Frank Mata’s major league debut lasted 1 1/3 innings. He allowed an infield hit and issued a walk to consecutive batters before Matt Albers replaced him in the seventh.
Mata would have been charged with two runs while sitting on the bench if Nick Markakis didn’t make a spectacular diving catch to rob Kevin Kouzmanoff. The ball would still be rattling around the warning track.
Mata’s fastball was clocked in the 93-96 mph range. He also mixed in a splitter.
The first two outs he recorded came on a fly ball to the edge of the warning track and a line drive to center that Adam Jones turned into a double play. He also got a ground ball to open the seventh.
The Orioles will send down a reliever when they recall Chris Tillman on Saturday. Mata’s stay here could be brief, or Alberto Castillo could hop on the Norfolk shuttle again, depending whether manager Dave Trembley wants a third lefty - especially with Will Ohman sort of inheriting the closer’s role.
Down on the farm, Double-A Bowie left-hander Zach Britton shut out Harrisburg on six hits over seven innings. He walked two and struck out six.