Throughout this difficult Orioles season, infielder Jace Peterson has been on call to pitch in a late-game situation when manager Buck Showalter had no other options.
Despite expanded September rosters, the Orioles required Peterson to pitch Wednesday in their 19-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of a doubleheader, making him the fourth position player to pitch this month in the majors and the Orioles’ first since Danny Valencia pitched Aug. 2.
Peterson entered the game in the seventh inning at second base, and before he could make it back into the dugout once Cody Carroll finished the inning, Showalter sent him out to the bullpen to warm up.
“You know how much I detest doing that, especially in September,” Showalter said. “We’ve been talking about it for a while. He knew he was the guy. … That’s Jace. He’s a pro. I know he’s frustrated he wasn’t able to get them out.”
Peterson, whose fastball started the inning around 90 mph and topped out at 92.5 — just as he told Showalter it would — allowed a leadoff single to Mitch Moreland before starting a 1-6-3 double play on a soft chopper from Ian Kinsler.
Rafael Devers hit a massive home run with two outs, and Peterson could have been out of the inning on a ground ball to first baseman Caleb Joseph, but he didn’t break to first to cover the bag. Three hits later, Peterson had allowed four runs on six hits.
Showalter got different results last time he needed a position player to pitch, using Valencia for a scoreless inning in Texas on Aug. 2.