After throwing 2 1/3 scoreless innings this weekend, right-hander Josh Stinson was optioned back to Triple-A Norfolk following Sunday’s game. Stinson knew his stint in Baltimore might be short, but said he wanted to make an impression on Showalter -- in part to facilitate a call-up when rosters expand in September.
“I wanted to go out and show Buck that he can put me in a situation and I can go out there and execute my pitches,” said Stinson, who allowed two hits and a walk while striking out one in two games against the Colorado Rockies. “I think every opportunity you get here, you have to take it and run with it.”
Stinson had made one other appearance with the Orioles this season -- taking the loss in a start against the Toronto Blue Jays in April.
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The Orioles are expected to add a hitter Monday to supplement a bench that was down to just two healthy players Sunday.
The most likely call-up is infielder Danny Valencia, who was demoted to Triple-A Norfolk on Aug. 8 when Brian Roberts came off paternity leave. Valencia did not start in the Tides’ past two games, including Sunday night, but he was considered healthy.
Valencia, who was 6-for-22 with a homer in his last five games with the Tides, has hit .216 with five homers in 74 at-bats with the Orioles this year. Betemit also would be an option, if he’s deemed ready.
J.J. Hardy sits again
Shortstop J.J. Hardy didn’t play for a second consecutive game, but said Sunday that his back feels “100 percent better” than it did Saturday when he was scratched from the lineup with back spasms.
Hardy said he felt some stiffness while jogging on the field Sunday, but he felt no discomfort after taking 20 to 25 swings. He could have played, but Showalter wanted to give him one more day of rest. The manager said he expected Hardy to start Monday.
Hardy had played all but one game this season -- a regularly scheduled off day last homestand -- before Saturday.
“Really tough. Coming into the season I wanted to play 162,” Hardy said. “I’ve learned with my body knowing what it can do and what it can’t do. And I don’t want this to turn into something to where I have to miss a week or two weeks, and that’s kind of what happened in 2007.”
Hammel could throw from mound Friday
Orioles right-hander Jason Hammel, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since July 29 with a flexor mass strain in his right forearm, is scheduled to throw on flat ground Monday and Wednesday with the goal to be pitching off a mound by Friday, Showalter said.
Hammel likely will need two rehab starts before he’s ready to return to the majors. Even with the minor league teams’ seasons winding up, Showalter said he’s confident Hammel will find somewhere to pitch.
“We can always get a game. It depends on how you define a game. We have instructional league,” Showalter said. “I’m real hopeful that we have some teams in the playoffs. … We can do it [put together rehab games]. It’ll just be to a different degree.”
Around the horn
Chris Davis’ homer Sunday was his major league-leading 45th of the season. He is one behind Jim Gentile (1961) for third on the franchise’s single-season homer list. ... Adam Jones’ third-inning homer secured his third consecutive 25-homer season. The only other outfielder in club history to have at least three 25-homer seasons is Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, who had five. Jones joins six other Orioles with at least three 25-homer seasons: Lee May (3); Rafael Palmeiro (4); Boog Powell and Robinson (5); Cal Ripken Jr. (8); and Eddie Murray (10). ... Alexi Casilla’s second-inning RBI single on Sunday was his first hit since July 22 and first RBI since July 6. ... The University of Maryland football team, including head coach Randy Edsall, took a day off from meetings and practice Sunday to attend the game. Standout sophomore wide receiver Stefon Diggs threw out the first pitch. ... Right-hander Francisco Rodriguez (strained right groin) was available Sunday after leaving Friday’s game due to injury. He did not pitch.
Baltimore Sun reporter Daniel Gallen contributed to this article.