TORONTO -- After his shortest outing of the season, which continued a string of six consecutive starts without a win, Tommy Hunter was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday.
Hunter lasted three-plus innings in Monday's series opener to Toronto, allowing six runs -- five earned -- on nine hits to drop to 2-3 on the season with a 5.59 ERA.
The last time Hunter picked up a win was April 24 against the Blue Jays, and he was well aware that his spot in the rotation was anything but a guarantee following the start.
"It's a really rough stretch," Hunter said postgame. "As soon as I can figure out how to throw a fastball down in the zone, things are going to change. It's a battle right now. I'm struggling. It's one of those things, you've got to find it, or somebody else is going to do it."
He had more to say, specifically about how poorly he has thrown at Rogers Centre over his career. In five outings, including four starts, he is 0-3, with a 7.44 ERA.
"[Rogers Centre] is sickening for me. It's something you're going to have to overcome if you want to continue your career. That's the bottom line."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter made no promises that Hunter would be back up with Baltimore, regardless of his results. More than anything, there are a few specific things that Showalter would like to see out of the 25-year-old right-hander.
"It's about fastball command and it's about some other things, too," Showalter said. "I think it will relieve some anxiety. He has pitched some good innings, good games for us. It just hasn't been at a consistent level and he's making a lot of mistakes with his fastball. We thought this was a good opportunity to see if he can at least regain it back at that level."
Showalter said he expected Hunter to make his first start with Norfolk on Saturday.
Chavez, Gonzalez join O's after roster moves
TORONTO -- The Orioles made a flurry of moves Tuesday, reinstating Endy Chavez from the disabled list, selecting the contract of right-hander Miguel Gonzalez and optioning starter Tommy Hunter and outfielder Xavier Avery to Triple-A Norfolk.
Hunter has gone winless in his last six starts, while Avery had three hits in his last 28 at-bats to drop his average to .217 on the season.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter was seeing some things in Avery's swing that needed to be corrected in the Minor Leagues.
"He got a little pull conscience here and that makes him so susceptible to the breaking ball," Showalter said.
But Baltimore's skipper also had some very positive things to say about the 22-year-old rookie.
"He can let the ball travel, he's got athletic skills. He gave us some juice, and you can see why we are excited about him. ... I love the fact that he came in here and let it rip and was aggressive and was selective for quite a while. I just want him to get back to trusting himself, get back here and get back to the things he was doing that made everybody excited about him, like we still are. I feel as good about him the day I sent him out as I did before.
"He's got a future."
Avery would likely see time in left or center field in the upcoming days, according to Showalter.
Showalter also had a lot of praise to heap on Gonzalez, who was 2-1 with one save and a 1.50 ERA over 30 innings at Norfolk, and credited Fred Ferreira -- executive director of international recruiting -- with bringing Gonzalez over to Baltimore.
"Fred saw him in the Caribbean World Series pitching for Mexico and wanted to sign him," Showalter said. "He's been impressive down there -- his command. Miguel has been pitching as well as anyone down there. I know he's excited. Just another luxury we have with having someone like Fred in our organization."
Gonzalez, who was signed by the Orioles as a Minor League free agent in February, had 36 strikeouts compared to five walks and allowed just 10 hits at Triple-A.
Nolan Reimold is not in the clear after getting a second epidural shot to his neck, according to Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "He's feeling better with the symptoms," Showalter said. "It's really diminished. It's yet to be seen if we will do the third one [epidural shot] or not, the next few days will tell that."
Matt Lindstrom threw on Tuesday, which Showalter said was from longer distances than the 60- and 90-foot lengths he reported the reliever was throwing from Monday. Showalter said that Lindstrom felt fine.
Taylor Teagarden saw Dr. Andrew Dossett for the second time and is heading back to Saratosa, Fla.
Chris Toman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.