Orioles get another shot at Michael Pineda

The Orioles’ catching pattern figures to remain intact tonight despite the opposing pitcher. And that’s an important consideration.

Matt Wieters caught last night and Caleb Joseph is expected to replace him tonight. Wieters isn’t catching back-to-back games, and manager Buck Showalter is debating whether to use him as the designated hitter or totally rest him.

Joseph is 1-for-7 with six strikeouts against Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda. Wieters is 1-for-6, but he’s only struck out once, which makes him a threat compared to most of his teammates.

The Orioles are 3-4 against the Yankees this season, taking two of three at Camden Yards in April. Pineda has beaten them twice and really, really embarrassed them once.

wieters swing white sidebar.jpgOn April 13, Pineda allowed five runs and nine hits in 6 1/3 innings, with no walks and nine strikeouts, in a 6-5 win at Camden Yards. On May 10, he allowed one run and six hits in seven innings, with no walks and 16 strikeouts, in a 6-2 win at Yankee Stadium.

I’ll save you the math. He’s walked none and struck out 25 in 13 1/3 innings.

Pineda’s 16 strikeouts were the most ever against the Orioles in a nine-inning game. They also struck out twice against reliever Dellin Betances, giving them a club-record 18 for a nine-inning game. The previous mark of 17 happened three times, most recently on Sept. 21, 1998.

The Orioles actually led 1-0 in the second inning on J.J. Hardy’s first home run since Aug. 31, 2014. Hardy went 2-for-3 and was the only Oriole to avoid striking out against Pineda. The parade down Pratt St. will take place later this year.

Hardy is 6-for-11 with three home runs lifetime against Pineda. Adam Jones is 6-for-17 with two doubles and a home run. Manny Machado is 3-for-6 with a double.

Chris Davis is 1-for-11 with eight strikeouts, Travis Snider is 0-for-9 with five strikeouts and Delmon Young is 1-for-8 with a double and five strikeouts.

Pineda has allowed two earned runs or fewer in seven of his 11 starts this season. He’s walked seven and struck out 76 over 70 1/3 innings while going 7-2 with a 3.33 ERA.

Pineda is 3-0 with a 2.56 ERA in six career starts against the Orioles, with three walks and 50 strikeouts in 38 2/3 innings, and 1-0 with a 4.67 ERA in three starts at Camden Yards.

Ubaldo Jimenez is 2-4 with a 5.50 ERA in seven career starts against the Yankees. Carlos Beltran is 6-for-15 with two doubles and two home runs. Garrett Jones is 5-for-11 with two doubles. Alex Rodriguez, eight hits shy of 3,000, is 2-for-4 with two doubles.

Chris Young is 8-for-45 (.178) with three doubles. Mark Teixeira is 3-for-21 (.143) with two doubles. Brett Gardner is 2-for-14.

The Orioles swept the Red Sox in a three-game series in Baltimore for the first time since Sept. 28-30, 2012.

Closer Zach Britton hasn’t allowed a run in his last 11 appearances covering 11 2/3 innings. He’s converted 13 straight save opportunities, the second-longest streak of his career. He converted 18 in a row from July 19-Sept. 4, 2014.

I’ve got leftover quotes from starter Chris Tillman, who picked up the win last night after being charged with four runs in 5 2/3 innings.

“It was OK,” he said. “It could have been better. It could have been worse. I made some good pitches to get out of some trouble. You’d like first of all not to be in trouble, but I think we’re able to throw the fastball enough and mix in just enough off-speed stuff to keep us in that game.

“Even when it’s not going good, I take the positive and go with them and work on what I need to work on. As long as you keep moving forward and see the positive in stuff, you’re heading in the right direction. I had the breaking ball in the last game. I didn’t have it this game. I think it hurt me. I pretty much went into the game with two pitches. Wiety did a good job of keeping me in it.”

Tillman is glad to have Wieters and outfielder Nolan Reimold back in the lineup. Asked what it means to the team, he replied, “A ton. A ton.”

“Everyone knows what Wieters is capable of, especially with me,” he added. “Having played together for so long and coming up together, he knows me inside and out. And Nolan is a special player. On any given night, he’s capable of doing some impressive things, and tonight was one of them.”

So how about that season-long four-game winning streak?

“I think as long as we keep playing quality baseball, it’s going to keep coming,” Tillman said. “Even when it wasn’t going so well, we played some good games. Ball just didn’t bounce our way. You’ve got to stay after it, and that’s what the leadership in this clubhouse is for. You keep grinding and keep working to where you want to get, it’s going to be all right.”

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