Orioles notes and observations: Clevenger delivers, Wieters to return?

When I realized that Steve Clevenger's three-run homer in the fourth Monday was his first as an Oriole, I did a double-take.

Clevenger has a good bat. We know that. And he's played in 45 games in three years with the Orioles. So it was just kind of an assumption that he had gone deep once here – or at least once for the Orioles.


What really took me by surprise is that with the home run he became the first Baltimore-born player to homer at Camden Yards for the Orioles, according to STATS. Pitcher Tom Phoebus did it in 1968 at Memorial Stadium. Damon Buford, by the way, homered for the Orioles twice, but never in Baltimore.

That's pretty cool. And Clevenger, who doesn't get super-excited, obviously felt great about having that moment that so many Baltimore kids fantasize about.

"I think it's awesome," he said. "Playing here in Baltimore is a dream come true for me."

** It's going to be interesting to see what manager Buck Showalter does if catcher Matt Wieters is ready to come back from his strained hamstring and play Tuesday, which Showalter said was a real possibility.

Wieters could be the designated hitter Tuesday, and it's important to get his bat into the lineup. But I'm not sure you want to take Clevenger's out while he is hot. And Caleb Joseph seemingly delivers a big hit every night these days.

One option would be putting Clevenger at first base, moving Chris Davis back to right field and putting Gerardo Parra in left. Something to think about on occasion, anyway.

** Chris Tillman wasn't particularly sharp Monday. But he lasted seven innings and got the win. That's the Tillman this team needs to see for the rest of the year. Even when everything wasn't clicking for Tillman in the past couple years he's been able to gut through an outing and leave with the Orioles in the mix for the victory. He hasn't been as consistent with that this year.

** Sure it's great that the Orioles swept the Oakland A's in four games at Camden Yards. That's hard to do. But the A's are a bad team right now. And the Orioles won't see many more bad teams in their final 45 games. Consider this: based on current records, the Orioles will face only two sub-.500 team for the remainder of the season. That's the Boston Red Sox, for six total games, and crazily, the Washington Nationals, for three. The other 36 are against teams at .500 or better.