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Cruz: “I’m in the zone right now”

HOUSTON - Nelson Cruz leads the majors in home runs and RBIs. He’s homered in five of the last seven games. He’s driven in five of the Orioles’ last nine runs. He’s still a bargain at $8 million. Manager Buck Showalter says Cruz is “in a good place.” He’s just glad to have Cruz in his own clubhouse. “Yeah, I see the ball well,” Cruz

Showalter talks about Tillman and a 4-1 victory

HOUSTON - Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis made one of the most important plays of the today’s game by running down Jose Altuve’s fly ball in the second inning to leave the bases loaded and the score tied. To think, he almost came out of the lineup. Manager Buck Showalter told reporters following a 4-1 victory over the Astros that Markakis reported to the clubhouse

Pearce keeps producing and Cruz sets club record (O’s win 4-1)

HOUSTON - Steve Pearce has thrown out a runner at second base today and walked to force in the go-ahead run. He’s a professional hitter and fielder. Pearce registered the Orioles’ 11th outfield assist this year when he nabbed Marwin Gonzalez trying to stretch a single into a double in the fourth. He walked with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth to

Cruz ties record, Tillman tackles tough second inning

HOUSTON - Nelson Cruz did more today than give the Orioles a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. He also tied a team record. Cruz’s sacrifice fly scored Nick Markakis, who led off with a double, and gave him 50 RBIs to match Chris Davis for most by an Oriole before the end of May. Davis set the record last season. J.J.

Notes on Hunter, Wieters, Reimold, Machado and the rotation

HOUSTON - Orioles reliever Tommy Hunter will throw a bullpen session Sunday at Prince George’s Stadium, home of the Double-A Bowie Baysox. “That’s good news,” said manager Buck Showalter. Hunter is on the disabled list with a strained left groin. He’s eligible to return on June 5, which remains a realistic goal. “He’s got a shot at making it,” Showalter said. Hunter will throw a

Orioles lineup versus Astros

HOUSTON - Steve Pearce remains the left fielder today for the Orioles and Nelson Cruz continues to serve as the designated hitter. Caleb Joseph is behind the plate. For the Orioles Nick Markakis RF Steve Pearce LF Nelson Cruz DH Adam Jones CF Chris Davis 1B J.J. Hardy SS Manny Machado 3B Jonathan Schoop 2B Caleb Joseph C Chris Tillman RHP

Pregame notes and Astros lineup

HOUSTON - Orioles center fielder Adam Jones is playing in his 1,000th career game today. He’s appeared in 926 with the Orioles and 73 with the Mariners. Jones’ 926 games are good for 19th on the club’s all-time list. Cal Ripken Jr. is first with 3,001. Caleb Joseph’s two-out walk in the eighth inning last night was the first for the Orioles since they drew

Note on Orioles’ offensive approach and Russell’s take on Wieters

HOUSTON - If the Orioles are going to break out of their offensive slump, they may need more than a live chicken in the clubhouse. They may require a less predictable approach at the plate. Left-hander Brett Oberholtzer has held the Orioles to one run over 14 innings in his two career starts against them. The Astros have permitted only two runs in the first

Jones: “There’s no excuses”

HOUSTON - If the 2011 Red Sox will be remembered for having chicken and beer in the clubhouse during games, perhaps the 2014 Orioles will be remembered for substituting a live chicken before games. And skip the suds. Center fielder Adam Jones suggested tonight that some changes may be in store Saturday morning in an attempt to turn around a team that’s lost four in

Hearing from Showalter after 2-1 loss

HOUSTON - Orioles manager Buck Showalter wasn’t pleased with the called third strike on Chris Davis that completed tonight’s 2-1 loss to the Astros. He wasn’t thrilled that another quality start went to waste. He wasn’t bragging about an offense that’s produced five runs in the last three games. Not much to smile about during a four-game losing streak that drops your team below .500.

Gonzalez is gone and so is the lead (O’s lose 2-1)

HOUSTON - A hot starter and cold bats remain a toxic mix for the Orioles. It’s their starter and their bats. Miguel Gonzalez didn’t allow a hit until one out in the sixth. He carried a shutout into the seventh. Now, he stands to be the loser. Once again, the Orioles aren’t on the same page. They aren’t firing on all cylinders. Pick your favorite

Hardy comes through again with RISP (Gonzalez gives up first hit)

HOUSTON - Sometimes, all it takes is a foul ball to the groin to wake up an offense. The Orioles have scored one run or fewer in eight games this season, including last night. They took a 1-0 lead in the second inning tonight after Adam Jones found himself in a world of hurt. Jones took a hard cut at a pitch from Astros starter

A few words from Showalter

HOUSTON - Orioles manager Buck Showalter was satisfied with catcher Matt Wieters’ brief throwing session earlier today. For the first day, the Orioles just wanted to make sure that Wieters could complete all 25 throws without experiencing pain in his right elbow. “Trying to decide what is discomfort like he was feeling or just some crankiness from inactivity,” Showalter said. “First time out, everybody who

Wieters on today’s throwing session

HOUSTON - Orioles catcher Matt Wieters estimated that he made 25 throws today in the outfield at Minute Maid Park and came away encouraged by the condition of his right elbow. Wieters hadn’t picked up a ball since going on the disabled list May 11. “It felt better,” he said. “It’s kind of just progress each day and see how it feels throwing, and then

Wieters note and O’s-Astros lineups

HOUSTON - Matt Wieters played catch in the outfield with Orioles bench coach John Russell before batting practice today at Minute Maid Park, the first time he’s thrown since going on the disabled list with a strained right elbow. Wieters was on the field for only a few minutes before heading back to the clubhouse with Russell and assistant athletic trainer Brian Ebel. Manager Buck

Gonzalez takes his turn tonight

HOUSTON - Former heavyweight boxing champion and Houston native George Foreman will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for tonight’s Civil Rights Game between the Orioles and Astros. Then it’s up to Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez to stay on his feet through the later rounds. Gonzalez has registered three straight quality starts, allowing six earned runs in 19 innings. The streak began on May 10

Current concerns about the Orioles

HOUSTON - With a loss tonight, the Orioles would fall below .500 for the first time since they were 9-10 on April 22. They also would have their third four-game losing streak of the season. The Orioles are 6-12 in their last 18 games, beginning with a loss to the Astros on May 11 at Camden Yards that denied them a sweep of the series.

Davis: “We’ll right the ship”

HOUSTON - For the first time since April 27, the Orioles are a .500 team. Losing three straight games and eight of 12 will remove you from the positive side of the ledger. “I think if there was an easy fix we would have found it by now,” said first baseman Chris Davis. “It’s kind of the nature of the beast. Sometimes, you’re playing well

Showalter and Jimenez speak after 3-1 loss

HOUSTON - There may come a point during the 2014 season when the Orioles are clicking on all cylinders. Quality starts, an abundance of runs and a string of easy victories. For now, it seems to be one or the other. Ubaldo Jimenez escaped enough jams tonight to hold the Astros to one run over six innings, but the Orioles were unable to do much

Both starters done after six innings (O’s lose 3-1)

HOUSTON - Ubaldo Jimenez had two clean innings for the Orioles tonight at Minute Maid Park - the first and the sixth. He finished the way he started, leaving the game with the score tied 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh. Jimenez didn’t work past the fifth in his last two starts, but he retired the Astros in order in the sixth and left

Showalter on Pearce and Machado in the batting order (we’re tied)

HOUSTON - Nick Markakis led off tonight’s game with a single into center field, making him 21-for-51 (.412) in the first inning this season. Steve Pearce followed Markakis to the plate and flied to left field. Pearce is batting second to start a game for only the fourth time in his major league career. Manny Machado is hitting seventh for the 14th time in his

Updates on Hunter, Peguero, Escalona and more

HOUSTON - Orioles reliever Tommy Hunter has been throwing on flat ground for the past four days and could be ready to come off the disabled list when eligible on June 5. Assistant athletic trainer Brian Ebel is flying back to Baltimore for his son’s graduation, “and he’s going to pick up Tommy’s rehab a little bit there,” said manager Buck Showalter. “Tommy’s been on

Wieters on elbow: “It’s gotten a lot better over the last few days”

HOUSTON - Matt Wieters is set to begin a throwing progression on Friday, when he’s scheduled to pick up a ball and do some light tossing for the first time since going on the disabled list. Wieters hasn’t caught since May 4 and hasn’t played since May 10 due to a right elbow strain. “We’ve got a whole throwing program, but the trainers know it

Orioles and Astros lineups

HOUSTON - Steve Pearce gets the start in left field tonight, as the Orioles begin a four-game series against the Astros at Minute Maid Park. He’ll bat second, while Manny Machado slides down to the seventh spot. Nelson Cruz is serving as the designated hitter, and Ryan Flaherty is starting at second base. David Lough is the only current Oriole who has faced Astros starter

Bundy update and other notes

HOUSTON - Dylan Bundy threw three innings today at extended spring training. He will throw a bullpen session on Saturday and graduate to four innings next week. Bundy didn’t allow a hit in his start against the Twins in Fort Myers. He walked three batters and struck out four. “I wasn’t getting ahead in the count,” he said. “I walked the first guy in each

Pearce keeps producing

HOUSTON - While Orioles manager Buck Showalter writes out tonight’s lineup for the series opener against the Astros, he must consider whether to insert Steve Pearce as the designated hitter or use Nelson Cruz in that role and play David Lough in left field. As I wrote this morning, right-handers are batting .201 against Houston starter Brad Peacock in his major league career, compared to

Orioles back to American League rules

Breaking news for the Orioles: They get to use a designated hitter tonight. It’s not as exciting as trading prospects for a hot pitcher, but there you go. Honestly, does anyone get a thrill from watching American League pitchers attempt to lay down a bunt? If so, you also must get a rush from staring at a dripping faucet. Nelson Cruz could serve as the

Updating tonight’s game, Santana and Bundy (O’s lose 8-3)

Not only does Nelson Cruz continue to hit home runs, he has developed a fondness for driving the ball to right-center field. That was the landing spot again tonight in the top of the second inning at Miller Park, as his 18th home run tied the game 1-1. Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo threw two 91 mph fastballs to Cruz, the second one traveling much farther

Orioles lineup versus Brewers (updated)

Orioles manager Buck Showalter is sticking with the same lineup tonight, which includes Nick Hundley behind the plate and Jonathan Schoop at second base. Nothing to see here except familiarity. Pitchers Bud Norris and Yovani Gallardo were used as pinch-hitters last night at Miller Park. Gallardo delivered a walk-off double in the 10th inning off Orioles left-hander T.J. McFarland. Tonight, they oppose each other on

Meek outrighted to Norfolk, Brewers lineup

The Orioles have been busy with minor matters today. Shortly after trading catcher Johnny Monell to the Dodgers for cash considerations, the Orioles announced that reliever Evan Meek has been outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. Meek cleared waivers after going 1-0 with a 5.59 ERA in eight games and 9 2/3 innings with the Tides. Meek didn’t allow a run in his first eight appearances with

