More rotation speculation

The Triple-A Norfolk Tides have starters listed for their next five games, and Tommy Hunter isn’t among them.

The Orioles pulled Hunter from the Tides’ rotation in case he’s needed to start tomorrow afternoon against the Phillies at Camden Yards. They wanted to keep that option alive if Miguel Gonzalez was needed in long relief.

Well, Gonzalez threw four innings last night in Boston after replacing left-hander Brian Matusz, which eliminated him from consideration. Dana Eveland remains a possibility, but Showalter has him ready in long relief tonight in case Jake Arrieta makes an early exit.

Arrieta has lost his last five decisions, leaving his record at 2-7 with a 5.53 ERA. In his last three starts, he’s allowed 15 runs (14 earned) and 16 hits, with 10 walks and 10 strikeouts, in only 14 2/3 innings.

Steve Johnson starts tonight for Norfolk. Jamie Moyer will make his debut Saturday, and the Tides list the other starters as Zach Britton on Sunday, Chris Tillman on Monday and Jason Berken on Tuesday.

Berken is expected to pitch despite breaking his nose yesterday after running into first baseman Joe Mahoney. He’ll oppose former Oriole Garrett Olson, who’s 1-3 with a 4.61 ERA with Buffalo.

Brad Bergesen also is excluded from the list of upcoming Norfolk starters. He’s had four straight quality starts.

Hunter allowed one run in seven innings in his only start with Norfolk. He’s 2-3 with a 5.59 ERA and 1.43 WHIP with the Orioles, who optioned him after he gave up five earned runs (six total) and nine hits, including two home runs, in three innings in Toronto on May 28.

Hunter has allowed 11 runs (10 earned) and 18 hits in his last two starts covering nine innings. He’s registered one quality start in his last five outings.

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