The Orioles have decided to go with a short bullpen to create a roster spot for Wei-Yin Chen, optioning left-hander T.J. McFarland to Triple-A Norfolk before tonight’s series opener against the Indians.
McFarland appeared in one game after being recalled on Wednesday, allowing two runs in two innings yesterday in Boston. He threw 28 pitches.
McFarland, 26, has gone 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA in three stints with the Orioles this season, allowing four earned runs in 11 1/3 innings. He’s walked eight, struck out 12 and thrown two wild pitches.
The Orioles probably will insert McFarland into Norfolk’s bullpen again and get him comfortable with entering games in the middle of an inning.
Another roster move is coming with second baseman Jonathan Schoop nearing a return from the disabled list. A position player will need to be removed.
The bullpen eventually will add a seventh reliever. In the meantime. Brian Matusz and closer Zach Britton are the only left-handers.
McFarland is the only optionable piece in the bullpen, which makes him vulnerable whenever the Orioles face a roster crunch or need a fresh arm.
Update: Wei-Yin Chen hung a slider to Brandon Moss, who hit a solo home run to right field in the second inning to give Cleveland a 1-0 lead.
Chen threw 12 pitches in the first and 19 in the second. Five of the six outs have come on ground balls.
Jimmy Paredes doubled in the first inning, his ninth hit in his last 18 at-bats.
Update II: J.J. Hardy tied the game in the bottom of the second inning with his third home run of the season and the first since May 15 off the Angels’ Jered Weaver.
Hardy is 4-for-7 lifetime against Corey Kluber.
Update III: Ryan Raburn homered leading off the top of the fourth to give Cleveland a 2-1 lead.
Chen has allowed multiple home runs in only three of his 14 starts.
Update IV: Hardy’s sacrifice fly in the sixth tied the score 2-2 after Paredes singled and Chris Parmelee doubled. Paredes has two hits to raise his average to .316.
Ryan Flaherty followed with a bloop single into center field, his second hit of the night, to give the Orioles a 3-2 lead. He’s batting .260.
Chen allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings, with two walks, five strikeouts and two home runs. He threw 106 pitches, 72 for strikes.
This is the fifth time this season and third this month that a pitcher has struck out at least 10 Orioles.
Update V: Carlos Santana homered off Darren O’Day with one out in the eighth to tie the score 3-3.
Before tonight, O’Day had allowed two earned runs in his last 27 outings spanning 25 2/3 innings since April 13.
Update VI: Marc Rzepczynski faced three batters and allowed Paredes’ leadoff double, Chris Davis’ RBI single and Parmelee’s single. On three pitches.
We’re no longer tied.
Paredes is batting .319.
Update VII: The Orioles moved a season-high five games above .500 with a 4-3 win over the Indians before 31,112 at Camden Yards.
Zach Britton recorded his 22nd save and 18th in a row, as the Orioles improved to 39-34. They’ve won 16 of their last 21 games.
The Orioles are 11-10 in one-run games.