O's set to test VandenHurk in rotation
Versatile righty tabbed for Saturday's start in Toronto
BALTIMORE -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter confirmed on Thursday that Rick VandenHurk will get the start in Toronto on Saturday.
The 26-year-old right-hander from the Netherlands has started and come out of the bullpen during his career. He worked parts of four seasons with the Marlins and made seven appearances with the Orioles late last season after the team acquired him.
The Orioles added VandenHurk to the roster as a September callup after he spent much of this season working as a starter with Triple-A Norfolk. He went 9-13 with a 4.43 ERA in 26 starts there.
VandenHurk has made two appearances in relief, but Showalter said the Orioles want to see what he's got.
"It's a good opportunity for him," Showalter said. "I want to see where he is. He pitched real well the last month. Obviously, he looks the part and has a good arm. It's an opportunity; we hope he takes advantage of it."
Tight schedule a puzzle for Orioles
BALTIMORE -- Thursday's makeup game, squeezed in between two series for the Orioles and Yankees, made for a long day for both clubs.
The Orioles came back to Baltimore after Wednesday's rainy, 11-inning 5-4 win at New York. They hoped to complete Thursday's makeup game without forecasted rain interfering, then leave for Toronto, where they'll get set to start a weekend series.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he's seen a lot of unusual travel situations, but this one will be very interesting.
"I think this is kind of uncharted territory," Showalter said. "Train in, unpack, re-pack, come in, go again. By the time we get to go through ... customs, it'll be a nice challenging day."
This will be the third time the O's and Yankees have tried to play this game. It was originally scheduled for April 22, then postponed a second time due to rain when the two teams met in late August.
"They're going to play 162 games," Showalter said. "It's just when you're going to play them and how you're going to play them. I think that was a given when you started down in Sarasota, [Fla]."
Strop quickly earning Showalter's trust
BALTIMORE -- Pedro Strop entered Thursday having thrown 3 1/3 scoreless innings over three games since coming to the Orioles, and he got the win in Wednesday's extra-inning affair. He's shown a good fastball and some nasty breaking pitches in his first outings with Baltimore.
The Orioles claimed Strop off waivers last week to complete the Mike Gonzalez deal with the Rangers, and the right-hander threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings in Wednesday's 5-4 11-inning victory at Yankee Stadium.
"Stuff-wise, he's been impressive so far," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "He's been getting some good hitters out in good parts of the lineup."
Showalter said that some believe Strop could be a starter, but the Orioles are going to leave him in the bullpen for now and see what happens.
But there's no question that Showalter's impressed.
"So far, so good," the manager said.
The Orioles are on a roll with stolen bases. They entered Thursday having stolen 14 bases in their last 14 attempts, including 13 against the Yankees.
Mark Reynolds now has 32 homers, the most by any Orioles player since Aubrey Huff hit 32 back in 2008. Reynolds has hit at least 28 homers in each of the last four seasons.
The Orioles have been doing better with runners in scoring position. They're hitting .294 in such situations over their last 23 contests. Before that, they were hitting just .252 with runners in scoring position.
Matt Wieters has gotten hot recently. He's hit .368 (21-for-57) in his last 16 games, with at least one hit in 13 of those games. In addition, seven of his 17 homers this season have come in his last 19 games.
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.