BALTIMORE—It’s one of the hottest spells in Baltimore in years, and the forecast is for even warmer temperatures this weekend. For some of the Orioles who grew up in warm weather, there’s still no getting around a Baltimore summer.
Renato Nunez knows about heat. He’s from Valencia, Venezuela, a beach area that’s quite humid.
“It kind of feels like this,” Nunez said about his hometown’s weather. “Even if you grew up there in that weather, if you go out, and it’s 100 degrees, you’re still going to feel it.”
In 2012, his first year in the United States, Nunez played for the Oakland Athletics’ affiliate in the Arizona League.
“I played in weather that was 120, 115 something crazy like that,” Nunez said. “This feels hot, but not like Arizona.”
Nunez drinks lots of water.
“You’ve got to prepare yourself even the night before the game,” he said. “You’ve got to hydrate. You’ve got to eat well.”
Trey Mancini grew up in Winter Haven, Florida, and played in intense heat when he was in high school.
“It’s hot,” Mancini said of Baltimore weather. “I never complain about the heat out there because at Notre Dame I played in so many games that were so brutally cold, and I think that’s so much more miserable than playing in extreme heat.
“Don’t get me wrong. It’s not comfortable, but I’d much rather play in this than 35 degree or 40 degree weather, for sure. I’ll take this any day of the week.”
Mancini’s preparations include drinking Pedialyte before the game.
“I really want to make sure that I’m hydrating, and I don’t have to pound water during the game,” Mancini said. “Usually it’s too little, too late if you start doing that, and you’re not really hydrating during the game.”
Rio Ruiz, a native of Covina, California, is also used to the heat. He played in the Atlanta Braves organization before coming to the Orioles.
“Hot is hot,” Ruiz said. “When it hits the 90s, when it’s a hundred, like it’s going to be this weekend, it’s hot, regardless of if there’s humidity.”
Ruiz’s hottest days came in 2015 when he played for Atlanta’s Double-A team in Pearl, Mississippi.
“That’s another tough place to be,” Ruiz said. “I’m used to hot. I’ve played in it every summer.”
There is a benefit to the heat, Ruiz said.
“The only good thing about it, especially with the humidity is that it’s easier to get loose,” Ruiz said. “You start sweating out the gate. That’s kind of what you’re work for to begin with when you’re stretching before the game.”
Growing up, Mancini spent a lot of time in the Baltimore-Washington area during the summer, and he knows about the heat.
“Here and in D.C., it’s so much hotter than people realize,” Mancini said. “You definitely have to take care of yourself before the game starts.
“You do get used to it. It’s still tough. It’s more humid in Florida. A lot of people don’t believe me when I say that.”
Alberto absent for a good reason: Hanser Alberto was given the day off by manager Brandon Hyde because his wife was due to deliver a child on Wednesday.
Alberto is expected back for Friday’s game, and with a day off, he was not going to be placed on the paternity list.
Slumping Smith out of lineup: Dwight Smith Jr., who is 0-for-30, is not in the starting lineup.
“He got on the concussion protocol list [June 7], and ever since then, he’s had a tough time finding a rhythm,” Hyde said. “It looks like he’s just trying too hard … He’s got some aches and pains that he’s trying to play through. That’s not helping. He’s pressing like a lot of people do.”
Injury updates: Pitcher Dylan Bundy, who has been on the 10-day injured list with right knee tendinitis, is progressing well, Hyde said. Bundy is expected to start at Arizona when he’s eligible on July 23 … Nate Karns [forearm] allowed a run on two hits in two innings in a rehab start for Double-A Bowie on Wednesday. Karns struck out one and walked one.