Infielder Jonathan Schoop, the Orioles’ top position player prospect who has missed the past two months with a stress fracture in his lower back, returned to action earlier Thursday in the Gulf Coast League.
Schoop went 0-for-2 with a walk in six innings in his first game action since May 12. He was hitting .268/.331/.386 with three home runs and 18 RBIs for Triple-A Norfolk at the time of his injury.
Manager Buck Showalter said the 21-year-old will spend about a week in the Gulf Coast League before rejoining Norfolk.
** Triple-A Norfolk outfielder Henry Urrutia went 1-for-4 with an RBI on Thursday, extending his hit streak to 10 games. He’s batting .405 over the streak and .357 in 14 games since his promotion from Double-A Bowie.
“He’s getting closer to being an option,” Showalter said. “I think he’s got 50 plus plate appearances down in Triple-A. He’s certainly done his part. The thing I’ve been happy to hear about is his defensive play has been good.”
In 66 games between Bowie and Norfolk this year, Urrutia is batting .363/.426/.531 with seven home runs and 43 RBIs. In a 10-8 loss at Gwinnett on Wednesday, Urrutia went 5-for-5 with three runs scored and one RBI.
“[Tides manager Ron Johnson] said he’s kind of one of those guys you feel you expect them to get a hit,” Showalter said. “He hits a lot of sharp, top-spin ground balls, kind of skidding the other way too. He’s swinging it well.”
** Outfielder Chris Dickerson, who was a late scratch to the Orioles lineup before Wednesday night’s win because of a shoulder strain, said he feels fine, and Showalter said he doesn’t think Dickerson will need an MRI. Dickerson said Wednesday he had one scheduled for Friday if necessary.
** Minor league outfielder Eric Thames, acquired in a June 30 trade with the Seattle Mariners, is “getting close” to a return, Showalter said. Thames has been on the disabled list with a non-displaced fracture in his left hand after being spiked. He was batting .295 with a .382 on-base percentage with seven home runs.
** Left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada had his worst start in a month Thursday at Gwinnett. The 32-year-old took the loss after allowing seven runs on a season-high 13 hits. It was the most runs he’d allowed since giving up eight (seven earned) in 1 1/3 innings at Indianapolis on June 11.
** Thursday’s Rangers starter, right-hander Ross Wolf, is a former Orioles farmhand. The was with the organization for 2009 and until June 22, 2010 when he was traded to Oakland for Jake Fox. He signed a minor league deal with the Orioles before the 2012 season, but was released April 23, 2012.
Wolf is 1-1 with a 1.95 ERA in 12 appearances this year. Thursday will be his second start. On May 22, Wolf allowed one earned run on three hits over five innings in a win over Oakland. His longest outing of the season was June 8 at Toronto, when he pitched 6 2/3 innings of relief from the 12th through 18th innings. He would take the loss when he allowed an unearned run.
Rangers lineup: Kinsler DH, Andrus 6, Cruz 9, Beltre 5, Pierzynski 2, Moreland 3, Profar 4, Murphy 7, Martin 8; Wolf 1
Orioles lineup: McLouth 9, Machado 5, Markakis 9, Jones 8, Davis 3, Wieters 2, Hardy 6, Roberts 4, Reimold DH; Gonzalez 1
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