07/21/12 12:35 AM ET
Thome makes second consecutive homecoming
By Justin Albers / MLB.com
This weekend, the homecoming will go to another level.
The Orioles are in Cleveland for a four-game series with the Indians, a place where Thome will always call home. The Baltimore designated hitter spent the first 12 years of his big-league career with the Indians, and he returned to play for the Tribe for a month at the end of last season. The Indians honored Thome with a special night last September, and they plan to build a statue of him outside of Progressive Field.
Thome was in the lineup, batting third on Friday night.
"I always enjoy coming back," Thome said. "It's humbling to have an organization put a statue up in honor of you. That's something that I think every player dreams of. It's pretty awesome."
Thome has only been a member of the Orioles for a few weeks, but he said he has already enjoyed the experience. The 41-year-old veteran believes the young Orioles have a bright future, and he's happy to be on a team in contention.
"We've got some really talented, everyday guys," Thome said. "Guys in our bullpen, the starting pitchers -- a lot of them are young, but they're up and coming. They've done some good things. Hopefully we can continue to let that ride into the second half and do some special things."
No matter where he goes, Thome said he constantly has younger players approach him. They know Thome's seen a lot in the game of baseball, and they want to hear about things that have worked for him over the years.
"Guys today, especially the young guys, they want to learn," Thome said. "They want to ask questions to learn and find out, 'hey, maybe I can do this.' It's been good, it's been fun."
Baltimore acquires Quintanilla from Mets
CLEVELAND -- The Orioles acquired infielder Omar Quintanilla from the Mets on Friday in exchange for cash considerations. Quintanilla is scheduled to arrive in Cleveland on Saturday afternoon, and Baltimore is expected to make a corresponding roster move prior to Saturday night's game against the Indians.
Quintanilla, 30, was designated for assignment on Tuesday to make room for outfielder Jason Bay to come off the disabled list. Quintanilla hit .257 with a home run and four RBIs in 29 games for the Mets this season. He was drafted in the first round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft by the Athletics.
"I'm excited about adding him," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "I talked to some people I know with the Mets after the fact, and they speak very highly of him. ... They didn't wanna lose him."
Quintanilla could fill the Orioles' gaping hole at second base in the short term. Regular second baseman Brian Roberts is still on the disabled list with a hip injury, and Robert Andino was placed on the DL with a shoulder injury on Monday. In the long term, though, Showalter said Quintanilla is capable of filling in anywhere in the infield.
"I see how we're going to use him," Showalter said, "but tomorrow would probably be a better time to talk about that. I have some ideas about how we're gonna use him."
Lindstrom OK after taking line drive to knee
CLEVELAND -- Orioles reliever Matt Lindstrom left the game in the eighth inning of Friday night's 10-2 win over the Indians after taking a line drive off his left knee. Lindstrom said he was evaluated by the team's medical staff after exiting the game, and he said he expects to be OK.
"It doesn't feel too bad," he said. "It's a little sore. I just gotta ice [it] and wear a sleeve to keep the swelling down."
The injury occurred when Indians left fielder Johnny Damon smacked a ball back up the middle with a runner on first in the eighth. Lindstrom tried to get to the ball with his glove, but instead it ricocheted off the inside of his knee and rolled into foul territory. Lindstrom limped around near the mound before being pulled from the game.
"It was more muscle than bone, so it's looking pretty good right now," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "Even though we may have dodged a bullet as a pitching staff, he didn't dodge a bullet, I can tell you that."
Added Lindstrom: "Johnny gave me a souvenir -- I've got the laces tattooed on the inside of my knee."
Markakis a quick study in leadoff spot
CLEVELAND -- Right fielder Nick Markakis didn't take long to adjust to his new spot atop the batting order.
Markakis, who returned from the disabled list on July 13 after missing more than a month with a wrist injury, has energized the offense out of the leadoff spot. He entered Friday's game against Cleveland hitting .387 (12-for-31) with four doubles and an RBI in his first seven games in the new role. Markakis had never hit in the top spot prior to this stretch.
"He's getting on base, and getting more at-bats," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "Nick's about doing what the club needs. He doesn't have an ego. He could hit about anywhere in our order."
Showalter said it's too early to know whether Markakis is the long-term answer in the leadoff spot. For now, though, the Orioles seem to have found at least a temporary solution.
"We'll see how things work out," Showalter said. "I'm hoping Brian [Roberts] gets back and is healthy with us, because we know what kind of leadoff guy he can be. But in the meantime, we'll continue to go with Nick. He's done well there."
• Right-handed pitcher Brad Bergesen, who the Orioles designated for assignment on Wednesday, was claimed off waivers by Arizona on Friday afternoon. Bergesen hadn't pitched for Baltimore this year, but he had a 4.68 ERA in three seasons with the team.
"I wish Brad well," manager Buck Showalter said. "It's a good change for him. I'd be real surprised if he doesn't do well over there."
• Brian Roberts (hip) has begun doing light baseball activities, according to Showalter. Roberts hasn't played since July 1. Showalter said Roberts is trying to avoid surgery for now so he can attempt to return this season.
• Showalter said Robert Andino's shoulder is still "a little sore." Andino is resting in Baltimore, and is scheduled to see a doctor next week.
Justin Albers is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.