8/11/2013 4:58 P.M. ET
Rodriguez getting used to new role with Orioles
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Francisco Rodriguez has made just six appearances since he was acquired July 23, and the right-hander said he's made a few adjustments to help keep his workload steady.
Rodriguez, picked up to be another late-inning option for Orioles manager Buck Showalter, has allowed four runs over six innings and is coming off a pair of scoreless outings.
"I've had a few bumps my first couple games. I didn't feel like my command was there, but lately I've picked it up," said Rodriguez, who was dealt by Milwaukee for infield prospect Nick Demonico. "I'm the type of pitcher who when I pitch more I feel better. Obviously, with the workload, I know my time is going to come."
"He's capable of more. That's what we liked about him," Showalter said of getting more work for Rodriguez. "I don't call it a luxury. It's a need. Every club has to have more guys that are capable of pitching. He defends himself well against left-handers. The last 40 or so some-odd games, he's going to be a piece. I'm glad to have him here. I'm comfortable with him.
"We're able to spread the load around, as you can tell, between Darren [O'Day], Tommy [Hunter] and him. All of them defend themselves fairly well against left-handers. It's actually cut in against some of the left-handers' time."
Showalter is meticulous about how he uses his bullpen, and the O's relief corps has been fantastic the past two seasons. The addition of a veteran like Rodriguez, who is no stranger to the rigors of a playoff race, only helps, with the 31-year-old agreeing this is the best 'pen he's been a part of.
"It's the first time I've been in a bullpen where we've got three lefty guys," said Rodriguez, in his 12th Major League season. "Usually it's just one or two, but we've got a long man [in T.J. McFarland ] and [Troy] Patton and [Brian] Matusz. It gives you a lot of balance and it's going to make it difficult for the opposing team when we get to the sixth and seventh [innings]."
Betemit, Ford ready to move up in rehab
SAN FRANCISCO -- Outfielder Lew Ford and designated hitter Wilson Betemit continue to progress in their respective rehab assignments, and the pair will move on from the Orioles' Gulf Coast League club to play for the team's other affiliates early this coming week.
Ford, who had sports hernia surgery, was cleared for baseball activities last month and will head to Double-A Bowie on Tuesday. Betemit, who has yet to play this season after suffering a right knee injury in Spring Training, will report to Class A Frederick on Monday.
"He's making progress," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Betemit, who has been tentative running but otherwise gotten good reports. "It's just time to get him in a different environment, some lights and some people in the stands. Just another step."
Betemit went 6-for-16 with two doubles and three RBIs in five GCL games, and the Orioles remain optimistic he will be able to rejoin the club at some point this season. Projected to be the club's Opening Day designated hitter against right-handed pitching, Betemit posted a .302/.357/.502 line against righties in 2012.
Ford played in 21 games this season between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk and hit .228 with three homers and 10 RBIs. The 35-year-old spent 25 games with the Orioles last year and hit .183 with three homers and four RBIs.
• Through Casey Cares' Celebration Vacation program and Christina and Nick Markakis, a Casey Cares 10-year-old boy, Kevin, and his father were treated to two Orioles-Giants games, hotel and round-trip airfare to San Francisco this weekend. Kevin is on treatment for Langerhans cell histiocytosis, a rare disorder of dendritic cells. While LCH is not a cancer, it typically requires treatment with chemotherapy similar to that used to treat many childhood cancers. Kevin is an Orioles fan and he and his dad, David, were able to spend time cheering on their favorite team Friday and Saturday.
• The Orioles' errorless game Saturday marked their 88th of the season, which is nine more than the next closest teams, the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays.
• Chris Davis is the 13th player in Orioles history to drive in 109 runs. The mark would have led 42 teams in Orioles history and puts Davis on pace to drive in 152 runs, which would break Miguel Tejada's club record (150), set in 2004.
• Triple-A Norfolk starter Freddy Garcia struck out a season-high seven over five strong innings, yielding just one hit while facing one batter over the minimum in the Tides' 12-inning win Saturday.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.