Injured Orioles ponder DH after rainout vs Texas
BALTIMORE – The Baltimore Orioles are already short-handed, and after Friday night's game against Texas was postponed by rain manager Buck Showalter also had to worry about running out relief pitchers over the weekend.
The teams will play a traditional doubleheader on Saturday starting at 4:30 p.m.
Shortstop J.J. Hardy (sore left rib cage) wasn't in the lineup Friday, and second baseman Brian Roberts wouldn't have played if the game went of as scheduled. Roberts experienced severe stomach pains and was taken to the hospital for tests.
The pitching staff is also thin. Starters Brian Matusz and Justin Duchscherer are on the disabled list, and Showalter was concerned about taxing his bullpen in Saturday's doubleheader.
"You always have to think about down the road, the next day and the next day," he said. "If we play 18 innings (Saturday), that's a lot of baseball to pitch. And one of the things about being home, you know you're going to pitch nine innings."
But the day off will give Hardy a chance to bounce back from his injury. He was a late scratch Thursday against Detroit and omitted from the starting lineup on Friday.
"I've never had anything like it," Hardy said. "But being able to throw, being able to run around not feel pain, I feel like it can't be that big a deal. So, I'm hoping to be in this series at some point."
Showalter will start rookie left-hander Zach Britton in the opener and Jake Arrieta in the second game. Britton was scheduled to start on Friday night for the Orioles, who are off to a 5-1 start.
Colby Lewis will start the opener for Texas and Matt Harrison will pitch in the nightcap.
The Rangers had a scheduled day off on Thursday, and the rainout enabled them to remain undefeated heading into the weekend.
"I wish I could get excited about that," manager Ron Washington said. "I'd much rather play, but since we can't, we'll go two tomorrow."
The players didn't seem to mind. Minutes after the postponement became official, Ian Kinsler and six other Rangers slid on the tarp.
Texas came to town after going 6-0 on a homestand against Boston and Seattle. If the Rangers can win the opener Saturday, they will match the best start in franchise history (7-0 in 1996).
A steady rainshower hit the area early in the day and never really let up. The scheduled 7:05 p.m. start was delayed for about an hour before the game was finally postponed.
"Everybody did everything possible to try to play," Showalter said. "It just started moving a lot slower and settling in. You're going to have periods of 10 minutes when it's not raining very hard and then it comes back again. Plus, you don't want the fans to sit in that stuff, either."