About four hours after walking into Rogers Centre on Saturday, Mychal Givens found himself warming up in the Orioles bullpen in the eighth inning of a tie game.
When the Orioles needed an additional relief arm, they selected the contract of Givens — the club's 2009 second-round draft pick — to make the jump from Double-A Bowie to the major leagues.
Because right-hander Tyler Wilson pitched 5 2/3 innings in relief Friday night, the Orioles needed an extra bullpen arm. Givens, who hadn't pitched since Wednesday, was plucked to join the Orioles in Toronto.
"It was a shock," Givens said. "But at the same time, I was just worried about day by day, grinding in the minor leagues."
Along with adding Givens, the Orioles optioned Wilson and right-hander Mike Wright to Triple-A Norfolk — they needed to open space on the 25-man roster for Kevin Gausman to come off the disabled list to start Saturday. They also transferred Rule 5 pick Jason Garcia to the 60-day DL to make 40-man roster space for Givens.
"Butterflies and the emotion of being here, it kind of hit me when I got here," Givens said. "Everyone asked me back home and I said it didn't hit me until I walked in and met all the guys again, like I did in spring training. It's a good feeling."
Givens, who arrived at Rogers Centre just more than an hour before the first pitch of Saturday's 5-3 win, briefly warmed up as Darren O'Day worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth. But once the Orioles took the lead in the ninth, it became a save situation for closer Zach Britton.
Givens, who was drafted to play shortstop but converted to a pitcher following the 2012 season, went 3-1 with a 1.60 ERA and 12 saves for Bowie, allowing just 28 hits over 39 1/3 innings with 54 strikeouts and 11 walks. He spent most of the season as multi-inning back-of-the-bullpen arm for the Baysox — 17 of his 23 outings were longer than one inning. He began working multiple innings earlier in games this month.
"It helped a lot," Givens said. "They told me a few outings before, in the office, they said, 'We are going to put you in the middle of the game to get you used to it.' It helped out and I had a good feel for it."
The 25-year-old Givens throws in the mid 90s from a non-traditional arm slot that's slightly lower than three-quarters. He complements it with a slider and changeup to become a valuable multiple-inning reliever with a power arm.
"[Givens] was our best option," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "I've said all along we have a 36-man pitching staff [including Triple-A and Double-A] and we talk about out-opportunity-ing people. It doesn't matter if you're on the roster or off the roster if you're the best guy available. And let's face it — sometimes it's who's fresh and who's available. He's had two days off and he's been throwing multiple innings. … It fit the best. … Mike eventually was going to be here. Whether he's pitching in Double-A or Triple-A was really not a factor."
Showalter has been one of Givens' biggest supporters, adding that his tools give him tremendous upside, making it worthwhile to bring him up now.
"We saw him three or four situations in the spring where we felt he could handle it," Showalter said. "He's a guy who has a big upside. … His stuff can play up here and fits if he'll trust it and throw it over. He's got a breaking ball, a changeup and some things to defend himself against left-handed hitters, kind of like Darren [O'Day]."
Jones at DH again
Adam Jones was back in the Orioles lineup Saturday as the team's designated hitter, receiving a fifth consecutive game off from playing center field to give his ailing right shoulder another day of rest.
Jones was 0-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and two strikeouts.
"I'm not going to push the arm thing, going to give him as much time as possible, see how he feels from day to day," Showalter said before the game. "It's a quick turnaround for him. I can't imagine that he'd be markedly better today. I didn't have much conversation with him because I know what he's going to say, 'I'll do whatever the team needs.'"
Nolan Reimold made his first major league start in center field in favor of left-handed-hitting David Lough against Blue Jays left-hander Mark Buehrle. Reimold's last start in center came on May 31, 2008 while playing for Double-A Bowie.
"Nolan has the skill set to play there and if not him, then who?" Showalter said. "Nolan will do as well as he can do. We don't have Adam and David will be a good piece off the bench, too."
Bundy’s shoulder still has inflammation
The Orioles didn’t receive good news on top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy, who still has inflammation in his right shoulder after a follow-up MRA test, an MRI with dye injected.
Bundy hasn’t pitched since May 21, and received a platelet-rich plasma injection last month.
“It wasn’t as positive as we thought it would be,” Showalter said. “We thought more of the inflammation would be gone right now. They’re going to look at it some more. … He’s just going to continue to be inactive throwing.”
Around the horn
The Orioles agreed to terms with their seventh-round pick, West Memphis (Ark.) right-hander Gray Fenter, pending a physical, according to an industry source. The Orioles were thrilled to draft Fenter, a Mississippi State commit, that late in the draft and signed him to a deal above slot, according to the source. Fenter signed for a $1 million, according to The Clarion-Ledger, more than $800,000 above the assigned slot. … With three hits Saturday, third baseman Manny Machado recorded his third straight multi-hit game and fourth in five games. … Left fielder Travis Snider had his second three-hit game of the season and first since Opening Day. … Right-hander Kevin Gausman's one strikeout Saturday was his fewest in a start since June 27, 2014, a span of 16 starts.