Reimold makes most of limited playing time

Outfielder is hitting .355 with three homers in 13 games this season

Reimold makes most of limited playing time

BALTIMORE -- Nolan Reimold hasn't been a regular fixture in the Orioles lineup. But when he is in there, the outfielder knows how to make his presence felt.

Reimold, lauded for his on-base capabilities, has worked some of the team's best at-bats and come up big on several defensive and baserunning plays. But on Friday night it was his power stroke that stood out as Reimold's three-run, seventh-inning homer catapulted the O's to a 6-3 win over the White Sox.

"He's been a real contributor," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Reimold, who is batting .355 in 13 games with three homers and five RBIs. "It's the first time, I don't want to say [he's] completely healthy, but healthy [enough] to show what he's capable of doing and remind everybody. I'm real happy for him, because he's been down a rough road. It's a real tribute to him to persevere through this. And quite proud of the organization for sticking with him. He's dialed up a lot of things that we've needed."

After striking out in his first at-bat, Reimold singled and scored off White Sox starter Carlos Rodon in the fifth inning. When he stepped in for his next at-bat in the seventh, Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy had each singled in front of him.

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"Fastball away is what we were going for," Rodon said of his first pitch of the at-bat. "Honestly, I thought he was going to bunt, but now that I think about [it], I remember going through the scouting report, and he's a guy that has good power the other way. And, sure enough, he showed it on that pitch."

"I don't really get the bunt sign too much," Reimold said. "I was looking, ready to do it if it was there. As soon as I saw it wasn't there, I was ready to hit."

And so the right-handed hitter sent Rodon's 90-mph fastball off the top of the visiting scoreboard, improving the O's to 5-0 against lefty starters this season.

"I think Nolan's got a real peace about, he knows if he's healthy and knows if he's getting opportunities he's going to be able to contribute," Showalter said. "You can just tell being around him that he kind of likes where he is professionally."

It has been a long road back for Reimold, who underwent neck surgery in 2012 and then a second, corrective neck procedure in '13.

"Yeah, I really scuffled around for a couple of years after that -- it takes a long time," said Reimold, who is hitting .347/.418/.673 dating back to last Sept. 30. "It's good to be back and good to be playing and helping out and helping the team win some games."

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.