Orioles trade Monell to Dodgers

One day after optioning catcher Steve Clevenger to Triple-A Norfolk, the Orioles have traded Tides catcher Johnny Monell to the Dodgers for cash considerations. Monell, 28, was batting .209/.280/.286 with four doubles, one home run and seven RBIs in 30 games at Norfolk. He will report to the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque. The Orioles purchased Monell’s contract from the Giants on Nov. 30. He

Peguero update and a few afternoon notes

Outfielder Francisco Peguero will fly to Baltimore Thursday and undergo an examination on both hamstrings. Peguero’s 20-day injury rehab assignment ends on Thursday. He’s on the major league disabled list with right wrist tendinitis. Peguero’s hamstring injuries enable the Orioles to keep him on the DL. Otherwise, they would have been required to activate him and find a spot on the 25-man roster or expose

Talking about Guilmet, Matusz and a few others

Outfielder Nelson Cruz wasn’t with the Orioles when they reported to spring training. Reliever Preston Guilmet wasn’t in the organization on opening day. Catcher Nick Hundley wasn’t an Oriole until Saturday. Cruz leads the majors in home runs and ranks second in RBIs, and he seems a shoo-in to play in the All-Star Game. Guilmet hasn’t allowed a run or hit in six innings. Hundley

Cruz adds to major league home run lead (O’s lose 7-6 in 10 innings)

Brewers starter Matt Garza was working on a one-hit shutout tonight as he returned to the mound for the top of the fifth inning at Miller Park. One pitch to Nelson Cruz and Garza had to redirect his goals. Cruz pounced on a 92 mph fastball from Garza leading off the inning and drove it over the fence in right-center field to reduce Milwaukee’s lead

First inning trips up Chen (O’s down 5-0)

Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen allowed two runs in the first inning in nine starts before tonight. Chen surrendered three in the opening frame tonight, all of them coming on one swing from Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez. Gomez took a curveball out of the strike zone and launched another curveball over the left field fence with two runners aboard to give Milwaukee a quick 3-0

Clevenger optioned to Norfolk

The Orioles reinstated first baseman Chris Davis from the paternity list and optioned a catcher to make room for him. That part was expected. Surprisingly, the Orioles are sending Steve Clevenger to Triple-A Norfolk. Caleb Joseph figured to be the most vulnerable because he bats right-handed, as does newly acquired Nick Hundley, and Clevenger began the season as Matt Wieters’ backup. Clevenger, 28, has batted

Davis back in Orioles lineup

Chris Davis has returned to the Orioles tonight after spending two days on paternity leave, and he’s starting at first base and batting fourth against the Brewers at Miller Park. Nick Hundley gets his second start behind the plate since joining the Orioles. Jonathan Schoop remains at second base. Nick Markakis remains atop the order despite being 4-for-34 against Brewers starter Matt Garza. For the

Updating Johan Santana’s start at extended spring training

Johan Santana made what’s expected to be his final start today at extended spring training, throwing 76 pitches in 4 1/3 innings. The Orioles wanted to stretch out Santana to 75 pitches or five innings. The left-hander allowed two runs and six hits, walked none and struck out eight. His fastball was clocked at 86-88 mph, his changeup at 72-78 mph and his slider at

Wieters leads AL catchers in All-Star voting

The first round of All-Star voting has been released by Major League Baseball, and Matt Wieters leads all American League catchers despite being on the disabled list. Wieters has garnered 540,258 votes as he vies for his third career Midsummer Classic selection (2011-12) and first career starting assignment. Wieters, who’s batting .308 with five home runs and 18 RBI, would join Terry Kennedy (1987) as

Orioles using familiar formula

The comparisons between the 2012 and 2014 Orioles are becoming more difficult to ignore. I’m not predicting playoffs - the rotation remains a concern following Chris Tillman’s latest struggle yesterday in Milwaukee, and catcher Matt Wieters may need surgery on his right elbow - but the Orioles are winning the close games and in extra innings. The bullpen, despite its revolving door, ranks among the

Orioles tie game in ninth inning (O’s win 7-6 in 10 innings)

Former Orioles reliever Francisco Rodriguez was 17-for-18 in save opportunities for the Brewers as he entered today’s game at Miller Park in the top of the ninth inning. One out away from going 18-for-19, Rodriguez gave up a solo home run to Jonathan Schoop, a pinch-hit single to Delmon Young and a game-tying double to Nick Markakis. Baseball is a funny game. Schoop hadn’t homered

Tough times for Tillman through the fourth (Schoop homers)

Chris Tillman won’t follow up Miguel Gonzalez’s quality start yesterday with one of his own in Milwaukee. Tillman has made it through four innings, three more than his previous outing in Pittsburgh, but he’s thrown 79 pitches and the Orioles trail 4-3. The Brewers scored twice in the fourth on Jean Segura’s two-run double after Tillman issued back-to-back walks to Khris Davis and Lyle Overbay,

Which Orioles are streaking? (O’s lead 3-1)

Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy is back in Milwaukee, where he spent the first five seasons of his major league career before being traded to the Twins on Nov. 6, 2009 for Carlos Gomez. He was an All-Star in 2007. Hardy batted .262 with 75 home runs and 265 RBI in 571 games for the Brewers. Hardy is currently on a season-high seven-game hitting streak, batting

Hundley making Orioles debut

Nick Hundley is behind the plate today for the Orioles, who begin a three-game series in Milwaukee. Manny Machado remains in the lineup at third base. Steve Pearce is playing first base while Chris Davis remains on paternity leave, and Jonathan Schoop gets another start at second base. For the Orioles Nick Markakis RF Manny Machado 3B Adam Jones CF Nelson Cruz LF Steve Pearce

While waiting for the Orioles lineup ...

Catcher Nick Hundley most likely will make his Orioles debut today in the opener of a three-game series against the Brewers at Miller Park. Hundley is 3-for-7 with two home runs and five RBIs lifetime against Brewers starter Kyle Lohse. Makes sense, right? Chris Tillman will attempt to rebound from his last start, when he failed to record an out in the second inning in

What’s brewing with Orioles?

The Orioles are making their first trip to Miller Park in Milwaukee since losing two of three games in 2008. Aubrey Huff had four hits in the opener and Brian Roberts batted .455 in three games, which doesn’t do the Orioles any good in this series. Nick Markakis reached base in seven of his 14 plate appearances. That could help. David Lough stole his first

Showalter speaks after 4-2 win

Orioles manager Buck Showalter didn’t want to place too much importance on today’s game despite the bait dangling in front of him. He refused to bite. His club is heading to Milwaukee to start a 10-game, 11-day road trip. Better to split the four-game series with the Indians at Camden Yards than lose three of four. “We can’t live in that world,” Showalter said following

Machado and Cruz take the fifth with home runs (O’s win 4-2)

Your new major league leader in home runs is Nelson Cruz. Still a bargain. Manny Machado led off the bottom of the fifth with his second home run of the season, an opposite-field shot that barely cleared the out-of-town scoreboard, and Cruz connected for his 16th with one out. Indians starter Trevor Bauer was done. Cruz broke a tie with injured White Sox rookie Jose

Orioles down early (we’re tied)

The first inning has mostly been kind to Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez, but not today. Is it a Sunday thing? A daytime thing? Where to place the blame? The Indians scored twice after loading the bases with no outs on two singles sandwiched around a walk. Lonnie Chisenhall and Nick Swisher produced long sacrifice flies - Markakis almost pressing against the fence in right-center field

Orioles option Lombardozzi

Infielder Steve Lombardozzi lasted one day with the Orioles before returning to Triple-A Norfolk. The Orioles optioned Lombardozzi this afternoon to create a spot for catcher Nick Hundley on the 25-man roster. They also placed Chris Davis on paternity leave and activated reliever Preston Guilmet from the taxi squad. Lombardozzi, 25, is batting .292 with two RBIs in 19 games with the Orioles. He’s hitting

Machado in lineup

Manny Machado is back in the Orioles’ lineup this afternoon in the series finale between the Orioles and Indians at Camden Yards. Machado, who missed two games with a strained left groin, took batting practice and jogged around the bases. Jonathan Schoop is starting at second base, so he’s not the corresponding roster move for catcher Nick Hundley. The Orioles could option Caleb Joseph on

Waiting on Orioles lineup

Orioles manager Buck Showalter will post today’s lineup after batting practice. He wants to check on third baseman Manny Machado, who’s going to hit, throw and run. The club is carrying three catchers for now, with Caleb Joseph starting today. A corresponding roster move for new catcher Nick Hundley will be announced after batting practice. An infielder will most likely be optioned if Machado is

Brach on Hundley: “He plays the game the right way”

The Orioles are bringing their 1-6 Sunday record into today’s series finale against the Indians at Camden Yards, their last game before hitting the road for an 11-day trip. No Sunday wins at home, and their lineup will be missing first baseman Chris Davis, who’s going on paternity leave. It may also be missing third baseman Manny Machado, who’s day-to-day with a strained right groin.

Showalter on today’s trade and Jimenez’s outing

Today’s trade with the Padres served two purposes for the Orioles. It gave them a backup catcher and it distracted from today’s 9-0 loss to the Indians. Nick Hundley, acquired with cash considerations for left-hander Troy Patton, is expected to be activated for Sunday’s series finale. The Orioles will make a corresponding roster move, most likely optioning Caleb Joseph to Triple-A Norfolk. They also will

Jimenez turns in shortest outing of season (O’s lose 9-0)

Ubaldo Jimenez has no hard feelings toward the Indians after they failed to re-sign him as a free agent. In turn, the Indians didn’t make it easy on Jimenez today at Camden Yards. Jimenez failed to record an out in the fifth inning and was charged with five runs and four hits. He issued five walks, tying his season high, and hit a batter. This

Orioles acquire Hundley from Padres for Patton

The Orioles found the catcher they’ve been searching for today, acquiring Nick Hundley and cash considerations from the Padres for left-hander Troy Patton. The Orioles also recalled infielder Steve Lombardozzi, who takes Patton’s spot on the 25-man roster. The Orioles have 11 pitchers today. Hundley will be added later, perhaps Monday in Milwaukee. Hundley, 30, batted .271 with a home run and three RBIs in

More from Showalter before today’s game

Nelson Cruz’s 15 home runs and 43 RBIs in the first 45 games are the highest totals of his major league career. The Orioles have hit 17 go-ahead home runs this season. Cruz leads the club with seven. Nick Markakis is batting .444 (20-for-45) with four runs scored in the first inning. So, about that pending roster move today... “Couple other irons in the fire,

Roster moves coming

Orioles manager Buck Showalter indicated this morning that the club will add an infielder later today, perhaps within the next hour. Showalter said the Orioles have “plenty of irons in the fire,” and that “a couple of other things are going on,” but he didn’t offer any names. Reliever Preston Guilmet will be activated from the taxi squad on Sunday. First baseman Chris Davis will

Machado remains out of the lineup

Orioles third baseman Manny Machado is out of the lineup today for a second consecutive game due to a strained right groin. J.J. Hardy is batting second today. Jonathan Schoop moves down to ninth. David Lough is on the bench. Nelson Cruz gets the start in left field while Delmon Young serves as the designated hitter. For the Orioles Nick Markakis RF J.J. Hardy SS

Jimenez on the hill today but who’s on third?

