BALTIMORE -- T.J. McFarland finally got word that he would start on Tuesday against the Rangers around 10 p.m. ET on Monday as the Orioles were putting the finishing touches on a win against Texas.
O's manager Buck Showalter had vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson tell the relief pitcher that he would be "the first man out of the bullpen" on Tuesday. They'd need him to make a spot start.
"I think he knows now that he's starting today," Showalter said after McFarland pitched the Orioles to an 8-3 win against the Rangers on Tuesday.
The lefty needed just 68 pitches to give Baltimore five innings of two-run ball and pick up his first win of the season in the second start of his career -- his first since June 28, 2013 against the Yankees.
McFarland struck out two batters and didn't walk any, letting his defense do much of the dirty work behind him.
"I threw a lot of strikes and basically just let the defense help me out," he said. "I got a lot of ground balls, a lot of double plays and I can't stress it enough that the defense really helped me out."
Showalter said McFarland is an option to start again on Sunday and beyond, but after the win he seemed to soften his stance on that option.
McFarland has been devastatingly effective out of the bullpen -- his 0.57 ERA in June was the best in the Majors among pitchers that threw at least 15 innings -- and Showalter views him as a versatile option in relief. Pitcher Kevin Gausman is the most likely option to start on Sunday.
"He did exactly what we hoped he'd do," the manager said. "He makes our bullpen better, but it's nice to know that you have that type of option there."
McFarland's day ended when he got Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus to ground into a double play to end the fifth inning. McFarland hadn't yet hit 70 pitches, but Showalter said that was as far as the O's wanted him to go.
He helped the Orioles get out to a commanding 8-2 lead and had Alex Rios and Adrian Beltre coming up to start the sixth. In a new role, McFarland shook off some early nerves and helped Baltimore win its second straight against Texas.
"I'm always going to be a little nervous before," McFarland said. "Even when the phone rings in the bullpen I get a little stomach dropping, but it's all good emotions that I should be feeling and I was just excited for today."
Orioles designate Reimold for assignment
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles reinstated outfielder Nolan Reimold from the 60-day disabled list and designated him for assignment.
Reimold has 10 days to be traded, claimed or released by the Orioles, who could outright him to Triple-A Norfolk if he clears waivers because he has no previous outright assignment.
Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said Monday he has been talking with Reimold about ways to keep him in the organization, which was nearly impossible given the way the current roster is constructed. Baltimore, playing a man down with Manny Machado's suspension, already has a trio of right-handed hitters in the outfielder/designated hitter category with Nelson Cruz, Steve Pearce and Delmon Young.
The 30-year-old Reimold, who concluded his rehab assignment with Double-A Bowie over the weekend, has not played in a Major League game since July 13, 2013, and has appeared in 56 games since the end of 2011 due to a pair of neck surgeries.
Reimold had a corrective procedure this winter since the fusion didn't work properly the first time around and started this season on the disabled list after a spring in which he wasn't ready to play the field.
A career .252 hitter in parts of five seasons, Reimold hit a career-high 15 homers in 104 games in his rookie season in '09 and showed flashes of impressive power but dealt with serious injuries along the way.
He had a torn Achilles at the end of '09 and suffered the initial neck injury diving for a foul ball in the stands in a game at the Chicago White Sox. Reimold kept playing and hit five homers in his first 16 games in '12 before landing on the DL.
Gausman to pitch in Minors, could start Sunday
BALTIMORE -- Kevin Gausman will pitch for Class A Short-Season Aberdeen on Wednesday and he could be a candidate for the Orioles to start Sunday's game.
"We thought it was more important that he pitch on his fifth day this time and more important that he got a good workday, which he got yesterday," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Gausman, who last pitched in Friday's doubleheader against the Rays. "Off today and then start tomorrow, and then kind of shorten that up and make him available for Sunday."
If Gausman doesn't start on Sunday, T.J. McFarland -- who made his second career start Tuesday -- is another option. Wei-Yin Chen will pitch Thursday, with Miguel Gonzalez on Friday and Ubaldo Jimenez on Saturday.
"Hopefully Mac pitches real well tonight and we have a good problem, but we have to be prepared to go either way," Showalter said.
Gausman, who was eligible to be recalled from the Minors as early as Tuesday, has gone 3-2 with a 3.86 ERA in five starts for the Orioles.
• The Orioles have passed on lefty Mark Hendrickson, who was at Camden Yards for a tryout last week. Showalter said they spoke to him about another role in the organization but it seems like Hendrickson will continue to pitch in the independent league.
• Triple-A Norfolk's Suk-min Yoon will see orthopedist Dr. Michael Jacobs about his shoulder on Wednesday. Yoon has been on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder.
• WBAL radio broadcaster Fred Manfra returned to the booth Tuesday after missing most of the season with hip surgery.
• The Orioles had their starting pitchers take batting practice prior to Tuesday's game, with Bud Norris -- who could still be on the DL -- just bunting instead. Norris wore his Team USA jersey around the clubhouse on Tuesday, along with center fielder Adam Jones.
• Rule 5 pick Michael Almanzar, who was designated for assignment Monday, has been returned to the Red Sox. The infielder had to be offered to the 28 other teams first.
• The Orioles moved infielder Jemile Weeks back to Triple-A Norfolk. Weeks had been with Aberdeen while the Tides were on the road in the event that the O's needed an extra infielder.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. David Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.