Orioles sign Wolf, Pearce talks about slide, Joseph talks about home run

NEW YORK - The Orioles have reached agreement with left-hander Randy Wolf on a Triple-A contract, according to team officials. The deal is pending a physical.

Wolf, 37, would report to Norfolk on Tuesday.

Wolf was 2-0 with a 5.28 ERA in five games (two starts) with the Orioles in 2012 before undergoing a second ligament-reconstructive surgery in his left elbow. He was 5-1 with a 4.50 ERA in six starts at Triple-A Reno before opting out of his deal with the Diamondbacks, and 1-3 with a 5.26 ERA in six games with the Marlins before becoming a free agent.

Also, pitcher Josh Stinson accepted his outright assignment to Norfolk and the Orioles outrighted pitcher Edger Escalona, who’s been on the 60-day disabled list.

Following the Orioles’ 8-0 win today, Yankees manager Joe Girardi described Steve Pearce’s slide into third baseman Kelly Johnson as “malicious.” Pearce forced Johnson into a throwing error while breaking up a double play during the Orioles’ four-run eighth inning.

“You have to make an attempt for the bag and there was no attempt for the bag,” Girardi said. “That was pretty malicious. And I’m all for playing hard. I don’t have a problem with playing hard. I took guys out. But that’s a pretty dangerous one, because you’re going after someone on the side and that’s how you hurt your knees. I didn’t think he made any attempt for the bag.”

“I was just trying to take him out,” Pearce said. “There was nothing malicious about it. I’m just playing the game. And if he feels that way, I’m sorry. But personally, I was not trying to hurt the guy. I was just trying to break up the double play.

“When I saw the replay, I was like, ‘Man I was far away.’ But like I said, I was not trying to hurt Kelly over there. I was just trying to break up the double play.”

Johnson was just as upset with the ruling as the slide. The umpires didn’t call Pearce for interference.

“It could be dirty,” Johnson said. “As a baserunner, I would have a hard time saying I wouldn’t slide the same way. I would try to make sure I’m closer. You always want to make sure you can reach. But there’s always that fine line. He got away with one. Maybe it was on that fine line.

“That’s a play where he does where he kind of does what he’s supposed to do. Probably couldn’t reach the base. I got a little upset about the fact after I watched the replay, for sure, but also about the fact that to me it wasn’t ruled the right way. But it’s a judgment call.

“He said, ‘My bad.’ I said, ‘You got away with one.’ “

Manager Buck Showalter naturally defended his player.

“I haven’t looked at it yet,” he said. “I couldn’t see it very well. I’m sure I’m very biased toward the Baltimore angle, the Orioles angle, and I’m sure (Girardi) is very biased toward New York’s angle. I just haven’t looked it yet. It certainly wasn’t the only play in the game reviewable.”

Caleb Joseph completed the scoring in the ninth inning with his first major league home run, a shot to left field off Yankees reliever David Huff.

“Really exciting,” he said. “To do it in Yankee Stadium, such a historic place. More than hitting the home run, it’s taking two out of three against the Yankees and gaining some leverage. Winning in this atmosphere makes it even more sweet.”

Where does the home run rank for Joseph, who made his major league debut this season?

“They’re all pretty even - first win, first game, first shutout. They’re all really close,” he said.

“The home run I think is a little bit bigger just because I’ve been struggling offensively and I know I can produce offensively for this team. So, to finally square up pole-side, because I’ve been going to the right side of the field, was big. They’re all great moments.”

Joseph got the silent treatment in the dugout, as he anticipated after watching it happen to J.J. Hardy yesterday. Joseph didn’t want to duplicate Hardy’s pretend celebration, so he turned the tables on his teammates by ignoring them first.

“It’s amazing how many thoughts can go through your mind in a 12-second jog around the bases, so I went into the tunnel and just tried to do something different, because J.J. had such a great process there when he threw his seeds on himself,” Joseph said. “I was like, ‘I’m going to do something different,’ and ran into the tunnel and kind of hid for a few minutes until they called me back out. It was fun.”

These last few weeks have been crazy for Joseph, who is getting the majority of starts with Matt Wieters out for the season.

“It’s not easy knowing Matt is going to be gone,” Joseph said. “He’s kind of the heart and soul of this team. You’re trying to fill his shoes the best you can. He’s a proven catcher, does a lot with the pitching staff, even not being around. I’ve tried to keep in touch with him.

“It’s been good. Watching these pitchers get better and better makes my job really gratifying.”

Joseph caught Chris Tillman, who blanked New York over seven innings today.

“He was great,” Joseph said. “Had great fastball command. Really good life on the fastball today. Had a really good changeup and had just enough curveball to kind of put a third pitch in their head. Didn’t really use a cutter today, his fastball was so good. When he’s got a good fastball, he’s dominant.”

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