We have an early game today. Don’t become confused and think it’s Sunday. Ubaldo Jimenez has never faced the Indians or Rockies, his two former teams. He’s 0-3 with a 4.81 ERA in four home starts this season. The Indians are starting right-hander Corey Kluber, which could return Ryan Flaherty to second base unless Manny Machado sits out another game with his strained right groin.

Showalter speaks after 8-4 win

The Orioles won tonight for only the second time in their last six games, again relying on an offense that’s doing some major damage. Six runs or more in the last five games. Twelve hits or more in the last five games. Nick Markakis registered his first four-hit game of the season to raise his average to .306. He ranks eighth on the club’s all-time

Davis doing damage (O’s win 8-4)

Anyone still worried about Chris Davis? The Orioles first baseman has two hits tonight - a two-run double in the third inning and a two-run homer in the fifth that gave the Orioles a 5-4 lead. Indians rookie T.J. House could use some insurance against the type of damage inflicted by Davis. He’s not alone. Davis is 8-for-16 with four home runs and 10 RBIs

Markakis ties Blair, Cruz gives Orioles lead (updated)

The sound of a cash register should play each time Nelson Cruz hits a home run. Cruz, such a bargain at $8 million this season, hit his 15th home run tonight leading off the bottom of the second inning. Nelson Cruz, meet T.J. House. T.J. House, this is Nelson Cruz. Cruz drove the first pitch from House, a 92 mph fastball, over the fence in

Orioles officially recall McFarland and option Guilmet

Reliever Preston Guilmet retired all five batters he faced in his first stint with the Orioles and was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. He retired all seven batters he faced last night and got a return trip to the Tides. The Orioles optioned Guilmet after batting practice and recalled left-hander T.J. McFarland. Guilmet threw the last two nights, including 13 pitches Wednesday with Norfolk. The Orioles

More notes and quotes before tonight’s game

Chris Tillman threw in the bullpen today and remains scheduled to start Monday afternoon in Milwaukee. No concerns about his groin after experiencing some discomfort recently. Wei-Yin Chen and Bud Norris will start the other two games in Milwaukee. The Brewers list Kyle Lohse, Matt Garza and Marco Estrada as their starters. Right fielder Nick Markakis needs one more hit to tie Paul Blair for

Machado: “I definitely do feel better today”

The Orioles will officially recall left-hander T.J. McFarland after batting practice today and announce their corresponding 25-man roster move. It’s important to note that the Orioles could send out a pitcher and bring him back on Sunday while first baseman Chris Davis spends two days on paternity leave. The reliever wouldn’t be required to spend the minimum 10 days in the minors. Also, under Major

Machado out of lineup (McFarland in clubhouse, Machado update)

The Orioles just posted their lineup for tonight’s game against the Indians at Camden Yards, and Ryan Flaherty is starting at third base. Manny Machado, who exited last night’s game in the 11th inning with tightness in his right groin, is listed among the reserves. Delmon Young is serving as the designated hitter. The Orioles haven’t announced a roster move. Still waiting on that one.

Orioles lineup leans to right tonight, but will it include Machado?

The Orioles were supposed to face four right-handers in their series against the Indians at Camden Yards, but the Indians had to alter their rotation Wednesday after using Josh Tomlin in relief for three innings. Justin Masterson moved up to take Tomlin’s spot last night, working on three days rest, and left-hander T.J. House will make his first major league start tonight. The Indians have

Another pitching move pending and a look at two struggling Orioles

Just when the Orioles thought they could make it through a day without another roster move, 13 innings happened. Look for a reliever to arrive from Triple-A Norfolk before tonight’s game against the Indians at Camden Yards. I pitched T.J. McFarland’s name - so to speak - before the Orioles decided to recall Preston Guilmet. McFarland remains a candidate tonight as a backup to right-handed

Showalter updates Machado and talks about 8-7, 13-inning loss

Orioles manager Buck Showalter will check on Manny Machado on Friday afternoon before making out his lineup, unsure whether the third baseman will play due to tightness in his groin. Machado came out of tonight’s game after the 11th inning as a precaution. “Just had some tightness in his groin and that long of a game, I didn’t like some of the body language he

Machado leaves game, Britton and Guilmet providing great relief (O’s lose 8-7)

Manny Machado has come out of tonight’s game after 11 innings. Ryan Flaherty has moved to third base and Jonathan Schoop is playing second. Machado struck out on the ninth pitch from Indians reliever Josh Outman leading off the bottom of the 11th. No explanation given for his removal, but he did foul a ball off his left foot earlier tonight. Maybe that’s it. Schoop

Cruz gives O’s lead, Flaherty and Lough reach highs and lows (free baseball!)

Nelson Cruz’s sacrifice fly tonight off Indians reliever Mark Lowe in the bottom of the seventh inning gave the Orioles a 6-5 lead. The Orioles have scored six runs or more in four straight games for the first time since May 22-25, 2013. Cruz is tied with White Sox rookie Jose Abreu for the RBI lead in the American League with 42. The run was

Game update and more notes (O’s down 3-0)

Wei-Yin Chen retired the Indians in order on three ground balls in the top of the first tonight, a clean inning following last night’s mess in Pittsburgh. However, Ryan Raburn led off the second with his first home run of the season to give Cleveland an early lead. Raburn jumped on a 93 mph fastball on a 2-2 count. Chen has allowed only two runs

Brach relieved to be in bullpen tonight

Brad Brach showed up at Camden Yards today, lifted weights, did some running and tried to avoid making eye contact. Brach knew he was a logical candidate to be optioned to Triple-A Norfolk after throwing 47 pitches over four innings last night in Pittsburgh, but the Orioles placed Tommy Hunter on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left groin and recalled reliever Preston Guilmet.

Davis set to leave team on Sunday

Orioles first baseman Chris Davis is expected to miss Sunday’s game at Camden Yards and Monday afternoon’s game in Milwaukee for the birth of his first child. Doctors will induce labor if Davis’ wife, Jill, doesn’t have the baby by Sunday. The Orioles will place Davis on paternity leave and bring up a player from the minors, with infielders Jemile Weeks and Steve Lombardozzi the

Hunter on disabled list, Guilmet recalled and Orioles lineup

The Orioles placed reliever Tommy Hunter on the 15-day disabled list today with a strained left groin. The move is retroactive to yesterday. To take Hunter’s place, the Orioles recalled reliever Preston Guilmet from Triple-Norfolk. He’s in the clubhouse and available to pitch tonight. Brad Brach remains with the club despite working four innings last night. Hunter, 27, is 1-1 with a 6.06 ERA in

Orioles to face Masterson tonight (with Indians lineup)

The Indians announced today that right-hander Justin Masterson will make tonight’s start against the Orioles at Camden Yards. Masterson was scheduled to pitch Friday night, but he’s taking Josh Tomlin’s place tonight on short rest. Tomlin worked three innings in relief yesterday against the Tigers. The Indians haven’t announced their starter for Friday. One game at a time. Wei-Yin Chen starts the series opener for

This and that

PITTSBURGH - The Orioles split six games on their road trip, found their offense and lost at least one reliever. Sounds about right. Brad Brach figures to be optioned after working four innings last night. The Orioles need another long man. And someone could be headed to the disabled list. Manager Buck Showalter wouldn’t reveal the name, only that the Orioles were short one reliever.

Tillman, Joseph, Cruz and Showalter following 9-8 loss

PITTSBURGH - Orioles manager Buck Showalter said the team was down a reliever tonight and suggested that the disabled list could come into play. Brad Brach, Brian Matusz and Ryan Webb pitched tonight and Troy Patton warmed up in the eighth. Darren O’Day appeared to be fine in the clubhouse. Zach Britton had his right ankle wrapped after the game, but it could be routine

Pearce ties game in seventh (O’s lose 9-8)

PITTSBURGH - The Pirates gambled and lost tonight in the seventh inning. Their lead also was lost. Pirates reliever Bryan Morris issued an intentional walk to pinch-hitter Steve Clevenger after falling behind in the count, loading the bases with one out for pinch-hitter Steve Pearce. The Orioles trailed 8-7. Pearce was 10-for-24 with three doubles, a home run and eight RBIs lifetime against the Pirates.

Brach provides needed relief (updated)

PITTSBURGH - Brad Brach hadn’t gone more than two innings in a major league appearance before tonight. He hadn’t gone more than three as a professional. The Orioles needed length from him tonight after starter Chris Tillman’s hasty exit, and he responded with four scoreless innings. The Pirates continue to lead the Orioles 8-6 as Brian Matusz works the bottom of the sixth. Brach allowed

First inning bites Tillman again, but O’s knock out Rodriguez (Tillman done)

PITTSBURGH - Chris Davis’ home run streak ended tonight at three consecutive at-bats. He grounded out to end the top of the first inning and strand Nick Markakis at third base. David did produce the tying run in the top of the second with an infield hit. They don’t all have to travel 400 feet. Davis was retired in the first inning on a 75

Talking to Showalter before tonight’s game

PITTSBURGH - The Orioles are braced for a different starter to face them Thursday night when the Indians visit Camden Yards. But which one? The Indians used nine pitchers today in their 11-10, 13-inning victory over the Tigers, including Josh Tomlin, who had been listed as Thursday’s starter. Tomlin threw the last three innings and was credited with the win despite allowing a run in

Notes on Schoop’s glove, Wieters’ elbow and more

PITTSBURGH - The Orioles won’t be facing Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series at Camden Yards. Tomlin is pitching in relief today in the 11th inning. The Indians bullpen is being chewed to bits. The Orioles sent left-hander Wei-Yin Chen to Baltimore today ahead of the team. He left the clubhouse a little while ago in preparation for

Orioles lineup versus Pirates (updated)

PITTSBURGH - The Orioles are breaking out the same lineup tonight with the exception of the starting pitcher, of course. Nelson Cruz is in left field, Jonathan Schoop is back at second base and Caleb Joseph is behind the plate. Chris Tillman is 0-for-6 in the majors. For the Orioles Nick Markakis RF Manny Machado 3B Adam Jones CF Chris Davis 1B Nelson Cruz LF

Leftovers and notes for lunch

PITTSBURGH - Miguel Gonzalez registered the Orioles’ 16th quality start last night. He’s now tied with Chris Tillman for the team lead with four. Did anyone notice? Chris Davis hit three home runs, the offense cranked out nine runs and the rest of the night is a blur. Gonzalez allowed two runs in six-plus innings. He struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter. “I

Orioles going for sweep tonight

PITTSBURGH - If you’re manager Buck Showalter, do you stick with the same lineup tonight that churned out nine runs last night? The Orioles are facing another left-hander, Wandy Rodriguez, so it’s a convenient excuse. Rodriguez has faced the Orioles once in his career, back in 2005 while he pitched for the Astros. He allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings in a

Davis: “It felt good to go out there tonight and kind of earn my paycheck”

