6/28/2013 12:23 A.M. ET
Rehabbing Roberts could return this weekend
By Brittany Ghiroli and Derek Wetmore / MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- Brian Roberts continued his rehab with Triple-A Norfolk with a pair of games on Thursday, and he could rejoin the Orioles on Saturday or Sunday -- more likely Sunday -- manager Buck Showalter said.
"We have a chance to see Brian sometime over the weekend," Showalter said before the game. "He's progressing well."
The plan was for Roberts, who will be the team's starting second baseman when activated, to play the field and finish a suspended game for Norfolk before serving as designated hitter in the second game Thursday. Showalter spoke with Roberts after Wednesday night's game, in which he walked in both plate appearances, and said that the infielder's pending return doesn't necessarily mean Ryan Flaherty's and Alexi Casilla's roster spots are in jeopardy.
All three made the club's Opening Day roster, with Flaherty assuming the bulk of the time at second base when Roberts landed on the disabled list. The 35-year-old Roberts played just three games this season due to a right hamstring injury that required surgery, and he has appeared in just 118 games since the beginning of the 2010 season.
Outfielder Nolan Reimold, who had his rehab assignment extended, could rejoin the O's next week in Chicago. Reimold went 3-for-6 with Double-A Bowie on Wednesday, and he is expected to remain with that affiliate through the weekend.
"The good news is his leg feels really good. He's not having any problems with the [right] hamstring," Showalter said. "It's just getting comfortable at-bat-wise. He had three hits yesterday, and I'm hoping that kind of gets him going. He's not far away. But some of the stuff he had done in the offseason, this is going to be good for him to play consistently like this and know his body is going to respond."
Machado calls first-career ejection justified
BALTIMORE -- Orioles third baseman Manny Machado was ejected in the bottom of the fifth inning Thursday after arguing with home-plate umpire Will Little that he foul-tipped a strike.
Machado swung and missed at a pitch in the dirt -- the replay appeared to show he did not make contact with the pitch -- and had a few words for Little on his way back to the dugout.
Little removed his mask and ejected Machado from the game.
"I swung at a bad pitch. I thought I fouled it off. Obviously, I looked back on the replay, and I didn't," Machado said after the Orioles 7-3 victory. "Something that I said wrong to the umpire, and I have to pay the consequences for it. Let my team down. Obviously, something that won't happen again."
He did not specify what he said, but he said he felt the ejection was justified.
"It was an expletive, and then something directed at [Little]," crew chief Ted Barrett said. "So that's an automatic ejection. He knows that."
Before he was tossed from Thursday's game, Machado had played every inning -- 1,206, to be exact -- since the Orioles selected his contract in August. That was the longest active streak in the Majors.
"When I heard about it, the streak I had going, obviously it's devastating, but I just caused that on myself. That's something that, like I said before, something that I just have to pay the consequences for, and I did."
McFarland, not Gausman, to start Friday vs. Yanks
BALTIMORE -- Orioles rookie T.J. McFarland will make the first Major League start of his career on Friday night against the New York Yankees.
McFarland, a Rule 5 Draft pick from Cleveland this winter, made the Opening Day roster in the bullpen and has been pitching in long relief. The 24-year-old lefty got the nod over top pitching prospect, right-hander Kevin Gausman, who manager Buck Showalter said will be available out of the bullpen.
"It's his turn," Showalter said of McFarland, who has pitched to a 4.14 ERA in 18 appearances. "He's [had] four days' rest. Be ready to go 80-plus pitches tomorrow at least, and hopefully pitch five or six innings. The Yankees will have something to say about that.
"Mac is throwing the ball well and deserves an opportunity while we have an opportunity to take a look at it. We had a couple options, he was one of them and that's where we are going to go tomorrow."
The Yankees were held to two hits by Rangers lefty Derek Holland on Wednesday afternoon and enter the weekend set behind the Orioles and Red Sox, in third place in the American League East.
Garcia opts out, signs new Minors deal with O's
BALTIMORE -- Freddy Garcia, who was optioned Monday to make room for Kevin Gausman, opted out of his contract Thursday, before signing a new Minor League deal with the Orioles.
In his previous contract, Garcia had the choice to decline a Minor League assignment. He had 72 hours to make his decision once the Orioles optioned him, and he apparently chose to stick with the organization.
As soon as he opted out of his deal, Garcia became a free agent.
Manager Buck Showalter said he was happy Garcia stayed with the organization, rather than potentially pursue a free-agent deal with another club.
"We were hoping he would. It worked out well for both sides," Showalter said. "It presents some depth for us and we like the way Freddy has handled himself professionally and pitching at times at both levels."
Garcia may remain in the Minors as a rotation candidate, but Showalter didn't rule out a move to the bullpen. The manager said he wasn't sure Monday what Garcia would do, but felt he'd at least consider going to Triple-A in the Orioles' organization.
"I don't want to say I knew, but I felt like, all things being equal, unless he had a for-sure Major League job, that he'd stay here," Showalter said. "He likes it here, he likes the way he's treated and likes the way that things are done."
Ishikawa giving O's chance to use Davis at DH
BALTIMORE -- Chris Davis has started all but one of the Orioles' games this season. And until recently, all those starts came at first base.
But with another first baseman on the roster, manager Buck Showalter has penciled Davis into the designated hitter slot in his lineup three times in the past eight games. That's the luxury Travis Ishikawa has provided Showalter and Davis since the Orioles selected his contract on June 18.
"Chris [Dickerson] can do it in the outfield and Ishi can and we don't lose anything defensively on paper," Showalter said. "So it's good. That's one of the reasons we wanted to have him up here, give these guys a blow now and then."
Davis takes advantage of getting off his feet on defense, and Showalter gets to keep his potent bat in the lineup. But both Ishikawa and Showalter said it's more of a luxury than a necessity to spell Davis.
"With him, I don't really think it matters, because he's a freak of nature and a specimen and he's just an amazing athlete," Ishikawa said. "I think he would tell you that he enjoys it. But just to be able to stay off your feet, I guess for half the game, and focus on just one aspect, it's refreshing."
For his part, Ishikawa has taken extra work hitting off a machine and staying in the weight room to be ready when his name is called.
He posted good numbers with Triple-A Norfolk to begin this season, although playing time has been sporadic since the Orioles recalled him. In his small sample size of five MLB games this season, the lefty is 2-for-13 with six strikeouts.
"I've spent the last five years doing the same thing with the Giants and Brewers, being a pinch-hitter off the bench," Ishikawa said. "So it's a role I've done before, so I'm not uncomfortable with it. Just make the best of it."
• Orioles Gulf Coast League manager Orlando Gomez earned his 1,000th career win Thursday when his club defeated the Gulf Coast League Twins, 7-4.
• Six players for Double-A Bowie have been named to the Eastern League All-Star roster. Outfielder Henry Urrutia, catcher Caleb Joseph, shortstop Niuman Romero, third baseman Ty Kelly and right-handed pitcher Mike Wright were named. Left-handed pitcher Jason Gurka was also selected for the game, but will not participate due to injury.
• Urrutia has been promoted to Triple-A Norfolk from Double-A.
• O's pitcher Dylan Bundy had his Tommy John surgery performed Thursday by Dr. James Andrews in Gulf Breeze, Fla.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. Derek Wetmore is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.