Johnson optioned after celebrating first win

Johnson optioned after celebrating first win

BALTIMORE -- Less than 24 hours after notching a win in his first Major League start, right-hander Steve Johnson was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk to make room for Manny Machado on the 25-man Orioles roster.

To create space on the 40-man roster, the O's moved second baseman Brian Roberts to the 60-day DL. Roberts underwent season-ending hip surgery earlier this month.

Johnson got the call from Norfolk to start on Wednesday against Seattle after scheduled starter Tommy Hunter worked out of the bullpen during Tuesday's 14-inning marathon win over the Mariners.

Pitching in his hometown in front of about 40 friends and family members, Johnson allowed only two runs on five hits and two walks in six innings to earn his first MLB win exactly 23 years to the day after his father, Dave, did the same, also with the Orioles.

Although Johnson notched nine strikeouts in the winning effort, manager Buck Showalter was noncommittal about what the outing meant for Johnson's future with the O's.

"We've got a lot of moving parts right now," Showalter said when asked if Johnson would get another start in the Majors. "He certainly presented himself well tonight."

Thursday marked the third time since July 3 that Johnson has been optioned from the O's back to Triple-A. None of his three stints in the Majors have lasted longer than two days.

With Hunter set to return to the rotation on Sunday and the Orioles having Monday off, the team will not be in need of a fifth starter until August 18.

That fifth starter could end up being Zach Britton, who was optioned on Wednesday in a move Showalter said was based more on convenience than performance.