PITTSBURGH - Orioles first baseman Chris Davis became so frustrated with his failed at-bats Sunday in Kansas City that he made some adjustments in batting practice today and made a statement to his wife that seemed to give him a fresh perspective on the season. “I think it was good to have a day off and clear my head,” he said. “I told Jill today

Showalter on Davis and 9-2 win

PITTSBURGH - Most of Orioles manager Buck Showalter’s postgame comments to reporters tonight were related to first baseman Chris Davis, who hit three home runs and collected five RBIs in a 9-2 win over the Pirates. The questions kept pertaining to Davis. It was an obvious direction to steer the interview. “The thing I like is he’s been playing good defense and you see him

Davis hits three home runs in 9-2 win

PITTSBURGH - Miguel Gonzalez’s quality start tonight isn’t going to get much attention. Chris Davis is hogging it. Davis turned in his second career three-homer game in the Orioles’ 9-2 win over the Pirates before 22,787 at PNC Park. Davis had four hits, three home runs and five RBIs on the night. His two-run shot off Jeanmar Gomez in the top of the ninth completed

Davis and Cruz go back-to-back (Davis homers again, Gonzalez done)

PITTSBURGH - The Orioles scored six runs in Sunday’s loss to the Royals, perhaps a sign that their offense was ready to bust loose. They have six runs tonight in five innings. Adam Jones hit a three-run homer in the ninth in Kansas City, and his RBI double in the fifth tonight plated Manny Machado for a 3-1 lead over the Pirates. Machado made a

Jones extends hitting streak (O’s lead 2-1)

PITTSBURGH - Adam Jones singled into left field with two outs in the top of the first inning tonight to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. Jones is six games away from tying his career-longest streak set in May 2012. During his current streak, Jones is batting .357 with five home runs, 11 RBIs and eight runs scored. Jones is 5-for-16 with three home

A few pregame notes from Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH - The Orioles will extend Dylan Bundy to two innings and around 30 pitches in his next extended spring training start Saturday against the Rays. He threw 18 pitches in one inning today against the Twins and allowed two home runs. I’m told that a strong wind was blowing out to right-center field, carrying four balls over the fence in the game. Edgmer Escalona

Graham back on the coaching staff tonight

PITTSBURGH - Brian Graham, the Orioles director of player development, is coaching third base tonight. Bobby Dickerson left the team to attend his daughter Ashley’s high school graduation. Graham tried to deflect any attention given to him tonight, just as he did Saturday while serving as bench coach in Kansas City for acting manager John Russell. Graham actually prepped for tonight’s assignment by coaching for

Orioles and Pirates lineups

PITTSBURGH - Nick Markakis leads all active players and ranks fourth all-time with a career .336 average in 532 at-bats in interleague play. Guess who’s playing right field and leading off tonight for the Orioles? Adam Jones is tied with Paul Konerko and Marcus Thames for the most career homers off Pirates left-hander Francisco Liriano (three). Jones (.886) leads the American League and is second

Updating Bundy’s start at extended spring training

PITTSBURGH - Dylan Bundy threw 18 pitches today in his first start in an extended spring training game in Sarasota. Bundy, who had progressed to throwing live batting practice before today, allowed two home runs on pitches up in the zone. His fastball was clocked at 90-92 mph. Bundy, 21, is scheduled to work two innings Saturday in another extended spring training game before the

Pitchers get to bat in Pittsburgh

Wave goodbye to the designated hitter for the next two nights. Enjoy watching Orioles pitchers try to lay down bunts without losing a finger. Zach Britton may get more save chances, but I’d bat him cleanup. He’s 5-for-8 with a double and home run in the majors. Britton went 2-for-3 with a run scored in a June 22, 2011 game at PNC Park. Let him

What’s next for Pearce and Young?

The Marlins released reliever Carlos Marmol today and signed veteran infielder Miguel Tejada to a minor league contract. That sound you hear is the balance of power shifting in the National League East. Or it’s my sarcasm. Earlier today, I mentioned how Steve Pearce has practically disappeared since Chris Davis came off the disabled list. The same is true of Delmon Young, another right-handed hitter

“Because You Asked” - Seventh Inning Fetch

The Orioles don’t have a game tonight and it has nothing to do with rain. There’s an open date on their schedule. Triple-A Norfolk has one, as well, and should savor every second of it. After today, the Tides have one off-day scheduled prior to the All-Star break. They play on 54 of the next 55 days. Heath Bell made his Norfolk debut yesterday and

How to lose a lead (and a game 8-6)

Start with playing on Sundays. What is it with the Orioles and Sundays? In the past, it could be traced to managers playing seldom-used reserves while resting certain regulars. Matt Wieters always seemed to sit on that day. That’s not necessarily the case anymore, though Wieters has no choice while being on the disabled list. Doesn’t matter who’s in the lineup. The last day of

Orioles eliminate the drama in Kansas City (O’s down 5-3)

James Shields didn’t flirt with perfection. Not even a wink. The Orioles didn’t get their first baserunner off Royals left-hander Danny Duffy last night until Adam Jones singled with two outs in the top of the seventh inning. Shields retired the first six Orioles today before J.J. Hardy singled leading off the top of the third. That won’t get your face slapped. David Lough singled,

Orioles and Royals lineups

In 17 games this month, the Orioles rank third in the majors with a 3.02 ERA and a 2.87 starter ERA. Now, if they could start scoring some runs... The Orioles lost their first 1-0 game last night since Sept. 20, 2008 in the Bronx. It was their first 1-0 game since Oct. 2, 2012 at Tropicana Field, when Chris Davis homered off James Shields,

Can Jimenez maintain his May magic?

The Orioles have been held to two runs or fewer in five of their last seven games, which tends to put more pressure on their starting pitchers. Such a small margin for error. It may not matter to Ubaldo Jimenez, who has been a completely different pitcher this month. He’s no longer coming up small. Jimenez was 0-4 with a 6.59 ERA in five starts

Norris’ ERA and the Orioles fall tonight

I’ll continue to insist that I don’t possess the powers to jinx anyone or anything, but as soon as I tweeted tonight that the Orioles didn’t have a baserunner through the sixth inning against the Royals, Adam Jones singled up the middle to destroy Danny Duffy’s bid for a perfect game. Pure coincidence, but also uncanny. I take a night off and the Orioles almost

Orioles lineup vs. Royals

The Orioles are breaking out their right-handed lineup tonight against Royals left-hander Danny Duffy. Jonathan Schoop starts at second base and Caleb Joseph is behind the plate. Nelson Cruz is in left field and Delmon Young is serving as the designated hitter. Brian Graham, serving as bench coach tonight, is wearing No. 43 if you’re into that sort of thing. For the Orioles Nick Markakis

A few pregame notes and Royals lineup

Bench coach John Russell will manage the Orioles tonight in Kansas City while Buck Showalter attends his daughter Allie’s graduation from law school at Southern Methodist University. Director of player development Brian Graham will serve as bench coach. Graham will coach third base Tuesday in Pittsburgh while Bobby Dickerson attends his daughter Ashley’s graduation. Adam Jones is batting .469/.514/.938 against left-handed pitching this season, leading

Norris set to face the Royals (Meek clears waivers)

Bud Norris hopes history repeats itself tonight in Kansas City, but only to a point. In his only career appearance against the Royals on May 21, 2013, Norris tossed six scoreless innings before the Astros bullpen blew a 3-0 lead. Norris is making his fifth road start tonight for the Orioles. He’s 1-2 with a 5.48 ERA away from home. In his last outing, Norris

About last night ...

Are the Orioles slumping or surging? I can’t keep it straight. The rotation is a concern because the starters aren’t working deep enough in games, except for Chris Tillman tossing a nine-inning shutout last night in a 4-0 victory over the Royals. The offense is ice cold, except for Chris Davis homering last night, Nelson Cruz producing two more RBIs and the Orioles actually scoring

Orioles confirm Bell signing, Tillman shuts out Royals

The Orioles made their agreement with Heath Bell official tonight, saying via Twitter that the veteran reliever will report to Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday, pending a physical. Hold the Grant Balfour jokes, please. Most of these guys actually pass the physical. “Bell is a proven veteran pitcher with experience who has agreed to a Triple-A deal,” executive vice president Dan Duquette tweeted tonight. “We believe

Orioles sign Heath Bell to minor league deal (O’s lead 4-0)

Seeking to improve their bullpen depth and provide options at closer down the road, the Orioles have agreed to terms with veteran right-hander Heath Bell on a minor league contract and will assign him to Triple-A Norfolk. Bell is expected to sign his contract later tonight. Executive vice president Dan Duquette confirmed the agreement in a text message, referring to Bell as “an interesting sign

Tillman’s slow starts, Steve Johnson update, today’s roster move and more

The outcome of tonight’s game between the Orioles and Royals may be determined in the first few innings. Chris Tillman takes the mound tonight at Kauffman Stadium. In the first two innings of his eight starts in 2014, Tillman has posted a 7.31 ERA by allowing 13 earned runs in 16 innings. From the third inning on, he’s posted a 2.27 ERA by allowing eight

Orioles recall Brach (updated)

The Orioles made another adjustment to their bullpen today, recalling Brad Brach from Triple-A Norfolk and designating Evan Meek for assignment off the 25-man roster. Meek remains in the organization and will be assigned to Norfolk on Saturday after clearing option waivers. It’s a confusing procedural move. Brach, 28, is 3-1 with a 3.26 ERA, five walks and 38 strikeouts in 15 appearances for the

Orioles and Royals lineups and update on Johan Santana

David Lough is getting another start in left field tonight and Ryan Flaherty is starting at second base, as the Orioles and Royals play the second game of a four-game series at Kauffman Stadium. Nelson Cruz is serving as the designated hitter again after belting his team-leading 12th home run last night, a two-run shot that keyed the Orioles’ 2-1 win. For the Orioles Nick

Tillman gets a second chance in Kansas City

Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman is making only his second career start tonight at Kauffman Stadium, the first coming three years ago. He can be forgiven for blocking out that memory. Tillman allowed eight runs and 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings, and his ERA ballooned to 7.16. Doubts remained whether he would become an established major leaguer. It was so long ago, Josh Rupe relieved

What’s right and wrong with roster

The Orioles made another roster move yesterday, optioning Kevin Gausman to Triple-A Norfolk and recalling reliever Evan Meek. If you’re catching a whiff of fumes, it’s just the shuttle going back and forth again. The Orioles don’t have a true long reliever again after optioning left-hander T.J. McFarland, but on any given night, manager Buck Showalter could call upon Meek or left-hander Troy Patton to

Britton works the ninth for first career save

Orioles relievers Tommy Hunter and Brian Matusz warmed in the Orioles bullpen in the bottom of the eighth inning tonight as Ryan Webb recorded the last two outs to preserve a 2-1 lead. Webb struck out Salvador Perez, Hunter and Matusz sat down, and the intrigue built. Zach Britton began to warm as the Orioles batted in the top of the ninth, and he entered

Orioles still struggling with RISP (Cruz homers again, Chen out of game)

Nick Markakis snapped an 0-for-14 skid tonight with a leadoff single in the first inning off Royals starter Yordano Ventura. Time to start another hitting streak. That’s one in a row. Manny Machado also singled in the first. He was 5-for-31 in his last eight games before tonight’s game. Adam Jones bounced into a double play to kill that rally. Through May 1, the Orioles

Orioles and Royals lineups

Ryan Flaherty gets the start at second base and David Lough returns to left field for the Orioles’ series opener against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Nothing much to see here. A fairly predictable order. Just came down to the starter at second base. For the Orioles Nick Markakis RF Manny Machado 3B Adam Jones CF Chris Davis 1B Nelson Cruz DH Steve Clevenger C

Orioles option Gausman and recall Meek

The Orioles made another change to their pitching staff this afternoon in Kansas City, optioning Kevin Gausman to Triple-A Norfolk and recalling Evan Meek. Gausman started yesterday against the Tigers and retired the first seven batters he faced before allowing five runs and six hits in four innings with two walks, two strikeouts and a wild pitch. He threw 87 pitches, 10 more than his

Orioles hoping to contain Butler, figure out Ventura

The Orioles have lost four straight games, which makes Wei-Yin Chen their stopper tonight in the opener of a four-game series in Kansas City. Chen is 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA in three road starts this season and 0-1 with a 4.60 ERA in five career starts against the Royals. He allowed three earned runs over 7 1/3 innings in his only start at Kauffman

A closing argument

Are we still stressing over the closer situation or an offense that scored in only three innings during the three-game series against the Tigers? Maybe it’s the rotation, which has produced only 13 quality starts in 38 games. Or Matt Wieters’ elbow, which eventually could require ligament-reconstructive surgery. J.J. Hardy still hasn’t hit a home run. Chris Davis has two. David Lough, once projected as

Showalter on Gausman, Verlander’s pitch to Cruz and 7-5 loss

Orioles manager Buck Showalter confronted plate umpire John Tumpane this afternoon after both teams received warnings following a Justin Verlander pitch that sailed behind Nelson Cruz in the bottom of the fourth inning. Bud Norris was ejected Friday night after hitting Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter. Verlander wasn’t tossed today, and Showalter sought an explanation. “I’m just trying to figure out the consistency of it,” he

Benches warned, Gausman done for day (Cruz homers, O’s lose 7-5)

Tigers starter Justin Verlander threw a fastball behind Orioles designated hitter Nelson Cruz in the bottom of the fourth inning, an apparent retaliation for Monday night’s bench-clearing incident. Plate umpire John Tumpane warned both dugouts, bringing manager Buck Showalter onto the field for a brief discussion. Showalter most likely wondered why Verlander wasn’t tossed and why the Orioles were warned. Verlander bounced a curveball in

Checking on Gausman (updated)

Kevin Gausman wears glasses and the Orioles are peering into their future. What they’ve seen so far today has mostly been good, but they’re playing from behind. Making his first start of 2014 for the Orioles, Gausman retired the first seven Tigers before Bryan Holaday reached on an infield hit and Danny Worth singled into right field in the third inning. Ian Kinsler also reached

Showalter on the closer’s role and other notes

Chris Tillman threw in the Orioles bullpen today and expects to make Friday night’s start in Kansas City. Tillman had soreness in his groin that put the start in jeopardy. Triple-A Norfolk’s Steve Johnson will undergo an MRI on his right shoulder in Baltimore after leaving last night’s start after two innings with more discomfort. Johnson had been on the minor league disabled list with

Orioles and Tigers lineups

Not much to dissect with today’s Orioles lineup. Nick Markakis continues to lead off. Steve Clevenger is behind the plate versus a right-hander, Tigers ace Justin Verlander. Jonathan Schoop is at second base and David Lough is in left field. For the Orioles Nick Markakis RF Manny Machado 3B Adam Jones CF Chris Davis 1B Nelson Cruz DH J.J. Hardy SS Steve Clevenger C Jonathan

Joseph on Gausman: “He looked like a major leaguer for sure”

Steve Clevenger registered three-hit games on Saturday and Monday. Caleb Joseph collected his first major league hit last night, threw out two runners attempting to steal and cut down another runner trying to advance to third base on a ball in the dirt. If not for the umpires reversing an out call in the ninth inning, he would have finished with three caught stealings and

Orioles option Guilmet, Showalter talks about Hunter and 4-1 loss

The Orioles optioned reliever Preston Guilmet to Triple-A Norfolk tonight to make room for Kevin Gausman, who starts Wednesday afternoon against the Tigers at Camden Yards. Guilmet struck out the only batter he faced tonight after replacing closer Tommy Hunter with two outs in the ninth. He retired all five batters he faced the past two nights, fanning three of them. Manager Buck Showalter wanted

Joseph gets first major league hit (O’s lose 4-1)

Just when it appeared that Caleb Joseph’s finest work tonight would come behind the plate, he did something memorable from the right side of it. The rookie catcher grounded a single into center field with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning for his first major league hit. Joseph had been 0-for-8 in three starts, including a ground ball to Tigers third baseman

Orioles take right approach with Smyly

A few more swings tonight like the one delivered by center fielder Adam Jones, and the Orioles may wipe that Drew Smyly off the mound. OK, I couldn’t properly execute that joke. Let me try again later. Jones lined a home run to left field in the bottom of the first inning, a rope strong enough to hold wet laundry. The ball cleared the fence

Lots from Showalter and more pregame notes

It’s easier to understand now why the Orioles were slow to reveal Wednesday afternoon’s starter against the Tigers at Camden Yards. The move was tied to Chris Tillman’s groin and Bud Norris’ status. Or something along those lines. Manager Buck Showalter wanted to give left-hander Wei-Yin Chen an extra day of rest. He didn’t want to start Miguel Gonzalez on short rest. He may need

Notes on Gonzalez, Tillman, Norris, Urrutia, Bundy and more

Miguel Gonzalez will move into the bullpen and back up starter Kevin Gausman on Wednesday afternoon at Camden Yards. Gonzalez’s relief role is a temporary move, according to manager Buck Showalter, who confirmed that left-hander Wei-Yin Chen will start Thursday night’s series opener in Kansas City. Chris Tillman has been bothered with some discomfort in his groin, but he’s expected to be fine. The Orioles

Orioles and Tigers lineups (rotation update)

Looking to stack his lineup with right-handers tonight, Orioles manager Buck Showalter decided to start Steve Pearce as his designated hitter and put Caleb Joseph behind the plate. The DH choice came down to Pearce or Delmon Young. For the Orioles Nick Markakis RF Manny Machado 3B Adam Jones CF Chris Davis 1B Nelson Cruz LF J.J. Hardy SS Steve Pearce DH Jonathan Schoop 2B

Gausman named Wednesday starter

So much for Kevin Gausman not working on short rest. The Orioles just announced that Gausman will start Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Tigers at Camden Yards. No explanation given, no news on Wei-Yin Chen or Miguel Gonzalez. A corresponding roster move will be announced on Wednesday. Gausman threw a season-high 77 pitches in 4 2/3 scoreless innings for Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday, allowing two

Bundy update and a few pregame notes

The Orioles still haven’t revealed their starter for Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Tigers at Camden Yards. I hope it lives up to the hype. Down in Sarasota, Dylan Bundy threw live batting practice today for the first time and the session went extremely well. He’s scheduled to throw again in a few days. It may not seem like much on the surface, but facing

About last night ...

Steve Clevenger collected three more hits last night and is batting .304. Let me put this another way: An Orioles backup catcher is batting .304. Another silver lining in another Orioles injury. Jonathan Schoop was given regular playing time while Manny Machado rehabbed his left knee, accelerating his development at the major league level. Steve Pearce became the starting first baseman in Chris Davis’ absence

Torii Hunter and the umpires talk about tonight’s incident

Plate umpire James Hoye ejected Orioles starter Bud Norris tonight in the eighth inning after Torii Hunter was hit in the ribs following Ian Kinsler’s two-run homer. Norris insisted it wasn’t intentional. Hunter offered his own opinion. “I was actually thinking he’s got good stuff today,” said Hunter, who jawed at Norris while the pitcher was on the mound and again when he headed to

Showalter on Norris’ ejection and 4-1 loss

Most of the talk tonight following the Orioles’ 4-1 loss to the Tigers at Camden Yards centered on the heated exchange between pitcher Bud Norris and right fielder Torii Hunter. You were expecting something else? Hunter kept jawing at Norris after being hit in the eighth inning following Ian Kinsler’s two-run homer. Norris said it wasn’t intentional and plate umpire James Hoye ejected him only

Dugouts and benches empty after Norris hits Hunter (O’s lose 4-1)

Bud Norris leads the Orioles with five hit batters in his seven starts. Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter wishes it were four. Ian Kinsler drilled a two-out, two-run homer off Norris in the top of the eighth to give the Tigers a 4-1 lead. Norris proceeded to hit Hunter, who took a wide path toward first base while catcher Steve Clevenger followed him. Hunter barked

Updates on Norris and Harvey

Orioles starter Bud Norris was perfect through three innings tonight and losing by a run in the fourth. A leadoff walk to Tigers’ second baseman Ian Kinsler started the trouble. Isn’t that usually the way? Kinsler stole second and scored on Miguel Cabrera’s single. Cabrera moved to third on Victor Martinez’s double and scored on Austin Jackson’s sacrifice fly for a 2-1 lead. Norris’ pitch

More notes while players are introduced

This weather is insane. It was raining sideways while I ate dinner in the press lounge, delaying the start of tonight’s game until 7:35 p.m., and now the sky is blue and the grounds crew is watering down the infield. The Orioles’ pitchers took batting practice today in preparation for their three-game series in Pittsburgh that begins May 20 and a three-game series in Milwaukee

Uncertainty in Orioles’ rotation this week (start time 7:35 p.m.)

