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Arrieta says his role doesn't matter as long as he can help Orioles

Right-hander Jake Arrieta spoke to the media Saturday for the first time since returning to the Orioles from Triple-A Norfolk.

Arrieta, who was called up Friday to bolster a thin bullpen after the Orioles’ 13-inning win on Thursday night, has struggled this year in appearances split between the Orioles and Triple-A.

“I just want to have success again in the big leagues,” Arrieta said. “If that’s as a starter or as a reliever, it doesn’t matter to me. I just want to get back into throwing the ball well and contributing any way to this team winning ballgames. It’s been frustrating to see all the success that everyone’s having here and not being a bigger part of it.”

The Orioles’ 2012 Opening Day starter was 1-1 with a 6.63 ERA in four starts this season before being sent down to Triple-A on April 22. The Orioles brought him back May 18-23 as another bullpen arm, but he didn’t appear in a game. He’s 3-3 with a 5.50 ERA in seven games (six starts) for Norfolk this season.

Arrieta said he hasn’t had an “in-depth conversation” with the Orioles about converting full-time to the bullpen, but he said he’s open to it depending on the circumstances of the season. Entering Saturday’s game with the Boston Red Sox, the Orioles are 1 1/2 games out of first place.

“If there’s a need there, these guys are in here grinding day in and day out to try and stack up as many as wins as we possibly can,” Arrieta said. “Our division is extremely close at this point in the season, and I don’t foresee it being any different throughout the rest of the way.”

** Taylor Teagarden gets the start at catcher today, spelling Matt Wieters, who will start at designated hitter. Wieters caught all 13 innings of Thursday night’s game and all nine innings Friday. Teagarden, who missed time earlier this season with a thumb injury, has played in seven games for the Orioles this season and is 0-for-20 with eight strikeouts.

** Lefty Wei-Yin Chen’s throwing session on a full mound earlier Saturday went well, manager Buck Showalter said. Showalter had originally talked about Chen (oblique) joining the team on the road in Detroit, but he will stay in Sarasota, Fla.

** Second baseman Brian Roberts (hamstring) will travel with the team on the upcoming road trip to Detroit and Toronto before beginning his rehab assignment, Showalter said.

** Outfielder Nolan Reimold (hamstring) is still scheduled to begin his rehab assignment Tuesday at Double-A Bowie. Showalter said he expected Reimold to finish his assignment before Roberts began his.

** Infielder-designated hitter Wilson Betemit is still taking ground balls in Sarasota in his rehab from a knee injury.

** Right-hander Jason Hammel is away from the team again Saturday as he recovers from an illness. Showalter said he could be back with the team Sunday, and the team is still planning on Hammel making his scheduled Monday start.

Tonight’s lineups:

Red Sox: Ellsbury 8, Victorino 9, Pedroia 4, Ortiz DH, Carp 3, Gomes 7, Saltalamacchia 2, Drew 6, Iglesias 5; Lackey 1

Orioles: McLouth 7, Machado 5, Markakis 9, Jones 8, Davis 3, Wieters DH, Hardy 6, Flaherty 4, Teagarden 2; Garcia 1

dgallen@baltsun.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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