After burning through every available reliever during their May 1 doubleheader, the Orioles boosted their bullpen depth by recalling right-handed pitcher Brad Brach from Triple-A Norfolk May 3.
Brach (pronounced "Brock") has struck out 26 batters in 13 innings for the Tides this year, averaging two per inning. Overall, he is 2-1 with one save and a 4.85 ERA during 12 games. Brach began the season with eight consecutive scoreless appearances, but was scored upon during three of his last four outings for Norfolk.
The Orioles acquired Brach, 28, from the Padres Nov. 25, 2013, in exchange for minor league pitcher Devin Jones. Brach spent the first three years of his major league career with San Diego, posting a 3.70 ERA during 109 games. He was proficient at fanning hitters -- with a career rate of 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings -- but also struggled with his control, walking 5.1 batters per nine.
Brach took the roster spot that right-handed pitcher Evan Meek had vacated when the Orioles optioned him to Norfolk May 2.
Meek was something of a feel-good story for the Birds this spring, a former All-Star closer who won a spot in the Orioles' Opening Day bullpen after recovering from a career-threatening shoulder injury. Meek's Orioles career got off to a strong start, as he began the year with eight straight scoreless outings (just as Brach did for Norfolk), but he gave up runs during three of his next four outings (again, just like Brach).
Meek coughed up four runs apiece April 22 in Toronto and April 27 against the Royals. His last appearance came during game two of the May 1 doubleheader, during which he allowed one run in one inning. All told, he posted a 6.94 ERA during 12 games.