CHICAGO -- Manager Buck Showalter gave bench players Endy Chavez and Nick Johnson the start for Monday's series opener against the White Sox with hopes of getting both guys jump-started offensively, and to give left fielder Nolan Reimold -- who had a left hamstring cramp Saturday -- one more day.
"Definitely just wanted to be careful," Showalter said of Reimold, who stayed in the game Saturday -- hitting his second consecutive home run. "We got a left-hander [opposing starter on Tuesday] we definitely want him ready for, cold windy night, but I'll use him tonight if I have to."
As it turned out, Reimold was the one who jump-started the Orioles' 10-4 win.
Reimold entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning, striking out in his first plate appearance. He made a stellar grab in the bottom half of the frame, sprawling into the stands after running down a popup off the bat of Alejandro De Aza.
Reimold stepped to the plate to lead off the ninth with his team trailing by a pair, and he homered on the sixth pitch he saw from White Sox reliever Hector Santiago.
Adam Jones' blast two batters later sent the game to the 10th inning, where Reimold came to the plate with runners on first and third and his team up a run. He singled to left field on the first pitch he saw from Zach Stewart, capping a 2-for-3 day with a pair of key RBIs.
All three of Reimold's homers this season have come in the ninth inning.
"I'll take 'em anytime," he said after the Orioles' victory. "Anytime they come is fine by me, [and] I'm sure good with everybody."
Showalter stands behind reliever Gregg
CHICAGO -- Orioles reliever Kevin Gregg spent a good portion of Monday's pregame at a corner table watching video, at times consulting with pitching coach Rick Adair. Fresh off Sunday's nightmarish outing in a seven-run sixth inning -- five runs crossed the plate with two outs and Gregg on the mound -- manager Buck Showalter stood behind the veteran.
"I can't sit here and say nonchalantly that there's not something to it," Showalter said of Gregg -- who was originally signed to be the team's closer -- adjusting to being used in the earlier innings, "But Kevin's pitched in different roles in his career, I know Kevin and he just wants to contribute and do whatever, we've talked about this and I think you will see him get better as we go on."
Gregg was used less frequently as the closer toward the end of last season and it appeared clear this spring that Jim Johnson, if healthy, would be the Orioles' ninth-inning guy. Showalter hasn't made Gregg's role as clear, using him in the sixth inning Sunday in Toronto to mark the first time Gregg had pitched earlier than the seventh since 2007. He struggled mightily, allowing two of Brian Matusz's inherited runners to score and another three runs on three hits, two walks and a hit batsmen.
"He understands what's going on," Showalter said of Gregg, who was signed to a two-year deal in January 2011 and has pitched to a 12.27 ERA in his first three outings. "I talk to him every day in some form or fashion, so I understand what he's going through somewhat. But yesterday was a hiccup for us. Not to say that anybody else could have done anything differently but we are not and can't pitch the same guys three days in a row. We are going to have to shoulder the load around to keep everybody good and healthy and contributing."
Showalter also was asked if he felt the current bullpen's construction was limiting given that the Orioles have no true long man and only one lefty in Troy Patton, who was used for two innings Sunday.
"That's long -- long man in the American league is two innings," Showalter said. "If you constantly need a four or five innings guy, you are in for a long year. But the way our bullpen is constructed we can make adjustments if we need to do it. I hope we don't. So far we've been able to withstand that, a lot of it is because our [starting] pitching has been getting fairly deep."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.