ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. — Orioles right fielder Adam Jones was out of the lineup for a third straight game for Sunday’s series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
Jones started just five games of the team’s nine-game road trip — he also sat one game in Kansas City. The Orioles’ reasoning for sitting Jones is to allow the team to give playing time to other outfielders to evaluate them for next season.
While there’s still no clear plan of how much Jones will play over the final three weeks of the season, he is expected to start Tuesday when the Orioles return home to play the postseason-relevant Oakland Athletics to open a nine-game homestand.
Cobb, Cashner, Bundy slated for Oakland series
Right-hander Alex Cobb is expected to start Tuesday’s opener against Oakland, though manager Buck Showalter said before Sunday’s game that Cobb still hasn’t tested the lingering blister on his pitching hand other than a light touch-and-feel throwing session Saturday.
“The problem is playing catch can irritate it,” Showalter said. “We’ll give him a couple extra days, same thing with Andrew [Cashner]. … We’ll see where we are. ...
“Putting a ball in his hand, it’s tough because it’s like, ‘Let me go test out my oblique or my hamstring.’ Well you can set it back,” Showalter added. “So guys don’t like throwing with a cover on it or what have you. So it’s something that a lot of guys pitch with. I guarantee you that if you go over to the other clubhouse you’ll find guys who are having their blisters managed.”
Cashner is slated to start Wednesday’s game against the A’s. That will give Cashner six days of rest between starts, and while he is 0-4 in those games, he has a 3.90 ERA in six starts.
After Sunday’s game, Showalter said that right-hander Dylan Bundy would start Thursday’s final game against Oakland. Showalter said he wanted to talk to Bundy, who allowed six runs in four innings in his last start Friday and has yielded a majors-most 37 homers this season while pitching to a 8.83 ERA over his last 11 starts.
Bundy will pitch Thursday on five days’ rest. He owns a 2-8 record and 7.82 ERA in 13 games with five days of rest, and has pitched better on regular rest (3.92 ERA) and six or more days of rest (3.99 ERA).
Around the horn
The Orioles dropped to a season-high 61 games under .500 after Sunday’s loss. … Despite an 0-for-3 day Sunday, Joey Rickard is still hitting .421 (16-for-38) against the Rays, his former organization, with four homers and 17 RBIs. He has four homers and six RBIs against all other teams. ... Caleb Joseph’s three hits tied his season high. His seventh-inning sacrifice fly was his first since Aug. 21. The Orioles have allowed 115 runs in the first inning this season and are on pace to allow 130 this season, which would be the second-most in club history.