Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Orioles notes: A call for arms after 17-inning game

BALTIMORE - Playing 17 innings might be exciting in the moment for both fans and those involved, but it also can have more than a mild effect on a 25-man roster.

The Baltimore Orioles were feeling that hangover Monday.

One day after using their entire bullpen and first baseman Chris Davis to pitch 12 2-3 innings of a 9-6 win over the Boston Red Sox, the Orioles needed some reinforcements, and called up right-handers Jason Berken and Stu Pomeranz from Class AAA Norfolk.

To make room, Baltimore optioned right-hander Tommy Hunter and catcher Ronny Paulino to the Tides. Left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada, who is undergoing Tommy John surgery Friday, was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to open space for Pomeranz on the 40-man roster.

"We sent some people out we'd rather not, but obviously we need some arms here and Jason and Stu were best-equipped to give us some innings," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "They're physically capable. We explored all the options and tried not to disrupt too much."

Pomeranz, 27, is in the big leagues for the first time in his career. The former St. Louis Cardinals second-rounder has appeared in eight games with Class AA Bowie (five) and Class AAA Norfolk (three) this season. He allowed two unearned runs and struck out 32 while walking two in 19 innings over those eight contests.

Pomeranz pitched to a 1.08 ERA in eight spring training games this year after signing as a minor-league free agent on Feb. 2. He has come a long way from being out of baseball because of alcoholism in 2008, playing independent ball in 2009 and getting into just two minor-league games last season.

Pomeranz said his off-field problems are behind him.

"It's gone. I have been sober 15 months, I don't drink, I don't do anything," he said. "I'm all about baseball right now."

Pomeranz said he didn't envision reaching the majors so soon after signing.

"I had no idea. I was just going to play wherever they sent me and do the best I could," he said. "That's all that's in my hands, you know. I'm really excited."

Berken, 28, returns to the Orioles for the second time this season, but he didn't pitch during his first stint. He has posted a 1.23 ERA in five starts with the Tides, and is considered an option to start in Hunter's place Friday.

Showalter said if not for the eight extra innings Sunday, Hunter wouldn't likely have been demoted. The 25-year-old is 2-1 with a 5.00 ERA through six starts. However, he has a 6.21 ERA since allowing no earned runs in seven innings his first start this season.

"If you're not throwing well, you get sent down," Hunter said. "I haven't been throwing well and they needed more arms here."

Paulino, 31, had batted .300 with three RBIs in nine games with the Orioles, serving as Matt Wieters' backup catcher. Baltimore added a third catcher when it called up Luis Exposito Friday, and decided to stick with him as the backup for now. Exposito started Monday.

"Ronny, I want to get him catching for a period of time where he's getting back there every day. Keep in mind how short his spring training was," Showalter said. "Lui's been doing well there and it gives us an opportunity to look at him."

DAVIS DAY 2: One day after pitching two innings to win the Orioles' 17-inning marathon, infielder Chris Davis found himself surrounded by television cameras and microphones the second he walked into the clubhouse Monday.

Davis said he received about 60 texts from people after the game, and he enjoyed the experience, pitching for the first time since junior college. He struck out two in two scoreless innings, fanning Adrian Gonzalez on a split-finger fastball.

But would he want a chance to pitch again?

"No shot. It was a lot of fun. In all honesty, I don't ever want to do that again," Davis said.

SUNDAY LEFTOVERS: The fun part of Sunday's win over the Red Sox was all the firsts and historic happenings at Fenway Park.

It was the first time since Oct. 4, 1925 that both teams used position players as pitchers in the same game. Davis became the first American League position player to earn a win since Rocky Colavito on Aug. 25, 1968. Davis was the first Orioles position player to pitch since Manny Alexander in 1996.

There were 570 pitches thrown in a contest that lasted 6 hours, 11 minutes - eight minutes shy of the franchise record. Orioles relievers struck out 16.