Yesterday’s break in the schedule allowed the relievers to rest, and more of them became available tonight.
The payoff is a four-man bench and more roster flexibility.
“It’s nice we have that extra position player right now,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “We lost a reliever, but hopefully we can stick with this number. We just haven’t had the opportunity this year. Just the way our pitching is, our starters haven’t given us a ton of length and bullpen guys being taxed a little bit, so we’ve always had to carry that extra pitcher.
“I’d love to go into September with this number, but we’ll see.”
Stewart needs a run of good luck after spraining his ankle in Texas and being hit in the head by a fly ball at Camden Yards that gave him a concussion and a large welt on his left temple.
“He’s had, obviously, a tough couple of months physically and just some bad breaks when it comes to the injury standpoint,” Hyde said. “We’re hoping that he can stay healthy for the rest of the year. He’s going to get a lot of opportunities to play to prove what he can do.”
Hyde has been impressed by Stewart in limited chances to see him, the more extensive look coming in Grapefruit League games.
“The guy I saw in spring training was a guy who took really good at-bats,” Hyde said. “Love the energy he plays with. I think he plays really hard. I think that caused the injury in Texas, as an effort injury.
“I like the aggressiveness in which he plays, and he’s hit well in Triple-A this year and I’d love to see him continue that and carry it over to the big leagues.”
The Orioles haven’t decided on how to expand their September roster.
“I’m not sure what the number’s going to be like and if we’re going to call up non-roster guys. We’ll see when we get there,” Hyde said.
“We’re going to bring up who we feel like is ready to come up here, and that’s going to be a discussion in the next two weeks with me and Mike (Elias) and Sig (Mejdal) and the guys on who we add in September. I don’t think you’re going to see the whole 40-man roster here, but you’ll see some extra faces. We just haven’t decided on the number yet.”
“One of those two,” Hyde said. “We’ll see how the next couple of days go.”
Former Orioles starter Andrew Cashner has been moved to the Red Sox bullpen after posting an 8.01 ERA following the July trade. Cashner registered his first professional save Tuesday night in Cleveland and retired all three batters faced the following game.
“He was outstanding for us,” Hyde said. “We were all hoping that he was going to come here and do well. When we were in Anaheim we watched his start against the Yankees here and threw the ball great. It just hasn’t happened for him, for whatever reason. But I saw him throw out of the ‘pen really well the last couple times, and his velo was 98 and throwing the ball well.
“Yeah, Cash was wonderful for all of us here and wishing him the best after the series. I’d like to see him do well.”
Update: Mookie Betts led off the first inning with a double off Aaron Brooks and scored on Rafael Devers’ single for a 1-0 lead.
Update III: J.D. Martinez doubled with one out and scored on Andrew Benintendi’s single for a 2-1 lead in the fourth. Benintendi scored on Mitch Moreland’s triple.
Update IV: Chris Owings’ two-run double off Richard Bleier with the bases loaded in the sixth gave Boston a 5-1 lead, and Jackie Bradley Jr. followed with a sacrifice fly.
Update V: Tom Eshelman gave up two runs in the seventh on Martinez’s sacrifice fly and Benintendi’s RBI double.
Update VI: Betts homered off Eshelman in the eighth for a 9-1 lead.