MINNEAPOLIS — Left-hander Troy Patton is still getting his bearings back in the Orioles bullpen.
Patton was activated from the restricted list between Thursday’s doubleheader games as he completed a 25-game suspension for a positive amphetamine test (Adderall).
He spent most of that time in extended spring training in Sarasota, Fla., before going on a brief rehabilitation stint at Triple-A Norfolk.
Patton told The Baltimore Sun in December that he took an Adderall pill four days before the 2013 season ended as a temporary fix to improve his focus. He was tested for banned substances the next day. It was his second failed test for an amphetamine. He failed a test in 2010 after also taking an Adderall tablet.
Having served the suspension, Patton said he’s learned from a lot from being away. He is looking forward to putting his absence in the past. But he realizes another failed test would mean an 80-game suspension.
“There’s a reason they have punishments like that,” Patton said before Friday's game in Minnesota, a 3-0 Orioles win. “It was no fun, and I don’t want to ever experience anything like that again, especially to a more severe suspension, which is what would happen next. It’s a good way to get me back in line and keep me there.”
Patton said Friday that the toughest part about being away from a tightly knit clubhouse and bullpen was his inability to follow the team consistently while in Florida.
“It was real tough for a lot of reasons, but the main reason was because I couldn’t watch the team,” Patton said. “I didn’t have MASN on my cable provider, so I could only see the ESPN games. I wasn’t able to keep up as much as I would have liked to. It was just Internet options. That was tough.
“You feel kind of pathetic texting people and being like, ‘Hey, how’s it going up there?’ I kind of gave everyone their distance and just tried to transition seamlessly into the bullpen.”
Patton retired one of the three batters he faced in his debut in the second game of Thursday’s doubleheader, allowing one earned run on two hits.
Other items of note from Friday night’s game:
-- With his first-inning single, right fielder Nick Markakis passed Al Bumbry for 13th place on the Orioles’ all-time hit list with 1,404. In 14 game against the Twins since the 2012 season, Markakis is hitting .500 (28-for-56) with seven extra-base hits and eight RBIs.
-- Matt Wieters went 2-for-3, giving him multiple hits in six of his past seven games. He’s hitting .419 (13-for-31) with three doubles, two homers and eight RBIs in that span.
-- After appearing in both games of Thursday’s doubleheader, Tommy Hunter threw 26 pitches in the ninth to record his eighth save. He’s thrown 40 pitches over a span of 30 hours, and with a day game this afternoon, Showalter likely will stay away from him today.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun