The Orioles had an opening on their 40-man roster after designating outfielder Steve Pearce for assignment, so they only had to make one move today when purchasing left-hander Dana Eveland’s contract from Triple-A Norfolk.
Eveland takes the 25-man roster spot previously occupied by infielder Steve Tolleson, leaving the Orioles with a three-man bench. It could expand to four before tomorrow night’s game.
Tolleson has an illness in the family and will stop in North Carolina before reporting to Norfolk.
Eveland found out around 1 a.m. that the Orioles were purchasing his contract again. He went to bed at 2 a.m. and woke up 4 1/2 hours later. Brian Graham, the Orioles’ coordinator of minor league instruction, drove Eveland here from Lehigh Valley, where the Tides were playing last night.
“I’m good to go. I feel good,” Eveland said. “I’m happy to be back. I was a little bit surprised by it, especially after they took me off the roster. There’s a handful of guys down there that are on the roster. I’m glad it was me, obviously.”
Eveland made one start for Norfolk after being outrighted for the second time, allowing six runs and six hits and walking five batters in 3 1/3 innings in a July 22 start against Syracuse.
“I only threw once and it was pretty awful,” he said. “It was actually really awful. But I threw a really, really good bullpen two days ago, the best bullpen of my life, probably, so hopefully I can translate that into the game.”
Eveland has twice accepted outright assignments this season, rather than forfeit the remainder of his salary. It’s been an unsettling year, but it could be worse.
“I’d rather go through that than be stuck down there all year,” he said. “If I have to go through that to be part of this team and spend as much time here as I can, so be it.”
Eveland watched left-hander Brian Matusz hold Lehigh Valley to one run over eight innings last night.
“That’s probably the sharpest I’ve seen him,” Eveland said.
Miguel Gonzalez was sick with flu-like symptoms yesterday morning, but he’s not using the illness as an excuse for his poor outing.
“We found out later he had thrown up that morning, but felt real good at the end,” said manager Buck Showalter. “He thought it was something he had eaten.”
Chris Tillman also is under the weather today, but he’s still going to start.
“That’s one thing about a locker room in baseball. One guy gets it, everybody gets it,” Showalter said.
Second baseman Robert Andino is here today, performing a variety of exercises on his left shoulder with the training staff. Andino is still scheduled to fly down to Sarasota while the Orioles head to New York following Sunday afternoon’s game.
Update: Tillman got off to a rocky start by walking the first two batters of the game, but he’s shutting out the Rays on two hits over four innings. He’s walked three and struck out two.
The Orioles have assisted him with three double plays, including a strikeout/caught stealing to end the fourth.
The offense hasn’t been much help. James Shields also is working on a two-hit shutout with three walks. He’s struck out seven, including Matt Wieters twice. Wieters is now 1-for-29.
The Orioles are one of seven teams with more strikeouts (807) than hits (798) before today, joining Houston, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Oakland.
Update II: The Orioles scored five runs off Shields in the bottom of the fifth, the last three on Chris Davis’ bases-loaded double to left-center field. Davis was 16-for-107 before the at-bat.
The Orioles sent nine batters to the plate. Nick Markakis singled, J.J. Hardy was hit by a pitch and Jim Thome walked to load the bases for the first time, and Adam Jones came through with a two-run single. Wieters walked and Davis doubled to break open the game.
Tillman’s shutout remains intact. He’s allowed three hits in six innings. He’s thrown 90 pitches, 56 for strikes.