BALTIMORE -- Orioles infielder Mark Reynolds was back in the starting lineup on Wednesday, one night after committing a key error that led to a three-run sixth inning for the Yankees in Baltimore's 5-4, 12-inning loss.
"We had plenty of opportunities in the game last night to not make that play matter -- that's why you call it a team game -- but I understand where the point of emphasis is because of some of the challenges he had last year," manager Buck Showalter said of Reynolds, who committed 26 errors at third base in 2011. "Mark and I talked [on Wednesday afternoon]. ... I just thought it was important for him to get right back on the horse."
Cognizant of his deficiencies in the field, Reynolds made an effort to improve his defense this season, shedding 20 pounds to aid with his mobility and constantly coming out for early work with infield coaches Bobby Dickerson and Mike Bordick during Spring Training.
"It's frustrating knowing how much effort and work I've put in, and still these results are coming," said Reynolds, who made two errors in the Orioles' first five games this season. "But it's definitely not for lack of effort, lack of work. I'll just keep plugging away. [It's] all I can do."
"That's part of the reason why he is in there [Wednesday]," Showalter said. "This is a guy that has put in probably as much hard work as anybody on our club during the offseason, and it's kind of frustrating for us not to see him not get a return for it. Sometimes, you can want something too much."
Furthering the issue is the fact that Reynolds has also struggled at the plate; he entered Wednesday's series finale with the Yankees batting .143 with no homers or RBIs. While he started slowly last year and still ended up with 37 homers and 86 RBIs, Reynolds has seen his lack of offense put his defense in an even harsher light.