Orioles notes: Closer Zach Britton expects to be activated Tuesday; Asher ready for start Tuesday

Orioles closer Zach Britton said it hasn't been fun watching the team continue on without him as he dealt with a left forearm strain for the past two weeks. But with his second rehabilitation outing now completed, Britton said he's feeling where he needs to be for a likely activation Tuesday.

"I feel like I'm ready to go," Britton said. "Yesterday was good, a lot better than the first one. I think the first day, I had a little hesitation throwing the balls — everything was kind of up. I told [manager] Buck [Showalter] I felt a little rusty and yesterday, I felt good. I felt where I should be in order to be activated, so I'm looking forward to getting back on the field with the team. … I think with pitch-quality-wise, I think if you look at the quality of pitches, not really the results, I've felt like where I needed to be in order to get activated."


Britton worked a scoreless inning Sunday for Double-A Bowie, two days after recording two outs and allowing a run on a hit and two walks Friday for the Baysox. While nothing has been made official about his activation, he said he expected it to be Tuesday, pending a conversation with Showalter.

Asher ready despite layoff: Right-hander Alec Asher has appeared in just two games since making his Orioles debut with a quality start April 15, pitching one inning April 23 and 26. That's not stopping him from being ready to face Boston on Tuesday, he said.

"I'm happy to be with the club and winning games, and I'll do whatever they want me to do, as long as I stay here," Asher said. "I've thrown a couple extra bullpens on the side to stay fresh, but I'm ready to go."

Asher allowed a run on three hits in 6 1/3 innings April 15 against the Blue Jays and has allowed another earned run since. But with so many of the other candidates, including Jayson Aquino, used in relief recently, the nod went to Asher.

Wright back: Right-hander Mike Wright, who went from front-runner to replace Chris Tillman in the rotation early in spring training to minor league camp in a matter of weeks, was off to a rocky start in Triple-A Norfolk but had steadied himself somewhat of late and earned a call-up to the Orioles on Monday.

He last pitched Thursday, allowing two earned runs on seven hits with four walks and three strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings to lower his ERA to 5.79 over his first five starts.

"I found out last night, and when [Norfolk manager Ron Johnson] called me, I was just as excited as my debut," Wright said. "I felt like I was down in Norfolk for two months. It's nice to be back up here, and it's good that we're on top already and the team is really rolling. … I've felt really well. I was getting some ground balls. All my pitches feel really good. I walked a couple guys last time, but I feel great."

He takes the spot of Logan Verrett in the Orioles bullpen in a continuation of reliever churn that began late last week. Left-hander Paul Fry came up for right-hander Stefan Crichton but never pitched in the two days he was up. Fry was optioned back to Norfolk on Wednesday, and on Sunday, Richard Bleier and Verrett came up to spell lefties Jayson Aquino and Vidal Nuño.

Showalter said he wanted to get Verrett back down quickly if he needed rest after his two innings of work to re-start his 10-day option clock, and noted that Tyler Wilson is eligible to return.

Because the Orioles are in a stretch of 17 straight games without a day off, it's not likely the game of musical chairs will end soon.

Around the horn: Showalter said the two teams have too much respect for each other to do anything but look forward to playing quality baseball games in the aftermath of last month's tense series at Camden Yards. Britton was asked about any lingering ill will from the series with Boston, when reliever Matt Barnes threw at third baseman Manny Machado. Britton said the teams have moved on. … Left fielder Hyun Soo Kim didn't get his expected start against right-hander Rick Porcello on Monday, with that assignment instead going to Ryan Flaherty, who has six hits in 14 career at-bats off Porcello. The Red Sox will start left-handers Chris Sale and Drew Pomeranz and knuckleballer Steven Wright the rest of the series, so Kim might not start again until Friday.