Catcher Matt Wieters was the story in the Orioles' 10-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox tonight in the first game of a seven-game road trip. Wieters went 2-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs.
He broke a sixth-inning tie but slamming John Danks' 3-0 pitch into the left-field seats. He then was part of the Orioles' five-run seventh with a two-run double off tough lefty Chris Sale.
"I felt good all night," said Wieters who was retired by Danks on deep fly outs in his first two at-bats. "I felt like I was putting good swings on the ball. I knew if I kept finding the barrel, it was going to pay off eventually."
With the two big hits, Wieters improved to 9-for-10 with two doubles, three homers and 15 RBIs with runners in scoring position this season. With the two-run double in the seventh, Wieters now has 22 RBIs in 22 lifetime at-bats with the bases loaded. He entered the night just 2-for-15 with one RBI against left-handed pitching but both hits came off of southpaws.
"He's in a good spot right now," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Wieters who is hitting .260 with four homers and 16 RBIs. "I'm just going to leave it at that. He's worked very hard. Matty has put in a lot of time and everything in his background says that he has the potential to be an offensive force. Like I said all along, he's going to be as good as he's capable being. I just marvel at what he does behind the plate."
Wieters also threw out the speedy Juan Pierre trying to steal to end Jake Arrieta's difficult bottom of the second inning in which he allowed three runs,
Arrieta was removed from the game after five innings. He threw 86 pitches, but he really wasn't sharp as evidenced by the number of hard-hit balls that were caught by Oriole defenders. Arrieta said that he has been dealing with some right hip soreness the past couple of weeks, but he doesn't think that it is a big deal.
"I've had it for a couple weeks. That's why it's not really a big concern," Arrieta said. "I think tonight maybe just staying warm was the issue. I tried to stay by the heater in the tunnel, moving around as much as I could, but it was really tightening up on me."