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Postponement of Blue Jays game alters Orioles' pitching plans for week

Baltimore OriolesBaseballZach BrittonMiguel GonzalezToronto Blue JaysChicago White Sox

The Orioles suffered their second rainout of the season Sunday, and this one will further jam a frenetic final two weeks of the season.

It will also re-arrange an already shuffled rotation.

Lefty Wei-Yin Chen, who was given extra rest and hadn’t pitched since Aug. 19 in Detroit, will start Monday at home against the Chicago White Sox, as scheduled.

That means Chris Tillman, who was supposed to start Sunday’s series finale against the Toronto Blue Jays, will now pitch Tuesday against the White Sox.

Tuesday’s starter was supposed to be Miguel Gonzalez, who last pitched Monday in Texas. He has not been listed to start any upcoming games, so he may pitch out of the bullpen for now.

Wednesday’s and Thursday’s starters have been listed as “to be announced” for several days. And they’ll remain that way at this time.

The assumption is that lefty Joe Saunders, who was acquired from Arizona on Sunday for reliever Matt Lindstrom and a player to be named, will start one of those games, perhaps Wednesday.

The other start could go to Gonzalez, Zach Britton, who pitched Friday against Toronto, or Steve Johnson, who pitched Saturday. Britton is the most likely candidate since Johnson and Gonzalez have relieved this season.

The Orioles will need to make room for Saunders on the 25-man roster, and Johnson or Britton could be returned to Triple-A. But the more likely move would be sending Jake Arrieta back to Norfolk to make his scheduled start for the Tides on Tuesday.

Arrieta was recalled Sunday as potential bullpen help because the Orioles were a reliever short with the trade of Lindstrom.

If Arrieta — or Johnson or Britton — is sent back down, he will not be able to return to the Orioles until Norfolk’s season ends Sept. 3, unless there is an injury. By then, big league rosters can be expanded to 40.

Game added Sept. 24; Adds to frenzied final two weeks

Sunday’s postponed game with the Blue Jays will be played as the first game of a single-admission doubleheader Sept. 24 at 4:05 p.m. Gates will open at 3 p.m. and the second game of the doubleheader will not start before 7:05 p.m.

Tickets from Sunday can be redeemed for seats of equal value for the Sept. 24 doubleheader or for any other non-prime game — New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox games are considered prime — during the remainder of the 2012 season.

They can be exchanged at the stadium or by sending the tickets back, via certified mail, to the Camden Yards box office by Sept. 26.

Tickets for the Sept. 24th game are now good for both ends of the doubleheader as well.

Because the Blue Jays are coming back into Baltimore for one final series this season — Sept. 24-26 — rescheduling Sunday’s game wasn’t difficult.

But it now sets up an even tougher end to the Orioles’ season. Starting Sept. 21, the Orioles have just one off day, Sept. 27, before the season finale in Tampa on Oct. 3.

With the additional contest on Sept. 24, the Orioles now play 13 games in 13 days to end the year.

The Orioles have just two off days from Sept. 11 until the end of the season — and that includes Sept. 20, when the Orioles will be flying from Seattle to Boston.

“The best-case scenario would be to take him after Frederick, but there’s a lot bridges to cross there, which means he’d be a six-inning pitcher,” Showalter said. “It’s one thing to get him back physically. It’s another thing if you don’t know what you’re getting back.”

Around the horn

Tillman is 1-2 with a 4.45 ERA in five starts against the Blue Jays. He is 1-1 with an 8.22 ERA in two starts against his new opponent this week, the White Sox. …. Infielder Wilson Betemit (wrist) was expected to fly into Baltimore on Sunday. He’ll take batting practice in Baltimore or Bowie on Monday and could go on a rehab assignment this week. … Dylan Bundy’s start at Double-A Bowie was also postponed by rain. … The Orioles were attempting to get the sweep against the Blue Jays on Sunday at Camden Yards for the second time this season. The last time they had won at least six in a row at home against Toronto was from Sept. 15, 1978 to May 2, 1981, when they won 19 straight versus the Jays at Memorial Stadium.

dan.connolly@baltsun.com
twitter.com/danconnollysun

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Baltimore OriolesBaseballZach BrittonMiguel GonzalezToronto Blue JaysChicago White Sox
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