KANSAS CITY - The Orioles today added four players as major league rosters can expand to as many as 40 players on Sept. 1. The club has reinstated right-handed Shawn Armstrong from the 10-day injured list, and recalled right-hander Branden Kline, lefty Tanner Scott and outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. from Triple-A Norfolk.
The Orioles are expected to have more roster additions during the upcoming Tampa Bay series, which begins Monday.
Mark Trumbo is expected to meet the Orioles in Tampa Bay. He has not played at all this season for the Orioles.
“I’m excited to have Mark back,” Hyde said. “He’s been in our clubhouse a lot, but now excited to have him back on the roster.”
Armstrong has been on the IL retroactive to Aug. 22 with a right forearm strain. Over 39 games for the Orioles, he is 0-0 with a 5.01 ERA. In 41 1/3 innings, he has allowed 37 hits with 20 walks, 49 strikeout and a WHIP of 1.379.
Kline returns to the club for his fifth stint in the majors this year. With the Orioles, he is 1-4 with a 7.44 ERA in 25 games. Over his last three games for the club, the last of which was Aug. 12, he gave up eight runs and 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Scott has pitched in 15 O’s games in 2019, going 1-0 with a 5.29 ERA. In 30 games with Triple-A Norfolk, he has gone 3-4 with a 2.98 ERA over 45 1/3 with 15 walks and 57 strikeouts.
Smith hit .311/.367/.556 in 11 games for Norfolk with two doubles, three homers and 12 RBIs. In 84 games for the Orioles, the last of which was July 29 in San Diego, he has hit .238/.293/.415 with 15 doubles, two triples, 12 homers and 48 RBIs.
“Yeah, it’s Sept. 1, so the game changes a little bit going forward as rosters expand,” O’s manager Brandon Hyde said. “Usually, teams have a lot of bullpen arms and they can match up in different ways. It’s just a different game because the rosters are so big. I’m excited to add these four guys today and we’ll be adding more going forward and hopefully these guys play well.”
Hyde talked about Smith, who is starting in left today, trying to get his bat going again for the Orioles. In July, he hit .161 with an OPS of .470.
“I think, yeah, he had a little bit of a rough patch,” said Hyde. “But he swung the bat well in Triple-A after he came off a leg injury. Hopefully, he continues to swing the bat well and has a good September.”
The Orioles are starting right-hander Asher Wojciechowski tomorrow in Tampa Bay and have not yet set their pitchers for Tuesday’s doubleheader.
Royals lead after one: Renato Núñez’s sacrifice fly staked the Orioles to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but the Royals scored three times off Brooks in the bottom half to grab the lead.
Knotted up: Trey Manini’s two-run single in the third tied the game at 3-3.
Tied no more: In the sixth, Jonathan Villar singled with one down, stole second and moved to third on a third on a throwing error, then scored when he beat second baseman Nicky Lopez’s throw home on Pedro Severino’s fielder’s choice grounder. It’s 4-3 Orioles.
O’s ‘pen struggles: Four Orioles relievers allowed three hits and a walk as the Royals scored a pair in the seventh to take a 5-4 lead. Whit Merrifield homered off Shawn Armstrong in the eighth to make it 6-4.
It’s a final: Royals 6, Orioles 4.
Brandon Hyde on Aaron Brooks’ start: “He didn’t have his command in the first inning and they put up a few on him. But thought he did a nice job, found it a little later on in his outing and gave us a chance. ... He did a nice job pitching into the fifth inning with kind of a high pitch count.”
Hyde on Villar’s ability to create offense with his legs: “Johnny’s had a special second half. He’s really done a nice job stealing a bunch of bases and making things happen for us. He’s a real exciting player.”
Hyde on whether he’d like to see more of the speed game on the Orioles: “It all depends on your personnel. You’re not going to steal bases with guys that can’t run. The guys who have the opportunity to run (will). You saw Richie Martin steal a base today. You saw Johnny Villar do some things on the bases. We don’t have a ton of team speed, but the couple guys we do, kind of free ‘em up and let ‘em go.”
Brooks on his early struggles: “The first inning seems to be a little more nervous for me for some reason. I don’t know if it’s feeling something different out of the ‘pen or some way to get ready to come out in the first. ... Just try to stick with the plan and attack them with what we felt was going to work.”
Brooks on what he battled with today: “Command for me early. I think I just didn’t have a feel for any of my pitches, so I just had to grind a little bit. Nibbled a little bit, threw too many balls, got behind and got a few base hits when they needed to.”
Brooks on what it will take for the Orioles to start winning games where they’ve given up leads late: “It’s crazy, man. I think just the timely hits and the timely pitching. Sometimes it’s crazy when the pitchers don’t show up that day and the hitters do, then the ... pitchers show up and the hitters do on some days. I think it’s just getting it to click at the right time, getting everyone to be relaxed and stay within themselves. We do a great job of trying to grind every day, come back and start over every day. That’s a good start. We’re getting there.”
Richie Martin on utilizing his speed: “I think I have to utilize all my skill sets in order to be effective.”
Martin on goals for September: “Play the game right, have good at-bats and continue to work on what the coaches have preached. Just buy in to everything that they’re enforcing upon us. Just want to finish this month strong.”
Martin on what it will take to change outcomes of close games: “It seems like we’re in every single game. We had the lead - what was it, the seventh (or) eighth inning? It’s just unfortunate that it ended up turning around the other way. It just goes to show people how competitive of a team we are.”