Romero granted release

One order of business for the Orioles during the All-Star break involved left-handed reliever J.C. Romero, who could have opted out of his contract with Triple-A Norfolk if he wasn't promoted to the majors.

Romero requested and was granted his release earlier today after the Orioles decided not to purchase his contract. He's now a free agent and can sign with any team.

Romero allowed four runs and 10 hits in 14 1/3 innings, with five walks and 13 strikeouts in 17 appearances. He was forced into one start on July 3 against Syracuse and allowed one run in 2 2/3 innings in his longest outing of the season.

The Orioles placed Romero on the temporary inactive list last month so he could attend to "personal issues," according to executive vice president Dan Duquette. At the time, Romero hadn't allowed a run in 10 1/3 innings and struck out 11 batters.

The Orioles signed Romero to a minor league contract on May 24 after the Cardinals released him.

Romero, 35, appeared in 11 games with the Cardinals and posted a 10.13 ERA. He allowed nine runs and 14 hits in eight innings. He's pitched for six major league teams in 14 years, going 34-28 with a 4.15 ERA.

Zach Phillips recently cleared waivers and was outrighted to Norfolk, so the Tides still have a left-hander to match up in the late innings.

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