Means started last night and worked seven innings in a 7-1 victory over the Rays, easily his finest outing since the All-Star break.
Because of the delicate nature of the situation, the Orioles are allowing Means to address it upon his return to the club. Manager Brandon Hyde responded with “not much” when asked what information he could provide to the media.
“We’re hoping that he’ll meet us in Kansas City,” Hyde said. “It’s a private matter with him and his family and we’re hoping to see him in Kansas City.”
Means is a Kansas native who will experience the convenience of being close to the team. There are two off-days this week and his next turn falls on Friday night in the series opener against the Royals.
Players on the family medical emergency list are allowed to be away from the club from three to seven days. The Orioles can’t be certain of his exact return date and obviously are giving him as much time as he needs.
Hyde didn’t clarify whether Means was aware of his family’s situation while starting last night’s game.
“I don’t want to get too ... it’s really private and so that’s something to ask him when he gets back,” Hyde said. “I don’t want to get involved. I want him to answer those questions.
“I just know that they’re going through a tough time and we’re hoping that he joins us in Kansas City.
The departure and immersion in family matters won’t necessarily push back Means’ next start. He’s going to stay ready.
“I’m not sure. We’re hoping that he can stay on schedule, but if we can’t, then we’ll figure it out,” Hyde said.
“We’re going to do the best thing for him and his family and we’ll see him in Kansas City. He’ll be throwing in between. We’re hoping he’ll make the scheduled start, but it’s not for sure.”
Tayler Scott learned late last night that the Orioles were recalling him, which suggests that the family situation came up unexpectedly. Scott is at the ballpark and available to pitch today out of an expanded bullpen.
For the Rays
Eric Sogard 2B
Tommy Pham LF
Austin Meadows DH
Ji-Man Choi 1B
Avisaíl García RF
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Willy Adames SS
Joey Wendle 3B
Mike Zunino C
Diego Castillo RHP
Update II: Two-run double for Núñez in third and it’s 3-0.
Update III: DJ Stewart’s RBI single later in the inning made it 4-0.
Update IV: Kevin Kiermaier’s RBI single off Dylan Bundy in the fourth reduced the lead to 4-1.
Update V: Jonathan Villar homered in the fourth inning for a 5-1 lead. He’s the sixth Orioles player with 20 home runs and 20 steals in the same season. Rio Ruiz doubled and scored on Santander’s single.
Update VI: The Rays scored twice off Bundy in the fifth and first base umpire John Bacon ejected pitching coach Doug Brocail.
Update VII: Stewart doubled and scored on Stevie Wilkerson’s sacrifice fly in the fifth for a 7-3 lead.
Update VIII: Santander homered in the seventh for an 8-3 lead.