Phillips was told before Sunday's Tides game that he was being recalled and arrived in Toronto on Sunday night.
"I really didn't think about it," Phillips said. "If it was going to happen, it was going to happen. I can't control the outcome, but I'm just happy to be here."
To make room for Phillips, the Orioles designated Norfolk right-hander
Phillips will give the Orioles a third left-handed reliever for the September playoff push, joining
"Zach pitched real well here last year," Orioles manager
Phillips' arrival comes at the perfect time, after Matusz had pitched in three consecutive games and Wolf threw 3 1/3 innings in relief in the Orioles' 8-3 win over the
Phillips was one of the team's final cuts this spring — he allowed just two earned runs and four hits over 11 innings for a 1.35 ERA during
Phillips has actually been better against right-handed hitters this season, holding them to a .237 mark vs. a .325 season-mark against lefties. But Showalter said Phillips' numbers against lefties have improved considerably in the second half.
"I think I'm throwing everything for strikes right now," Phillips said. "Getting ahead of hitters has really helped me. I'm just trying to bring that here and keep it going."
Phillips was 2-2 with a 3.17 ERA and seven saves in 54 innings (42 appearances) at Norfolk. He's thrown five straight scoreless outings, allowing just one hit in a span of 4 1/3 innings. Eight of his past 10 appearances have been scoreless.
Berken was 5-6 with a 3.50 ERA in 26 starts for the Tides. He made one relief appearance for the Orioles this season, allowing seven runs (two earned) in one inning. Over four seasons with the Orioles, Berken was 10-17 with a 5.40 ERA, including a 2010 season in which he was 3-3 with a 3.03 ERA in 41 relief appearances.
The Orioles couldn't get an MRI to get a more distinct look at what was causing right-hander Chris Tillman's dead throwing elbow on Monday because of
Tillman said he saw the MRI as a precaution, but Showalter wasn't necessarily that optimistic.
"When we get the report back, I'll tell you whether it was precautionary or not," Showalter said. "He wanted to continue. He said he wasn't feeling any acute pain, but I just didn't like the way he was describing it. He's still 20 or 30 innings away from his high in 2010. We'll see. That's why [you make] some of the acquisitions you do. You never know what each day is going to bring. You've got to keep everybody active."
Between the majors and Triple-A Norfolk, Tillman has pitched 153 1/3 innings, 22 innings less than his previous highest season total. He threw 185 innings in 2010 with the Orioles and Norfolk.
Right-hander Jake Arrieta, the Opening Day starter who battled inconsistency at the major league level this season, has likely earned himself a September call up with a strong finish at Triple-A Norfolk.
Starting the Tides' season finale Monday, Arrieta allowed just one earned run on three hits over five innings, striking out nine and walking one.
Arrieta has allowed three or fewer hits in each of his past four starts, pitching to a 1.82 ERA with 31 strikeouts and nine walks over 24 2/3 innings.
Showalter said Arrieta was limited to five-to-six innings or 80 pitches, whichever came first.
Arrieta would likely come out of the bullpen at first.
"We're trying to shorten him up a little bit in case there's a need," Showalter said.
Around the horn
The Orioles will decide whether right-hander