(Updated: 7: 15 a.m.)
The Orioles lost their series finale against the Minnesota Twins on Sunday and may have lost two more pieces for the time being.
After grounding into a double play to end the sixth inning, left fielder Nolan Reimold left the game with hamstring tightness and will be reevaluated on Monday. Meanwhile, relief pitcher Luis Ayala did not play in the series finale but was taken to the hospital after becoming ill in the sixth or seventh inning, according to manager Buck Showalter.
The pair joined a growing list of health concerns that has included infielders Brian Roberts and Wilson Betemit and pitcher Steve Johnson.
However, the Orioles received good news Sunday night as Ayala joined the team in Boston after only experiencing dizzy spells on Sunday, according to several reports.
Reimold’s status will be tricky as the Orioles are already playing with a three-man bench after activating right-handed pitcher Chris Tillman to make Saturday’s start. The club is preparing for contingency plans, which could include a trip to the 15-day disabled list for Reimold if the hamstring injury is expected to keep him out for more than a day or two.
“We’re trying to evaluate it now,” Showalter said after the 4-3 loss to the Twins at Camden Yards. “[Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette] is going on the trip with us to Boston. I talked to him a little bit during the game to let him know where we were.”
The Orioles play an afternoon game at Fenway Park against the Red Sox on Monday before a day off on Tuesday. One would assume the club would need to make a decision by then on Reimold’s status and the need to have another bench player available.
Reimold painted an optimistic picture regarding his status, but April night games with potentially chilly temperatures won’t do a tight hamstring any favors without adequate rest.
“I came in here and did some [treatment] and calmed it down,” Reimold said following the game. “It’s a little tight still, but it’s not cramping up anymore. It should be all right.”
Showalter expressed confidence that the club’s medical staff was just being proactive in sending Ayala to the hospital to be checked out. The right-hander didn’t accompany the Orioles on their flight to Boston.
The reliever’s status wasn’t as critical as Reimold considering the Orioles are currently playing with an eight-man bullpen.
“He had some things you normally don’t have and they decided after looking at him — better go check it out,” Showalter said. “I’ve got a pretty good idea of what we’re dealing with. See how things go.”
Showalter also confirmed that the Orioles will push back Miguel Gonzalez’s next start until the weekend against the Yankees despite his turn falling during the Boston series. The Baltimore manager said there isn’t a health concern and wants to simply give the slight right-handed pitcher a few extra days.
The club gave Gonzalez an extra day or two on several occasions over the final two months of the 2012 season.
“We’re not matching people up,” Showalter said. “We’re going to have 20-something games in a row. We’ve got an opportunity here. It’s not going to come very often. We’re going to hopefully be pitching him every fifth day for a long, long time. He’s got a chance if he stays healthy to pitch over 200 innings, so we want to have him in good shape for the long haul.”
Gonzalez was the club’s most effective starter the first time through the rotation as the 28-year-old allowed two earned runs in 6 1/3 innings to earn the victory in the final game of the season-opening series against Tampa Bay.