While the Orioles decide whether to place pitcher Kevin Gausman on the minor league disabled list with an intercostal strain, they decided early this morning to recall reliever Brad Brach from Triple-A Norfolk.
Brach replaces Evan Meek, who was optioned following the Orioles’ 6-5, 10-inning victory over the Pirates in Game 2 of a doubleheader at Camden Yards.
The doubleheader sweep taxed the bullpen, with Ryan Webb, Darren O’Day, Brian Matusz and Tommy Hunter pitching in both ends.
Brach, 28, appeared to be eliminated from contention after throwing an inning last night at Norfolk - manager Buck Showalter didn’t include him on the list of candidates while meeting with reporters - but he threw only 16 pitches and figures to be available tonight.
Brach was among the final cuts in spring training after allowing two runs and striking out eight batters in 8 1/3 innings. He’s 2-1 with a 4.85 ERA in 12 games with Norfolk, allowing seven earned runs (eight total) and 18 hits, walking four and striking out 26 in 13 innings.
The Orioles acquired Brach from the Padres on Nov. 25 for minor league pitcher Devin Jones. He went 1-0 with a 3.19 ERA in 33 games last year and is 3-6 with a 3.70 ERA in 109 major league games over parts of three seasons.
Brach is capable of working multiple innings, though he’s not used as a long man. He threw 1 2/3 innings on April 16 and 23.
Other pitchers who were under consideration besides Brach included Norfolk’s Preston Guilmet and Suk-min Yoon and Double-A Bowie’s Tim Berry. All of them are on the 40-man roster.
Gausman would have gotten the call before waking up early yesterday morning with pain that’s been diagnosed as an intercostal injury. He’s likely to go on the minor league DL, which can last a minimum of seven days and be backdated.
Gausman has been scratched from tonight’s start at Norfolk and replaced by knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa.