Revisiting the rotation and tonight's game

While wondering if I'm the only person who imagines Tropical Storm Arthur as a short drunken millionaire in a top hat or a cartoon aardvark ...

Each day seems to bring another review of the Orioles' rotation, and this morning is no exception.

I'm still expecting Kevin Gausman to start Sunday afternoon in Boston after he worked two innings last night for short-season Single-A Aberdeen. His fastball touched 98 mph in the first inning, according to the IronBirds.

T.J. McFarland can back him up as a left-hander long reliever.

As for Bud Norris, he can come off the disabled list and start Monday against the Nationals, but he's scheduled to throw his second bullpen session on Friday. Manager Buck Showalter said he wanted Norris to pitch in a rehab or simulated game before coming off the disabled list. He said Norris wouldn't go directly to the rotation from the bullpen.

Can Norris squeeze in a game, even the simulated variety, and still be available for Monday? Could the Orioles push him back to Tuesday? Is that enough recovery time?

We'll see how it plays out, but Monday doesn't seem to be on the table anymore unless I'm missing something here.

Chris Tillman could make the start on normal rest after pitching last night. Otherwise, he could close out the two-game series against the Nationals on Tuesday.

By the way, Tillman has faced the Nats twice and allowed seven runs and 14 hits in 9 2/3 innings. He's served up four home runs. Both outings came at Camden Yards.

Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish has faced every American League team during the regular season except for the Orioles, but that changes tonight.

Darvish started against the Orioles in the 2012 Wild Card game in Arlington and took the loss after allowing three runs (two earned) and five hits in 6 2/3 innings, with no walks and seven strikeouts.

Checking out the box score, I'm reminded that Robert Andino, Endy Chavez and Lew Ford played in that game. Chris Davis was in right field. Jim Thome was the designated hitter.

Seems like a long time ago, doesn't it?

Wei-Yin Chen is 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA in three career starts against the Rangers, with three earned runs in 21 innings. He's worked at least 6 1/3 innings in each start, giving up one run per game.

Alex Rios and Chris Gimenez are 3-for-6 versus Chen. Elvis Andrus is 3-or-8 and Shin-Soo Choo is 1-for-2 with a home run.

In his last start against Tampa Bay, Chen allowed five runs and seven hits in 3 1/3 innings in the shortest outing of his major league career. He tied his career high by serving up three home runs.

The long ball has become a real issue for Chen. He allowed three homers in his first eight games. He's surrendered 12 in his last eight.

Nine of the 15 home runs off Chen this season have been to the leadoff hitter in an inning. Fourteen have come against right-handed hitters.

Left-handers are batting .352 against Chen this season. Explain that one.

Dylan Bundy is starting tonight at Single-A Frederick. He made three starts at Aberdeen and allowed one run and 10 hits in 15 innings, with three walks and 22 strikeouts.

Adam Jones is is 11-for-21 during his six-game hitting streak, with three doubles, two home runs, five RBIs and three runs scored. He tied Brian Roberts last night for 13th place on the Orioles' all-time RBI list with 521, and he needs two home runs to tie Cal Ripken Jr. for fourth on the all-time list at Camden Yards with 85.

J.J. Hardy is 9-for-22 during his six-game hitting streak, with a home run, two RBIs and six runs.

I'll post the Orioles' lineup from Camden Yards and pass along early notes and quotes, as usual, but I'm not staying for the game. I've got an 8:55 p.m. flight to Boston tonight because I need to be at Fenway Park early Friday morning. I wasn't taking any chances of a delay causing me to miss pregame clubhouse access and Showalter's media session.

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