Duensing is activated from disabled list
No further additions from minors expected; Gamboa debuts for Rays
ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. — The Orioles added a third non-closer left-handed reliever to their roster before Monday’s game in Tampa Bay, activating Brian Duensing from the 60-day disabled list, but managerBuckShowaltersaidhedoesn’t expect any other immediate expanded-roster additions after minor league seasons ended Monday. Not “unless there’s a need,” Showalter said. The Orioles hope that getting right-hander Chris Tillman, setup man Darren O’Day and outfielder Joey Rickard from the disabled list will aid their playoff push more than any added minor league depth. Several minor leaguers will be asked to report to Sarasota for a camp that begins Friday in case there’s a need later this month.
Tillman and O’Day are closer to a return than Rickard, who isn’t eligible to be activated from the 60-day disabled list until Sept. 19.
Duensing, who made just seven appearances before going on the disabled list June 20 with left elbow inflammation, made three outings for Double-A Bowie on his rehabilitation assignment, yielding just one earned run over seven innings.
“He’s been pitching well for a while now,” Showalter said. “His last three outings have been real good. Just another reminder of the guys we’ve been missing for quite a while. Good to get him back.” Brian Duensing Despaigne designated for assignment: The team designated right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne to make room for Duensing.
Despaigne, who was acquired in February in a trade with the San Diego Padres for minor league pitcher Jean Cosme, had a 5.60 ERA over 272⁄ relief innings with the Orioles. Kim fuels rally out of ninth hole: Outfielder Hyun Soo Kim has made most of his starts this season from the No. 2 spot in the batting order, but Showalter placed Kim in the No. 9 spot for his second straight start Monday, hoping to use his ability to get on base for leadoff man Adam Jones when the order turns.
Kim leads the Orioles with a .386 on-base percentage and is hitting .385 from the No. 9 spot, although most of those at-bats were earlier in the season, before he made his way up the batting order. Meanwhile, hot-hitting designated hitter Pedro Alvarez batted second for the fourth time in his past five starts.
Kim’s leadoff double off Rays right-hander Matt Andriese set the stage for a five-run fifth inning. Jones moved him to third on a single, and Kim scored on Chris Davis’ two-out, two-run single.
“Adam, we only know is going to lead off once,” Showalter said. “He’s capable of driving in a lot of runs. … It’s kind of a big-picture thing. [Alvarez has] done a nice job at second.” Gamboa debuts for Rays: Former Orioles farmhand Eddie Gamboa, who extended his career — and his dream of making the majors — by becoming a knuckleball pitcher, made his major league debut Friday for the Rays after nine seasons in the minors.
Gamboa spent eight of those years in the Orioles organization, including three seasons trying to perfect the knuckleball. The organization brought in Hall of Fame knuckleballer Phil Niekro to work with him.
But it took a change in organizations for Gamboa, 31, to succeed with the knuckleball. He went 6-4 with a 2.68 ERA in 27 games (12 starts) for Triple-A Durham, which earned him a promotion to the Rays when rosters expanded at the beginning of the month.
After struggling in his debut Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays, Gamboa threw three scoreless innings against his former team in a 7-3 Orioles win Monday. He retired eight of the nine batters he faced, his only base runner coming when he walked Mark Trumbo in the seventh inning. Around the horn: The Orioles have outscored the Rays 61-36 this season. … Davis’ home run was the Orioles’ 215th of the season, third most in team history behind the 1996 team (257) and last year’s team (217).
Starters: Wade Miley (8-12, 5.49) vs. Tigers’ Daniel Norris (2-2, 3.94)