David Newhan doesn’t need a set position in the field. His bat is making sure he’ll always be in the Baltimore lineup.
Newhan will try to build on the best night of his career when the Orioles and Boston Red Sox play a day-night doubleheader at Fenway Park.
Despite hitting .328 with nine home runs and 38 RBIs in 61 games for Triple-A Oklahoma City, Newhan was released by the Texas Rangers on June 18. The Orioles swooped in and signed him that day.
“David is versatile and gives us more options,” Baltimore manager Lee Mazzilli said at the time. “This is something we wanted to do and he gives us speed off the bench and can play multiple positions.”
Newhan has delivered as advertised. Capable of playing second, third or shortstop, Newhan has hit in 28 of 30 games with the Orioles and is batting .430 (49-for-114) with five home runs and 23 RBIs.
His career with Baltimore started quickly as he hit safely in his first 15 games, including batting .500 (10-for-20) during a six-game stint while replacing then-injured Melvin Mora at third from June 18-24.
As the designated hitter Wednesday, Newhan went 4-for-5 with an inside-the-park home run, four runs scored and two RBIs in the Orioles’ 10-5 win.
“When I got out of the box, I thought it had a chance (to clear the wall),” Newhan said of the bizarre homer. “I saw (third base coach) Tom (Trebelhorn) waving and waving. He was waving tentatively at first, then his eyes got bigger.”
The Orioles have won five of seven.
The Red Sox have dropped four of seven since the break and are eight games behind the first-place New York Yankees in the AL East.
Prior to Wednesday’s loss, the Red Sox acquired infielder Ricky Gutierrez from the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named and cash. The move was made to offset the loss of second baseman Pokey Reese, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained rib cage muscle.
“He’s a tremendous make-up guy so I think he’ll fit in here well as a utility player,” Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said of the 34-year-old Gutierrez, who has been with seven different organizations during his 11-year career.
The Red Sox also called up third baseman Kevin Youkilis from Triple-A Pawtucket. Youkilis went 1-for-4 with a run scored Wednesday.
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