Joseph paired again with Gausman

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter is giving rookie Caleb Joseph the start behind the plate again today following a night game.

What do you get a catcher for his 28th birthday? More at-bats.

Joseph has caught Kevin Gausman’s last two starts, with the right-hander allowing two runs in 13 innings.

“I don’t know about paired, but that’s some of it,” Showalter said. “We’ve got an off-day tomorrow. Just stay there for the time being with Caleb.

“We’ll see what we’re going to do after the game, see if we need to make any moves. See how everything goes with Kevin.”

The Orioles still have six starters and six relievers. None of the starters are working out of the bullpen today unless the game goes into extra innings.

“We won’t stay at six, I don’t think,” Showalter said. “At some point we’ll figure out what we’re going to do once we get through the doubleheader, some of these off-days. That’s what really kind of complicates it a little bit are the off-days. You don’t want guys sitting around too long. You’d like to see guys get a little extra rest here and there, but then you start getting diminishing returns.”

Lakeland native Steve Pearce also remains in the lineup. He’s hit three home runs in 14 at-bats against the Rays this season to go with a .419 (6-for-14) average, a double, five RBIs, five runs scored and four walks. His four career homers against Tampa Bay are his most versus any opponent, and his 1.698 OPS this year is tops in the majors.

The Orioles rank second in the majors with a .333 average with the bases loaded, going 20-for-60. Their three grand slams are tied for second behind Oakland’s four.

Here are the starters for the series in New York:

Friday - Ubaldo Jimenez versus Hiroki Kuroda
Saturday - Bud Norris versus Vidal Nuno
Sunday - Chris Tillman versus Masahiro Tanaka

Showalter was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of reporter Richard Durrett. Reliever Tommy Hunter broke the news to him last night.

Durrett, who covered the Rangers for the Dallas Morning News when Showalter managed the club, died suddenly due to a brain aneurysm. He was 38.

Durrett leaves behind a wife and two young children.

“Crushing, sad,” Showalter said. “He was making great progress in his career, too. Personable, smart, funny. It’s another one of those things, you want to know why. Sad.”

The Orioles were in Arlington two weeks ago. Durrett walked up to the beat writers in the press box on the first day, welcomed us and told us to let him know if we needed anything. Each day, brought another smile and a warm greeting.

His passing has devastated friends and colleagues. Incredibly sad.

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