Berken optioned to Norfolk

The Orioles optioned reliever Jason Berken to Triple-A Norfolk, recalled left-hander Pedro Viola from Double-A Bowie and purchased left-hander Mike Ballard's contract from the Baysox.

Berken gave up seven runs and eight hits in 2 2/3 innings in Game 2 last night.

Manager Buck Showalter told reporters in New York that there were two reasons for Berken's demotion.

"We have a need for pitchers," Showalter said, "and he hasn't pitched well."

Berken was optioned earlier this season. He's 1-2 with a 6.27 ERA in 31 games, with 52 hits, 16 walks, 35 strikeouts and nine home runs allowed in 37 1/3 innings. He has a 1.82 WHIP and opponents are batting .327 against him.

"He hasn't been very consistent, and when you have the type of game that we had last night, and the first game of the doubleheader, there are repercussions in that you have to have people healthy and ready to pitch," Showalter told reporters.

"You'd be lucky if you got him back Wednesday."

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