.”
Showalter is no stranger to ballparks that suddenly go dark.
“Have you been in the minor leagues?” he asked. “I’ve seen it a couple times - two, three times - and it lasted a lot longer than that. There’s a bank behind home plate that never comes on. Everybody’s waiting for those to come on and they don’t ever come on. I was just hoping it wouldn’t mess up the air conditioning.”