Veteran Brian Duensing was recalled from Norfolk just 10 days after signing a minor league contract with the Orioles and will be a left-handed middle-relief specialist.
Duensing, who spent seven years in the Minnesota Twins organization before signing as a free agent with the Kansas City Royals at the start of spring training, never pitched at the major league level with the Royals. He opted out of his minor league contract May 15 after going 1-0 with a 3.10 ERA and two saves in 12 appearances at Triple-A Omaha.
With the Tides, he made three scoreless appearances and struck out six in three innings.
Though Duensing made 61 starts during his career with the Twins, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said definitively that Duensing will not be a candidate to fill the void created in the Orioles rotation when Mike Wright was sent back to Norfolk.
Duensing made his Orioles debut in a ninth-inning mop-up appearance Thursday that didn't go well. Four of the seven batters he faced reached base and the Red Sox scored two runs, though it didn't matter much at that point.
Duensing arrived the day after left-hander T.J. McFarland rejoined the major league club, leaving room to speculate that McFarland, who pitched well as a starter at Norfolk, might temporarily fill the slot left open by Wright.
McFarland doesn't know, and he's happy just to be back in the major leagues after stretching out as a starting pitcher at Norfolk.
"I enjoyed it," he said of starting. "I was able to kind of mix up my pitches a lot more. I was able to stretch out and was able to get up to 72/3 [innings], which was nice, so I'm definitely happy to be back here."
McFarland missed some time in the minors with a bruised knee, but said that he is pain-free and ready to resume his role as the club's left-handed long man.
University of Maryland basketball coaches Brenda Frese and Mark Turgeon threw out the ceremonial first pitches on Thursday night. Frese led the women's team to the Final Four for the third time this past season and Turgeon led the men to the Sweet Sixteen.
Around the horn
Left fielder Hyun Soo Kim was back in the starting lineup Thursday, batting second. He has been in the lineup eight of the past nine games and continues to reach base regularly. He singled in his first at-bat Thursday. … The Orioles' home run drought has dropped them to fourth in the American League and seventh in the majors.