BOSTON — The biggest inning of the Orioles’ young season might have come at a cost.
Left fielder Austin Hays removed himself from the game with right hamstring discomfort during a seven-run third inning that helped the Orioles spring to a 10-0 lead at Fenway Park on Sunday afternoon.
Hays, batting with the bases loaded, doubled to left field to plate two Orioles in that big inning. Two batters later, he was caught in a confusing situation on the bases when he had to hold up on a drive to center field by Cedric Mullins that was nearly caught.
With the bases loaded again, Hays motioned to the dugout and then jogged in to tell manager Brandon Hyde he’d need a pinch runner.
“I didn’t see it,” Hyde said. “It was such a confusing play. I had the phone ring behind me twice, then all of a sudden he’s coming off the field even though I saw [umpire Nick Lentz] at first base give the sign where it was going to be a base hit, not a catch, then I see Austin running into the dugout and I was little bit confused at that point.”
Hyde said Hays would be reevaluated Monday, and Pat Valaika replaced him in left field Sunday. Valaika went 1-for-3 with a single in his first appearance of the season.
Hays’ two-run double came in a seven-run inning for the Orioles, which also featured a two-run double by Trey Mancini and an RBI single by Ryan Mountcastle. Runs also scored on a bases-loaded walk by Freddy Galvis and on a wild pitch with Mullins on third base.
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Hays was one of the Orioles’ hottest hitters in spring training, batting .392 with a 1.192 OPS and four home runs in the Grapefruit League. All spring long, he and Hyde noted that health was the key to Hays showing that type of talent on a consistent basis.