Orioles option Belfiore

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - For the second day in a row, the Orioles recalled a player from Triple-A Norfolk and optioned him following the game. One and done.

Left-hander Mike Belfiore was sent back to Norfolk after tonight's 2-1 loss to the Rays. He wasn't being punished. He didn't pitch. He just sat in the bullpen and watched for nine innings.

The move was anticipated, and it's a clear signal that the Orioles plan to activate reliever Pedro Strop from the 15-day disabled list before Saturday's game against the Rays.

Strop threw an indoor bullpen session on Thursday and said his back felt fine. Manager Buck Showalter told reporters during batting practice today that Strop was "a consideration" to be activated.

It's going to happen.

Strop is 0-2 with a 6.11 ERA in 22 games, with 14 walks and 17 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings.

Belfiore has been called up twice without appearing in his first major league game. Perhaps the third time will be the charm.

The Orioles recalled and optioned outfielder Xavier Avery on Thursday. Belfiore took his place for one day, flying from Louisville to Tampa through Atlanta early this morning.

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