After recording just two hits in the first 27 at-bats of his rehab assignment, Orioles outfielder Nolan Reimold turned in the most successful outing of his nine-game stint with Double-A Bowie on Wednesday.
Reimold went 3-for-6 with one run scored and a strikeout in the Baysox's 7-4 win at Richmond. He raised his average from .074 to .152 with the outing as he continues to return from a right hamstring injury that's sidelined him since May 11.
"I may find out that they were a swinging bunt and two duck flares," manager Buck Showalter said. "I don't know, but I hope that's not the case."
Reimold texted Orioles vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson after Tuesday night's game, Showalter said, and Reimold told Anderson his hamstring felt much better.
Reimold was batting .188 with four home runs and nine RBIs in 31 games at the time of his injury. He didn't play a game after April 30 last season because of a herniated disk in his neck that required surgery.
Before the rehab assignment, Reimold was expected to need about seven games before he was ready to return to the majors. Nine games in, Showalter doesn't have a timetable after Reimold's slow start.
"It's more than just, 'I got two hits and a home run,' or whatever," Showalter said. "You go through this period like, 'It's something I've got to do for a few days,' and then you go, 'Gosh, I guess you understand the level you've got to be at to come up here.' "
Showalter wants Reimold, a right-handed batter, to be 100 percent when he returns, especially with a string of left-handed pitching in the Orioles' future. After this weekend's series against the New York Yankees, the Orioles begin a six-game road trip at the Chicago White Sox — who could start three left-handers — and at the Yankees, who boast one of baseball's top lefties, CC Sabathia.
Reimold has split time between designated hitter and left field, playing five of his games as Bowie's DH and the other four in the outfield.
"He's moving good," Showalter said. "He's playing really good left field. They seem to mention that each night."
When Reimold's ready, he'll return. For a player with a complicated injury history, it's that simple.
"I don't have anything to let me know that there's any other variable in it," Showalter said.
Chen to rehab at Bowie
Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen (oblique) will make a rehab start for Bowie on Saturday against Harrisburg. He is expected to pitch five to six innings. Chen threw Wednesday, and Showalter said it went well.
Chen hasn't pitched since a May 12 win over the Twins at Minnesota and was 3-3 with a 3.04 ERA on the year. He rejoined the team in Baltimore on Tuesday after spending the beginning of his recovery in Sarasota, Fla.
Showalter had said Chen could make two starts before the All-Star break if he needs just one rehab start.
"The question is what happens after that," Showalter said. "I hope that's the only question."
•Second baseman Brian Roberts (hamstring) batted leadoff for Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday in the second game of his rehab assignment. Roberts drew two walks in two plate appearances before the game against Columbus was suspended because of rain in the fourth inning.
•Infielder Jonathan Schoop, rated as the Orioles' top position-player prospect, began hitting Wednesday. He hasn't played since May 12 because of a stress fracture in his lower back.
•Right-hander Steve Johnson (oblique) threw from 90 feet Wednesday in Sarasota, raising his distance from 70 feet.
Around the horn
The Orioles have not named a starter for Friday's series opener against the Yankees. … First baseman Chris Davis is the first Oriole since Rafael Palmeiro in 1998 to hit at least nine home runs in three straight months. … Davis' 28 home runs by the end of June are a team record. … In addition to Urrutia, five Bowie players were named to the Western Division team for the Eastern League All-Star Game: catcher Caleb Joseph, shortstop Niuman Romero, third baseman Ty Kelly and right-hander Mike Wright. … To accommodate Orioles fans, the Maryland Transit Administration will provide light rail and metro subway service up to one hour after Sunday night's home game against the Yankees. The light rail also will provide limited service to Penn Station after the game. … Second baseman Yamaico Navarro was outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. He batted .286 in eight games with the Orioles. … Right-hander Freddy Garcia has not made a decision on whether to report to Triple-A Norfolk. He has until Thursday.
Baltimore Sun reporter Eduardo A. Encina contributed to this article.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun