"When the hitter thinks he's slowed down, then Freddy speeds him back up," Griffin said. "He still moves the ball in and out, up and down. He threw strikes down here, a ton of strikes down here with a lot of different stuff. What was impressive down here was that he threw his secondary pitches for strikes when he was behind in the count, which wasn't very often."

Garcia, who is in line to make his next start on Friday in Minnesota, could start Thursday's home game against Kansas City if Miguel Gonzalez's thumb blister hasn't healed. If he does start Thursday, it would be on regular rest because of Monday's off day.

Whether Garcia can sustain Saturday's success remains to be seen.

Last season with the Yankees, he split time between the rotation and the bullpen. He had a 5.93 ERA in 17 starts and was 2-0 with a 2.42 ERA in 13 relief appearances. In his first start of the season in 2012, Garcia threw five wild pitches — the fourth most in one game since 1918 — against the Orioles in Baltimore, but still kept New York in the game and the Yankees won in 12 innings.

That's another reason Garcia could be a good fit for the Orioles, a team that seems to step up in tight games. If he can give the Orioles a chance to win consistently — whether it's pretty or not — he could be a suitable fifth starter. Garcia is also open to pitching in relief, if needed, but the Orioles' greater need will likely remain as a starter.

As important, but not as evident, is how the Orioles have raved about Garcia's work ethic.

The day after pitching against the Angels, he was running the steps through the Angel Stadium seating bowl before the gates opened. In Norfolk, Griffin said Garcia was a perfect example of hard work. He said he would even ask for extra balls hit to him in the outfield before games.

"Freddy still has the burning desire and that's obvious," Griffin said. "He was willing to come down to Triple-A and wait for that opening. His attitude was just incredible. What a joy to work with. I have nothing but great things to say about him. A 14-year veteran, it didn't matter here to Freddy. Freddy just fit in."

Around the horn: Right-hander Zach Clark, who made his major league debut Wednesday in relief on the road against the Seattle Mariners and was designated for assignment Saturday, cleared waivers Monday afternoon and was outrighted to Double-A Bowie. He will work on throwing a knuckleball. "Zach is an experienced capable pitcher and has always had a good knuckleball, which he will now throw in competition," Duquette said.

eencina@baltsun.com

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Baltimore Sun reporter Dan Connolly contributed to this article.