Pearce designated for assignment

The Orioles created space for middle infielder Omar Quintanilla on their 25-man roster today by designating outfielder Steve Pearce for assignment.

The decision came down to Pearce or Steve Tolleson. The Orioles decided they wanted to keep Tolleson, who has options remaining, so they would have a right-handed hitting infielder to share at-bats with Quintanilla and Ryan Flaherty.

The Orioles could have placed reliever Matt Lindstrom on the disabled list after he took a Johnny Damon line drive off his left knee last night, but he’s being re-examined today.

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. Though he gave the Orioles a right-handed hitting corner outfielder, he became more expendable with Nick Markakis and Endy Chavez returning to the active roster and Chris Davis shifting from right field to left.

The Orioles will wait to find out whether Pearce clears waivers.

Quintanilla reported to the Orioles this afternoon and will wear No. 35.

Also, the Indians signed left-handed reliever J.C. Romero to a minor league contract. Romero opted out of his contract with Triple-A Norfolk.

The Reds signed former Orioles left-hander Will Ohman to a minor league deal.

The Rays placed former Oriole Luke Scott on the disabled list.

Update: Chris Tillman’s first-inning difficulties continued tonight when Shin-Soo Choo hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first, but the score remains 1-0 going to the top of the fifth.

Tillman has allowed two hits, walked one and struck out two.

Down on the farm, Jake Arrieta has tossed three scoreless innings for Triple-A Norfolk. He’s allowed three hits, walked one and struck out one. He’s thrown 24 of his 38 pitches for strikes.

Zach McAllister has held the Orioles to one hit, a Nick Markakis single through four innings. Markakis also made a diving catch in right field.

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