This, that and the other

Catcher Matt Wieters is leading off tonight for Triple-A Norfolk in the final game of his injury rehabilitation assignment.

I’m fairly certain that the Orioles will bat him lower in the order, whether he’s the designated hitter Thursday in Houston or catching Friday in Cleveland.

norris-pitching-front-gray-sidebar.jpgBud Norris will make his final start in the minors before rejoining the Orioles. That’s the current plan.

Former Oriole Ryan Lavarnway is catching tonight for Gwinnett.

Speaking of leadoff hitters who don’t fit the mold, Norfolk outfielder Henry Urrutia is batting .348 (16-for-46) with two home runs, 10 RBIs and a .412 on-base percentage in 11 games atop the order. He never hit leadoff before this season.

Urrutia is batting .343 (12-for-35) with two home runs and nine RBIs in his last nine games.

With a win tonight, the Tides would move a season-high eight games above .500. They’ve won six of their last seven games and eight of 10.

Left-hander Cesar Cabral has made 19 scoreless appearances to start his Norfolk career, and he’s held batters to a .212 average (14-for-66) with 20 strikeouts over 17 2/3 innings. Left-handers are 3-for-25 with 11 strikeouts against him.

Cabral, 26, hasn’t allowed any of his 12 inherited runners to score.

Paul Janish leads International League shortstops with a .995 fielding percentage. He’s committed one error in 196 total chances.

Do the Orioles purchase his contract if shortstop J.J. Hardy goes on the disabled list, or do they recall infielder Rey Navarro?

Does it have to be an infielder? Everth Cabrera and Ryan Flaherty can play shortstop, and Steve Pearce and Jimmy Paredes can play second base.

Of course, we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Hardy didn’t play last night because of soreness in his left side. His current status is day-to-day, which matches the rest of us.

The Orioles rank first in the majors with 18 outfield assists. Delmon Young collected two more last night and ranks first in the majors with eight.

Young has hit safely in five of his last six games since May 25, batting (.455/.478/.727) with four multi-hit games. Young homered twice on Sunday.

On this date in 1959, Orioles pitcher Hoyt Wilhelm was attacked by gnats in the first inning at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. Anyone remember it?

Insecticide and sprays were ineffective, but the bugs were blasted away by fireworks that were to be used after the game.

Seriously, somebody has to remember it.

Wilhelm allowed one run in the first inning, but he went the distance in a 3-2 win.

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