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O's call up Clark, send Britton back to Triple-A

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SEATTLE -- The Orioles optioned starter Zach Britton to Triple-A Norfolk prior to Tuesday's game, clearing a roster spot to recall pitcher Zach Clark and add him to the bullpen.

Britton started Monday's game and got the loss after allowing six earned runs on 10 hits and two walks over six innings. It was the first big league start of 2013 for the 25-year-old lefty, who was recalled last week.

"I don't consider myself a one-and-done guy, a spot [start] guy," Britton said. "I'd like to get an extended look, especially after having 10 days off [in between outings]. I'd like to hopefully get into my five-day routine and show them what I have been doing down there. I didn't feel I presented myself the best that I could. So I didn't expect for it to be a one-time shot, but I'm just going to keep going down there and throwing well and hopefully get another extended look."

Asked whether it was performance-based or need-based, Britton said the Orioles didn't specify, only that they needed a fresh arm for Tuesday and he was the odd man out.

"It's just frustrating," he said. "I felt like I threw well enough [for Triple-A Norfolk] that maybe I'd get an opportunity if there was a need. There was a need. Like I said, I would have liked to have maybe get a couple more starts and give it an opportunity. ... It was disappointing not to get an extended look."

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he thought Britton pitched OK on Monday and the decision was mostly based out of team need. The move to add Clark, who has been a starter at Triple-A, ensures the bullpen stays fresh and in good health.

"This isn't a charity case," Showalter said of the decision to go with the 29-year-old Clark, who will be making his Major League debut. "This guy deserves it. It happens to fall on his day [to start in Triple-A] and he's on the roster, but if he wasn't doing a good job, he's coming off a really good start and kind of back on his feet. We know he's not going to be scared and he's going to throw it over the plate."

Clark, who has spent eight years in the Minors, is 1-2 with a 4.56 ERA in five starts for Norfolk. Over those starts, he has allowed 30 hits and seven walks with 20 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings.

The Orioles also officially added catcher Chris Snyder and designated catcher Luis Exposito for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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