Bergesen started for Norfolk on Monday night and yielded two runs over five solid innings against Lehigh Valley. He allowed five hits and a walk and struck out four. Pitching on three days' rest -- which puts him in line for Saturday's start on four days' rest -- Bergesen threw 58 of his 85 pitches for strikes.
The Orioles' decision to option right-hander Chris Tillman to Norfolk on Tuesday -- to make room for infielder-outfielder Jake Fox, who was acquired from Oakland -- guaranteed that Tillman wouldn't be returning to the rotation anytime soon. The O's had previously entertained the idea of having a long reliever such as Mark Hendrickson or Jason Berken make a spot start, given Monday's off-day.
While interim manager Juan Samuel said on Tuesday that the team was still deciding, he acknowledged that Bergesen is the likely candidate.
"I know [pitching coach Rick Kranitz] was kind of waiting to see how he pitched [on Monday]," Samuel said. "The report is that he threw the ball very well. We'll see here in the next couple days if that's where we're going to go."
Bergesen has had an up-and-down sophomore campaign and was optioned back to Norfolk on June 13 after going 3-4 with a 6.75 ERA in 10 starts before being moved to the bullpen. In his first start for the Tides on Thursday, he allowed five hits, including a three-run homer, over 2 2/3 innings. Bergesen also walked two and struck out two in the abbreviated outing, in which he was on a 65-pitch limit.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.