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Orioles pregame notes on Valencia, Wieters, the second base situation, Johnson, Garcia, Gonzalez

The Orioles will try to snap their season-high four-game losing streak and salvage the series finale against Tampa Bay today at Camden Yards.

This is the first time the Orioles have lost five straight games at home since June 28 to July 15, 2011 and it is the first time they’ve began a homestand with four straight losses wince April 9-14, 2010.

The Orioles haven’t been swept here at Camden Yards since the second series of the season last year, April 9-11 against the Yankees. Two of those losses came in extra innings.

Danny Valencia was recalled to take Ryan Flaherty’s 25-man roster spot. Valencia, who is a career .316 hitter against lefties, will start today against Rays left-hander Matt Moore.

Interestingly absent from the Orioles starting lineup today is catcher Matt Wieters, who is 6-for-11 with two homers in his career against Moore. Orioles manager Buck Showalter is giving backup catcher Chris Snyder the start today.

Yamaico Navarro will get his third straight start at second base as the team continues to get a extended look at him.

Showalter said the decision to send Flaherty down to the minors was in part to get him out of the spotlight and begin to get his bearings down in the minor leagues.

Asked why Alexi Casilla hasn’t seen more time at second, Showalter said he likes to have Casilla available as a pinch runner later in the game. And when Chris Dickerson is in the starting lineup, he prefers to keep Casilla on the bench because they are the team’s fastest two runners on the bench.

- Showalter said he won’t hesitate to pitch Jim Johnson today with a lead later in the game. Johnson has blown back-to-back save opportunities and allowed five runs in yesterday’s 10-6 loss to the Rays. “[If we got a one-run lead today, Jimmy will be pitching in it -- two, three, maybe four [runs].”

-  Showalter officially announced that Freddy Garcia will be Monday’s starter against the Yankees. We all expected that, but there could have been an outside chance that Jake Arrieta would make that start if he wasn’t used out of the pen. Garcia said today that he’s been doing all of his regular work in between starts to pitch Monday.

-  Miguel Gonzalez said he was told yesterday that he will fill Tuesday’s rotation void. His blister looks healed.

-  Down at Sarasota, Brian Roberts (hamstring surgery) is scheduled to get his surgery stitches taken out on Monday. Catcher Taylor Teagarden had the splint on his left thumb removed and is scheduled to begin a hitting program. Wilson Betemit (pcl tear) is continuing to jog in the pool at part of his rehab.

 

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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