Manager Buck Showalter said right-hander Miguel Gonzalez remains in the Orioles rotation, even after another difficult outing Thursday against the Minnesota Twins.
"He's our best option," Showalter said. "I don't think twice about it."
Gonzalez was tagged for seven runs in five innings Thursday, pushing his ERA up to 4.73 on the season. He has failed to pitch beyond 5 1/3 innings in nine of his past 12 starts and has given up four or more runs in half of those outings.
Showalter said Gonzalez's troubles are twofold: He has had difficulty locating his pitches, and when he does get ahead in counts, he's not finishing batters off.
"It's very easy to figure how it gets to that point," he said. "It's just how you get out of it."
It's not for lack of work or preparation, Showalter said. Gonzalez, who is 0-3 with a 7.82 ERA in his past five starts, was back at Camden Yards on Friday afternoon working with pitching coach Dave Wallace.
"They are trying to figure it out," Showalter said.
Currently, the organization's two most obvious rotation replacements are on the disabled list: Tyler Wilson with an oblique injury and Mike Wright with a calf strain.
But Showalter said their health situations don't factor into his decision. Even if Wright and Wilson were healthy, Gonzalez wouldn't be bounced from the rotation.
"No, I don't think so," Showalter said. "It doesn't behoove or help anybody to have some manager commenting on that, no."
Before this year, the 31-year-old Gonzalez had posted a 30-21 record and 3.45 ERA in parts of three seasons with the Orioles.
Pearce to rehab in Bowie this weekend
After going 2-for-7 for the Gulf Coast League Orioles, including 1-for-3 with a walk Friday, infielder-outfielder Steve Pearce boarded a plane for Baltimore on Friday night.
Pearce, who has been on the disabled list since July 22 with a left oblique strain, is expected to play for Double-A Bowie on Saturday and likely Sunday. Since he was in the outfield while rehabbing in Florida, he'll likely start at first base for the Baysox on Saturday, Showalter said.
It's possible Pearce, who hit .227 in 58 games before the injury, could rejoin the Orioles' 25-man roster Monday in Kansas City.
"It's in play. I'm going to see how [Saturday] goes and see how Sunday goes," Showalter said. "[The Baysox] start a half-hour later than we do, so in order to go with us [on the plane], he'd probably have to come out of that game on Sunday."
Roe pain-free, will throw a bullpen Sunday
Orioles reliever Chaz Roe, who has been on the DL with right shoulder tendinitis since Aug. 10, threw from flat ground again Friday and said he was pain-free. He will pitch from a mound in a bullpen session Sunday. If that goes well, he'll likely face live hitters or throw another bullpen Tuesday.
"I feel great, no pain at all," said Roe, who is 2-2 with a 3.12 ERA in 28 games with the Orioles. "The ball is coming out clean. It feels great and I'm ready to get back out there."
Showalter said Roe likely will have to go on a brief minor league rehabilitation assignment and should be able to join the big league club by early September.
Machado endorsing newly designed ballcaps Saturday
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will be unveiling two Orioles-themed New Era ballcaps Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. at the sports apparel store, DTLR, at the Gallery at Harborplace.
Machado will be signing the limited-edition caps, which retail at $29.99, but will not be signing other Orioles memorabilia.
In spring training, Machado and his wife, Yainee, designed the caps, which feature a printed "Baltimore" on one and an old-style Oriole bird merged with the Maryland flag on the other.
"It's cool. I have always seen people design hats, so it's kind of interesting for me to design my own personal look, kind of my way of seeing how hats should be," Machado said. "I haven't worn them yet. I'm still waiting for everybody to get them so I can start rocking them as well."
He said his wife did much of the design work, but he said he helped — it's a way he can show his personality and creativity away from the diamond.
"You let people know you are human," he said. "At the end of the day, we're not just baseball players, we have a life and we like different things."
Birthday party for teen with rare disease
Before Saturday's game a birthday party/fundraiser and silent auction will be held to commemorate the 13th birthday of Dillon Papier, a Frederick teen who suffers from Niemann-Pick Type C, a rare and fatal metabolic disease. This is the fifth annual event at Camden Yards for Dillon, who is a big baseball fan. Proceeds from the event go toward Niemann-Pick research.
Around the horn
Infielder Ryan Flaherty's eighth-inning single Thursday broke an 0-for-34 skid. It was the third-longest hitless streak for position players in modern Orioles franchise history, according to baseball historian Dave Smith of retrosheet.org. Shortstop Willy Miranda holds the record for Orioles position players with 41 hitless at-bats in 1956 and catcher Gus Triandos is second with 35 in 1962. … Showalter, pitcher Kevin Gausman and second baseman Jonathan Schoop sent congratulations and wished good luck via video to the Red Land Little League team that made it to the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa. Red Land is located in northern York County, Pa., about 70 miles north of Baltimore. Schoop played for Curacao in the 2003 and 2004 Little League World Series. … Steve Clevenger will be signing autographs Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. at Modell's, 1959 East Joppa Road in the Perring Plaza Shopping Center. … Heading into Friday night, the Orioles had lost all four games to the Twins this year, being outscored 32-10. ... The first 20,000 fans ages 15 and over at Saturday's game will receive an Orioles "trucker" hat.