BAL@TB: Strop strikes out two in scoreless relief

BALTIMORE -- Orioles reliever Pedro Strop was anxious to get back on the mound prior to Thursday's series opener against Boston. Strop took the loss in Wednesday's series finale against the Angels by allowing six runs to score, including two that belonged to starter Jason Hammel.

"It was rough, a tough one to swallow. You've got to be aware of that, it's not OK," Strop said. "But what is OK, and what is good, is that I'm going to do my best to get myself back on track. Today is a new day. I know yesterday wasn't a good one. But I'm expecting that today is going to be one of the best days of my life."

Strop, who celebrated his 28th birthday Thursday, has certainly had his struggles this season.

He's inherited 13 runners, and allowed seven of them to score. He spent time on the disabled list at the end of May with a lower back strain, but said he feels fine now.

In 19 innings this season, Strop has surrendered 17 runs (16 earned) and four home runs, with 19 strikeouts and 15 walks.

"I like the pressure of the game and all that stuff, but obviously, it's always better when the bases are empty. But I'm used to pitching under [pressure], and I like the pressure," Strop said.

Given his string of dominance last year and his spring success in the World Baseball Classic (zero earned runs, seven strikeouts and no walks in 6 2/3 innings for the champion Dominican Republic team), his poor season to date is somewhat perplexing.

"It's frustrating, because we know how good he can be," Chris Davis said. "It makes you think a little bit about what's going on in his head. Whether it's fatigue from throwing so much already, or if it's something else. But when he's on, he's one of the best guys in the game."

"I think it's one of those things where he's got to figure it out for himself. I think he's got to just trust himself. He's filthy, man."

Orioles send Gausman to Triple-A Norfolk

BAL@TOR: Gausman fans Encarnacion for first career K

The Orioles optioned rookie Kevin Gausman to Triple-A Norfolk after Thursday's game. A corresponding roster move will be made Friday.

Gausman pitched 5 1/3 innings in the Orioles' 13-inning win over the Red Sox on Thursday. He allowed two earned runs on two solo homers, and struck out five without walking a batter. He exited in line for his first big league win before the Red Sox rallied in the seventh to leave Gausman with a no-decision.

In five starts witht the Orioles, Gausman was 0-3 with an 7.66 ERA in 24 2/3 innings.

The Orioles used six pitchers out of the bullpen in Thursday's extra-inning affair, so the move could simply be to get a fresh arm for the bullpen for the remainder of the four-game series. 

Chen set to throw from full mound Saturday

BAL@MIN: Chen shuts out Twins over five innings

BALTIMORE -- Several injured Orioles continued to progress toward rejoining the team, with lefty Wei-Yin Chen (left oblique strain) set to throw off a regular mound for the first time on Saturday.

Chen, who threw off a half-mound on Thursday with no reported issues, will fly back up north to rejoin the team should Saturday go well, and he would take his next scheduled work day with pitching coach Rick Adair.

"At some point him and Rick will decide when he needs to go out and pitch [for an affiliate]," manager Buck Showalter said of Chen, who will travel with the Orioles to Detroit and Toronto next week. "Hopefully sometime during that trip."

Orioles outfielder Nolan Reimold could go on a rehab assignment when the team leaves for that road trip. Reimold, who has been on the DL with a hamstring strain, tested his leg running sprints on Thursday afternoon and, assuming that went OK, he could start getting at-bats next week.

"Bowie's at home Tuesday, from what I hear," Reimold said of the team's Double-A affiliate. "That's what I'm shooting for. I'm going to go out and sprint today. ... It's feeling better, I've made a lot of progress."

While Reimold could be used as a designated hitter, Showalter said he wants Reimold to be able to play the field before returning.

"I want him to be a full go," Showalter said. "[Special assistant Terry Crowley] will handle it. He may DH a day or two. I'll let Terry handle that. And Nolan. Let them handle where he goes. He's been removed from at-bats for a while now. And it'll be more than a one or two day thing."

Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts, who joined the team from Sarasota, Fla., following this past weekend's series against Tampa Bay, was among those who took early batting practice prior to Thursday's game before weather forced the group inside. It was the first time Roberts, who has been back rehabbing from a hamstring surgery, has taken batting practice.

O's trying to find way to keep Wada in Minors

BALTIMORE -- As the end of Orioles pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada's rehab assignment nears, the organization is negotiating a way to keep the left-hander in the Minor Leagues.

"I think they are working on it, I'm not sure if they have reached an agreement on extending his time down there," Orioles manager Buck Showlater said of Wada, whose 30-day rehab assignment will expire at the end of the week. "I'm not sure, but I think in order to do that, you have to take him off the [60-day DL].

Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said there wouldn't be an announcement on that front Thursday, but echoed Showalter's statement that the club is pursuing avenues to keep Wada -- who had Tommy John surgery last May -- progressing at Triple-A.

Typically, you could just activate the injured player and option them, but Wada's contract is structured so that he can't be sent to the Minors unless he consents to do so. So, it's an unusual situation but one that will be resolved in the next few days. Wada is 1-4 with an 8.14 ERA in six starts, allowing 26 runs (22 earned) on 33 hits and 13 walks with 20 strikeouts over 24 1/3 innings for Norfolk.

Wada signed a two-year, $8.14-million contract in December 2011 and has yet to throw a pitch for the Orioles.

Worth noting

• The Orioles agreed to terms with third-round Draft pick Stephen Tarpley for $525,000, according to Baseball America. He is a left-handed pitcher out of Scosttdale (Ariz.) Community College.

• Steve Johnson (strained left oblique) felt mild improvement Thursday. He hadn't improved much the previous two days, so Showalter said that was encouraging.

• Wilson Betemit is still taking ground balls in Sarasota.

• Nate McLouth was thrown out attempting to steal second base Wednesday, which snapped his streak of 19 consecutive successful stolen bases.

• OriolesREACH and Adam Jones will donate $75,000 to Brooklyn O'Malley Boys and Girls Club in Baltimore. The donation will renovate and expand a Technology and Learning Center within the Club at 3560 3rd Street. Jones was a member of the Encanto Boys and Girls Club in San Diego as a child.

• Jair Jurrjens is scheduled to start Friday for Norfolk. He missed his last scheduled start with a right finger injury.

• The Orioles on Friday will wear special "digi-camo" jerseys and hats in honor of flag day and the Army's birthday. The authenticated hats will be available in an online auction Friday night at orioles.com/auction, and proceeds will benefit the Fort Meade Alliance Resiliency Center Fund.