Matt Wieters could join the Orioles and serve as the designated hitter Thursday in Houston or catch Friday in Cleveland. Manager Buck Showalter mentioned both possibilities following today’s 9-5 loss to the Rays before 36,945 at Camden Yards.
Wieters will catch Bud Norris Tuesday at Triple-A Norfolk before the Orioles make a decision.
“He’s eligible the fourth and if everything goes well ...” Showalter said. “There’s a lot of reasons, and also it kind of worked out with Bud, too. I think that will be good. He’s ready to go, at-bats and everything. He needs all the time, but looking forward to getting him on the fourth if everything goes well Tuesday. Or the fifth.”
Chris Tillman has lost a career-high six consecutive decisions after allowing six runs (five earned) and nine hits today over 4 2/3 innings. He’s 2-7 with a 5.94 ERA in 53 innings.
Tillman said he’s fine physically. He was victimized by a few bloop hits, but he also walked three and served up a long three-run homer to Steve Souza Jr. in the fifth.
“He gave the home run. That’s probably the key,” Showalter said. “He’ll tell you some of the things that led to that inning. But when you go through that period when your balls are a foot foul and they find some spots ...
“It will turn. I thought he was carrying some pretty good stuff today. Just really the one pitch he’d like to have back.”
Tillman can’t find any consistency this season.
“He will,” Showalter said. “Chris is a 27-year-old man with a lot of success behind him. He’s very close and he’s going to pitch good for us this year and hopefully for a long time. Keep that in mind. He was very close to having a real good outing today. It will turn. It’s just watching a good pitcher not having the return he’s capable of.
“It’s not like he’s that far way. Try to keep that in mind. It may look that because we’re all tied in the end game. I got it. But in the whole scheme of things, that’s not something I fret over.”
Showalter didn’t blame his outfield defense for the bloop hits.
“We had a non-backup at third and a throw to the wrong base. Those are two things. But the physical part of it, it’s tough,” Showalter said.
“I could show you some spray charts and stuff where they hit some balls in this series, they’ve never hit balls here. It’s tough to defend a broken-bat flare, but they hit some balls hard, too.”
Delmon Young didn’t have a home run before hitting two today off two pitches from Rays starter Jake Odorizzi.
“I think we all would have won that bet if we thought he was going to hit one,” Showalter said. “He almost hit three. The last few days, the ball is just flying out of here. But he got all of the first one. It’s good to see. With Jonesy (Adam Jones) being out, we need somebody to step up a little bit and he did.”