Machado, Wieters return for Orioles in loss to Tigers
SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — Matt Wieters and Manny Machado each were hitless in three at-bats in their first game since their seasons were cut short by injuries last year, and the Baltimore Orioles lost to the Detroit Tigers 5-4 Wednesday.
Wieters had Tommy John surgery in June and Machado underwent knee surgery in August.
“They do miss it. They miss the competition,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Machado, the 22-year-old third baseman, played seven innings and made a neat backhand play, throwing out Detroit’s Hernan Perez from foul ground in the fourth inning. He also made a throwing error.
“Manny needs to play in some games,” Showalter said.
Wieters, a Gold Glove catcher, served as Baltimore’s designated hitter and was removed after his third at-bat. He expects to catch on March 17 and hopes to be ready for the season opener.
Detroit’s Alex Castellanos hit a two-run home run to highlight a three-run fifth inning. Anthony Gose scored the other run on a botched rundown.
Tigers: Alfredo Simon, obtained over the winter from Cincinnati, will start for Detroit against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday.
Orioles: Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez start for Baltimore in a split squad games on Thursday. Chen pitches at Tampa Bay Thursday afternoon, Gonzalez goes against Toronto Thursday night.
Tigers: Castellanos returned to the lineup a day after he was hit by a pitch in his left arm on Tuesday by Baltimore RHP Ubaldo Jimenez. . OF Steven Moya (back spasms) was cleared to play for the first time this spring. He drove in Detroit’s fifth run with a single.
Orioles: RHP Steve Johnson, who bruised his right middle finger last week, has been held out but could pitch soon, Showalter said. . LHP Brian Matusz had been sidelined by an injury to his right shoulder, but Showalter said he is now available to pitch.
Tigers: RHP Anibal Sanchez allowed one hit and struck out one in two innings. Sanchez had an injury-riddled 2014. “Today’s work was really good for a first day,” Sanchez said. “This year, I don’t think much about anything in the past.”
Orioles: RHP Kevin Gausman started and threw a scoreless first inning, allowing a hit and striking out one. Gausman knew he was only going to pitch one inning and didn’t pitch any differently than he normally would. “That’s the thing I didn’t want to do. I wanted to approach it just as I approach every start during the season,” Gausman said.
The Tigers released right-hander Joel Hanrahan. Detroit said that Hanrahan would have his second Tommy John surgery on March 18.
The Tigers signed Hanrahan last May, a year after his first surgery, but he never appeared in a game. Detroit re-signed him in November.
Manager Brad Ausmus said that Hanrahan could have helped the Tigers if he had been healthy.
“He’s going to get the surgery, rehab and reconsider what’s next on his agenda — whether he’s going to try and play again or not,” Ausmus said.
Showalter says he’s O.K. with his players being outspoken. Center fielder Adam Jones criticized Baltimore executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette for not explaining the team’s direction after it didn’t re-sign Jones’ longtime teammate Nick Markakis.
“When he says something, he means it. You may not agree with every aspect of it, but he means it,” Showalter said. “He’s a lot more calculating than people give him credit for. He’s got a stake in this. I’m O.K. with that.”