Wieters doesn't start, but plays key role

Wieters doesn't start, but plays key role

BOSTON -- Catcher Matt Wieters wasn't in Sunday's starting lineup for just the second time in the Orioles' first 19 games.

"[I'm] on track for 142 [games]," Wieters said with the smile as he went out to take pregame batting practice.

Manager Dave Trembley said he told Wieters before the three-game set with Boston that he wasn't going to play on Sunday, a move that would have afforded the catcher a pair of rest days with Monday's off-day.

"He hasn't shown any signs early of wear and tear," Trembley said prior to Sunday's game. "I asked him how he was doing, and he said well if this was July or August, this would probably affect him, but right now, he feels real strong. I think he has been a real solid consistent player for us in all areas."

In his place backup catcher Craig Tatum got Sunday's start, but Wieters still managed to don the shin guards. He entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Tatum in the eighth and spent the last three innings of Sundays extra-inning win behind the plate. Wieters provided a key two-run single in the top of the 10th that helped the Orioles hang on for a 7-6 win over the Red Sox.

Just 23, Wieters made a conscious effort to get in superior shape this offseason to help him withstand the grind of catching his first full Major League season. He has an eight-game hitting streak and entered Sunday tied in the American League with eight multihit games. Wieters is batting .324 with a team-leading 22 hits.