Rickard, new outfielders, Pearce and football talk (O’s lose 5-2)

Orioles outfielder Joey Rickard still hasn’t swung a bat after being cleared on Friday to begin baseball-related activities. Manager Buck Showalter has been checking the reports and figures to speak with Rickard, who’s currently at the Ed Smith Stadium complex in Sarasota.

Rickard could make the drive over to St. Petersburg, Fla. while the Orioles are there for a three-game series against the Rays that begins Monday afternoon. That’s usually how we get caught up with players who are rehabbing from injuries.

“I’m watching it every day to see when he’s going to start swinging some,” Showalter said. “I think now that he’s got that date, the 19th, before the 60-day is up, he’s probably not going to get ahead of himself.”

Showalter now has the luxury of using Drew Stubbs and Michael Bourn off the bench to cover for Rickard, who’s been sidelined since July 21 with a slightly torn ligament in his right thumb. The Orioles transferred him to the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday.

Bourn was used last night as a pinch-hitter and stayed in the game as the left fielder while the Orioles protected a 2-0 lead. Stubbs entered the game as a pinch-runner and moved to right field. Pretty much how Showalter and executive vice president Dan Duquette envisioned it following Wednesday’s acquisitions.

Rickard-Swings-White-Sidebar.jpg“In a lot of ways, it was a reminder of how much we’ve missed Joey Rickard for quite a while,” Showalter said. “Joey did a lot of things for us like that. He could play some center field, he played left field, he played right field, he pinch-ran, pinch-hit, gave us some juice against left-handers. Joey was playing a lot, too. That was a piece we didn’t have for a long time.

“Julio (Borbon) did it a little bit for us. Getting him on and off the roster was tough with some of the pitching challenges.”

Steve Pearce is in left field today and could be removed in the late innings. He’s starting ahead of Hyun Soo Kim despite the Yankees sending right-hander Michael Pineda to the mound.

“I came into this series wanting to play him two out of three days,” Showalter said. “He’s feeling good physically. Pineda’s a neutral, almost a reverse splits guy, too. About 40-something percent of sliders to right-handed hitters. He’s got two of them, one for a strike and one he tries to bury. Tough on left-handed hitters.

“It’s nice having some weapons off the bench, especially against their bullpen.”

As I mentioned earlier, Chris Tillman threw a bullpen session today and Darren O’Day threw off a half-mound. I’ll pass along updates following the game.

“We’re hoping that Darren’s potentially ready to do something over in Sarasota,” Showalter said. “We could use that while we’re in Tampa. See how today goes.

“I’m hoping to get good news on both of them. That would be a nice add on around the corner.”

Orioles third base coach Bobby Dickerson is celebrating this 51st birthday today.

The first nine minutes of today’s media session with Showalter were devoted to college football and his days as a high school quarterback and safety. We also debated which Oriole would make the best quarterback.

One of Showalter’s best lines came toward the end, around the 21-minute mark and past the baseball talk, when he recalled meeting former Ravens offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden.

“The first time I met him upstairs ... he was good, right? Like, real good? Maybe one of the best ever?” Showalter asked.

“How do you get around that guy? His hands. All I could think about was birthing that man. Good gracious. How does that happen? He was born Friday, Saturday and Sunday.”

Update: Wade Miley threw 36 pitches in the top of the first inning and gave up three runs after walking the first two batters. He also struck out the side.

Adam Jones led off the bottom of the first with a single, giving him 1,426 hits to tie Paul Blair for ninth place on the club’s all-time list.

Update II: Miley has allowed four runs and thrown 70 pitches in three inning. He’s walked four batters.

Chase Headley’s two-out RBI single in the third increased the lead to 4-0. Headley also had an RBI single in the first.

Update III: The Orioles are chipping away, scoring once in the fourth on Steve Pearce’s fielder’s choice grounder and once in the fifth on Pedro Alvarez’s RBI double, with Adam Jones motoring home from first. But they’ve failed to come up with the big hit that ties the game or gives them a lead.

The Orioles are 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and have stranded eight.

Miley allowed four runs and five hits in five innings, with four walks and four strikeouts. He owns a 7.15 ERA with the Orioles.

Update IV: The Orioles went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine in a 5-2 loss to the Yankees.

The Orioles failed to sweep the series and trail the Blue Jays by three games in the American League East.

The Yankees scored an unearned run in the ninth after Mark Trumbo dropped Tyler Austin’s fly ball for a two-base error. Donnie Hart replaced Oliver Drake, and Brett Gardner lifted a sacrifice fly to right field.

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