Lawrie's bat making waves

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:49 PM ET

BALTIMORE - In his first weekend as a big-leaguer, Brett Lawrie made quite a first impression.

In the three games at Baltimore, the 21-year-old rookie went 5-for-11 with four singles and his first home run, launched in the sixth inning Sunday against Alfredo Simon.

He also made his first error and could have been charged with another. But it was his bat that spoke loudest.

“I’m just glad I got my first hit out of the way and we won a couple of ball games,” Lawrie said.

“Now I know I can play with these guys. I knew I could before, it was just a question of getting the opportunity. I’m playing out here for these guys. I’m not playing for myself.”

Thames gets rest

Mired in a 1-for-30 slump, rookie Eric Thames got the day off Sunday, to go with the team off-day on Monday. Thames broke out of an 0-for-23 slump with a single on Friday but manager John Farrell inserted Rajai Davis into the lineup Sunday.

“I wanted to get Rajai some regular playing time and get some fresh legs in the lineup with (John McDonald) at second,” Farrell said. “Eric has been pressing of late and it allows us to drop (Yunel) Escobar into the two-hole, a spot where he’s comfortable.

“When Eric presses, he expands the strike zone early and often. He’s chasing fastballs up and chasing breaking balls down.”

A lost gem

Farrell just shook his head at Saturday’s performance by Brandon Morrow and had trouble reconciling it to the final result, a 6-2 loss.

“When you consider Morrow’s power and the overall location, then you walk away looking at six runs on the board, it didn’t seem to add up because of how sharp he was for most of the game.”

Morrow retired the first 15 men he faced through five innings but the Orioles erupted for four runs — three of them unearned — in the sixth, after a crucial misplay of a groundball by Escobar.

“It had the makings, as the game was going on in the middle innings, of something pretty special to take place,” Farrell said.

Another step

Dustin McGowan will make his first double-A rehab start in New Hampshire on Wednesday. So far, he has maxed out at three innings but could get to four innings going forward.

“He will be throwing 65-70 pitches,” Farrell said.

Rauch out

Inflammation in closer Jon Rauch’s right knee made him unavailable for the games Saturday and Sunday. Coupled with the off-day Monday, it’s expected Rauch will be good to go by Tuesday.

“He pitched consecutive days and it reared its head after Friday’s game,” Farrell said. “We’ll use the off day Monday, in addition to (Sunday), to give him a little bit of a blow.”


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