Pre-game Showalter

And lots of it.

Manager Buck Showalter went with the front office's recommendations when it came to adding Nolan Reimold, Robert Andino and Brandon Snyder to the expanded roster.

"I leaned on what everybody told me. It wasn't me," Showalter said. "That's who everybody felt like we should get a look at."

Showalter is using Reimold as the designated hitter tonight. Keep in mind that Reimold is 3-for-7 with a double lifetime against Jon Lester.

Reimold's season numbers at Triple-A Norfolk aren't overwhelming, but he hit .320 with six doubles, two homers, a .460 on-base percentage and .443 slugging percentage last month. He reached base safely in 40 of his last 42 games.

"I know he's in a pretty good spot right now in the season, compared to where he was," Showalter said. "The good thing with him is he's obviously been here before. Everybody knows him. It's a pretty seamless transition as far as his surroundings. We'll get some looks at him here and there."

Showalter will be careful to field a lineup that doesn't resemble the kind normally found in a spring training B game. He realizes that the Orioles can influence the pennant races while taking on the Red Sox, Rays and Yankees over the final month.

"There's an integrity thing, too," Showalter said. "Not that Nolan can't help us with that, with the people we're playing, but the tie-breaker's always going to be what's best for the Baltimore Orioles. But every ballgame we play in, we're trying to win. We'll get some looks along the way. I wouldn't expect it to be, part the waters and some guy plays for two weeks straight. We're also evaluating the people that are here."

Showalter won't bury Felix Pie, Luke Scott or Ty Wigginton on the bench, but will he have a problem finding them at-bats?

"If it's evaluated as a problem, it's a good one in a way," he said. "You take it each day that comes. You don't get too far ahead of yourself with the exception of we projected out the rotation for the next 10 or 12 days and it looks like, which can change 10 times, you're going to get Lester and you're going to maybe get (CC) Sabathia as far as left-handers, and you're trying to keep a flow. Pie's healthy and playing for the first time in quite a while. We want to see if he can continue that. Luke's in a good spot. We want to keep that going, and I'm not sure to keep that going, playing against Lester is a good idea. But it gives us a really nice weapon off the bench. The tough one tonight was (Corey) Patterson."

Has Pie shown enough to be projected as a regular next season?

"It's too small a sampling," Showalter replied. "One of things is can you count on him? There's some unknown there. You see why people are so high on him tool-wise. You see the things that he shows, and I think for the first time in quite a while he's shown it fairly consistently. Now, can you do it six or seven days a week for seven months? That's a hard thing to do.

"It's a tough place to protect guys, so to speak, in the big leagues. If you have a strength, it'll show up here. If you have a weakness, they'll pound it. So far, he's handled everything we've thrown at him. I'm excited about the way he's gone about his business. Each day passes and we get closer to the finish line, your evaluation period shrinks."

There's shrinkage?

Showalter noted that Chris Tillman is scheduled to make his next start with Norfolk, not the Orioles.

"We'll see what each day brings," he said.

The Orioles are considering a six-man rotation.

"It's a possibility," Showalter said. "We've looked at it both ways. If they're going to hear something about that, they're going to hear it from me and Kranny."

Showalter wants his young starters to do more than reach their career highs in innings pitched. He wants them to go beyond.

One last item: The Orioles could dip into Bowie's roster, but Showalter is sensitive to the fact that the Baysox are fighting for a playoff berth and would hate to interfere. He'll do it, but he'll hate it.

"Bowie's scratching and clawing to get in the playoffs, so there's not that need to disrupt them right now," he said. "If it's in our best interest, Baltimore would take precedence over Bowie, but if it's all equal, we'll give them their fair shot. They've been playing close to 140 games there, too. Plus, it keeps the affiliates happy.

"We'll pick them off if we have to."

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