Checking Norfolk's rotation (updated)

Left-hander Zach Britton is listed as tonight's starter for Triple-A Norfolk, with Chris Tillman taking the hill tomorrow night.

Tillman is expected to join the Orioles once teams are allowed to expand their rosters on Wednesday. The trick is finding room for him in the rotation.

Britton's chances of coming up appear to be diminishing, but mostly because of space issues, not worries about the amount of innings that he's logged. Manager Buck Showalter seemed more optimistic about Britton's promotion during the last homestand. The team hit the road, and the tone suddenly changed.

Perhaps it has something to do with Kevin Millwood still being here. A six-man rotation isn't desirable, especially with three more off-days next month. Trying to also line up Britton and Rick VandenHurk, who remains stuck in the bullpen and barely active, has become the club's Rubik's Cube.

Over his last 17 starts between Double-A Bowie (seven) and Norfolk (10), Britton has gone 7-3 with a 2.12
ERA, 89 hits allowed and 82 strikeouts in 102 innings. His 2.12 ERA over that span ranks 11th among all full-season minor leaguers, and opposing batters are hitting .234 against him during that stretch.

Britton leads all Orioles full-season minor leaguers with a 2.72 ERA, and he's tied with Chris Tillman for the organizational lead with 10 victories. He also ranks second with 112 strikeouts, trailing only the 117 registered by Bowie's Steve Johnson.

In other minor leagues news, Single-A Frederick first baseman Tyler Townsend was named the Carolina League's Player of the Week after going 8-for-20 with three doubles, two home runs and seven RBIs.

Update: Britton allowed four runs (one earned) and six hits in five innings, with two walks and three strikeouts. Robert Andino committed his 31st error.

The Tides are being no-hit by Gwinnett's Scott Diamond through seven innings.

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