TORONTO -- The Orioles have purchased the contract of left-handed reliever Zach Phillips from Triple-A Norfolk before this afternoon's series opener in Toronto.
Phillips was told before Sunday's Tides game that he was being recalled and arrived in Toronto on Sunday night.
Phillips will give the Orioles a third left-handed reliever for the September playoff push, joining Brian Matusz and Randy Wolf, both of whom have spent most of their careers as starters. Phillips has actually been better against right-handed hitters this season, holding them to a .237 mark, but his numbers against lefties have improved in the second half of the season.
To make room for Phillips, the Orioles designated Norfolk right-hander Jason Berken for assignment.
"I really didn't think about it," Phillips said. "If it was going to happen, it was going to happen. I can't control the outcome, but I'm just happy to be here."
Phillips was 2-2 with a 3.17 ERA with seven saves in 54 innings (42 appearances) at Norfolk. He's thrown five straight scoreless outings, allowing just one hit in a span og 4 1/3 innings. Eight of his last 10 appearances have been scoreless.
Berken was 5-6 with a 3.50 ERA in 26 starts for the Tides. He made one relief appearance for the Orioles this season, allowing seven runs (two earned) in one inning. Over four seasons with the Orioles, Berken was 10-17 with a 5.40 ERA, including a 2010 season in which he was 3-3 with a 3.03 ERA in 41 relief appearances.
Right-hander Tommy Hunter and left-hander Zach Britton are also with the team. Hunter was activated before today's game, and Britton -- slated to be Tuesday's starter -- will be formally recalled before Tuesday's game.