The Orioles optioned right-hander Steve Johnson to Norfolk following Saturday’s 8-4 loss and had an open spot with Brian Roberts on the third day of his paternity leave. Valencia could be up for just one game.
In 55 games at Norfolk this year, Valencia is batting .298 with 12 home runs and 46 RBIs. In 24 games with the Orioles, he’s batting .200 with four home runs and eight RBIs. He’s primarily played as the DH against left-handed pitching, and the Orioles will face Mariners left-hander Joe Saunders on Sunday.
Valencia said he found out he was being called up late Saturday night and arrived in Baltimore at 4 a.m.
His last major league action came July 23 at Kansas City. He went 0-for-2 before being lifted for a pinch-hitter. He’s 0-for-22 with a walk in his past 10 games, and his last hit as an Oriole came June 16 against Boston.
“I think it’s all about how much consistent playing time you can get to really get into a groove,” Valencia said. “If you’re not playing too much, it’s very, very difficult, especially up here, to stay in the drove and constantly hit, so down there when you play every day, you kind of get into a groove. It’s tough. You’ve just got to find a way to get it done.”
Here is the Orioles lineup against the Seattle Mariners and former Orioles' lefty Joe Saunders. Note that Nate McLouth and Matt Wieters are sitting and Adam Jones has moved up to third with Chris Davis hitting cleanup. A fairly typical Sunday lineup versus a lefty.
Markakis 9, Machado 5, Jones 8, Davis 3, Hardy 6, Pearce 7, Valencia DH, Teagarden 2, Casilla 4. Chen 1.