PHOENIX — While the Orioles bullpen has received its share of work over the course of the club's eight-game road trip to San Diego, San Francisco and Arizona, manager Buck Showalter says he isn't worried about his relievers tiring.
Over the course of the season, Showalter had said one of his major priorities is to keep the bullpen healthy. He went into Tuesday night's game in Arizona saying two or three relievers were not available.
After allowing just one run over their first 14 innings on this road trip, Orioles relievers allowed five runs over 2 2/3 innings in Monday's 7-6 walkoff loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
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Chase Field, 401 East Jefferson Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA
"It ain't easy," Showalter said before Tuesday's game. "We're not going to go out and buy another [reliever]. These are our guys. We're going to keep them healthy, but it means that all of them are going to have to be contributing. We can't have one or two guys out there every night. We just can't do them like that. I've got two or three guys tonight who aren't going to pitch."
Darren O'Day, who allowed the game-ending to Adam Eaton in the ninth Monday, was pitching in his third straight day. Lefty Troy Patton, who yielded a go-ahead homer to Wil Nieves on Monday, had thrown 41 pitches over the past two nights and right-hander Tommy Hunter, who allowed two runs in the seventh Monday, had also pitched back-to-back nights.
"I think we're actually ahead of the curve," Showalter said in terms of managing his relevers' workloads. "What people don't really think about is that it's one up and one in. You watch some of the bullpens and guys are up two or three times, left-right, everything, and we take a lot of pride staying away from things that really put pitchers in jeopardy and risk."
Showalter said he wouldn't hesitate to call up an extra arm from the minors if Tuesday's starter Miguel Gonzalez had an early exit.
"Plans for that are already in place if we need them," Showalter said.
With the team playing in National League ballparks — where pitchers are hitting — on this road trip, pinch hitters have forced starters from the game.
"That's why I say a lot of times a lot of moves in the National League are made for you, where in the American League it's an entirely different challenge," Showalter said.
Hammel to throw Friday
Right-hander Jason Hammel, who received a cortisone injection in his right forearm this past Friday, will resume throwing before the Orioles' game at Camden Yards on Friday.
That's a good sign for the Orioles. It means that the injection is relieving the stiffness in Hammel's arm. Showalter said it is getting better every day.
Hammel went on the disabled list July 31 — retroactive to July 29, the day after his last start — and he's thrown just once since.
After reviewing Hammel's MRI, Dr. James Andrews recommended he have the cortison injection to help alleviate the pain.
While Hammel resuming throwing is a significant step, he'll still need to pitch from a mound and will likely need a minor league rehabilitation start before returning.
Around the horn
The Detroit Tigers purchased the contract of Orioles minor league catcher Ronny Paulino on Tuesday and assigned him to their Triple-A affiliate in Toledo. Paulino had been on the disabled list at Triple-A Norfolk. ... Matt Wieters' homer Monday tied him with the Atlanta Braves' Brian McCann for most by a catcher since the beginning of the 2011 season (61). ... Shortstop J.J. Hardy, a Tuscon native, extended his hitting streak to 10 games with his homer in the fifth inning Tuesday. It's his second longest streak of the season (13 games in May). ... Wilson Betemit went 2-for-4 in his second minor league rehab game at High-A Frederick. He is 3-for-9 in two games. Showalter said he didn't know how long Betemit would remain in Frederick but added that he believed it will likely depend on the minor league affiliates' home schedules. … Lew Ford was 2-for-3 with two doubles in his first three at-bats for Double-A Bowie in his first game back from sports hernia surgery. …Right-hander Josh Stinson allowed one run on three hits in a six-inning outing for Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday.