Ford expected to join Orioles tomorrow

Needing a right-handed hitter and a deeper bench, the Orioles are prepared to purchase outfielder Lew Ford’s contract from Triple-A Norfolk tomorrow and add him to the 25- and 40-man rosters.

Ford is batting .331/.390/.550 with 14 doubles, three triples, 11 home runs, 40 RBIs and eight stolen bases in 62 games at Norfolk. He’s not in the Tides’ lineup tonight.

Ford, 35, hasn’t played in the majors since 2007 with the Twins. He’s a career .272/.349/.402 hitter in 494 games over parts of five seasons with the Twins.

The Orioles signed Ford on May 17 out of the independent Atlantic League. He played in Japan in 2008 and Mexico in 2010. He also had three stints with the Long Island Ducks, batting .333 with four homers and 14 RBIs in 19 games this season.

The Orioles currently are operating with a three-man bench, and Jim Thome (neck spasms) and Matt Wieters (sore right bicep) are ailing. They will remove a pitcher tomorrow, with reliever Miguel Socolovich the most obvious candidate to be optioned.

Besides needing another bat, the Orioles want to add a right-handed hitter after losing Steve Pearce on waivers to the Astros. They’re facing a left-handed starter tomorrow in Oakland’s Travis Blackley.

The Orioles have 39 players on their 40-man roster, so adding Ford isn’t complicated.

More changes are coming to the 25-man roster. Second baseman Brian Roberts could be activated on Monday, followed by infielder Robert Andino on Tuesday. Middle infielder Omar Quintanilla could be a casualty.

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