O’s still expect Means to return next weekend (game update)

SEATTLE - Orioles left-handed starter John Means remains on track to be activated off the injured list and rejoin the rotation during the series against the Indians that begins June 28 at Oriole Park.

Means, who is 6-4 with a 2.67 ERA, has been on the IL since Thursday with a left shoulder strain.

“He played catch today and felt good,” said manager Brandon Hyde.

Means-Set-Spring-sidebar.jpgMeans will need to throw at least one bullpen session before he gets back on the mound in a game. Hyde said the concern level on Means has been low from the start with this injury, which Means also downplayed.

“We weren’t worried about the situation,” Hyde said. “We just wanted to make sure everything was right. He threw the ball really well today, he long-tossed and everything felt strong. To get him back out there will be huge for us.”

The Orioles have listed Tuesday’s starter at home against San Diego as TBD - to be determined - with Dylan Bundy scheduled for Wednesday.

“A lot depends on today,” said Hyde. “How we utilize guys out of the ‘pen. We’ll see. Might be a Yac (Jimmy Yacabonis)/(Josh) Rogers thing like we did in Oakland. We’ll see after today.”

The Orioles announced today that right-hander Dan Straily, who is 2-4 with a 9.82 ERA, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. He was designated for assignment on Thursday.

“I’m glad he’s sticking around,” Hyde said. “I think just for him to get back on track and have a comfort level and a clean-slate start. Work on some of the things that he struggled with here that he’s had success with in his career. The slider and being able to locate his fastball a little bit better. Going to be easier to work on that down there than up here. Hope he finds command and can get back up here and help us.”

Hyde today was asked about catcher Pedro Severino. In parts of four seasons with Washington, Severino hit .187/.273/.287 in 282 plate appearances. In 167 PAs with the Orioles, he’s batting .288/.361/.500 and is 9-for-23 (.391) during his current six-game hitting streak. Why is the offense so much better now for the 25-year-old native of the Dominican Republic?

“Opportunity and a lot of at-bats,” Hyde explained. “Getting a lot of playing time. We wanted to give him the opportunity to see what he could do offensively. We knew what kind of a catcher he was and how he threw. He’s taken advantage of it and takes great at-bats. I just like the way he competes at the plate. Rarely chases and gives himself a chance. Has a nice middle-of-the-field approach and he’s so strong. He gets the barrel to the ball and the ball jumps. It’s a guy taking advantage of an opportunity and it’s awesome.”

The Orioles made some stellar defensive plays in Saturday’s win, and the D was a nice complement to a strong outing from Andrew Cashner, who gave the Orioles the season’s 19th quality start.

“Those plays that (Keon) Broxton made, those were doubles,” said Hyde. “The play that Richie (Martin at shortstop) made. When you make the plays behind your starter, it gives him a ton of confidence. The defense responds to guys that have really good tempo and throw strikes. You expect the ball hit to you on every single pitch. We’ve had so many long defensive innings because of 30-pitch innings and deep counts.”

The Mariners today recalled former O’s right-hander Mike Wright from Triple-A Tacoma, where he was 0-1 with a 2.66 ERA over 20 1/3 innings. Baltimore designated Wright on April 21, and the Mariners added him three days later. He pitched to an ERA of 9.00 with Seattle before they outrighted him to the minors. He’s back in the bigs today.

O’s get the lead: The Orioles took a 2-1 lead in the second inning today. Trey Mancini’s solo homer in the first was No. 17, went 417 feet, and made it 1-0. Then J.P. Crawford matched that with a solo homer in the home first. The O’s moved ahead in the second on Hanser Alberto’s RBI double for the 2-1 edge.

Tied up: Seattle loaded the bases with no outs in the second against Gabriel Ynoa, but he got Mac Williamson to ground into a double play. A run scored to tie it 2-2.

Blowout city now: Seattle scored eight runs in the last of the third on six hits, three walks and a hit batter to lead 10-2. Starter Ynoa was charged with seven runs and five hits over 2 1/3 innings. Reliever Matt Wotherspoon let in the three runners he inherited and gave up three more runs of his own. So the O’s have allowed an eight-run inning today after a 10-run inning Tuesday at Oakland.

Two more: Williamson hit a two-run homer in the fourth to make it 12-2 Mariners.

One back: Anthony Santander’s RBI grounder made it 12-3 in the sixth inning.

One more for the home team: Miguel Castro came on to pitch the bottom of the seventh. He committed a throwing error that let Williamson get on, then gave up two hits to load the bases. Crawford hit a sacrifice fly for his fourth RBI of the day. The Mariners lead 13-3.

Quiet eighth: Dwight Smith Jr.’s double didn’t cost former Oriole right-hander Mike Wright in the eighth inning. Branden Kline pitched a 1-2-3 bottom half.

Quiet end: Wright wrapped things up in the ninth, and would have gotten the O’s 1-2-3 had right fielder Dee Gordon not dropped Alberto’s fly ball. The Mariners end the series with a 13-3 win.

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