MINNEAPOLIS -- Orioles rookie T.J. McFarland, who has transitioned nicely from a starter in the minors to a long reliever in the majors, had never pitched in back-to-back games in his professional career.
That changed this week when he pitched a scoreless inning Thursday at Camden Yards against the Kansas City Royals and then 2 2/3 scoreless innings against the Twins at Target Field on Friday.
"He's kind of done it before, but not in a game," manager Buck Showalter said. "[Pitching coach Rick Adair] and them, they do a good job of keeping the ball in his hands. They've had simulated situations down in the bullpen during the day, but there's no substitute for pitching in a game. I'm impressed with how he's handled it."
It's just another test for the 23-year-old lefty who has a 2.76 ERA in eight appearances (16 1/3 innings) as a big leaguer. McFarland, whom the Orioles selected in December's Rule 5 draft from the Cleveland Indians organization, had started 107 of his 116 pro appearances before this year.
"I have every reason to believe he's going to tell us he's ready to pitch [Saturday]," Showalter joked before the game. "I really like the way he's fit in with his teammates, too. You can tell they really like … the way he's handled himself here."