xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

In 100th game of season, Orioles give Renato Núñez first start of season at third base: ‘He’s earned it’

Baltimore Orioles' Renato Nunez reacts during a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Monday, May 20, 2019, in Baltimore. The Yankees won 10-7. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Baltimore Orioles' Renato Nunez reacts during a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Monday, May 20, 2019, in Baltimore. The Yankees won 10-7. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

PHOENIX — In the Orioles’ 100th game of the season, manager Brandon Hyde is finally handing last year’s incumbent third baseman — Renato Núñez — a start at the hot corner.

Without the designated hitter available in a National League park, Hyde is putting Núñez at third with Chris Davis at first base and Trey Mancini in right field against a right-handed starter in Merrill Kelly.

Advertisement

"I want him in the lineup," Hyde said. "Nuney has been working hard at third base every day, working hard, working on his footwork, working on his throwing, so we're putting him out there tonight."

"It feels great to be back over there," Núñez said. "I'm going to practice a lot, take a lot of ground balls and just enjoy the time there."

Advertisement
Advertisement

Núñez has just one inning at third base this year, coming off the bench as a pinch-hitter May 18 in Cleveland and staying in the game at third base. That day, he and Rio Ruiz switched back and forth between third base and second base, putting Ruiz on the side of the field that the hitter was more likely to put the ball in play toward. Hyde said that wasn’t going to happen Tuesday.

“I want Nuney to feel comfortable over there,” Hyde said. “He’s earned it. He works every day — right now, he’s out there taking ground balls. He works really hard on his defense and, obviously, I want his bat in the lineup. We’re playing a National League style and we’re going to give him a chance.”

Núñez hit his team-high 23rd home run of the season Monday, raising his average to .248 with an .818 OPS.

Mark Trumbo hasn't played in a regular-season game in the majors this season after having knee surgery last summer.
Mark Trumbo hasn't played in a regular-season game in the majors this season after having knee surgery last summer. (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun)

Trumbo begins another assignment

Designated hitter Mark Trumbo, who hasn’t played for the Orioles since last year as he rehabs from a complicated knee surgery last summer, began another rehab assignment at Triple-A Norfolk Tuesday in Rochester.

Advertisement

Trumbo, who had a rehab assignment cut short last month after his knee wasn't responding the way he wanted it to, had been ramping up baseball activities at Camden Yards during the last homestand.

Hyde said he saw enough to give him hope that Trumbo will play for the Orioles this year, as planned.

"He's batting second for Norfolk, and I hope he feels good," Hyde said. "He's made a lot of progress from after he got shut down and kind of ramped it back up with his rehab. He's feeling a lot better. He was moving so much better at home, the last time we were home, taking fly balls in the outfield, taking [batting practice] with us, just running around the bases. I could tell how much better his knee was feeling. We're hoping that if he checks out and is able to recover after games, then we'll go from there."

Dylan Bundy returned from the injured list after right knee tendinitis.
Dylan Bundy returned from the injured list after right knee tendinitis. (Julio Cortez/AP)

Around the horn

Right-hander Dylan Bundy (knee) was activated off the injured list to start Tuesday. Reliever Branden Kline, who was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk after Monday’s game to create that roster spot, left after what Hyde said was his best game. Kline gave the Orioles 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. ... Right-hander Nate Karns (forearm strain) pitched two scoreless innings on a rehab assignment Tuesday at High-A Frederick.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement