Rickard (2 HRs) drives in 5 after being recalled
BALTIMORE — Outfielder Joey Rickard, who was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk prior to Sunday’s blowout 17-1 win in the series finale against the Rays, wasted no time making his mark on the Orioles, slugging his first two homers of the season in his first three at-bats and later adding an RBI single.
Rickard’s first homer was a deep fly out to right-center field, part of back-to-back shots with Danny Valencia in the second inning. Trey Mancini later added a third homer off Rays starter Blake Snell in the inning.
The second homer was a three-run moonshot down the left-field line that capped the scoring in the Orioles’ seven-run fourth inning that blew the game open.
In his fifth at-bat, Rickard lined an RBI single, as Baltimore continued piling on late with a six-run seventh inning.
The Orioles also recalled left-handed pitcher Donnie Hart before the game. To clear roster spots, the O’s optioned Rule 5 Draft pick Anthony Santander to Double-A Bowie and sent reliever Jimmy Yacabonis back to Triple-A.
Yacabonis walked three and allowed a run over four outs in relief of Alex Cobb in Saturday’s 10-3 loss. Santander, who was the O’s Rule 5 Draft pick two years ago from the Indians, has remained active with the team long enough that he now has a Minor League option and lost his Rule 5 status.
“He’s going to work on his command and hopefully backing up third base,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Yacabonis, who is starting for Triple-A this season.
As for Santander, Showalter said the move to Double-A and not Triple-A was just logistics and he’ll play every day in both left and right field.
“I don’t think it really matters that much [what level he’s at],” he said. “It kind of fit better for his development and everything we are trying to do with the personnel at those two levels.”
A 23-year-old switch-hitter, Santander hit .198/.250/.297 in 33 games for the Orioles, with one home run and six RBIs.
“I was hoping he’d hit .280 to 300 here and take off and we didn’t have [to option him],” Showalter said. “But as much as we like Anthony, there were some challenges for him here that showed up.”
Hart and Rickard have both been with the big league club already this year, with Rickard going 1-for-5 in two games and Hart pitching 2 2/3 innings, allowing an unearned run.
Orioles claim utility man Nunez
The Orioles added infield depth on Sunday afternoon, claiming Renato Nunez off waivers from Texas.
A right-handed hitter, the 24-year-old Nunez played in 13 games for the Rangers, after spending the past two seasons with Oakland. Nunez appeared in eight games at third for Texas, and also played the outfield.
To create a 40-man roster spot needed to claim a player off waviers, the Orioles transferred infielder Tim Beckham to the 60-day disabled list. Beckham had surgery to help repair a groin strain earlier this season with the initial timeline of six-to-seven weeks.