Right-hander Alec Asher, who lasted just two innings Sunday in his first start since replacing Ubaldo Jiménez in the Orioles starting rotation, will receive another start Friday night against the Boston Red Sox, the team announced before Tuesday night's game.
But manager Buck Showalter said after the Orioles' 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees that Asher could be needed out to provide bullpen length after relievers had to account for 6 1/3 innings following right-hander Chris Tillman's early exit.
"Just felt like he needed to go out there again," Showalter said. "I'll tell you one thing that may change now -- I'm hoping to talk to [executive vice president] Dan [Duquette] here shortly -- if we have to make a pitching move tomorrow. ... Keep in mind how many pitches Ubaldo threw compared to Asher about who would be able to give some relief innings with two days off, obviously not Ubaldo."
Jiménez threw 92 pitches on Sunday, accounting for six innings in relief of Asher, so he wouldn't be available in long relief Wednesday. Asher threw 54 pitches.
"Let's kind of see what we're going to do," Showalter said. "That's the only thing that may affect it. I just felt like he deserved another chance."
After receiving a starting assignment for Sunday's series finale in Houston, Asher allowed six runs over two innings — all of those runs coming in a 42-pitch second inning — and was pulled in favor of Jiménez to open the bottom of the third inning.
Jiménez allowed two runs in the third — both after the inning was extended following an overturned third out call — but held the Astros scoreless over the next five innings.
Jiménez will continue to work as a long reliever.
One of Asher's two spot starts earlier this season came against the Red Sox, a quality start May 2 at Fenway Park in which he allowed three runs over six innings with four strikeouts and one walk.
Asher had quality starts in both of his starts before Sunday, posting a combined 2.92 ERA, but he also was valuable in the bullpen, recording a 1.62 ERA over 16 2/3 innings in various relief roles.