BALTIMORE – Nolan Reimold has never played a complete season in the major leagues. His career has been plagued with injuries, and wasn’t with the Orioles when they went to the postseason in 2012 and 2014.
When the team made it to the ALCS two years ago, Reimold had briefly left the organization. He returned last year, and nearly three years after his second neck surgery, the 32-year-old has had a most productive few weeks for the Orioles. With all the team’s sexy new additions, Reimold has seemingly been overlooked, but he’s delivered some timely hits.
On Friday night, Reimold hit a three-run home run that broke a 3-3 tie in the seventh inning, giving the Orioles their third straight win, 6-3 over the Chicago White Sox before 19,912 at Oriole Park.
Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy began the seventh with singles off Carlos Rodon (1-3). Reimold hit an opposite field home run just over the right field scoreboard, his third of the year, and the Orioles had a 6-3 lead.
Manager Buck Showalter knows what a sound Reimold can bring.
“I’m real happy for him because he’s been down a rough road. It’s a real tribute to him to persevere through this. And quite proud of the organization for sticking with him. He’s dialed up a lot of things that we’ve needed,” Showalter said.
In 2012, Reimold’s year was finished by the end of April and in 2014, he never played with the team. For all the hard work Reimold has put in, he’d love to see a payoff.
“That’s the ultimate goal, team goal, to make the playoffs, win the World Series. It’s something that I’d really like to experience while I’m still playing. It definitely would be a big thing. I’d love to do that,” Reimold said.
Brad Brach (3-0) got the win. Darren O’Day and Zach Britton finished up, and Britton got his sixth save.
The Orioles improved their home record to 9-1, and they did on another brisk night.
“It’s nasty out there,” Showalter said.
While he and the Orioles would like to play in some better weather, it appears they’ll have to wait for that.
“It was like playoff weather, cold as it is right now. I prefer a little bit more degrees on the thermometer,” Wieters said.
Things went awry for Rodon and the White Sox (16-9) an inning later when the Orioles (14-8) came up with three runs.
Jonathan Schoop’s single up the middle scored Wieters and Hardy. Reimold scored when shortstop Jimmy Rollins threw wildly to first on Joey Rickard’s grounder, and the Orioles led 3-1.
Mike Wright allowed a run in the second on a double to Melky Cabrera and a two-out triple to Avisail Garcia.
In the sixth, Rollins lifted a fly to center that Jones tried to make a diving catch on. He couldn’t, and Eaton made it to third. Jose Abreu’s single to right scored Eaton.
Cabrera’s liner to center was caught by Jones, and he threw home as Wieters snatched the ball and swiftly brought it down to tag Rollins to temporarily preserve a 3-2 lead.
“Adam’s got the hard part of making it all the way there. And I think the biggest thing I was worried about was the wet night, being able to get the skip. It didn’t really skip on me. It kind of bounced up on me. That made it a little bit easier, I guess,” Wieters said.
Showalter defended Jones’ style of play.
“If you think you are going to get Adam to back off from playing that way, you are kidding yourself. He can’t play the game any other way. That’s why you like him so much. That’s why you trust him effort-wise, and if you ever take that away from him — that aggressiveness- you might as well not play him,” Jones said.
Wright allowed two runs on five hits in six innings, and Wieters certainly liked what he saw.
“Today was I think the best he’s thrown any time I’ve caught him. I think he’ll be able to take a lot out of this outing and move forward as what kind of pitcher he can be. It was fun. It was fun back there catching him tonight and really even the runs they scored he made good pitches on. So for 90 pitches or whatever he threw he was focused as much as I’ve ever seen somebody,” Wieters said.
Wright is seeing a big improvement in his outings.
“Since the beginning of the season, even since the beginning of spring training, I’ve felt better and better every time I’ve taken the mound. It’s very positive to go out there and really feel confident that I can execute every pitch [Wieters] puts down,” Wright said.