MILWAUKEE -- The Orioles are playing at Miller Park for just the second time in club history -- they lost two of three games here in 2008.
The Orioles and Milwaukee Brewers have faced off in just two series since the Brewers began playing in the National League in 1998. The Orioles won two of three at Camden Yards in 2003.
Catcher Nick Hundley, whom the club acquired Saturday from the San Diego Padres for Troy Patton, will make his Orioles debut today, batting seventh. Hundley was activated Sunday, but he remained on the bench.
“I think [Sunday] was a good day for him, kind of slow things down,” Showalter said. “I know he spent a lot of the game with Matt [Wieters]. I’m sure Chris Tillman’s name came up.”
Hundley will catch Tillman, the club’s No. 1 pitcher, for the first time Monday. The veteran catcher is also in the lineup for his familiarity -- and success -- with Milwaukee starter Kyle Lohse.
Hundley is 3-for-7 with two homers against Lohse; no other Orioles player has had more than four at-bats against the right-hander.
** Showalter said first baseman Chris Davis’ wife, Jill, gave birth to the couple’s first child, a 7-pound daughter, Sunday. Davis will fly into Milwaukee on Tuesday morning to re-join the team.
On Tuesday, the Orioles are expected to make room for Davis by sending one of their catchers -- rookie Caleb Joseph or Steve Clevenger, who has been with the club all season -- to Triple-A Norfolk. But Monday, they’ll go with three catchers again, with Clevenger able to play third base and first base, if needed, and Joseph able to play first base.
“In the National League, it helps you a little bit with our two guys being able to play somewhere else,” Showalter said. “We talked about a couple options for [Tuesday] but we want to make sure everything continues to go down a good path for Chris and Jill and he’s here [Tuesday]. But we are ready, good to go either way.”
** Today is the day Matt Wieters (elbow) could have been activated from the 15-day disabled list. That obviously isn’t going to happen, but Showalter said he is hoping to have more information on Wieters’ progression this week. Wednesday marks three weeks since the catcher was told to stop throwing and rest the elbow.
“I talked to him yesterday about that in the dugout. He’s progressing,” Showalter said. “It’s better than it was. About a week ago, right after the [platelet-rich plasma] shot he took, you are sore for 3 or 4 days from that. So now that’s kind of gone away. It’s encouraging so far.”
** There will be several familiar faces in this series; Francisco Rodriguez is the closer for the Brewers, Rick Kranitz and John Shelby are coaches; and Mark Reynolds is playing corner infield.
Reynolds, a clubhouse favorite with the Orioles in 2011 and 2012 for his off-beat, self-deprecating humor, said he was looking forward to seeing his old teammates. He said he invited J.J. Hardy to dinner Monday night, but he was rejected. Hardy and Reynolds were really close when they played together.
“It’s always good to see them and see all the coaches. I have a lot of friends, a lot of close friends. And it’s always good to see them,” said Reynolds, who is batting .214 with 11 homers and 23 RBIs. “Even though J.J. stood me up for dinner.”
In response, Hardy said he was having dinner Monday night with the host family that he stayed with in 2001 as a Brewers amateur draftee during the organization’s career development program. Hardy remains close with the family 13 years later.
“I go back much further with them than with Mark Reynolds,” Hardy said, smiling.
It has been two seasons now, but Reynolds said that 2012 Orioles team will always be special to him -- even if his current teammates tease him about it. Lohse joked today that he hadn’t seen Reynolds smile yet with the Brewers and then took a picture of Reynolds joking with the Baltimore media.
“I get the ‘cut the cord’ thing from my teammates,” Reynolds joked. “But with the run we had in 2012, and as close as we were, it’s rare you form friendships like that.”
Orioles: Markakis 9, Machado 5, Jones 8, Cruz 7, Pearce 3, Hardy 6, Hundley 2, Schoop 4. Tillman 1.
Brewers: Segura 6, Braun 9, Lucroy 2, Gomez 8, Reynolds 5, Gennett 4, Davis 7, Overbay 3, Lohse 1.