ANAHEIM, Calif. - The Orioles made a series of roster moves in the final 80 minutes before gametime tonight, which included All-Star lefty John Means going to the 10-day injured list. But the Orioles fully expect Means back after his 10-day IL stay is up and their concern level right now is low.
But manager Brandon Hyde said he did not yet know what he will do to replace Means in the rotation with the news fresh today.
The rundown of the moves:
* Placed Means on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to July 25) with left biceps strain.
* Optioned lefty Tanner Scott to Triple-A Norfolk.
* Reinstated right-hander Nate Karns from the 60-day injured list (right forearm strain) and designated him for assignment.
Hyde on Means: “He has a little bit of biceps soreness. You could tell, just didn’t have the same finish on his pitches the last couple of innings in that start in Arizona. So we feel like the right thing to do is for him to miss one start. Go on the IL and should be back as soon as he comes off the IL.
Hyde on whether there is any concern with a second IL stint for Means: “I’m really relying on our medical people and they’re really not concerned about it at all. So I don’t think there are any red flags there. It’s his rookie year in the big leagues, and even though he has a track record of starting, the intensity level is different here. I think he is still getting used to the major league grind of being a starting pitcher. This is a part of it. Feel like the right thing to do is not push him through anything. Obviously, we care a ton about John Means and he’s a big part of us going forward. Want to see him finish the season strong.”
Hyde on all the roster moves today so close to gametime: “We knew that we’d have to make a couple of moves and get a couple of pitchers here. We wanted to test John today to see where he was physically. We felt like the right thing to do was put him on the IL and miss a start. That allowed us to get one guy here and we optioned out Tanner to get a second.
Hyde on Tate, who had a 1.67 ERA out of the ‘pen for Bowie: “Dillon Tate is throwing ball well ever since he went to the bullpen. So probably going to make his debut and looking forward to watching him pitch.”
Hyde on Karns’ DFA: “I just think it was an organizational decision to, you know, talking to Mike (Elias) about it yesterday a little bit, we felt like the right thing for our organization to do was to move on and wish Nate the best of luck. Obviously, he didn’t pitch very much for us, but, he was a pleasure to have in the clubhouse. Veteran guy in the dugout. He was like (Andrew) Cashner, he was loud in the dugout and really supported the guys. Not an easy decision and wish the best for him.”
Hyde talked further today about the 16-inning win in the series opener and how special it was for his team.
“I just feel like we’ve had so many tough losses and within those losses we did some good things to battle back,” he said. “We were due for a feel-good win. To see our guys, give our guys a ton of credit. A lot of times when we do something well, have a chance to win and it doesn’t happen. Do something well again, you give it up. It’s easy to have a here-we-go-again attitude and our guys didn’t have that. They continued to fight, battle and scratch. Gabriel Ynoa kept us in that game and our guys came through. Felt good for them.”
Hyde reflected again today on Stevie Wilkerson becoming the first position player to ever get a save in a major league game.
“The guy has a ton of confidence. I looked down to him at the end of the 15th, he kind gave me a wink like, ‘I got this.’ OK. Just hoping they hit three balls at people. I don’t know if we’ll ever see that again,” Hyde said.
The big inning: The Orioles have opened a 7-0 lead after scoring six runs in the second inning. That frame featured Wilkerson’s RBI grounder, Santander’s two-run single and a Renato Núñez three-run homer mashed out to right center at 107 mph. Santander has three RBIs and Nunez’s homer was No. 25. Asher Wojciechowski needed just 23 pitches to go six and up and out through two.
Shutout bid ends: Wojciechowski took a shutout through 4 2/3 innings before Matt Thaiss hit a two-run homer to right to make it 7-2 at the end of five.
Wojo exits: Wojciechowki was very strong again tonight. Over seven innings, he gave up three hits and two runs on 100 pitches. He has allowed two runs over 14 1/3 innings in his past two starts. Shawn Armstrong came on to pitch the eighth. The O’s still lead 7-2.
Late thump: Trey Mancini hit a two-run homer in the ninth to make it 9-2. It was his 24th of the season. The Orioles have hit at least two homers in nine consecutive games, tying a major league record. Justin Upton connected off Evan Phillips in the bottom of the inning.