Steve Pearce makes a leaping catch in foul territory. He later… (Patrick Smith / Getty Images )
First baseman Steve Pearce said the right abdominal strain that forced him out before the fourth inning of Friday's 9-1 win over the Minnesota Twins was more uncomfortable than painful, and he hopes he won't have a lengthy absence from the Orioles' lineup. He'll know more after an MRI scheduled for 9:30 this morning.
“I'm not all that concerned,” Pearce said after the game. “It's not affecting me during anything else. I'm not in pain doing [anything], even when I swing. I just feel something there, and so I just want to get ahead of it. Hopefully, I can get back and get back pretty soon.”
Pearce said he first felt discomfort Thursday and thought it might be a cramp. The injury, which he said is his first such ailment in that area, lingered into Friday, and after his first at-bat, hitting coach Jim Presley asked Pearce how he felt.
“I just told him, ‘I'm scared I'll do further damage to it and miss the rest of the season and possibly the playoffs,'” Pearce said. “I think he took it from there, that he needed to say something.”
Presley told Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who said he was immediately alarmed and pulled Pearce for precautionary reasons.
“Didn't like that, because anytime you hear something like that from Steve, you can usually multiply it times two,” Showalter said. “He's been swinging the bat well and he's been having some issues. Hopefully, we get some good news [today] and it's short-term.”
Pearce has been the club's hottest hitter of late. He had a career-best 11-game hitting streak in which he batted .333 with five homers and five doubles. The streak ended Friday; he was hitless in just one at-bat.
Pearce also has been playing strong defense, and he made a nice play in the top of the second, catching a pop foul as he landed on the short brick wall near the camera well. He said the play didn’t worsen the abdomen discomfort or affect it at all.
In the bottom of the third, Jimmy Paredes went out on deck to pinch-hit for Pearce, but didn’t get to the plate. He replaced Pearce in the top of the fourth, with Paredes making his Orioles debut at third base. Chris Davis moved from third to first.