CHICAGO -- Southpaw starter Brian Burres showed up at Wrigley Field with an undiagnosed stomach ailment on Wednesday, forcing the Orioles to tab Matt Albers as a last-minute contingency plan. Albers has made two other spot starts this season, and manager Dave Trembley felt that the right-hander presented the best in-house option.
"I would say Albers and [Lance] Cormier were our chances," said Trembley, speaking of his long relievers. "We'll pitch Albers and see how many pitches he can give us. I'm not sure. We'll go as long as he's able to do it.
Baltimore made the decision a few hours before game time, when Burres decided definitively that he couldn't pitch. The left-hander was examined by a doctor and given the rest of the night off in an effort to aid his recuperation.
"He's ill, he's sick and he's going back to the hotel," said Trembley. "When Burres comes back, we will not put him in the rotation. He'll just skip a start. Hopefully he's OK tomorrow and he can go into the bullpen until his next start."
Burres, who's gone 2-1 with an 8.55 ERA during the month of June, has been having trouble limiting the damage in recent starts. The difficult stretch started May 27, when he allowed eight earned runs against the Yankees. Burres has allowed six earned runs or more in two of his last four starts and may have endangered his long-term slot in the rotation.
Albers, meanwhile, has also had a difficult month. The second-year swingman has thrown two straight scoreless outings, but he allowed runs in three consecutive appearances before that. Albers completed five innings and allowed just one run in his first start this season, but he went six innings and gave up three earned runs en route to a loss in the next one.
Still, Trembley didn't hesitate to tab Albers for the outing, even if it means his bullpen will be an arm short.
"It's real easy," he said. "He's been a starter [and] he's pitched in this ballpark before. We'll just start Albers."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.