ST. LOUIS—Orioles relief pitcher Jorge López went on the bereavement list after the death of his grandfather. López pitched in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader and worked the ninth inning of Monday’s game.
“It was a tough weekend for him, and he wanted to pitch really badly,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “That’s why I threw him in both those games.”
López found out over the weekend about his grandfather’s death in Puerto Rico. Hyde expects him to return for the Orioles’ series in Detroit that begins Friday.
Players on the bereavement list can be on between three and seven games.
“I would expect him just to miss this series,” Hyde said. “You never know with those situations, but hopefully just miss a series, and we’ll see him in Detroit.”
The Orioles recalled right-hander Travis Lakins, who has had an interesting stretch. He was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk last Thursday when left-hander Logan Allen was claimed off waivers but, with unfavorable weather approaching, he never left Baltimore. He was added as the 27th man for Sunday’s doubleheader, though he didn’t pitch.
Lakins, who is 0-1 with a 9.72 ERA in five games, was on the taxi squad for this road trip.
Right-handed pitchers Marcos Diplán and Denyi Reyes, and catcher Jacob Nottingham are on the taxi squad.
Decision time: With the arrival of Adley Rutschman getting closer, the Orioles will need to decide on a backup catcher. Hyde has spoken highly of Robinson Chirinos, who made two outstanding tags at the plate in last Thursday’s win over the Twins, and Anthony Bemboom, who caught two of the three games against the Royals.
Although Bemboom is hitting just .132 without an RBI in 38 at-bats, his defense has been impressive. Starter Jordan Lyles has made a point of complimenting his defense in his last two starts.
Bemboom, who is out of options, has thrown out three of seven base stealers.
“The players are playing well, which is a good thing,” Hyde said. “Hard decisions are healthy, and the more talent in your organization, and especially at the big league level, the harder it is to make those decisions. “Whenever that time is, we’ll sit down and figure that out. It’s a good problem to have, knowing you have a lot of good players.”
Closer and starter: Without López for this series, Hyde said he doesn’t have an obvious choice for a closer. López is 3-2 with four saves and a 1.13 ERA. Dillon Tate, who saved the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader, is a possibility.
“I’m going to match up the late part of the game,” Hyde said. “Tate will probably throw the highest-leverage inning, either the eighth or the ninth inning. We’ll see how that goes.”
Hyde said he also may use Bryan Baker, Félix Bautista, Joey Krehbiel or Cionel Pérez in the late innings.
“All of those guys I feel comfortable with,” Hyde said. “All of those guys have thrown the ball well.”
Hyde hasn’t named a Thursday starter and may not until Thursday morning. The game begins at 12:15 Central time.
“We’re going to see how today and tomorrow goes,” Hyde said. “We’ll see how we are on the mound these next two days.”
Minor league update: DL Hall will make his first start for Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday night. Rutschman will catch him.
Griffin McLarty (0-1) allowed five runs in the first inning, recording only two outs, in Double-A Bowie’s 6-2 loss to Reading. Shortstop Gunnar Henderson, catcher Maverick Handley and rightfielder Dylan Harris each had two hits. Henderson was named the Eastern League Player of the Week. He hit .529 (9-for-17) with a home run, four RBIs, five runs scored and four stolen bases.
Juan De Los Santos allowed a run on three hits in six innings in Single-A Delmarva’s 1-0 loss to Salem. The Shorebirds had just two hits. Infielder Shed Long, who signed a minor league contract with the Orioles but had not played this season because of a leg injury, was hit by a pitch in his first at-bat and left the game.
High-A Aberdeen pitcher Ignacio Feliz was named South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB