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Buck Showalter offers a little clarity to Orioles' starting rotation situation

By Daniel Gallen and Dan Connolly

The Baltimore Sun

6:30 PM EDT, August 4, 2013

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The Orioles traded for two starting pitchers in July, lost another starter to the disabled list and face five days off in the next three weeks.

Scheduling the rotation will be a challenge, and Orioles manager Buck Showalter and pitching coach Rick Adair have been working to try and assemble the puzzle.

“Rick and I were, the last couple days, mapping out things,” Showalter said. “The off days are good for the rest but, boy, they are tough on the pitching.”

After Monday’s day off, newly acquired right-hander Bud Norris will start Tuesday’s series opener in San Diego and Miguel Gonzalez will start Wednesday — although the Orioles had Gonzalez ready in the bullpen Sunday in case the game went deep into extra innings.

The club then has another day off Thursday before playing a three-game series in San Francisco and three more in Arizona. The rotation for those games is still up in the air.

“We’re going to have to play it kind of day by day,” Showalter aid. “See how things go with our bullpen.”

It’s possible the club could skip a starter’s turn, but it’s more likely the starters will get a few extra days of rest. Showalter also said that some starters could be used out of the bullpen, so the club doesn’t have to try to shuffle players back and forth from Triple-A Norfolk while the Orioles are on their eight-game trek out west.

“It seems like everything works off of how your starting pitching’s doing,” Showalter said. “You’re always a day or two from an off day to get back on your feet with the bullpen.”

Other notes

** Infielder Wilson Betemit (knee) will start at designated hitter Tuesday in the Gulf Coast League as he begins his rehab assignment.

** Second baseman Brian Roberts (paternity leave) is expected to return to the team Monday for the flight to San Diego.

Lineups

Mariners: Miller 4, Seager 5, Morales DH, Morse 9, Ibanez 7, Smoak 3, M. Saunders 8, Ryan 6, Blanco 2; J. Saunders 1.

Orioles: Markakis 9, Machado 5, Hones 8, Davis 3, Hardy 6, Pearce 7, Valencia DH, Teagarden 2, Casilla 4; Chen 1.