Orioles right-hander Scott Feldman will make his first start after eight days rest in Monday's series opener in Arizona.
Two off days this week has something to do with it. Feldman was available out of the bullpen for Wednesday's game in San Diego and has thrown extra bullpen sessions to stay sharp. After throwing two quality starts in his first three outings since the Orioles acquired him in a trade with the Cubs on July 2, Feldman has allowed nine earned runs in his past two starts over 9 2/3 innings.
"I threw a lot of 'pens, quite a few," Feldman said of his long rest. "It changes a little bit, but it isn't always a bad thing. You can use this time to your advantage — hopefully that's what I did. Just trying to sharpen some things up and trying to make the most of it. Just getting comfortable, trying to throw off the mound as many times as I can. That can always help."
Feldman will see his first plate appearances Monday with the Orioles playing in a National League park. Feldman hit well for the Cubs this season, going 6-for-34 with two doubles, one homer and eight RBIs.
"I'm definitely not as comfortable as I was in college with a metal bat, but it's fun," Feldman said. "I know that. It makes the game kind of like it was when you were a kid, being able to go up and hit. If we get called upon to go up there and drop a bunt, you still have to take it seriously and make sure you get the guy over because that can win you the game."
Both of the Orioles' starting pitcher trade acquisitions — Feldman and right-hander Bud Norris — have experience from pitching in the NL. Norris spent his first four years hitting before the Astros switched to the American League this season.
"It does make you feel a little more comfortable when you got a couple of guys who have been through it before," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Bud hasn't really done it this year, but you can tell. You guys see it, they understand it. You can see the repetitions they've had offensively. They are a little, I wouldn't say polished, but at least they get a little bit how it works."
Betemit to report to Frederick
Designated hitter Wilson Betemit, recovering from a Grade 2/3 PCL sprain in his right knee suffered in spring training, will report to Class-A Frederick to continue his minor league rehab assignment.
"He's making progress," Showalter said. "It's just time to get him in a different environment, some lights and some people in the stands. Just another step."
Betemit was 6-for-16 with two doubles with the Gulf Coast League Orioles.
Around the horn
Matt Wieters, who leads the majors in innings caught with 855 1/3, has received three days off this week (two off days and one day out of the lineup Saturday). With the Orioles finishing the season with 33 games in 34 days, Showalter wants to give Wieters rest while he can in preparation for a grueling stretch run. … The Orioles are 14-7 against teams from California: 5-2 against the Angels, 2-1 against the A's, 2-1 versus the Dodgers, 2-2 against the Padres and 2-1 against the Giants. … The Orioles are 20-21 in day games, but are 15-9 in road day games. … Adam Jones leads the AL with 79 hits on the road. … Outfielder Lew Ford, who missed most of the season with sports hernia surgery, will report to Double-A Bowie on Tuesday.