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Orioles trade Gonzalez to Rangers; make series of roster moves

The Orioles have traded left-handed reliever Michael Gonzalez to the Texas Rangers in exchange for a player to be named later.

It's expected that the Orioles will get a pitcher in return.

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Gonzalez, who was signed to a two-year, $12 million deal before the 2010 season to serve as the team's closer, will finish his Orioles' career with two saves.

The 33-year-old has been pitching real well lately, not allowing a run in his last 13 appearances, and surrendering five hits and one walk with 15 strikeouts over his last 12 1/3 innings. Left-handed hitters are batting just .211 against him this season.

Overall, Gonzalez is 2-2 with one save and a 4.27 ERA in 49 appearances this season. During an injury plagued 2010 season, Gonzalez went 1-3 with one save and a 4.01 ERA in 29 games.

To take Gonzalez's spot on the 25-man roster, the Orioles have recalled left-hander Zach Phillips from Triple-A Norfolk. Phillips, 24, who was acquired on July 19 from Texas in exchange for minor league infielder Nick Green and cash considerations, was 1-1 with one save and a 2.63 ERA in 14 games for the Tides.

The Orioles have also optioned left-handed reliever Mark Hendrickson to Triple-A Norfolk, and outrighted left-handed starter Mike Ballard to Double-A Bowie, and right-handed starter Mitch Atkins to Triple-A Norfolk.

Hendrickson, 37, has appeared in eight games for the Orioles this season, going 1-0 with a 5.73 ERA.

Ballard, 27, is 7-3 with a 3.56 ERA in 16 games (15 starts) for the Baysox.

Atkins, 25, has pitched for Class-A Frederick, Double-A Bowie, Triple-A Norfolk and the Orioles this season following an oblique injury in spring training. He is 3-7 with a 5.20 ERA (88.1IP, 51ER) in 16 starts for the Tides.

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