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Orioles pregame: Tommy Hunter returns to make spot start tonight

By Eduardo A. Encina

The Baltimore Sun

4:17 PM EDT, July 18, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS

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The Orioles have dropped the first two games of their four-game series against the Twins here in Minnesota, and now the team will turn to right-hander Tommy Hunter to end the slide.

Hunter has been recalled from Triple-A Norfolk, the team announced today. The Orioles will need to send someone down in a corresponding move yet to be announced.

Hunter was 3-4 with a 6.11 ERA in 15 games (13 starts) with the Orioles this season. He's been sent to Norfolk twice before and is 2-1 with a 4.66 ERA there in three Triple-A starts. He's coming off a 7 1/3-inning outing on Friday, his longest outing of the season at either the major or minor league level. He allowed four runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts and one walk.

Hunter said he's been doing some throwing off flat ground with Norfolk pitching coach Mike Griffin to keep his delivery consistent. Orioles pitching development coordinator Rick Peterson has also added his "two cents" to help.

"And at this point in the season, I’m going to listen to anyone who is trying to help," Hunter said. "He was there, trying to help me get right. Anyone willing to help, you better lend an ear or two. I’m going to listen if they think they can help."

As for Hunter, he said he's confident he will be able to start turning a disappointing season around.

"Keep plugging away," Hunter said. "[It's] going to change. It’s got to. That’s why you have career numbers for a reason. It evens out right? Let’s even this [stuff] out."

As for the lineup, Taylor Teagarden will get another start at catcher tonight, allowing Matt Wieters to DH. The right-handed Steve Tolleson is starting at second facing Twins left-handed starter Francisco Liriano, who struck out 15 over eight innings in his last start, but still suffered a loss to the A's.  

Here is the Orioles' lineup tonight:

Nick Markakis RF
J.J. Hardy  SS
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters DH
Mark Reynolds 1B
Steve Pearce LF
Wilson Betemit 3B
Taylor Teagarden C
Steve Tolleson 2B
Tommy Hunter RHP