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Prior to their series finale with the Minnesota Twins on Sunday, the Orioles recalled left-handed pitcher Mike Belfiore to add an extra arm in a taxed bullpen.
Belfiore took the roster spot of right-handed pitcher Steve Johnson, who was optioned back to Triple-A Norfolk after allowing six earned runs in four innings of work in Saturday’s 8-5 loss to the Twins. The 24-year-old Belfiore was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks to complete the Josh Bell trade last year and was originally selected by Arizona in the first round (45th overall) of the 2009 amateur draft out of Boston College.
In 10 appearances with Norfolk this season, Belfiore sports a 1-0 record with a 5.52 ERA. His promotion was necessary after relievers Troy Patton, T.J. McFarland, and Tommy Hunter were each used for extended outings over the first two games of the three-game set at Target Field.
Manager Buck Showalter will now have four southpaws in his bullpen as Belfiore joins Brian Matusz, Patton, and McFarland. The Orioles also had veteran Freddy Garcia available to work in relief in case Sunday’s starter Wei-Yin Chen was unable to pitch deep into the game. The Orioles will benefit from a day off Monday to give their bullpen some needed rest before starting an eight-game homestand on Tuesday.
Belfiore has been on the 40-man roster since this past offseason. He was 5-1 with a 2.85 ERA in 28 appearances spanning 47 1/3 innings for Double-A Bowie last year.
He will wear No. 65 and had never appeared in the major leagues prior to Sunday’s promotion.