Originally, the Orioles listed left-hander Wei-Yin Chen as Wednesday afternoon’s starter against the Tigers at Camden Yards, which lined up Miguel Gonzalez to start Thursday night’s opener in Kansas City. It’s not so clear anymore. The Orioles’ game notes still list Ubaldo Jimenez as Tuesday night’s starter, but Wednesday and Thursday are TBA. Manager Buck Showalter will be asked about his rotation later tonight. Perhaps

Showalter on decision to bring up Guilmet

Reliever Preston Guilmet reported to Camden Yards this afternoon and is wearing No. 63. Guilmet takes the roster and bullpen spots of left-hander T.J. McFarland, who was optioned following yesterday’s game. Because he’s been pitching one and two innings, Guilmet doesn’t fit the description of a prototypical long reliever. “Length in the American League is two innings and he’s capable of that,” said manager Buck

Orioles lineup vs. Tigers

Nelson Cruz is in left field and Delmon Young is the designated hitter for the Orioles’ series opener tonight against the Tigers at Camden Yards. Tigers starter Rick Porcello is 2-5 with a 4.62 ERA in eight career starts against the Orioles and 0-3 with a 5.19 ERA in three starts at Camden Yards. Nick Markakis is 9-for-21 with a double and home run against

Orioles to recall Guilmet

The Orioles have decided to recall right-handed reliever Preston Guilmet from Triple-A Norfolk as the bullpen replacement for left-hander T.J. McFarland. McFarland was optioned following yesterday’s 5-2 loss to the Astros. Manager Buck Showalter indicated yesterday that the club wanted a right-hander to match up against the Tigers, who visit Camden Yards for a three-game series. It appeared that the Orioles sought a reliever who

Russell talks about progress of catchers

The Orioles sure do have a lot of roster turnover for a club that’s five games above .500 and holding onto first place in the American League East. They’re making another bullpen move this afternoon after optioning left-hander T.J. McFarland following yesterday’s 5-2 loss to the Astros. They placed catcher Matt Wieters on the 15-day disabled list and activated first baseman Chris Davis. And they

O’s option McFarland to Triple-A Norfolk

The Orioles optioned left-hander T.J. McFarland to Triple-A Norfolk after today’s game, and a corresponding roster move will be announced tomorrow. Manager Buck Showalter had indicated that the team might need to call up a right-handed long reliever for the Tigers series, which begins Monday, because of Detroit’s righty-leaning lineup and the need to use McFarland for three-plus innings Sunday. “We’ll see. We’ll talk about

Showalter speaks after 5-2 loss

The Orioles’ designated long man in the bullpen, left-hander T.J. McFarland, worked three-plus innings today in a 5-2 loss to the Astros before a sellout crowd at Camden Yards. The club will discuss bringing up another reliever for Monday night’s series opener against the Tigers. “We’ll see. We’ll talk about it,” said manager Buck Showalter. “We’d like to make sure we have some length there.

Showalter providing work for Lough, Flaherty and McFarland (O’s lose 5-2)

Orioles manager Buck Showalter wanted to knock the rust off a few of his players today, putting them in today’s game to keep everyone engaged. He doesn’t like guys to sit for prolonged stretches. David Lough received his first at-bats since May 3 and went 0-for-2, grounding out and popping up, before Steve Pearce pinch-hit for him in the seventh. Ryan Flaherty, appearing in only

Slow start for Tillman (Tillman done after fifth)

Chris Tillman walked the first two batters he faced today and served up a three-run homer to Jason Castro to quickly fall behind this afternoon at Camden Yards. Tillman issued a third walk in the inning and received a visit from pitching coach Dave Wallace. He escaped further harm with a strikeout and ground ball, but ran his pitch count to 32 in the process.

Showalter on Wieters’ loss and Davis’ return

The Orioles welcome back Chris Davis today and put Matt Wieters on the disabled list. At some point, manager Buck Showalter will have his projected lineup intact. It’s just taking a while. Third baseman Manny Machado missed the first month of the season. He returns and Davis goes on the disabled list with a strained oblique. Now, Wieters is on the shelf. “Who’s to say

Wieters to DL, Davis activated (updated)

To make room for Chris Davis on the 25-man roster, the Orioles have placed catcher Matt Wieters on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow strain. Wieters hasn’t caught since May 4 and has been limited to serving as the Orioles’ designated hitter in each of his last four games because of the injury. Wieters was expected to avoid a trip to the disabled

Davis in lineup

The Orioles will activate first baseman Chris Davis from the disabled list before today’s game against the Astros. He’s in the lineup batting third. Five reserves are listed on the lineup card, so we’re waiting for a corresponding roster move. David Lough is in left field. Steve Clevenger is catching again today and Nelson Cruz is at designated hitter. No Matt Wieters, who’s one of

Morning musings

Orioles manager Buck Showalter grabbed a late flight to Dallas following Friday night’s game, attended his son Nathan’s graduation from Texas Christian University yesterday afternoon and flew back into Baltimore for last night’s 10-inning win over the Astros. For a brief moment, Showalter forgot that he’d have to sleep fast, to borrow one of his favorite expressions. The Orioles are playing a day game. Oh

Hearing from Hardy, Clevenger and Hunter

Anyone questioning whether shortstop J.J. Hardy has recovered from his earlier hamstring injury is invited to check the video of the 10th inning. Hardy reached on an infield hit with one out and scored from first base on Steve Clevenger’s double to right field, giving the Orioles a dramatic 5-4 victory over the Astros and a five-game winning streak. “I’m going as fast as I

Showalter on a 5-4 10-inning win

Orioles manager Buck Showalter joked that he had a choice of talking to first baseman Chris Davis or meeting with reporters following tonight’s 5-4, 10-inning win over the Astros. He chose the scribes. Davis, back from his rehab game at Double-A Bowie, would have to wait a few minutes. The Orioles will wait until Sunday morning to decide whether to activate Davis from the disabled

Tarp is coming off the field (O’s win 5-4 in 10th inning)

The tarp is coming off the field at Camden Yards and tonight’s game is expected to resume at approximately 10:55 p.m. We have a light rain falling. We can live with it. In the event that the rain had decided to stick around until some ungodly hour, the game would have been suspended and resumed on Sunday. The score no longer reverts back to the

Gonzalez and Gausman updates (O’s lose lead in 9th, now rain delay)

It may not be aesthetically pleasing, but Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez has made it through the sixth inning tonight against the Astros at Camden Yards. One more out and he will reach a season high in innings. Left-hander Troy Patton began to warm in the bullpen in the sixth inning as the Astros put runners on second and third with one out. Gonzalez retired the

Markakis keeps streaking (O’s down 2-0)

Orioles manager Buck Showalter returned from his son Nathan’s graduation today at TCU and is in his customary position along the dugout railing. Showalter had a good view of Nick Markakis’ leadoff single in the bottom of the first inning that extended the right fielder’s hitting streak to 17 games, the longest active in the majors. Markakis lined the fourth pitch from Astros starter Collin

Pregame notes and Astros lineup

First baseman Chris Davis showered, dressed and headed to Prince George’s Stadium this afternoon, where he’s scheduled to play first base for a minimum of seven innings with the Double-A Bowie Baysox. Davis might have to serve as the designated hitter if heavy rain causes sloppy conditions. It wouldn’t prevent the Orioles from possibly activating him on Sunday, but they’d prefer that he play in

Orioles lineup versus Astros

Matt Wieters continues to serve as the Orioles’ designated hitter for tonight’s game against the Astros at Camden Yards. Nothing interesting or different about the lineup. It looks familiar. The tarp is on the field. It rained earlier and more is on the way. For the Orioles Nick Markakis RF Manny Machado 3B Nelson Cruz LF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters DH J.J. Hardy SS

Davis’ return creates difficult roster decision

Chris Davis will report to Double-A Bowie on a rehab assignment for the second time in his career. Davis also played two rehab games in September 2011, going 3-for-6 with a double. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to qualify for the Eastern League All-Star team. It’s conceivable that the Orioles will activate Davis from the disabled list on Sunday, the first day that he’s eligible. Otherwise,

Showalter on Davis and much more

Orioles manager Buck Showalter laid out the plan for Chris Davis, who will play first base and bat second Saturday night at Double-A Bowie in his first injury rehab game. He’s expected to go seven to nine innings. “I don’t want him hitting leadoff and I don’t want him to have the problem of getting enough at-bats before he may or may not come out

Chen saves ‘pen (O’s win 4-3)

Wei-Yin Chen carried a one-run lead into the seventh tonight before Houston’s Chris Carter led off the inning with a home run to left field. Just like that, we’re tied. And go ahead and insert your “all he does is hit home runs” joke. Chen completed seven innings, tying his season high. He allowed two runs and five hits, walked one and struck out four.

Davis to begin rehab at Bowie (Pearce and Machado homer)

First baseman Chris Davis will report to the Double-A Bowie Baysox and appear in an injury rehab game Saturday night, the team announced. The Baysox are playing New Britain at 6:35 p.m. at Prince George’s County Stadium. Davis may be one-and-done on the assignment after taking live batting practice today and proclaiming himself ready to come off the disabled list. The Orioles will check on

Davis takes BP, ready to rehab

Orioles first baseman Chris Davis took five rounds of outdoor batting practice today and said he felt great. It showed, judging by how far he was launching baseballs and how he kept smiling each time he exited the cage. Davis homered pretty much in every possible direction - left field, into the bullpen, center field, the flag court in right and onto Eutaw Street. Once

Urrutia to undergo sports hernia surgery

Orioles manager Buck Showalter announced today that outfielder Henry Urrutia will undergo sports hernia surgery Tuesday in Philadelphia. Urrutia is expected to miss six to eight weeks of the minor league season. Urrutia was batting .220/.250/.293 with six doubles and seven RBIs in 20 games at Triple-A Norfolk. He appeared in 24 games as a rookie with the Orioles last season, batting .276/.276/.310 with a

Orioles and Astros lineups

Orioles manager Buck Showalter is keeping Steve Pearce’s hot bat and mitt in the lineup as his club opens a three-game series tonight against the Astros at Camden Yards. Pearce homered twice at Tropicana Field, the second time he’s hit two in the same series in his major league career. It also happened Sept. 23-25, 2008 in Milwaukee while playing for the Pirates. Nick Markakis

Orioles left with unusual split in bullpen

Goodbye dateline, hello homestand. The Orioles should make it through the day without a roster move unless manager Buck Showalter suddenly grows tired of having four southpaws in his seven-man bullpen, which I still envision to be an issue at some point. Showalter had to use Ryan Webb and Darren O’Day last night. He doesn’t want to do it, but circumstances will force his hand.

