The Orioles acquired the lefty-hitting slugger on Saturday from the Phillies, who netted two Class A players in return. The health of Thome's back might keep him away from first base, but as long as he can DH, the O's should be happy.
"He's been hitting, and that's his primary asset," general manager Dan Duquette said. "He should be able to hit."
Whether Thome arrives in time or not -- the Phillies were in Miami -- left-hander Brian Matusz likely has to straighten himself out for Baltimore to earn a split of the four-game series.
Matusz's velocity was down in his most recent start, a 7-3 loss to the Angels on Tuesday, and he's lost four in a row. Matusz gave up 13 hits and five runs to the Angels in a start where he had to rely mostly on fastballs. He walked none.
Matusz hasn't reached six innings since going 7 1/3 on June 2 against Tampa, his last victory.
"Just command, command up," manager Buck Showalter said following the Angels game. "We always seem to look at walk totals to think if a guy has good command. A lot of times, guys are wild in the strike zone. Obviously, he wasn't quite as crisp with his fastball as he has been and needs to be."
Said Matusz: "My stuff wasn't really sharp today. Breaking pitches weren't there. I was relying on locating the fastball and I left a few over the plate and that's what really hurt."
"It's nice to see, especially because those are our right-handed bats that we put out there against lefties since we have struggled against left-handed pitching," Acta said. "That's what we're expecting, that some of the righties can hit the lefties."
Indians: Santana could return Sunday
Catcher Carlos Santana could be cleared to play Sunday after missing the past three games because of soreness in his back and right side.
"We're just trying to get him on the field -- plain and simple," Acta said. "We just don't want to put him out there and jeopardize having him go on the [disabled list] or losing him for a longer period of time."
Orioles: Johnson to rest wrist for a week
Nick Johnson (right wrist) said he will be wearing a brace and taking pills without any activity for a week, at which point he will be re-evaluated.
"Nothing torn or any of that stuff, so that's a pretty good sign," Johnson said. "We'll see how it goes in a week."
The Indians are 49-44 all-time at Camden Yards.