BALTIMORE -- In a season where the Orioles have had a lot of surprises, outfielder Nate McLouth has certainly been one of their most pleasant.
Since being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk, McLouth has a .263 average in 22 games, with two homers and nine RBIs. He's played mostly left field, filling a hole that has existed most of this season. McLouth entered Thursday's series finale against the White Sox having gone 4-for-10 in the first three games versus Chicago, including a three-hit night on Tuesday.
McLouth had a few big years with the Pirates, his best coming in 2008, but his career took a downward track after that. He wound up this year with Norfolk after the Orioles signed him earlier this summer. But McLouth has been a big help to the O's since joining the team.
"I kind of take heart in the fact that I've continued to work hard and continued to stick with it, whether it's gone well or whether it's gone bad," McLouth said. "It feels like it's definitely starting to turn around."
McLouth has given the Orioles stability in left field, a position they had problems filling after Nolan Reimold was injured early in the season.
The 30-year old McLouth has been playing almost daily recently and has been slowly gaining confidence.
"There's no question that if you struggle like I did, your self-confidence is going to take a hit," McLouth said. "That's kind of inevitable. But it's something where it's kind of hard to build that back up until you've had a little bit of success."
Wieters gets day of rest with September looming
BALTIMORE -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter gave catcher Matt Wieters the day off Thursday, as the team played an afternoon game after a night game on Wednesday.
Wieters already has played in 116 games, and with the Orioles poised to make a run at the postseason, the manager is being very careful with his starting catcher. Taylor Teagarden started behind the plate and hit ninth.
"I think Matt needs a day, I really do," Showalter said. "I think to take him for granted is a mistake. He's so into everything that's going on here."
Showalter said Wieters is available to pinch-hit, if needed.
Wieters said he's looking forward to this weekend's big series in New York against the Yankees, but said that at this time of the season, he doesn't feel quite as sharp as earlier. He wants to be ready for the big September push.
"We want to win as many games as we can between now and the end of the season," Wieters said. "Wherever that puts us is where that puts us. All we [can] try and control is to go out there and play hard every day and try and win as many games as we can."
Randy Wolf played long toss before the game, and Showalter said if everything checks out physically, the Orioles would likely activate Wolf on Friday. Wolf will wear No. 28.
To make room for Wolf's expected activation to the 25-man roster, the Orioles sent left-hander Zach Britton to Triple-A Norfolk after Thursday's game. Britton, who struck out a career-high 10 in his eight-inning outing, is expected to return when rosters expand on Saturday.
Showalter said Nick Johnson (wrist) is still struggling and doesn't appear to have made much improvement in recent days.
Tommy Hunter will pitch one inning at Double-A Bowie on Saturday and will be available to return to the Orioles on Monday.
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.