ARLINGTON, Texas - Orioles third baseman Melvin Mora is expected to be placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a strained left hamstring, a decision that will lead to the call-up of Matt Albers and give the team a 13-man pitching staff.
Albers was demoted to Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday night after two appearances. Because he would be replacing an injured player on the roster, Albers wouldn't have to stay in the minors for the required 10 days. Instead, the right-handed reliever would rejoin the club Wednesday.
Mora, who is batting .313 with a homer and seven RBIs in five games, has been dealing with hamstring soreness since spring training. He was removed from Sunday's game after two at-bats and said a day later that the hamstring was getting worse.
He'd be eligible to be activated from the DL on April 28. Ty Wigginton would start at third base during his absence.
"I don't think it's fair to Melvin and I don't think it's fair to the team if it's going to be a situation where he's going to be out three days and then he can play one day and then he's out again for two days and he can play again for one day," manager Dave Trembley said. "At this early point of the season, I don't think that's the direction that either of us want to go."
Hill gets through
Rich Hill threw a 75-pitch bullpen session before Tuesday's game and pronounced himself "ready to go."
On the disabled list with a strained left elbow, Hill has been at extended spring training in Sarasota, Fla., building up arm strength. He joined the club Tuesday so pitching coach Rick Kranitz could evaluate his progress.
"I think the biggest thing about it was his curveball looked like the curveball of old, which was really encouraging for me. I hadn't seen that yet, until today," Kranitz said. "I don't think there's a real rush right now, but I really like what I saw."
Hill will remain with the club for one more day and then report back to Sarasota. He'll throw two innings in an extended spring-training game Friday, take two days off, then throw two innings Monday. It's possible that after that, he'll be sent to one of the minor league affiliates for a rehabilitation assignment.
"Everything is coming together really well," Hill said. "I'm able to throw everything. We got up to 75 pitches twice now with only two days of rest in between. It's been really good. I think we're just looking for consistency."
More rest for Uehara
Despite Thursday's open date, the Orioles will start Adam Eaton on Saturday, pushing back Koji Uehara to Sunday. Given a 10-4 lead in Monday's series opener, Uehara appeared to run out of gas in the 87-pitch outing. He allowed seven earned runs on seven hits and four walks over five innings, though he did enough to get the win.
Uehara became just the fifth Orioles pitcher to pick up a win while giving up as many as seven earned runs. Uehara and ace Jeremy Guthrie became the Orioles' first No. 1 and 2 starters to win their first two starts since Mike Mussina and Ben McDonald did it in 1994.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Ue-hara became the third of 33 Japanese-born pitchers to win his first two appearances. Kaz Ishii (2002) and Hideki Irabu (1997) were the other two.