9/13/2013 7:45 P.M. ET
Red-hot Valencia gets start against righty pitcher
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
TORONTO -- Red-hot designated hitter Danny Valencia was back in the Orioles' starting lineup Friday, earning his first start of the season against a right-hander in Toronto's Todd Redmond.
"I'm not going to put a stereotype on him that he's purely just [good] against left-handers," said manager Buck Showalter, who has primarily used Valencia in a platoon role. "He's shown that his whole career he handles that well, but it's not like he goes down to Triple-A and can't hit a right-handed pitcher. A lot of it depends on how the pitcher is right now ... the matchups have been in his favor without looking at what you look at vs. [Redmond]. But I think he's deserving [of] a continued opportunity."
Valencia, 28, was batting .548 (23-for-42) with seven doubles, four homers and 10 RBIs over his last 12 games entering Friday. Nine of those are multihit contests, and he's fresh off a game-tying three-run homer in Thursday's 6-5 loss to the Yankees.
"It's one of those streaks where I've been fortunate enough to have some balls find holes and make some solid contact in between," said Valencia, who has a .380/.402/.684 line against lefties this year. "A lot of guys go through it. There are definitely more ups than there are downs in this game, it's just nice to be swinging the bat pretty well and helping the team as much as I can."
Valencia had never faced Redmond, but he has held his own against righties, with four homers and nine RBIs in 33 at-bats this season entering Friday.
O'Day receives cortisone shots in fingers, wrist
TORONTO -- Darren O'Day received a pair of cortisone injections in his ailing right wrist/fingers on Friday morning, and the reliever could rejoin the Orioles against Tampa Bay next weekend.
"I don't think we're completely out of the woods, but the doctor thinks it should calm down, some of the things that are causing the inflammation," manager Buck Showalter said of O'Day, who saw hand specialist Dr. Brian Schofield in Sarasota, Fla., after running a gamut of tests in Baltimore the past few days. "There's no structural damage, the way I'm told.
"They had an idea from the tests yesterday and they just wanted it verified. So he went down there and agreed and had it injected in two spots. Hopefully, it will manage itself in a day or two. I think in the next 48 hours we'll know if it solves itself."
O'Day has been dealing with numbness/tingling in his right index and middle finger for the past week or two and the condition had worsened, resulting in just two outings for him this month. Arguably the Orioles' best reliever last season, O'Day is 5-3 with a team-best 2.28 ERA in 63 games in 2013, and the club is trying to get him back as soon as possible.
"I think one [bullpen session] and then if he doesn't have a problem, the next day he's in," Showalter said of what O'Day needs to do to get back. "We are not going to do a bunch of sim games."
O's call up Johnson as Urrutia goes on restricted list
TORONTO -- Prior to Friday's game, the Orioles selected the contract of outfielder/first baseman Dan Johnson from Triple-A Norfolk and placed outfielder/designated hitter Henry Urrutia on the restricted list.
Urrutia, part of roster expansion, will not be with the team in Toronto due to work visa issues, and he's currently at the team's spring facility in Sarasota, Fla. Johnson was signed to a Minor League deal at the end of August after opting out of his contract with the Yankees.
"There was a few times I thought I should have been called up there to New York so essentially it was like, if you're not going to do it now, I'm going to take my out. It was to force the hand if there was another opportunity somewhere else," said Johnson, 34, who got the call at 1:30 a.m. ET Friday morning that he was meeting the team in Toronto. "As soon as I took it, there were a few options, and talking to my agent, he suggested this and this is where I went."
A left-handed hitter, Johnson's stay could be short given that he's taken the roster spot of Urrutia, who will have to come off the restricted list on Monday. If the Orioles decide to keep Johnson, who could play Saturday, they will have to make another roster move. Johnson spent this season in Triple-A, posting a .250/.378/.439 line, including 21 home runs and 70 RBIs in 138 games, mostly with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
While Urrutia will come off the restricted list, he won't necessarily be activated and join the team in Boston. Manager Buck Showalter said they're still deciding whether it's best to keep him in Sarasota to prepare for the Arizona Fall League.
• Local product Steve Clevenger made his first start for Baltimore behind the plate on Friday night, with Showalter wanting to give catcher Matt Wieters a day off. With Chris Tillman slated to pitch Saturday and the Blue Jays running lefty Mark Buehrle out there on Sunday, Showalter said it fit best to give Wieters, who had caught six of the past seven games, a breather.
• The Orioles went 13-for-63 (.206) with runners in scoring position on their just-completed eight-game homestand. They entered Friday with just one game in their last 11 with more than two hits with runners in scoring position.
• The Orioles will host their first Social Media Night at Camden Yards on Wednesday, Sept. 25 as part of the club's Fan Appreciation Celebration. There are only 200 tickets available for the pregame party event.
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.