Pie emerging as spark plug for O's

Pie emerging as spark plug for O's

ARLINGTON -- Amidst a season of struggles, a bright spot is beginning to emerge in Orioles outfielder Felix Pie.

Pie has been a spark plug offensively in the Orioles' past three games. On Tuesday, he went 2-for-6 with an RBI in a 7-5 loss to the Tigers. Wednesday, he went 1-for-4 with a triple in a 4-2 series-ending defeat.

Pie continued on Thursday igniting the O's rally in the seventh inning with his leadoff homer, before knocking in the tying run an inning later on a hit by pitch in the 6-4 win over the Rangers.

"I feel good," Pie said. "I'm making adjustments with the pitching. I'm taking good pitches and hitting the ball the other way."

Since missing 72 games with a strained back muscle, Pie has been 4-for-13 (.308) and dating back to before his injury, has hit in six of his past seven games. During that time, he's gone 11-for-24 (.458) with a double, triple, two homers and four RBIs with four runs scored.

"I've got to keep working hard," Pie said. "I was selective in Detroit at the plate. I've been waiting on good pitches."

As a result, the Orioles' normal left fielder, Corey Patterson, served as the designated hitter Thursday against the Rangers in order to get Pie more time.

"We're looking for Corey to continue what he's doing. He's done a tremendous job for us," interim manager Juan Samuel said. "We just wanted the opportunity to have him and Felix in the lineup at the same time to utilize his speed."