BALTIMORE -- It didn't take long for outfielder Matt Angle -- officially recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday morning in place of the injured Vladimir Guerrero -- to make his Major League debut, as Angle found himself batting leadoff and playing left field in Sunday afternoon's series finale against Cleveland.
"I didn't want Matt's first game to be off a knuckleballer," said manager Buck Showalter, referring to Monday's Red Sox starter Tim Wakefield. "[I] don't want him to sit two days. Kind of looking in the future a little bit."
Angle, who got the news Saturday night from Triple-A manager Gary Allenson, is typically a center fielder, but he has gotten recent action in left field and said he tried not to put too much stock into the rumblings the last few days that he could get promoted.
"You try not to get too high or too low either way," said the 25-year-old Angle, who anticipated having his wife, mother, cousin and uncle in attendance at Camden Yards Sunday afternoon.
"I'm definitely excited, I think it will [all hit me] come first pitch, once you are on the field and doing things like that."
A seventh-round pick in 2007's First-Year Player Draft, Angle started the season slow but has come on as of late, hitting .380 in his last 16 games with Norfolk. He was joined Sunday by Tides' teammate Troy Patton, a left-handed reliever who will add length to an Orioles bullpen in a state of flux. Patton has been up several times this season as insurance, but has made just one appearance in May, allowing two earned runs in 2 1/3 innings pitched.
Orioles set for flurry of roster moves
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles 25-man roster continued to evolve after Sunday's 8-3 win, as the team officially optioned starter Mitch Atkins to Triple-A Norfolk in the first of what could be several moves prior to Monday's series with Boston.
With Alfredo Simon expected to be placed on the restricted list, the Orioles will also call up an additional arm in right-hander Mark Worrell, as well as third baseman Josh Bell. Worrell is not on the 40-man roster and would have to be added, with the most logical corresponding move being transferring second baseman Brian Roberts to the 60-day disabled list.
Worrell will join a bullpen that also added Troy Patton on Sunday in anticipation of what could be a short roster. It's not official, but it's likely Orioles closer Kevin Gregg will start serving a lesser suspension during the Red Sox series, with Gregg -- along with Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz -- believed to have an agreement that would knock down their four-game suspensions to three. Both teams expect to get official word from the league on Monday.
Worrell's stay could be a short one with Simon only expected to be in the Dominican Republic, to appear in court, for a day. Bell's status --and that of outfielder Matt Angle -- depends on Luke Scott, who was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Bowie Sunday night and could be activated as early as Tuesday.
The 25-year-old Atkins made three starts for the Orioles and pitched to an 8.44 ERA, going just three innings in Sunday's game.
Matusz making strides at Triple-A
BALTIMORE -- In his fourth start for Triple-A Norfolk, left-hander Brian Matusz continued to improve, pitching seven innings without giving up a run on three hits and striking out eight, while walking two. The 24-year-old threw 88 pitches, 53 of which were strikes.
Matusz, who was demoted to Norfolk on June 30, lowered his 2011 Minor League ERA to 2.18, but was unable to record his first win, as the Tides gave up two runs in the 11th frame to lose 4-3 against the Gwinett Braves.
"Each outing seems to have gotten a little better, so that's encouraging," manager Buck Showalter said of Matusz's performance in Norfolk. "He just needs to continue to make progress to be an option to come back [to Baltimore]. He's got to get back to being able to defend himself and giving us a chance to win, which he wasn't able to do when he left. Looking at all those guys in Triple-A and Double-A as options for us, and Brian is one of them. If he does the things he's capable of doing, that increases his chance of coming back."
After coming off the disabled list in June, Matusz struggled with the Orioles, compiling a 1-4 record with an 8.77 ERA. His poor starts culminated in his sixth outing of the season on June 30 against the Cardinals, when Matusz lasted just 3 1/3 innings, giving up eight earned runs on nine hits.
In addition to Matusz, starters Zach Britton and Chris Tillman are also attempting to work their way back into the Orioles starting rotation through their work in the Minors.
Britton, who will likely be called back up to Baltimore by July 30, pitched three innings for Double-A Bowie on Friday, allowing one earned run -- a solo home run -- on two hits with two strikeouts and no walks. Britton is expected to throw three or four innings in Bowie again on Wednesday.
Tillman, who was sent down to Norfolk on June 1 to make room for Matusz, is 3-2 for the Tides with a 4.12 ERA. In his last start on July 15, the right-hander gave up two earned runs on three hits in six innings.
Luke Scott, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a torn right labrum, will play for Double-A Bowie tonight and could be activated as early as Tuesday.
Buck Showalter said Sunday that the team is optimistic Vladimir Guerrero will be able to return as soon as his stint on the disabled list is over on July 26.
Starter Alfredo Simon will be put on the restricted list following Sunday's game against the Indians.
The Orioles hosted their "4 ALS Day" on Sunday at Camden Yards, as Baltimore donated 100 tickets to MDA, the Orioles local ALS chapter. Phillip Rogers, who is currently battling ALS, threw out the first pitch.
The Orioles are expected to officially announce J.J. Hardy's three-year contract extension on Monday.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Avi Zaleon is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.