Notes: Knott shows his talent
Outfielder hits first career home run in front of family Tuesday
ST. PETERSBURG -- Jon Knott timed his first career home run perfectly. It came at Tropicana Field on Tuesday night, in a city just an hour north of his hometown of Venice, Fla. A large crowd of family and friends were in attendance.
The time was running out for Knott, at least during this callup, for he will likely return to the Minors when Jay Payton is activated, which could be as soon as Friday.
The situation itself was crucial as well: two men on in the top of the eighth inning and the Orioles desperately needing some runs.
On Monday, Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said Knott would be used primarily in pitch-hit situations, and then jokingly added, "in case we need a three-run homer or something like that."
On Tuesday, the statement was a little less funny and much more prophetic.
"I was just trying to go up there and have a good at-bat, and it was nice to get the team right back in it," said Knott, of the three-run homer he knocked to bring the O's within two. "You just try to relax and just do whatever you can, not do too much. I think the first time I was called up, I did that with the Padres, I just tried to do too much."
Now with a whopping 18 Major League at-bats under his belt, Knott showcased the swing that helped him drive in 113 runs in 2006 at Triple-A Portland.
"We got him in the spring because of his power," Perlozzo said. "We liked him late in the spring as a contender to be on our ballclub if certain things fell into place. He got an opportunity to come up here, and he got an at-bat and made good with it."
Knott was rewarded for his clutch efforts with a spot in left field in the starting lineup during Wednesday's game, something Perlozzo said had as much to do with the hit as the situational matchup against Rays lefty Scott Kazmir.
Just in time: Center fielder Corey Patterson was activated off of the bereavement list just 10 minutes prior to first pitch on Wednesday. Patterson, who had left the team last week following the death of his grandfather, arrived at the park after batting practice, since his plane was due to land in Tampa, Fla., about 90 minutes prior to game time. Perlozzo did not include him in the lineup, but said Patterson would be available in the later innings.
To clear room on the roster, the O's optioned Adam Stern to Triple-A Norfolk.
Small setback: Perlozzo said Ramon Hernandez may have to go out on a rehab assignment when the catcher is ready to play. Originally, Hernandez was to rejoin the team on Friday if he felt OK after Tuesday's batting practice, but Hernandez reported to the park sore.
It was the first time Hernandez had seen live pitching since straining a left oblique muscle during Spring Training.
Back on the bench: Perlozzo confirmed that bench coach Tom Trebelhorn will return to Baltimore on Thursday and join the team for Friday's game against Toronto. Trebelhorn, in his seventh season on the O's staff, left the team April 5 to be with his ailing wife in Phoenix.
Never give up: Right-hander Paul Shuey threw an inning at Double-A Bowie on Tuesday night and induced three groundouts in the scoreless inning. Shuey, 36, has 10 years of experience in the big leagues, but has not appeared in the Majors since 2003, after a litany of hip problems resulted in several surgeries.
The veteran reliever was vying for a spot on Baltimore's roster this spring, but suffered a tendon injury in his right foot that kept him rehabbing in extended Spring Training until earlier this week.
Up next: Baltimore will enjoy an off-day on Thursday before returning home to Camden Yards to host the Blue Jays in a 7:05 p.m. ET matchup on Friday. Right-hander Daniel Cabrera (1-1, 3.66 ERA) will get the ball to start, and will face off against Toronto righty A.J. Burnett (1-1, 7.07).
Dawn Klemish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.