The lineup for tonight’s game against the Blue Jays was posted later than usual, with Orioles manager Brandon Hyde sifting through various stats and reports on Derek Law.
The Blue Jays switched from veteran Edwin Jackson to Law this afternoon and Hyde wanted to know whether changes were necessary.
The lineup stayed the same.
It still didn’t include first baseman Chris Davis.
“We wanted to look at some things before we announced our lineup,” Hyde said. “I wanted to look at Derek Law a little bit. I was prepared for E-Jax and found out that Law was going to open about an hour and a half, two hours ago, so I wanted to look at some stuff before I posted anything.
“Got to look if you’re going to make any adjustments, knowing that you’re expecting somebody to start and now they’re not, so just wanted to thoroughly go through some stuff.”
Davis already was going to sit because he’s 0-for-17 with eight strikeouts against Jackson, and he remains on the bench with Law now serving as the opener. He hasn’t been in the lineup for three of the past four games, though two weekend exclusions in Houston were based more on the Astros starting left-handers Framber Valdez and Wade Miley.
“I look at matchups and I try to put him in a position to have success,” Hyde said. “Not in there tonight. He’ll be in there tomorrow against (Marcus) Stroman. But he hasn’t had a lot of success against E-Jax and I’m assuming he’s coming in after Law, but we’ll see. And I want to see (Chance) Sisco play, to be honest with you.
“He’s going to be ready to hit off the bench and we’re going with who we have.”
Davis singled, walked and struck out last night and is batting .164/.247/.301 in 162 plate appearances. He’s 3-for-36 with 20 strikeouts since May 17.
Stroman won’t be an easy mark for Davis in the series finale. Davis is 4-for-21 with 11 strikeouts against him.
* With improved performances out of the bullpen, Hyde is daring to slot some of his relievers in more defined roles. Mychal Givens, for example, was available last night and held back until the ninth inning.
“I would say, maybe the last five or six days, I’m using some guys in higher-leverage situations,” Hyde said. “I think when guys start having success, then it becomes a lot easier. When guys start being consistent on the mound and start getting outs out of the ‘pen, things start to solidify a little bit.
“Up until fairly recent, we haven’t had a ton of success, so it’s great to see guys like Shawn Armstrong come in and give you two good innings. He’s been pitching well. Richard Bleier comes in and has been getting ground balls for the last handful of appearances he’s been out there, and Mike’s been really, really good. And Paul Fry’s been really good. So it’s nice to see guys coming in and putting up zeros out of the bullpen. It makes it a lot easier.”
Mark Trumbo was in Triple-A Norfolk’s original lineup tonight as the designated hitter but came out of it, with Joey Rickard now slotted into the role. Hyde said he wasn’t aware of any health issues with Trumbo.
“I haven’t heard anything different,” he said.
Hyde was braced for yesterday’s news that Alex Cobb would undergo hip surgery this week and miss the remainder of the season.
“I knew it was a possibility,” Hyde said.
“Obviously, we want the best for Alex and we want Alex healthy. It’s a medical decision that I was just kind of waiting and hearing and listening to what was going on, but it sounds like he’s going to get the surgery done and be ready for spring training and be ready for next year. That’s a positive, instead of trying to grind through it this season.”
Hyde greeted the media this afternoon by praising Single-A Delmarva for its first-half South Atlantic League Northern Division championship.
“Start off by saying congratulation to the Delmarva Shorebirds, first-half winners,” Hyde said. “I was in that league for four years, so I know the South Atlantic League pretty well. So pretty cool accomplishment for those guys to win the first half.”
Hyde managed the 2009 Jacksonville Suns to the Southern League title.
“You didn’t know that?” he playfully asked a reporter. “Come on.”
Update: Trey Mancini broke a scoreless tie with a leadoff home run off Jackson in the fourth inning.
Update II: Rowdy Tellez hit a grand slam off Miguel Castro to complete a six-run fifth inning and give the Blue Jays a 6-1 lead. David Hess was charged with four runs after loading the bases with no outs.
Update III: The Orioles scored a run in the fifth on Jackson’s wild pitch, but Evan Phillips allowed two in the sixth and Toronto leads 8-2.
Update IV: Sisco had a two-run double in the eighth, Renato Nunez drove in a run with a ground ball and Rio Ruiz had an RBI single to cut the lead to 8-6.