BOSTON - Orioles catcher Pedro Severino has avoided the injured list after being hit by a J.B. Wendelken curveball yesterday on top of his batting helmet and sprawling to the dirt.
Severino passed the concussion tests, accompanied the team to Boston and is available to play in the series.
“He’s a lot better today,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “He caught a break there. It’s always scary when somebody gets hit in the head. Had a little bit of a headache, but they cleared him of all concussion symptoms and he feels much better today.”
Chance Sisco was scratched from Triple-A Norfolk’s lineup yesterday in case the Orioles needed to make a roster move. Sisco remains with the Tides.
“If the tests today didn’t go well, then we were going to have to,” Hyde said.
“The concussion thing obviously you’re very sensitive to and you want to treat that correctly , so we put him through a lot of tests last night, woke up today feeling good, did some more stuff and he’s ready to go.”
* Hyde is waiting for Alex Cobb to throw a bullpen session before determining when the veteran can come off the injured list and make his second start. Cobb said today that the back is improving a little each day, but there’s still some pain associated with a lumbar strain.
“Alex is feeling better,” Hyde said. “We’re not going to rush him back. We’re hoping he can make the start once he comes off the IL, but it’s not for sure at this point just because it’s back spasms. You don’t want it to creep back and we’re not going to rush anything right now.
“He’s feeling better every day and we’re hoping that he’s able to throw a side here tomorrow or the next day to prepare for that start.”
* Hyde fielded his daily Chris Davis question, explaining why the first baseman is out of the lineup. Davis will return Saturday afternoon against right-hander Rick Porcello.
“I’m just picking my spots with Chris and trying to get good matchups for him,” Hyde said. “He had another good day of work today. He was hitting on the field early again today, so I’m just trying to pick my spots with him. Try to get him off to a start where he’s taking some good ABs, which he has been doing the last few games that he’s been in there.
“Tonight was just a night we felt like, let him get a breather.”
* Cedric Mullins is getting regular starts in center field with the Orioles down to a three-man bench. He’s less likely to sit against left-handers despite his splits as a switch-hitter.
Mullins is facing southpaw Eduardo Rodriguez tonight and the Red Sox are sending lefty David Price to the mound on Sunday.
“He’s going to get more ABs right-handed,” Hyde said. “It’s a great opportunity for him. We’re going to face quite a few left-handed starters and he’s going to get some opportunities to get some ABs off them and continue to work on his right-handed swing.
“I really like the way Cedric plays defense, too. I don’t want that to be lost if he’s having a tough night offensively, especially in a ballpark like this with a huge right-center and a lot of room to cover out there. I like to have him in there as much as possible.”
Mullins has collected only four hits in his first 32 at-bats, including two triples in Monday night’s game against the Athletics. He went 0-for-5 yesterday.
“He’s not off to a start he wanted,” Hyde said, “and I’m hoping he can turn it around and take some good ABs from both sides.”
* Tanner Scott made it back to the majors yesterday with the Orioles placing left-hander Richard Bleier on the injured list. He allowed a single and double on his first two pitchers in the eighth inning, struck out a batter and watched Jimmy Yacabonis strand two inherited runners.
The Orioles optioned Scott late in spring training after he allowed eight runs and walked six batters in nine innings. A media assumption that he’d be included among three left-handers in the bullpen was destroyed.
“I came into camp not expecting anything,” he said. “You’ve got to work, you’ve got to earn your spot and I had a couple outings this spring that weren’t really good and I didn’t deserve to be on the team at the beginning of the year. You have to pitch better to be up here.”
Scott understands that lapses in control will keep him on the Triple-A shuttle. He left camp with instructions to be more consistent throwing strikes and recording outs.
“Everyone knows my consistency last year in strike-throwing last year was not really great,” said Scott, who averaged 4.7 walks and 12.8 strikeouts per nine innings last summer.
“It’s just simple fixes in your mechanics and being on time with your hands, your leg, Just little things. You’ve got to tweak them every single time.”
Scott made two appearances with Triple-A Norfolk, allowing three runs and walking two batters in 2 1/3 innings, and the Orioles chose him to replace Bleier.
“You’re always waiting for a call,” he said. “I was glad it happened. I’m here to pitch. I’m happy to be here.”
* Former manager Buck Showalter delighted in taking shots at Fenway Park, providing headlines for the local media, but Hyde doesn’t share the same opinion.
“This is obviously a really special place,” he said. “Coming to parks like this, I love it. I love the atmosphere, I love the history. I’ve been here a couple times and I’m looking forward to coming here multiple times a year now. It’s just special, I just love it.
“I think our guys feel that, they’ll feed off that. Our young guys are going to be able to hear an opposing crowd that’s loud and passionate about their Red Sox. So I think it’s phenomenal, it’s outstanding.”
Hyde’s past visits to Boston came as a coach during interleague play. Today marked his first stop as a manager.
“I ran a little bit today on the field,” he said. “Last time I was here I went behind the wall. I just love the whole environment and the whole atmosphere. It’s a small visiting clubhouse, which is cool in its own way. Everything about the historic part of this game and places like this, you just feel fortunate to be a part of it.”
Update: Andrew Benintendi homered off David Hess in the third inning for a 1-0 lead.
Update II: The Red Sox took a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning on Xander Bogaerts’ run-scoring double and Eduardo Núñez ’s single.
Update III: Dwight Smith Jr. hit a two-run homer in the seventh to reduce the lead to 3-2.
Update IV: Christian Vázquez scored on a wild pitch by Evan Phillips with two outs in the seventh to increase the lead to 4-2.