BALTIMORE -- The Orioles will try to back off right-hander Jason Berken for the next day or two to give the struggling reliever -- who has thrown an American League-leading 60 1/3 innings -- a much-needed break.
Manager Buck Showalter said the hope is that resting Berken will "freshen him up a little bit," and he has talked with pitching coach Rick Kranitz about monitoring Berken's second-half innings.
A former starter who made his first Opening Day roster as the team's long man, Berken's emergence has been one of this season's biggest surprises. But after allowing just eight earned runs over 45 innings in his first 27 games, Berken's effectiveness has waned, giving way to 13 runs in his last 16 2/3 innings.
Berken, who was conferring with Kranitz on Sunday morning, said he's rushing his delivery a little bit and the deception on his pitches isn't as sharp as earlier in the year.
Reliever Patton optioned; Tatum recalled
BALTIMORE -- Following Sunday's season-high fifth consecutive quality start, the Orioles finally felt comfortable enough to bolster a thin bench, optioning reliever Troy Patton to Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday.
The move cleared a roster spot for a position player. Catcher Craig Tatum was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Monday.
Patton had been in uniform for eight games, but hadn't seen any game action and was optioned over Armando Gabino presumably so that the lefty could get some consistent innings.
"It's really a tough situation," Patton said. "I came up here to be a long relief guy and it just happens to be the one week of the season that literally no long relief guy was needed.
"I understand it. It's good that I go back down there [to Norfolk] and throw a little bit so that if I'm needed in September, I can be fresh."
In two stints with the Tides earlier this year, Patton went 7-9 with a 4.80 ERA in 20 starts and joined the Orioles for the Aug. 1 finale in Kansas City. With a struggling rotation, the thought was Patton would provide long relief. But given the O's surge in their starting rotation -- which has pitched to a 1.94 ERA in the first six games of their homestand -- his role became unnecessary.
The O's bench, which consists mainly of Julio Lugo, Jake Fox and Corey Patterson will be bolstered by a fourth addition to provide new manager Buck Showalter with more options for in-game substitutions and pinch-hitters.
Markakis charity event Sunday
BALTIMORE -- There's still time to join Nick and Christina Markakis for The Right Side Foundation's Second Annual 5K Run and 1-Mile Fun Walk on Sunday in Baltimore's Patterson Park.
The race begins at 6 p.m. ET, following the Orioles' afternoon game vs. the Chicago White Sox and all proceeds from the race benefit distressed children throughout Maryland.
"Not only is it going for a good cause, but it's fun," Nick said. "We got a great group of people out there, we got all different ages, kids all the way to grown-ups and adults. It's just a fun day. It's a fun event and there's a lot of things to do [at Patterson Park] too."
Interested participants can sign up at RightSideFoundation.org or by calling 410-308-1870.
Cesar Izturis recorded the 1,000th hit of his career with a second-inning single on Sunday off White Sox starter Mark Buehrle. ... 1980 Cy Young Award winner Steve Stone threw out Sunday's ceremonial first pitch. A White Sox broadcaster, Stone set a franchise record with 25 wins in '80 and is the last Orioles pitcher to win the Cy Young Award. ... With Friday's extra-innings win, the Orioles are now 9-3 in those contests, which is the best record in the Majors. ... Double-A Bowie's Joe Benge was selected as the Eastern League Athletic Trainer of the Year. ... Buck Showalter became the fourth manager to win his first four games with the Orioles, following Hank Bauer ('61), Earl Weaver, ('68) and Davey Johnson ('96).
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.