Designated hitter Mark Trumbo was out of the Orioles' starting lineup Tuesday night against the Seattle Mariners for the first time since his returned from the disabled list Aug. 9.
Manager Buck Showalter said he was just giving Trumbo a day off. The slugger — who is 6-for-17 over his past four games overall — entered the night 1-for-20 against Mariners starter Erasmo Ramírez, which certainly had to play into the decision to sit Trumbo.
Another factor is getting keeping Craig Gentry onto the field. Gentry is hitting .474 over his past 13 games dating to Aug. 10 and is one of the team's best defensive outfielders. Tuesday's start was his third in the past four games.
"Craig's been playing well," Showalter said. "Defensively we're in good shape. There's so many dynamics to a lineup because if you play [Ryan] Flaherty out there, you're short a utility guy if you pinch-hit for him or something. I thought about Gentry in center and Adam [Jones] DHing, but if you do that, you can't do anything with Gentry during the game.
"There's about three or four other parts of it. I'm trying to keep the left-handers from being back to back or close to each other because of how good their left-handers are in the bullpen. There's just a lot of variables to it."
Trumbo played in all of the Orioles' first 103 games before landing on the DL with a strained rib cage late last month.
Showalter said the club has taken measures to keep players fresh down the stretch, including late report times, voluntary batting practice and limits on pregame exercises.
Showalter: fun watching Jones chase milestones
A day after Jones hit his 25th homer of the season Monday night — a blast that was the 250th of his career — Showalter was asked about the center fielder's consistent production since signing a six-year extension in 2012.
Before signing, Jones wanted to be ensured of Showalter's long-term future with the club. And Monday's home runs gave Jones seven straight 25-homer seasons, the longest such streak in Orioles history and the longest in the majors involving players who have reached 25 homers this season.
"Believe me, you're a lot better coach or manager with Adam Jones on your team, and you better not lose sight of that because it's a players' game," Showalter said. "You start seeing the things that he's starting to reach, and it's about winning for him at this point. He knows he's got enough money to live a great life, and he wants to be a part of a championship team here in Baltimore. He wants to finish his career here.
"Sometimes some of those things are out or my control, your control. What's the thing? If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans? Adam is going to grind the heck out of everything and see where it takes him, but he's never going to have to look back and say, 'What if I had done more of this?' I think he's learned to pace himself a little bit more, picks his spots. He's made some adjustments in his game. It's been fun to watch."
Around the horn
Left-handed reliever Donnie Hart was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, making room for the club to reinstate right-hander Dylan Bundy from the bereavement list to start Tuesday's game. Hart, who was with the club for just one day, earned the win Monday after throwing a scoreless seventh inning. … Shortstop Tim Beckham's 45 hits this month entering Tuesday lead the majors, as do his 10 doubles in August. His .395 batting average in August is third best in the American League. … Third baseman Manny Machado's 32 RBIs in August lead the AL and rank second in the majors. … The Orioles are accepting deposits on 2018 season-ticket plans, and fans who make a deposit will have an opportunity to purchase 2017 postseason tickets, the club announced. For details, go to orioles.com/postseason or call 888-848-BIRD.