The Orioles suffered another injury during Friday night's game. Steve Pearce was pulled from the game early with what the team announced was a right abdominal strain. With the game ongoing, it's hard to guess at a prognosis, but Orioles fans can only hope that Pearce will be day-to-day for a couple of days before returning.
How Pearce suffered the injury was not clear. He had an unplanned encounter with the wall down the right field line while catching a foul pop-up in the top of the second inning. On a ball that looked like it might slip into the stands, with a row of oblivious souvenir-seeking fans in his way, Pearce had the presence of mind to leap above the grubby paws of the unaware front row people. He caught the ball but landed against the wall in the process. Perhaps he suffered the injury then.
Pearce remained in the game through the third inning, when he looked like he grimaced as he fielded a grounder with two outs to end the Twins half of the inning. Perhaps that was the lingering effect of running into the wall or perhaps something just tweaked funny as he fielded that ball.
UPDATE 10:05pm: O's manager Buck Showalter said in his post-game conference that the injury had been nagging Pearce for a couple of days. Pearce had mentioned the injury to bench coach Jim Presley and the O's decided to lift him as a precaution. He will be going for an MRI on Saturday morning at 9.
Here's what Pearce told reporters about the injury following the game:
Pearce said abdominal issue began yesterday. "Taking some swings felt some discomfort. Was hoping it was just cramps. Felt it again today."— Steve Melewski (@masnSteve) August 30, 2014
In the bottom of the inning, when Pearce's turn was about to come up, he was replaced in the on-deck circle by newly-recalled Jimmy Paredes. In the top of the fourth, Paredes came in to play third base, with Chris Davis switching to first. Paredes got a base hit in his first Orioles at bat, so at least there's that.