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Orioles add veteran Saunders to rotation

BALTIMORE — Eager to bolster an inexperienced pitching staff during their first playoff run since 1997, the Orioles obtained LHP Joe Saunders on Sunday in a trade with the Diamondbacks.

Baltimore gave Arizona RH reliever Matt Lindstrom and cash considerations or a player to be named later.

Saunders, 31, who was scheduled to start Sunday against the Padres, was 6-10 with a 4.22 ERA in 21 starts with Arizona this season. The eight-year veteran was 12-13, 3.69 last season for the NL West champions.

Baltimore is tied for the second American League wild-card spot with Oakland and is in third place in the East, 41/2 games behind the Yankees.

"I'm excited to get traded to a playoff contending team," said Saunders, a north Virginia native. "Plus my family is from there so I'll get to go closer to home. I grew up an hour and a half south of Baltimore so it's going to be exciting to hang out with them more and they'll get a chance to see me pitch more."

The Orioles have only one left-hander in the bullpen and a rotation that includes rookies Miguel Gonzalez, Wei-Yin Chen and Steve Johnson.

"We just liked his experience, which I think complements our starting rotation," Dan Duquette, the Orioles vice president of baseball operations, said of Saunders. "And I also like the fact he's left-handed."

LONEY JOINS BOSOX: 1B James Loney is getting a fresh start with as the only major-leaguer the Red Sox acquired Saturday's megadeal with the Dodgers. "I'm excited," Loney said before his Boston debut. "(Fenway) has always been one of my favorite parks. We got to come here in 2010. The fans are great here. You've got a lot of support and it's a great atmosphere."

Also, manager Bobby Valentine said the team will meet with DH David Ortiz today to decide whether he needs another trip to the disabled list, one that could end his season. Ortiz missed 35 games with a sore right Achilles tendon before returning Friday and aggravating the injury.

ASTROS EYE CLEMENS: Houston GM Jeff Luhnow attended RHP Roger Clemens' Saturday debut with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League and came away impressed after the 50-year-old pitched 31/3 scoreless innings. "He looked good," Luhnow told the Houston Chronicle. "He certainly can compete at that independent ball level."

VOTTO HEALING: Reds 1B Joey Votto is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment this week with Class A Dayton. Votto has been out since July 16 with a torn meniscus in his left knee.

PADRES: RHP Casey Kelly, one of the team's top prospects, is scheduled to make his major-league debut tonight. Kelly was acquired in December 2010 in the trade that sent 1B Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox.

RANGERS: RHP Yu Darvish, who skipped his previous outing with right quadriceps tightness, is expected to start Tuesday against the Rays.

WHITE SOX: RHP Gavin Floyd left his start after two innings with right elbow discomfort.

Orioles add veteran Saunders to rotation 08/26/12 [Last modified: Sunday, August 26, 2012 9:50pm]
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