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UMBC product Zach Clark stays positive after being designated for assignment

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Right-hander Zach Clark's first taste of the major leagues lasted just one appearance, but given the long road it took to get there, the UMBC product wasn’t surprised by the news that he had been designated for assignment before Saturday’s afternoon game against the Angels at Angel Stadium.

The Orioles needed to make both 25-man and 40-man roster space for Saturday’s starter, right-hander Freddy Garcia, and Clark – a non-drafted free agent who signed for $1,000 and played parts of eight years in the minor leagues before this week's promotion – was the odd man out.

“It’s about right for my path,” Clark said. “If I thought it was going to be easy once I got here, I’d be naïve.”

If the 29-year-old Clark clears waivers on Monday at 1 p.m., the Orioles can outright him back to Triple-A Norfolk.

“They needed the spot and I was the guy they could take off I guess,” Clark said. “I’m a little disappointed, but it doesn’t change that I need to pitch well to be where I want to be.”

The Orioles added Clark, who was 15-7 with a 2.79 ERA last season at Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk, to their 40-man roster in the offseason and called him up on Tuesday. He made his only big league appearance in relief on Wednesday, allowing three runs on three hits over 1 2/3 innings.

Clark’s time in the big leagues this time was short – technically just four days – but he said getting that taste of being in the majors will continue to fuel him no matter where he ends up.

“I don’t understand how it would change the way I pitch,” Clark said. “Maybe give me a little bit more fire to get back, but I think that would be the same situation if I was just sent down."

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