Astros claim Pearce, and other notes

The Houston Astros have claimed outfielder Steve Pearce off waivers from the Orioles, who were unsuccessful in working out a trade for him.

Pearce batted .254/.321/.437 with four doubles, three homers and 14 RBIs in 28 games after the Orioles purchased him from the Yankees on June 2. They designated him for assignment on July 21 to make room for Omar Quintanilla.

The Astros had first dibs on Pearce and took him.

Pearce would have accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Norfolk if he cleared waivers.

Brian Roberts is scheduled to play two injury-rehab games at short-season Single-A Aberdeen and could be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Monday. Roberts is expected to get at least three at-bats tonight.

Manager Buck Showalter didn't say whether Roberts will return to the leadoff spot, with Nick Markakis moving down the order, but that's the likely outcome.

It's not known whether Roberts will try to avoid having surgery on his hip to repair a labral tear or just attempt to delay it until after the season.

Showalter expects Roberts to feel some discomfort in the hip while playing, but the second baseman is hoping that it's manageable and won't end his season prematurely.

Showalter said he wasn't aware that Jim Thome was bothered by neck spasms until earlier today. A team physician is examining Thome to make sure that the spasms aren't related to a previous back issue.

Second baseman Robert Andino still is scheduled to report to Norfolk tomorrow and play two games before joining the Orioles Tuesday in New York. Andino hit off a tee Thursday and took batting practice on Friday without any soreness in his left shoulder. He's also fielded ground balls, but hasn't dived for a ball, which is how the injury occurred.

Matt Wieters isn't in tonight's lineup, but Showalter said there could be some ways "he could potentially make an appearance."

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