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Designated hitter Pearce getting hot after slow start

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BALTIMORE -- Steve Pearce again got the start at designated hitter for the Wednesday matinee versus the Padres. He was batting ninth but has been heating up lately.

Pearce got the tiebreaking single that gave the Orioles a brief 2-1 lead in the eighth inning Tuesday night, and he's been on a roll after his slow start. Pearce pushed his average up to .250 entering play on Wednesday after beginning the season with an 0-for-13 skid. He went 0-for-3 with a walk in Wednesday's 8-4 loss to San Diego.

Since then, Pearce has gone 10-for-27 (.370) with two homers and seven RBIs, and has fared better than Nolan Reimold (.188).

Pearce made the team thanks to a strong Spring Training, where he finished with a .340 average, seven homers and 18 RBIs.

Manager Buck Showalter stuck with Pearce after his slow start, and that patience has paid off with the recent hot streak. Pearce also tied a career high with three hits, plus the game-winning RBI, in the team's victory against the Angels on May 4.

"Steve had some good at-bats," Showalter said. "I thought he had three really good at-bats last night. He's a professional hitter. He's the one guy who sat over there for six or seven days. I want him to get him some at-bats, but Nolan will be back in there."

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

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