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O's bring up Saunders, Meek as rosters expand

O's bring up Saunders, Meek as rosters expand

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles added a pair of pitchers with September's expanded rosters, selecting Joe Saunders' contract and recalling Evan Meek from Triple-A Norfolk prior to Monday's game.

Meek, who was part of the Opening Day roster, was not in the clubhouse while it was open to the media but is expected to be joined by fellow righty Ryan Webb on Tuesday. This is Saunders' first time with the Orioles since signing a Minor League contract on August 1 and he's been used exclusively as a reliever for Norfolk.

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"It's kind of a breath of fresh air if you will," said Saunders, who was released by the Royals and pitched to a 6.13 ERA in eight starts for Texas earlier this year. "Does that say my starting days are over? In my opinion, probably not. I feel like I probably wasn't 100 percent after I got banged in the foot, maybe tried to come back a little early. I think there's plenty more in the tank."

For now, the 33-year-old Saunders will be used in a role similar to long man T.J. McFarland, with manager Buck Showalter also saying Saunders -- who pitched to a 1.50 ERA in 10 games for Norfolk -- could make a spot start if needed.

"Obviously, Joe has a lot more track record and a lot more experience," Showalter said. ""It's a seamless fit in the clubhouse. It's a guy that everybody knows. He's pitched some big games for us."

The biggest was for the American League Wild Card in Texas in 2012, a game that Saunders went 5 2/3 innings and held the Rangers to one run, giving the O's their first playoff win since 1997.

"It's up there for sure," Saunders said of where that game ranks in his 10-year career. "The top couple starts of my career so far. Hopefully there's more to come. That was a special game for sure."

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

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