Strange day at Triple-A Norfolk (O’s sign Pineiro)

Triple-A Norfolk blew a seven-run lead in the ninth inning today and lost to Gwinnett, 14-12, in 11 innings.

Things are tough all over.

The Tides committed three errors, and four of the 14 runs were unearned.

Infielder Steve Tolleson replaced Dontrelle Willis after the veteran left-hander walked the first batter he faced and went to a 3-0 count on the next hitter. Tolleson pitched an inning and allowed an unearned run and one hit.

Brad Bergesen started the game and allowed four runs (three earned) and six hits in five innings, with four walks and no strikeouts. He threw 94 pitches, 54 for strikes, and his ERA is 8.68 after two starts.

Willie Eyre allowed four runs and three hits, and walked two, in 1 1/3 innings. Jon Link was charged with three runs (two earned) and walked three batters without recording an out.

Xavier Avery and Jai Miller homered for the Tides. Avery went 3-for-6 with two RBIs. Miller went 2-for-5 with five RBIs and three strikeouts. Ryan Adams went 3-for-5.

As for the Orioles, backup catcher Taylor Teagarden (back) is on a treadmill now, so that’s progress.

The rotation is staying in line, which means Tommy Hunter starts Friday against the Blue Jays, followed by Jason Hammel on Saturday and Brian Matusz on Sunday. Manager Buck Showalter waited until Hunter’s workout day to make the decision.

Showalter doesn’t know whether Brian Roberts will accompany the team on its road trip. The original plan called for Roberts to fly to Toronto and Chicago, but skip the Anaheim portion. That could still happen, but it’s not definite.

Roberts took early batting practice again today. He spent a lot of time in the dugout for the first two games.

As for when he’ll go on an injury rehab assignment, Roberts has pitched a few dates to Showalter, but they’re being kept private. Showalter doesn’t want Roberts to feel as though he’s experienced a setback if the timetable changes. Showalter will know for sure when Roberts says he’s ready.

Showalter said he spoke to third baseman Mark Reynolds today. I’ll have more from Showalter on that topic in my next entry.

For the Yankees:
Jeter SS
Granderson CF
Cano 2B
Rodriguez 3B
Teixeira 1B
Swisher RF
Ibanez DH
Martin C
Gardner LF

Sabathia LHP

NOTE: The Orioles have signed pitcher Joel Pineiro, 33, to a minor league deal and assigned him to Norfolk.

The Phillies signed Pineiro to a minor league deal in January and released him two months later. He’s 104-93 with a 4.41 ERA in parts of 12 major league seasons with four teams. He went 15-12 with a 3.49 ERA with the Cardinals in 2009.

The Orioles intend to use Pineiro as a long reliever if he returns to the majors.

The Sun first reported the Pineiro signing.

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