8/28/2014 11:18 P.M. ET
Jones swipes home in O's double steal vs. Rays
By Brittany Ghiroli and David Wilson / MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles are known for their power hitting and low stolen-base totals, but to tie the game with the Rays in the bottom of the first inning on Thursday night -- before going on to win, 5-4 -- the O's turned to some small ball.
With Adam Jones at third, Nelson Cruz at first and Chris Davis at the plate, Cruz started jogging to second base. Tampa Bay catcher Jose Molina fired a throw to shortstop Yunel Escobar, who was covering second. Cruz froze and turned back to first with Escobar giving chase.
That was Jones' cue, and the outfielder raced toward home. Escobar took a split second to realize what was happening, and his throw to the plate was dropped by Molina.
"It was something we had talked about with the defense that they play against Chris and the things that they can do and not do," manager Buck Showalter said. "It's a challenge for us, too. That's a difficult play to defend. There's a way to do it and really it's a little bit of a roll of the dice. We were fortunate."
Jones was credited with a steal of home. Cruz ended up on second with a stolen base of his own. The Orioles' double steal worked to perfection and tied an important division game.
Chen, Gausman optioned, but won't miss a start
BALTIMORE -- Wei-Yin Chen and Kevin Gausman, who were both optioned to the team's Gulf Coast League team, are still on turn to make their next respective starts early next week for the Orioles.
Both Chen and Gausman, who have Minor League options remaining, were sent down after their last start -- on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively -- to give the O's another position player. September callups start Monday and neither Chen nor Gausman would have thrown prior to that for the O's. The loophole allows the Orioles to make some early expansions to the roster while Chen and Gausman will take their work day with the Gulf Coast League before returning to the team.
"Think there's a chance we won't be able to do this next year," manager Buck Showalter said of the Orioles' bending of the rules, which gives the team a five-man bench for the next few days. "They had a rule they changed last year on us, because we took advantage of it and I think they will change this one, too."
Chen will start Sunday, so the club will have to make at least one more move, which could be briefly sending out another starter who has options. Could the Orioles, who have added Steve Clevenger and Jimmy Paredes, make any more early September callups?
"If we have a problem and we need a pitcher we can get a pitcher here overnight," Showalter said. "That's the only thing I could see happening between now and then."
O's add bench depth by promoting Paredes
BALTIMORE -- Until a handful of hours before the Orioles' 3-1 loss to the Rays on Wednesday, the O's had been operating with a three-man bench for the start of an 11-game homestand at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Less than 24 hours later that number is up to five.
Baltimore recalled outfielder Jimmy Paredes from Triple-A Norfolk on Thursday as the corresponding move for Kevin Gausman being optioned to the Gulf Coast League Orioles after Wednesday's game.
Paredes was batting .258 with three home runs and four stolen bases in 32 games with Norfolk since being acquired in July. He went 2-for-10 with a pair of steals in nine games with the Royals earlier this year.
"I was a little bit surprised," Paredes said. "I feel so excited."
The O's landed Paredes from Kansas City on July 24 in exchange for cash considerations. He had performed well with Triple-A Omaha, batting .305 with five home runs and 17 stolen bases in 65 games before being dealt to Baltimore.
Paredes was briefly an Oriole in February, when the O's claimed him off waivers from the Marlins on Feb. 15. Two days later, Baltimore replaced Paredes on the 40-man roster with starting pitcher Suk-min Yoon and Kansas City claimed the outfielder.
Paredes joins David Lough as a reserve outfielder for the O's and adds a switch hitter to a bench unit that features three lefties and one righty. Paredes is a career .233 hitter who can serve as a pinch-hitter and also regularly play second and third. If the Orioles need him to, Paredes can also fill in at first base and shortstop.
"It allows us to do some things and know that we're covered if there's an issue physically," manager Buck Showalter said.
The Orioles will have to make one more move Sunday to activate Wei-Yin Chen for his scheduled start, but whomever is optioned then can return when rosters expand to 40 players a day later.
Paredes was always likely to be called up on Sept. 1, Showalter said, and this let him get a few extra days to become acclimated to Baltimore while also providing the O's with a valuable piece. This may be the last chance the Orioles have to do something like this, too, so they took advantage.
"I think there's a chance we won't be able to do this next year," Showalter said. "They had a rule they changed last year on us because we took advantage of it and I think they'll change this one, too."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. David Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.