Catcher Matt Wieters had two more hits on Friday night and drove in three of the Orioles’ four runs in the series-opening victory over the Boston Red Sox. In 17 games this month, he is 20 for 60 (.333) with five home runs and 17 RBI.
His big blow on Friday was a two-run single into the right field corner in the fourth inning. He followed it up with an RBI double in the sixth and now has a total of 82 RBI for the season.
“I always talk about the great decisions and great things he does behind the plate and that’s obvious,” said manager Buck Showalter, “but tonight every time they scored, in seemed like, we had an answer and Matt was in the middle of that again.”
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Red Sox pitcher John Lester finally lost a decision to the Orioles, but he took it in stride and gave Buck Showalter and the resurgent Orioles a strong endorsement after the game.
“They’re able to -- I saw a stat on the other day, they’re able to win those one-run games,’’ Lester said. “It’s very important, can turn your whole season around. The back end of their bullpen is very good. We saw that tonight. And their closer. Buck has done a good job over there as far as trying to change the mentality of their players. The offense was always there. They could always hit the ball and run and do the little things inside the game. They lacked a little pitching, whether it was starting or the back end of the bullpen, and they’ve done a good job of filling those pieces and it’s finally coming together for them.”
Designated hitter Jim Thome's return to the starting lineup figures to come in today's afternoon game against Red Sox right-hander Aaron Cook. Thome said he could have played last night, but manager Buck Showalter wanted to give him one more day and -- presumably -- keep him away from Lester.