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Orioles notebook: Christian Walker's stay with Orioles short but sweet

Orioles first baseman Christian Walker (18) gets a pie in the face from Adam Jones after a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Camden Yards. The Orioles defeated the Jays 6-1.
Orioles first baseman Christian Walker (18) gets a pie in the face from Adam Jones after a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Camden Yards. The Orioles defeated the Jays 6-1. (Joy R. Absalon / USA Today Sports)

MINNEAPOLIS — The club optioned Gausman to start his 10-day mandatory minor league clock, but also wanted to take advantage of adding an extra player for Wednesday's 5-3 loss to the Twins on Wednesday afternoon.

The team recalled first baseman Christian Walker from Triple-A before the game. He was in the starting lineup, batting fifth as the team's designated hitter, but the Orioles sent him back to Norfolk after Wednesday's game because the team must activate outfielder Nolan Reimold from the three-day paternity list by Thursday.

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"It's never a surprise, it's always a goal," Walker said when asked if he was surprised to get a call-up. "That's always the motivation for us in Triple-A. You try to stay positive all the time regardless of what's happening on the field and fortunately some good things have happened."

Walker has hit left-handed pitching well at Triple-A, posting a .310/.351/.494 slash line in 94 plate appearances against lefties, so he was a good fit to start against Twins left-hander Tommy Milone. Walker was 1-for-2 with a walk against Milone.

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"We just wouldn't be very smart if we didn't get a player for the day," Showalter said. "Every day counts and he's been swinging the bat pretty well down there. He's done pretty well against left-handed pitching. We'll see. It's a little different left-handed pitcher than he's been facing, but it's good for him, good for us."

Over his past 15 games in the minors, Walker is hitting .333/.373/.540 with four doubles, three homers and seven RBIs. On the season, he is hitting .267/.322/.384 with 21 doubles, five homers and 28 RBIs with the Tides.

"I'm building some confidence," Walker said. "I think that's the most important thing. The mental part of it is key. Day to day, just building confidence and building off the previous day is what I need to do."

Even though Walker's stay was short, Showalter said it was important to reward Walker for his play.

"Somebody might say, 'Why are you bringing a guy for just one game?' But they matter, so we'll see," Showalter said. "I think it's good for Christian, too. I think it gives him a little juice, too. I think those guys get caught up in their season thinking they're never going to get back. … I think it's good to kind of throw them a bone, but we're also doing this because it gives us a better chance to win today's game."

Decision looming on Wesley Wright

Another difficult roster decision looms just before the All-Star break, when left-hander Wesley Wright's minor league rehabilitation window is scheduled to expire.

Wright, who has been on the DL since April 11 with a left trapezius strain, began a rehab assignment in mid-June and his assignment had been extended through Sunday. After that, the Orioles must figure out how to add Wright to the big league roster.

Wright hasn't pitched particularly well with the Tides, posting a 6.23 ERA in eight relief outings. He has allowed earned runs in four of his eight outings overall, but hasn't given up an earned run in four of his last five appearances.

"He's doing well physically," Showalter said. "He's had some good outings and some that haven't been quite as good as you'd hope for, but he's getting there."

Around the horn

Sixteen of third baseman Manny Machado's 19 homers this season have been off right-handers. Machado has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 road games, hitting .385 (20-for-52) in that span. … Right fielder Chris Davis had his third three-hit game of the season and has hit safely in 16 of his last 18 games, batting .313 (21-for-67) over that stretch. … Left fielder Steve Pearce's fourth-inning triple Wednesday was the fifth of his career and his first since Aug. 11, 2012 with the Houston Astros.

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