Looking back and ahead

TAMPA - I’m filing this morning’s blog entry from the Tampa Airport Marriott before boarding my flight home. It’s a tradition of sorts. Turn in the rental car the previous night, check into a room, get a few hours sleep and stumble to my gate. Showering is optional. It’s one way to make certain that the middle seat remains unoccupied. Manager Buck Showalter kept wondering

Hearing from Jimenez and Pearce

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Ubaldo Jimenez didn’t give the Orioles a quality start tonight by definition. One run in 5 1/3 innings falls short of it. However, he left Tropicana Field with a victory, which ultimately is all that matters. “I was not 100 percent,” he said following a 3-1 win over the Rays that completed a three-game sweep. “I was missing with my fastball

Showalter on Davis’ potential rehab assignment and more

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter says first baseman Chris Davis could begin a brief injury-rehab assignment as early as Saturday. Davis, on the disabled list with a strained left oblique, is scheduled to take live batting practice on Friday. However, the threat of rain could alter those plans. Showalter jokingly told a reporter to “slow down” when it was suggested that Davis

Jimenez outlasts Price (O’s win 3-1)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - One start after tossing 7 1/3 scoreless innings, Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez didn’t make it through the sixth tonight. He did, however, exit with a lead that still stands. Jimenez is charged with one run and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, with two walks, three strikeouts and a hit batter. He threw 117 pitches, one fewer than his season high,

Game update and more on Davis (Markakis extends streak, O’s lead 3-1)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - I’m predicting that Orioles manager Buck Showalter will refer to Steve Pearce later tonight as “a professional hitter.” If the spike fits... Pearce hit a two-out, two-run homer off Rays starter David Price in the top of the second inning to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead. He’s 8-for-27 (.296) with two doubles, two homers and five RBIs since re-signing with

Pregame notes on Wieters, Young, Showalter, Gausman, Bundy and the ‘pen

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Though he’s serving as the Orioles’ designated hitter tonight, Matt Wieters is taking ground balls at first base during batting practice to provide manager Buck Showalter with another option for the lineup. Wieters won’t be catching until the discomfort in his right elbow subsides following Monday’s MRI and yesterday’s exam in Pensacola, Fla. Wieters has played one game at first base,

Wieters serving as DH tonight

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Matt Wieters has returned to the Orioles’ lineup tonight as the designated hitter against Rays left-hander David Price. Caleb Joseph will make his second major league start behind the plate. Jonathan Schoop will start at second base after hitting a tie-breaking, two-run homer last night in the seventh inning. Chris Davis took 20 swings in the indoor cage today and said

Jimenez tries to extend May momentum

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - It’s another gorgeous day here as the Orioles and Rays conclude their three-game series. Too bad the roof doesn’t open. Ubaldo Jimenez would likely settle for pitching underground as long as it’s May. He’s coming off a start where he tossed 7 1/3 scoreless innings in Minnesota to lower his career ERA this month to 3.76 in 35 outings. Jimenez held

This, that and the other

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Can the Orioles make it out of Tropicana Field tonight without more intrigue regarding an All-Star player’s health? Can they avoid the letters MRI, which are a lot worse than LOB, though they don’t show up in the box score? Look for Matt Wieters to serve as the designated hitter tonight against Tampa Bay left-hander David Price, which puts Delmon Young

More clubhouse chatter following 4-3 win

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Adam Jones isn’t going to change his aggressive approach at the plate. And he’s certainly not going to spit on pitches teed up for him. Jones got two balls to hit tonight in his first two at-bats from Rays starter Cesar Ramos, and he swung for the fences. Two pitches, two home runs. “They were right down the middle, weren’t they?”

Hearing from Showalter and Hunter after 4-3 win

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter walked up to MASN’s Gary Thorne last night to start his post-game interview and mumbled, “Textbook.” We got the joke. The Orioles didn’t take the easy path to their 4-3 victory over the Rays, allowing a run in the ninth and putting runners on the corners with one out. Closer Tommy Hunter walked the tightrope again, but

Schoop homer gives Orioles lead (O’s win 4-3)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Rookie Jonathan Schoop has hit three home runs this season. None of them have been cheap. When he gets hold of one, he really gets hold of it. Schoop’s two-run shot to left field off Rays reliever Brandon Gomes in the seventh inning gave the Orioles a 4-2 lead at Tropicana Field. Steve Pearce singled with two outs and Schoop connected

Jones homers, Joseph debuts (Jones homers again, O’s up 2-1)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Adam Jones hadn’t hit a home run before tonight since April 8 in New York, a span of 22 games. The Orioles center fielder was due, folks. Jones belted No. 2 leading off the top of the second inning to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead over the Rays. He jumped on the first pitch from Rays left-hander Cesar Ramos, an

Wieters: “I expect to be available later tonight”

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Orioles catcher Matt Wieters doesn’t have a term for the condition of his right elbow. He’s just relieved that the word “surgery” wasn’t attached to it. “You’d have to call Dr. (James) Andrews,” Wieters said, smiling. “Just discomfort.” That’s pretty much what Andrews told Wieters and the Orioles. “He’s just kind of said that everybody’s elbow looks different,” Wieters said. “It’s

Showalter on Wieters and other pregame notes and quotes

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Orioles catcher Matt Wieters is available off the bench tonight, according to manager Buck Showalter, after having his right elbow examined by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla., and grabbing a flight back to Tampa. Showalter anticipates that Wieters will be in Thursday night’s lineup against Rays left-hander David Price. He’s expected to serve as the designated hitter. Showalter said Wieters

Joseph on his promotion

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Caleb Joseph spent part of his afternoon accepting hugs from teammates in the visiting clubhouse at Tropicana Field, warm greetings given to a player making his major league debut at age 27. Joseph didn’t know whether he would start tonight, since he hadn’t spoken to manager Buck Showalter and no lineup was posted. Turns out, he’s catching and batting ninth against

Weeks optioned, Wieters on bench (with lineups)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles have purchased the contract of catcher Caleb Joseph from Triple-A Norfolk and optioned infielder Jemile Weeks. Joseph, 28, will make his major league debut tonight against the Rays at Tropicana Field. He’s starting behind the plate, batting ninth and wearing No. 36. Joseph, who arrived in Tampa around 1:30 p.m., is batting .261/.284/.402 in 22 games for the Tides.

Wieters expected to avoid disabled list

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Orioles catcher Matt Wieters is likely to stay on the active roster following today’s visit with Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla. Wieters doesn’t have a torn ligament in his right elbow and there’s no talk of surgery, according to an industry source. The club may continue using him as the designated hitter, as it did last night, until he’s able

A few notes before tonight’s game

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. - As the Orioles wait to find out whether they may include catcher Matt Wieters in tonight’s lineup, they will attempt to continue their recent run of success against the Rays. The Orioles are 3-0 against Tampa Bay this season and have outscored the Rays 15-4. They’ve won three in a row for the first time since building a five-game winning streak

Wondering what’s going on with Wieters

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Now it makes sense. The decision to outright infielder David Adams and the unexplained opening on the 40-man roster. Hints that more moves could be coming. The extra rest provided for catcher Matt Wieters. The use of Wieters as the designated hitter last night. He’s hurt. Wieters has a sore right elbow, and the idea that the discomfort first surfaced in

Showalter updates Wieters, and more quotes

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Orioles catcher Matt Wieters will fly to Pensacola, Fla., Tuesday morning to have his right elbow examined by renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews. He’s scheduled to come back to the team later in the day, and manager Buck Showalter hopes to have him behind the plate for the second game of the series against the Rays. Showalter didn’t provide much information

Orioles emerge from darkness to take lead (O’s win 5-3)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles have grown accustomed to bizarre occurrences at Tropicana Field. Having the lights go out in the middle of a rally didn’t faze them. The Orioles scored twice in the top of the eighth inning to break a 3-3 tie, but only after enduring a 19-minute delay. As Steve Pearce stood on deck following Steve Clevenger’s double, the transformer carrying

Orioles take lead but can’t take advantage (we’re tied)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth inning tonight and settled for one run. They loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth and settled for one run. A 3-2 lead over the Rays doesn’t seem sufficient. The Orioles could have delivered a knockout punch to Rays starter Chris Archer. Instead, they’ve taken a slim lead

Wieters having elbow examined on Wednesday (updated)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Matt Wieters is serving as the designated hitter tonight in the Orioles’ series opener against the Rays, and the decision is tied to his right elbow. I can confirm that Dr. James Andrews will examine Wieters’ elbow on Wednesday, as first reported by Yahoo! Sports. There’s apparently a growing concern that Wieters tore a ligament. Caleb Joseph was scratched from Triple-A

Brach optioned to Norfolk

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles got through batting practice without any health issues and announced that reliever Brad Brach has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. Brach’s removal creates a spot for T.J. McFarland, recalled from Norfolk, and gives the Orioles four left-handers in their bullpen. Brach made two appearances with the Orioles and posted a 16.20 ERA in 1 2/3 innings. He served up

Notes on McFarland, Davis, Gausman, Santana and Bundy

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles will recall left-hander T.J. McFarland after batting practice today because they need length in their bullpen, a true long man who can consume innings if a starter makes an early exit. Manager Buck Showalter indicated that the Orioles could go with a 13-man pitching staff down the road. However, they seem prepared to send out another reliever today to

Waiting on the roster move

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Left-hander T.J. McFarland sat at his locker this afternoon at Tropicana Field, chatting with teammates Zach Britton and Brad Brach while waiting to find out whether the Orioles were placing him on the 25-man roster. The Orioles are expected to officially recall McFarland, but it may not happen until the conclusion of batting practice. Manager Buck Showalter wants to make sure

Davis, McFarland in St. Petersburg (plus Orioles and Rays lineups)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Left-hander T.J. McFarland is in the Orioles clubhouse at Tropicana Field. No roster move has been announced, but no relievers are listed on the lineup card, so it looks like one will be removed to make space. Matt Wieters is at designated hitter and Steve Clevenger is behind the plate for tonight’s series opener at Tropicana Field with Chris Tillman on

Quick update on Gausman

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A group of Orioles are taking early batting practice under the lights at Tropicana Field, including Jonathan Schoop, J.J. Hardy, Manny Machado, David Lough, Ryan Flaherty, Steve Pearce, Steve Clevenger and Jemile Weeks. Other players are hitting inside the cage in the tunnel that leads to the dugout. The sun is shining and it’s hot outside, but they’re preparing for indoor

Roster move coming as Orioles ready for series against Rays

Does anyone sleep well the night before an early-morning flight? Show of hands. The Orioles begin a three-game series tonight against the Rays at Tropicana Field, and they’re prepared to make another roster move. As I wrote yesterday, left-hander T.J. McFarland was scratched from his scheduled start with Triple-A Norfolk and likely will be recalled to aid a bullpen that’s in danger of burning out

McFarland scratched from Norfolk start (updated)

The Orioles could be poised to make another roster move. Left-hander T.J. McFarland has been scratched from tonight’s scheduled start for Triple-A Norfolk. He was supposed to take the mound in Louisville, but may be headed to St. Petersburg, Fla., where the Orioles begin a three-game series Tuesday night at Tropicana Field. Nick Additon is taking McFarland’s turn tonight. The Orioles optioned McFarland to Norfolk

Santana goes two innings in extended spring start

Left-hander Johan Santana threw two innings in an extended spring training start this afternoon, allowing one hit and striking out four. The best news to come out of the 28-pitch outing in Sarasota was that Santana hit 87-89 mph with his fastball, which is better than the 84-87 mph he was clocked at in the simulated game that preceded today’s effort. Orioles manager Buck Showalter

This, that and the other

Hey, look, the Orioles are off again today. Open dates and heavy rains have punched a lot of holes in the schedule, but it comes with a heavy price. If the union allowed it, Major League Baseball probably would force the Orioles to play all 31 days in August. I’ll join the team Tuesday in St. Petersburg, Fla. Have to get my Tropicana Field fix.

Orioles’ offense on Cruz control (O’s lose 5-2)

Too bad that Major League Baseball doesn’t award an extra run based on the distance of a home run. Nelson Cruz could have overcome a three-run deficit today despite only one runner being on base. Cruz put another ball into the third deck, his two-run shot off Phil Hughes reducing Minnesota’s lead to 3-2 in the sixth inning. He took a 92 mph four-seam fastball

More on Markakis (Gonzalez only goes 4 2/3)

Nick Markakis led off today’s game for the Orioles by grounding a ball into center field for a single. And so it continues. Markakis extended his hitting streak to 12 games. He’s hit safely in 15 of his last 16. Markakis leads the Orioles with 37 hits, six more than runner-up Nelson Cruz. Before today, he ranked second with a .310 average and 15 runs,

Orioles lineup vs. Twins

Steve Pearce remains at first base today for the Orioles while Chris Davis works out at Target Field. Davis also will accompany the team to St. Petersburg, Fla., for the series against the Rays that begins Tuesday night. He’s eligible to come off the disabled list on May 11. Delmon Young is the designated hitter today. He’s 7-for-21 with a home run lifetime against Twins

While waiting for the Orioles lineup ...

