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Lough gets unexpected call from Orioles

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Lough gets unexpected call from Orioles

BOSTON – David Lough got an unexpected phone call Thursday morning. The Orioles needed him back, and Lough jumped on a plane from Cleveland and played the ninth inning of that afternoon’s game in Washington.

Lough was designated for assignment last month, outrighted to Norfolk, but sent home when the Tides season ended.

"I wasn't anticipating it. I was home for a little over a week and it was a couple days ago, early in the morning, I got the phone call. I got ready as fast as I could just to get here for the game,” Lough said.

“I go home and I start working out and staying shape and always stay ready. I was in my basement taking dry cuts and stuff in my gym. I always stay ready, I always stay locked in, so when I got the call I'm ready to go."

RELATED: Orioles fall 7-0 to Red Sox as Rich Hill pitches complete game

Being back in the minors wasn’t an enjoyable time for Lough.

“Not fun, not fun at all. When you get sent down and go to Triple-A, it’s more of getting over it mentally than it is physically. Just getting through that point, that transition, because the big leagues is so much different than being in Triple-A,” Lough said.

“There’s a lot of things you have to get through, but I persevered through it and I put together what I could down there and I feel like I’m more than capable of playing up here at the major league level.”

Lough batted .202 with four home runs and 12 RBIs in 77 games for the Orioles.
He hit .259 in 14 games with Norfolk, but injuries slowed him.

“I was hurting pretty bad on my foot. When I went home for a couple days it went away for the most part. I think playing on it consistently wasn't make it any better, so a couple days rest and I was fine,” Lough said.

Lough is hoping to stay with the Orioles after this season.

“I’d like to. I think this organization. I like everything about it, but whenever that comes around I’ll focus on that. I’m just here to play baseball and help this team win and make that wild-card playoff spot,” Lough said.

MORE ORIOLES: Adam Jones could return Saturday

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Orioles' Manny Machado leading all American League shortstops in All-Star Game votes

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USA TODAY Sports

Orioles' Manny Machado leading all American League shortstops in All-Star Game votes

The Orioles' Manny Machado is the early leader among American League shortstops in the first results of All-Star voting released by Major League Baseball Tuesday.

Machado holds a lead of 110,131 votes over the Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor. 

No other Orioles' player is on the list, and Adam Jones isn't listed among the top-15 of outfielders. 

The Astros' Carlos Correa was last year’s starting shortstop for the American League, but is in fourth place with 206,707 votes, trailing the Yankees' Didi Gregorius who has 208,583.

The next AL voting update will be announced June 19.

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Zach Britton rejoins Orioles after stint on disabled list

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Zach Britton rejoins Orioles after stint on disabled list

BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Orioles left-hander Zach Britton has been activated from the disabled list, six months after undergoing surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Assuming he's finally healthy enough to resume his role as one of the best closers in the big leagues, the question now is: How long will Britton be with the Orioles?

Britton's contract expires after this season, and Baltimore entered play Monday with the worst record in the major leagues (19-45).

So, as he stood in front of his locker and spoke excitedly about his return to the Orioles, Britton conceded that his stay in Baltimore may not extend beyond the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

"I want to pitch well and help the team, regardless of our standing or trade discussions," he said.

Asked if the next few weeks might serve as an audition for other teams, Britton replied, "I guess so, but I'm not going to think of it like that."

Britton made the 2016 AL All-Star team during a season in which he converted all 47 of his save opportunities and compiled a 0.54 ERA in 69 appearances.

He fought forearm and knee injuries last season and had only 15 saves. Then, during the winter, he tore his right Achilles tendon during a workout.

"When I injured myself in December, I was just looking forward to walking again and running again and then to be able to pitch back in the big leagues," Britton said. "There were a lot of hurdles that I overcame."

Surgery and an intense rehab program under Orioles trainer Brian Ebel enabled the 30-year-old to return sooner than many anticipated.

"The thought that he's a pitcher for us on June 11, that's remarkable," manager Buck Showalter said. "He's checked every box to get ready. I don't know what else you could possibly do."

Although Britton will be pitching for a team that's struggled mightily this season, that won't influence the intensity he will bring to the mound.

"I had some injuries the last few years, so I'm looking forward to turning the page on that and just getting back to pitching well," he said. "Everyone in this clubhouse wants to do well at this level, and that's my focus."

To adjust the roster for Britton's return, the Orioles placed right-hander Pedro Araujo on the 10-day disabled list with a right elbow strain and moved outfielder Colby Rasmus to the 60-day DL.