Hoiles rapidly swings back into shape
Catcher Chris Hoiles continues to make rapid progress in his recovery from a fractured wrist. In just a matter of days, he has gone from swinging a broomstick to hitting off a tee with a fungo bat.
"Everything is going good with that," said Hoiles, who has been on the disabled list since he was hit on the right wrist with a pitch June 21. "I've gone from a broomstick to dry swinging with a fungo bat to taking 25 to 35 to 40 swings off the tee."
The next big step will be live hitting, which could come in a few days unless he experiences soreness in the wrist. He'll undergo X-rays today to make sure that the bone is healing correctly.
"If the X-rays show that everything is going well, I hope to take live batting practice within the next four or five days," Hoiles said.
He has been throwing for about a week, so once he begins hitting against live pitching the club will be able to get some idea of when he could be back in the lineup. Hoiles figures to go out on some kind of injury rehabilitation assignment to get his timing down at the plate, so the best-case scenario for his return probably is two to three weeks.
Williamson throws well
Right-hander Mark Williamson, who pitched two innings for the Double-A Hagerstown Suns on Sunday, said he experienced no pain during his first competitive appearance since undergoing elbow surgery in May.
"I think there are more important things to think about today than how my elbow rehabilitation is going," said Williamson, referring to the death of infielder Tim Hulett's son. "But it went fine."
Williamson threw 28 pitches and gave up two runs on two hits. Healso balked twice -- once to bring home a run.
Series sold out
The remaining three games of the weekend series against the Texas Rangers are sold out, except for the 275 standing-room tickets that the Orioles sell for every game. The Orioles have sold out their past 25 dates and 33 overall.
Rangers outfielder Kevin Reimer is one of three players to hit a ball onto Eutaw Street (the street in front of the B&O warehouse). He did it on May 5 off Jose Mesa. The others were former Orioles catcher Mickey Tettleton (April 20) and California Angels first baseman Lee Stevens (May 23).
Family game canceled
The annual family game, which puts the Orioles and their children on the field for some pre-game fun, had been scheduled for Sunday but has been canceled out of deference to the Hulett family.
The Orioles entered last night's game with a 2.95 ERA in the second half, though they allowed 17 runs in the final two games at Comiskey Park. . . . The club's pinch hitters have three hits in the past 28 pinch-hit at-bats, dating to May 20.