The Orioles will attempt today to win back-to-back road series for the first time this season. They’re 4-0 on the road in series finales and 6-3 overall. Miguel Gonzalez is working on six days rest today, which isn’t a bad thing. He owns a career ERA of 3.16 in 13 starts with six days or more of rest, compared to 4.30 in 23 starts with

Orioles clear spot on 40-man roster

The Orioles announced this morning that they outrighted infielder David Adams to Double-A Bowie. Adams, 26, cleared waivers after batting .214/.295/.371 (15-for-70) with two home runs and eight RBIs in 21 games for Triple-A Norfolk. The Orioles claimed Adams off waivers from the Indians on March 22 and optioned him to Norfolk the following day. The Orioles now have 39 players on their 40-man roster.

Orioles and Twins in series finale

The Orioles wrap up their three-game series with the Twins today at Target Field before reaching another open date on their schedule. They’re 6-3 this year in the final game of a series. The Orioles are 10-8 against the American League East, but only 3-5 versus the Central. Miguel Gonzalez is making his sixth start of the season and fourth away from Camden Yards. In

Chen left with more challenges against left-handed hitters (O’s lose 6-1)

Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen has allowed three runs in five innings this afternoon at Target Field. He just surrendered an RBI single to Twins first baseman Joe Mauer in the fifth and sits at 101 pitches as the game moves into the sixth. Why is Mauer’s hit noteworthy? Because left-handers began the day batting .457 against Chen, compared to .271 by right-handers. It’s not supposed

Clevenger keeps climbing the lineup

The Orioles’ lineup for today’s game in Minnesota includes catcher Steve Clevenger hitting in the fifth slot against Twins right-hander Kevin Correia. His name jumps out at me each time I see it listed so high. I’m just glad it’s not in a dark alley. That’s not to say Clevenger is unworthy and should be lowered. It’s just odd for me to find an Orioles

A few pregame notes

The Orioles are 11-5 at Target Field since it opened in 2010. They will try to improve that record to 12-5 this afternoon in the second game of their three-game series against the Twins. I checked on Johan Santana’s start in an extended spring training game this morning and found out it didn’t happen. Apparently, it rains in Sarasota, too. Santana will pitch Monday, and

Orioles and Twins lineups

The Orioles are sending left-hander Wei-Yin Chen to the mound today in Minnesota as they attempt to move a season-high four games above .500. Chen ranks second in the American League in run support average at 8.69 runs. C.J. Wilson is first at 9.53. The Orioles have scored just 40 runs (2.1 per game) in the 19 games when Chen has been charged with the

A few random thoughts

The Orioles are in first place in the American League East. No Manny Machado until two days ago. No Chris Davis right now because he’s on the disabled list. No J.J. Hardy for eight games. No wins for Ubaldo Jimenez in April. No sign of relievers Josh Stinson and Evan Meek, who have been optioned. Check the standings. Three games above .500 and looking down

Wieters, Cruz continue to rake as Orioles take 3-0 lead (O’s win 3-0)

Orioles catcher Matt Wieters is on a serious roll. Wieters has now registered six multi-hit games in the last seven, going 13-for-30 with three doubles, two homers and eight RBIs in that stretch. His run-scoring double in the fourth inning tonight, a shot off the fence in center field, scored Nelson Cruz for a 1-0 lead over the Twins at Target Field. Cruz led off

Gausman diagnosed with pneumonia, not intercostal strain

Kevin Gausman just confirmed that his MRI today revealed he has pneumonia, not an intercostal strain. Gausman, the Orioles’ second-ranked prospect by Baseball America, was placed on the minor league disabled list earlier today because of the illness. Coughing certainly caused him to feel pain in that area, also leading him to have trouble breathing overnight Wednesday. Gausman said he was sick about 2 1/2

Orioles-Twins lineups and notes (Gausman on DL)

The Orioles have gone 14-6 against the Twins dating back to April 19, 2011 and are 10-5 at Target Field since it opened in 2010. Will they continue to trend upward? Will Ubaldo Jimenez win his first game with the Orioles? Stay tuned. Manny Machado is starting at third base and batting second again tonight. Steve Pearce gets another start at first base. The Orioles

Gausman: “I was freaking out because I thought that I was having a heart attack”

If pitcher Kevin Gausman wants to curse the timing of what may be an intercostal muscle injury, he could vent in a couple of directions. The Orioles would have recalled a healthy Gausman for tonight’s series opener in Minnesota. And after being on a strict pitch count for his first five starts with Triple-A Norfolk, he was cleared to throw up to 90 for the

More on Gausman

The Orioles are trying to get their top pitching prospects on the same healthy road back to the majors. Dylan Bundy continues to progress from last summer’s ligament-reconstructive surgery on his right elbow and should be pitching in extended spring training games by the middle of the month. He’s heading in one direction. Kevin Gausman just took a U-turn. Gausman will go on the seven-day

Brach meeting Orioles in Minnesota

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

More banter about the bullpen and tonight’s game

The Orioles will open a three-game series tonight in Minnesota, where they only have to worry about frostbite and a smoldering bullpen. They didn’t have enough pitching to make it to Target Field without another roster move. Not a chance. And Evan Meek was the most vulnerable reliever, which is why he’s headed to Triple-A Norfolk. Early this morning, I tossed out some possible names

Gausman injury prevents a call-up (Meek optioned)

The Orioles are expected to bring up a reliever for the trip to Minnesota after tonight’s doubleheader sweep. The bullpen needs a fresh arm. It won’t belong to Kevin Gausman. Gausman was scheduled to start tonight for Triple-A Norfolk - yes, we’re past midnight - but an X-ray today revealed a strained intercostal muscle that could force him on the minor league disabled list. Gausman,

Markakis muscles up (walk-off home run for Wieters)

No need to wonder when Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis is going to hit his first home run. Or his second. Today’s doubleheader took care of both questions. Markakis has homered in both ends, his solo shot tying Game 2, 5-5, in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Pirates took a 5-4 lead in the top half on Starling Marte’s RBI single off Ryan

Notes on Tillman and Jones (we’re tied)

Orioles starter Chris Tillman has made it through four innings tonight in Game 2. No one is warming in the bullpen, so Tillman will return for the fifth with his pitch count at 94, including 58 strikes. He’s allowed two runs and four hits, walked three and struck out seven. Tillman has struck out six of the last 12 Pirates that he’s faced. Tillman threw

Tillman tosses 49 pitches in first inning

How many innings will Orioles starter Chris Tillman work tonight in Game 2 of a doubleheader? Tillman threw 49 pitches in the top of the first, issuing two-out bases-loaded walks to Neil Walker and Starling Marte. The Pirates fouled off 16 pitches in the inning. Gaby Sanchez worked Tillman for 13 pitches before popping up to second base for the second out. Just as it

Showalter speaks after 5-1 win in Game 1

The rain has let up and the tarp finally is coming off the field. Approximate start time for Game 2 is 8:55 p.m. Orioles manager Buck Showalter had a few minutes to meet with reporters before rushing back into the clubhouse to prepare for the nightcap. One of his favorites, Steve Pearce, went 3-for-4 with two RBIs in his first at-bats since April 13. Pearce

Stinson outrighted to Norfolk, Game 2 lineups

The Orioles reinstated left-hander Troy Patton from the restricted list and outrighted reliever Josh Stinson to Triple-A Norfolk. Stinson already has cleared waivers. Patton, 28, went 2-0 with a 3.70 ERA in a career-high 56 appearances for the Orioles in 2013. He made four rehab appearances with Norfolk on his rehab assignment, allowing two earned runs in 4 2/3 innings. Patton served a 25-game suspension

Pearce having a Game 1 to remember (Markakis homers, O’s win 5-1)

Orioles manager Buck Showalter refers to Steve Pearce as a “professional hitter,” a guy who can sit for long stretches without complaint and still make solid contact at the plate. Pearce is providing a nice little demonstration today in Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Pirates. Pearce was 1-for-7 before the Orioles designated him for assignment last week. He’s 3-for-3 today with two run-scoring

Game delayed by rain (O’s lead 3-1, Norris done)

Play at Camden Yards was halted at 5:25 p.m. due to the latest storm to hit the Baltimore area. Mother Nature has a sick sense of humor. Fans in their orange “I Like Our Guys” T-shirts streamed to the exits. Streams formed in the parking lots. We have a theme today. The delay won’t last long. The grounds crew already is pulling back the tarp

Urrutia to DL, information on make-up game, O’s win challenge and more

Triple-A Norfolk outfielder Henry Urrutia has been placed on the seven-day minor league disabled list, retroactive to April 29, with an abdominal strain. Urrutia is batting .220/.250/.293 with six doubles and seven RBIs in 20 games with the Tides. The Orioles-Rays game at Camden Yards that was postponed due to rain on April 15 will be made up at 1:05 p.m. on June 27 as

More notes and quotes before Game 1

The Orioles and Pirates aren’t allowed to call up a 26th player today because this isn’t a split doubleheader. Also, the doubleheader wasn’t scheduled before yesterday. Those are the rules. The Orioles had consecutive games postponed due to rain for the first time since April 13-14, 2004 in Boston. Here are the pitching matchups for the series in Minnesota: Friday: Ubaldo Jimenez versus Ricky Nolasco

Lombardozzi optioned and other notes

The Orioles announced that they optioned infielder Steve Lombardozzi to Triple-A Norfolk today to make room for third baseman Manny Machado on the 25-man roster. Lombardozzi, 25, batted .292/.301/.333 (21-for-72) in 19 games at second base for the Orioles this season. Ryan Flaherty remains on the roster and could start at first base tonight in Game 2. The Orioles like him defensively in the infield

Machado not in Game 1 lineup, Lombardozzi not listed among reserves

Orioles third baseman Manny Machado isn’t starting Game 1 of today’s doubleheader against the Pirates at Camden Yards. He’s listed among the reserves, with Ryan Flaherty starting at third. Infielder Steve Lombardozzi isn’t listed among the Orioles reserves. He’s apparently been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk to make room for Machado on the 25-man roster. Lombardozzi said he’s not injured and wouldn’t comment further. Jemile Weeks

No longer anticipating precipitation, Orioles will play two today

The Orioles no longer are attempting to play one game. Weather permitting, they’re going for two. It’s a daring maneuver, to say the least. The Orioles will play a straight doubleheader beginning at 4:05 p.m. Much preferred over the crooked ones. “I Like Our Guys” T-shirts for everyone! Make mine a smedium. Sleeves optional, of course. The Orioles will activate third baseman Manny Machado from

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