Baltimore Orioles - PlayerWatch
INF Jimmy Paredes was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk before Thursday's game. He was hitting .258 in 32 games playing both second and third with Norfolk since Baltimore got him from the Royals on July 24. He didn't get into Thursday's series finale with the Rays.
LF Nelson Cruz got his fourth steal of the season when he and Jones teamed up for that first-inning double steal. Cruz took off for second and then pulled up about 10-20 feet short of the base, the way the play is usually designed. Jones then broke for home plate, and SS Yunel Escobar's throw was high, and the Oriole outfielder slid in while Cruz made it to second.
Robert Andino on June 14, 2009, to steal home in Thursday's game. He combined with LF Nelson Cruz to pull off a double steal in the first inning, sliding under a high throw home to score a run.
SS J.J. Hardy made a great defensive play to turn a 6-3 double play in the seventh and get LHP Andrew Miller out of the inning. Hardy then got the game-winning single in the bottom of that inning Thursday night. "I was just thinking about hitting the ball hard," Hardy said. "Didn't happen but it worked."
1B Steve Pearce continued his recent torrid hitting in Thursday's game. He stretched his hitting streak to 11 games with a first-inning homer and finished the night 1-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored. Pearce began the month batting just .077 but since then is hitting .333 (15-for-45).
3B Chris Davis continues to struggle and now is hitting .188 after going 0-for-3 in Thursday's win. Still, he's been in the middle of a few rallies in this series, got an RBI in the fifth on a force-out with the bases loaded. The Rays obviously still are a bit worried about him, walking him after Cruz's seventh-inning double to put runners on first and second with two outs. The move backfired as SS J.J. Hardy blooped the game-winning single. "It doesn't matter what your batting average is...if they feel like you can hurt them at any point in the game and they have a chance to walk you they can do it," Davis said.
RHP Bud Norris battled his way through six innings in Thursday's game. He labored through a 34-pitch first inning but still lasted five more. Norris retired eight in a row at one point and gave up four runs on six hits. "To get through six was big for us," Norris said. "I just really tried to grind it out. That's a good ball club over there."