Orioles option Flaherty, Valencia expected to be recalled

The Orioles announced after tonight’s game that they have optioned infielder Ryan Flaherty to Triple-A Norfolk.

Flaherty, 26, is batting .133/.228/.233 in 30 games for the Orioles this season.

Flaherty played second base in the ninth inning today in a 10-6 loss to the Rays. Yamaico Navarro started for the second consecutive game.

A corresponding roster move will be announced on Sunday, and it figures to be another position player.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said the club didn’t need another reliever for Sunday because enough guys are rested and available, including Jake Arrieta and T.J. McFarland.

Danny Valencia isn’t in Norfolk’s lineup tonight, and he most likely is headed to Baltimore.

Over his last 10 games, Valencia has hit .356 (18-for-54) with seven home runs, 17 RBIs and 13 runs scored. He leads all minor leaguers in home runs and RBIs during that stretch and ranks third in runs scored.

For the season, Valencia is batting .306/.339/.600 with 14 doubles, 11 homers and 35 RBIs in 40 games. He’s on the 40-man roster.

Valencia has multiple-hit games in five of his past seven games, and he ranks among the International League leaders in home runs (tied for first), RBIs (second), doubles, extra-base hits (second with 25), total bases (second with 96), runs (tied for second with 29), doubles (tied for third) and at-bats (fied for fourth with 160).

Executive vice president Dan Duquette envisioned Valencia, 28, as part of a DH platoon with Wilson Betemit after purchasing him from the Red Sox on Nov. 28. But Valencia was optioned, and Betemit is on the disabled list with a torn PCL in his right knee.

Valencia is a career .316/.359/.472 hitter against left-handed pitching, and the Orioles are facing Rays southpaw Matt Moore on Sunday. He’s mostly played third base, but he also can play first and made his first two appearances in the outfield this week.

The Orioles need another right-handed hitter after placing Nolan Reimold on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring.

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