09/08/12 7:12 PM ET
Showalter stacks lineup with righties vs. Sabathia
By Jeff Seidel / Special to MLB.com
Sabathia came into the game with a 16-3 career record against Baltimore. So, manager Buck Showalter shook up the lineup for Saturday's game.
He gave catcher Matt Wieters (.208 in his career against Sabathia) a needed day off and put out a lineup with eight right-handed hitters, knowing how tough Sabathia can be on lefties.
"There's not many positive matchups with Sabathia out there," Showalter said. "He's pretty special."
Showalter moved up second baseman Robert Andino from the bottom of the order to second. Andino's got a .400 career average in 20 at-bats versus Sabathia.
J.J. Hardy, who usually bats second, moved down to third, with Adam Jones hitting cleanup and Mark Reynolds, who's been very hot lately, batting fifth.
In addition, Steve Tolleson started as the DH, batting eighth. Tolleson entered 2-for-3 against Sabathia. Lew Ford started in left field and had just a .194 career average with Sabathia on the mound -- but he's right-handed.
Showalter gives Wieters break from starting lineup
BALTIMORE -- Matt Wieters got a break Saturday night as skipper Buck Showalter held the catcher out of the starting lineup.
Wieters had caught eight consecutive days, and the rest, combined with the team's upcoming off-day on Monday, will give him two breaks in three days. Showalter thinks that will be a plus for his catcher, who's taken a physical beating at times this season.
In addition, Wieters would have to play a day game Sunday after Saturday's night game, so the timing for the rest is good.
"Matt needs the day," Showalter said. "He'll never admit it. We pushed the envelope pretty good on him the last eight days. [The rest] really refreshes his legs."
Instead, the Orioles started backup catcher Taylor Teagarden, an excellent defensive catcher. Teagarden hit ninth and came in hitting only .128 in 15 games.
Wieters said he's fine with the decision. He was still available off the bench to pinch-hit or come into the game later on.
"It's good to get a break and be fresh here tomorrow, and I'll also have the off-day built in on Monday. It's something where [I'll] try and get rejuvenated for the next 20 games coming up."
Tillman gets extra day before taking next step
BALTIMORE -- Pitcher Chris Tillman is continuing on his road to recovery, but he's going to slow down just a little.
Tillman was supposed to throw a bullpen session on Saturday, but the Orioles are going wait another day or two on that, according to manager Buck Showalter.
The right-hander's been taking anti-inflammatory medicine to treat his arm, and the team wants to make sure the medicine is getting the chance to work all the way.
"He's played short and long toss, and both have been fine," Showalter said before Saturday's game. "I don't think Tilly's real happy about [being pushed back]."
Tillman came out of his last start, which came last Sunday in New York, due to elbow troubles. He then had an MRI done which showed the elbow's fine, but there's some inflammation with a nerve that's causing trouble.
There's still no official timetable on when Tillman might start pitching again or return to the rotation. The Orioles have not listed any starters past Sunday's series finale with the Yankees, where Zach Britton (5-1) is scheduled to go.
Hardy entered Saturday's game as one of the best fielders at the shortstop position in Major League Baseball. He was first in fielding percentage (.991), assists (453), total chances (664) plus range factor per game (4.91).
The Orioles entered Saturday having banged out 15 homers against New York in the previous five games against the Yankees.
Adam Jones entered having homered in three straight games and with a six-game hitting streak overall. He's played in all 138 games for the Orioles this season
One reason the Orioles are winning is they aren't blowing leads late. They came in Saturday 61-0 when going into the eighth inning with a lead.
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.