The Orioles recalled two pitchers from Triple-A Norfolk as their roster expanded to 28 on Wednesday. Left-hander Alexander Wells and right-hander Dusten Knight, who had been on the taxi squad for the trip, were added before their final game of a three-game series in Toronto.
Both have already been with the Orioles this season. Wells is 1-2 with a 7.71 ERA in six games, three of them starts. He was 6-3 with a 3.29 ERA in 13 games, 10 starts with Norfolk.
Knight has a 7.36 ERA in five games with the Orioles and was 2-2 with a 2.23 ERA and seven saves in 29 games at Norfolk.
Manager Brandon Hyde said that he plans to use Wells in long relief. “He’s somebody that we’re going to take a look at here in September. As of right now, it’s more of a multi-inning, longer relief role.”
The Orioles need a fifth starter on September 7th against Kansas City. Hyde said that Wells, Dean Kremer and Zac Lowther are possibilities for that start.
Hyde didn’t mention Mike Baumann, who is also on the 40-man roster.
“I’m not sure, actually if he’s in consideration to be called up,” Hyde said. “What the plans are for Baumann in September, I’m not sure of at this point.”
The Orioles have a doubleheader with Toronto on September 11th and will need an extra starter then.
Tyler Wells in relief: On Tuesday night, Cole Sulser recorded the Orioles’ first save since he closed out consecutive games in Detroit on July 30th and 31st.
But before Sulser could get the save, Tyler Wells came in the game with two on and two out in the eighth. He retired Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on a line drive to center, an out Hyde called the biggest of the game.
“It feels really good. I’m happy that Hyder has that kind of confidence in me to go with me there to get big outs,” Wells said. “Hopefully, I can continue to perform in those situations and continue to build my trust with him.”
The Rule 5 draft pick is 2-1 with a 3.54 ERA in 34 games and was excited to face Guerrero.
“Vladdy is an unbelievable hitter,” Wells said. “They have a lot of great hitters in the lineup. For me to be able to go in there and get some outs, that does a lot for my confidence as a pitcher. As far as my confidence goes, I feel really good every time I get to go into the game and do what I do. I enjoy competing and don’t like backing down from anybody. It’s definitely a treat when you get to face guys like Vladdy.”
Hyde has said that he would use Wells in ninth-inning spots. He closed out the Orioles’ 10-6 win over the Los Angeles Angels that ended the 19-game losing streak on August 25th, but because the team has been so far out of so many games, he hasn’t gotten the work of a closer.
“It really hasn’t bothered me at all,” Wells said. “I would definitely say that I get a little antsy, but it’s not for a save situation. If I get a save situation, that’s fantastic. I won’t take that for granted.
“But I’m just happy that Hyde has the confidence in me to go into this big-leverage situations. I don’t take those for granted. I really, really enjoy them.”
Notes: John Means, Chris Ellis and Keegan Akin will pitch for the Orioles in the three-game series at Yankee Stadium that begins Friday. The Yankees will counter with Nestor Cortes, Jordan Montgomery and Corey Kluber. … Double-A Bowie’s game with Somerset was rained out. It will be made up as a doubleheader on Thursday beginning at 5:35 p.m.