Gonzo’s velocity is up (w/quotes)

Michael Gonzalez threw 19 pitches in the first inning for the Gulf Coast League Orioles, and his fastball was clocked in the 90-91 mph range. He had trouble hitting the mid-80s a month ago.

Felix Pie went 1-for-4 with a run scored and two strikeouts as the designated hitter.

“Those guys are going to continue to do their rehab down there,” interim manager Juan Samuel said.

Pie is expected to join an in-state affiliate later this week, perhaps by Thursday. Single-A Frederick will be home.

Koji Uehara threw 30 pitches today during a side session in Sarasota.

“No problem,” Samuel said.

Brad Bergesen is the heavy favorite to start Saturday against the Nationals, but Samuel said the club is still “kicking it around.” The Orioles received positive reports on Bergesen off last night’s start at Triple-A Norfolk. Look for the right-hander to take the ball this weekend.

The Orioles optioned Chris Tillman so he could get back in a rotation and a routine.

“Tillman, you guys know he was in the bullpen, and we haven’t really used him while he was down there,” Samuel said. “To continue the development of those guys, they need to go down there and pitch.”

Jake Fox’s arrival will allow Samuel to use Matt Wieters as the designated hitter on occasion while Craig Tatum starts behind the plate. Fox is the third catcher on the roster, and also can play the corner infield and outfield positions.

Samuel will try to get Fox’s bat in the lineup, but he referred to the newest Oriole as “an extra guy.” He’ll be used in a utility role.

“He’s an added bat,” Samuel said. “We’re going to do anything we can to get him in there and get some offense. That’s just an extra guy to help us off the bench, to pinch hit, if we need to throw him in against a left-hander if we need to.

“I’m going to try to play as many guys as I can here, try to get some offense going.”

Minor league moves: Left-hander Chris George was transferred back to Triple-A Norfolk and left-hander Nathan Nery moved up to Double-A Bowie. Nery has started 13 games for Frederick, going 5-6 with a 3.79 ERA. He’s walked 16 batters and struck out 46 in 76 innings. George didn’t appear in a game for the Baysox. He’s 2-2 with a 4.28 ERA in 14 games for the Tides, including nine starts.

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