Matt Wieters was pretty stoked about hitting his 20th home run Wednesday night. He usually downplays statistical goals, but he's been on a power binge lately and conceded that getting to 20 was significant.
"It's nice,'' he said. "It's a good feeling to get to 20. I don't think numbers are going to be what they are at the end of the year, and there's no really controlling them after the fact, but it's nice to get 20 and especially the first time in a career to get there."
So, does this mean that he'll be focused on 30 or 35 next year? He has been the victim of some outsized early expectations, so he wasn't about to feed them by answering that in the affirmative.
"I don't think you can worry about 30 or 35, especially when you just got to 20,'' he said. "It's nice to finish the season strong because that means the work you put in in the offseason has paid off, to be able to stay healthy and keep grinding it out through September. It means a lot as far as you knowing what to do going into the offseason to get yourself ready for next year."
Orioles first base prospect Rhyne Hughes was one of three minor league players suspended by Major League Baseball for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Hughes was suspended for 50 games, beginning at the start of next season, for testing positive for an amphetamine.
Cincinnati Reds pitching prospect Cole Green also was suspended for 50 days for testing positive for Methylhexaneamine, and Rockies right-hander Randol Rogers was suspended for the same period for testing positive for a metabolite of Boldenone. The suspensions were announced by Major League Baseball in a news release Wednesday.
Adam Jones will not need an MRI on his sore thumb. Manager Buck Showalter said before the game that Jones is getting better and might have been available to pinch-hit if it had been necessary.
The Orioles are off today before opening a weekend series against another playoff contender. The Los Angeles Angels come to Camden Yards for three games, needing to make hay to catch the Texas Rangers, but Showalter still says he doesn't care about playing the spoiler role.
"I'm not about making statements and all that stuff,'' he said. "Tomorrow our guys have their first true off day in 27 days. I'd just like for them to leave tonight and enjoy tomorrow. The things that they've grinded through this year and continue to, I'm proud of them. For Matty to get his 20th home run in a big situation, be able to open that up and give us some breathing room. Whether it's against somebody that's still in it or not, from our standpoint as an organization and a team, it should be what we are about instead of the exception."