Showalter says Atkins most likely will start

Orioles manager Buck Showalter told MASN's Jim Hunter that the "tentative plan" calls for Mitch Atkins to start tomorrow night against the Rangers, though he still needs to speak with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail.

Showalter brought up Atkins' name following tonight's 13-4 loss to the Rangers.

The Orioles are expected to purchase Atkins' contract tomorrow and make a corresponding 25-man roster move. They have an opening on their 40-man roster.

Jim interviews Buck Showalter to ask him who tomorrow's starter is going to be

Atkins, 25, would be making his first major league start. He had a 5.25 ERA in seven relief appearances with the Cubs over two seasons, allowing 13 hits, walking six and striking out 10 in 12 innings.

Atkins didn't pitch in spring training because of an oblique injury. He made 14 starts in the minors, going 3-6 with a 3.18 ERA at Single-A Frederick, Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk.

At his last stop, Atkins went 2-3 with a 3.11 ERA in eight starts with the Tides. He allowed 37 hits, walked 16 and struck out 29 in 46 1/3 innings. Left-handers batted .131 against him.

Left-hander Pedro Viola could be optioned to Bowie to make room for Atkins on the 25-man roster, though you have to wonder how secure Chris Jakubauskas is feeling these days.

Did anyone predict back in March that Atkins and Jakubauskas would be part of the Orioles' rotation, and Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman would be pitching for Norfolk?

What's going on around here?

Mark Reynolds hit two more home runs tonight, giving him 20 on the season. He also committed an error, giving him 20 on the season.

He could be a 40-40 man, but not in the way that you'd usually envision.

J.J. Hardy is 3-for-17 with seven strikeouts, but he hit his 12th home run tonight.

Nolan Reimiold went 0-for-4. Vladimir Guerrero, kept in the cleanup spot, went 0-for-1 with two walks, a hit-by-pitch and a run scored.

Down on the farm, Triple-A Norfolk's Steve Johnson allowed two runs and six hits in six innings tonight against Charlotte, with three walks and six strikeouts, but the Tides were being one-hit through seven innings.

Johnson is just preparing for the day when the Orioles don't give him any run support, either.

Clay Rapada made his first appearance with the Tides since being outrighted. He faced three batters and didn't retire any of them, allowing three runs and three hits. He also committed an error.

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