Though Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo has endured some hard luck on the mound this month, his timeliness at the plate was anything but lacking on Tuesday night.
With two outs and a man on first in the bottom of the 10th inning, the Brewers called upon Gallardo -- then batting 1-for-14 on the year -- to pinch-hit, and the hard-throwing righty delivered in a big way with a walk-off RBI double that gave his team a 7-6 victory. With any luck, his success with the bat will carry over to his pitching on Wednesday night against the Orioles.
Originally scheduled to take the hill on Sunday, Gallardo was held out of the weekend's series finale against the Marlins in favor of young righty Jimmy Nelson, due to an ankle sprain he sustained on May 20. The Brewers ace, however, emphasized that his pitching has not been hampered by the injury.
"I know myself pretty well that it's not bad," Gallardo said before the decision to move his start back was made. "It's nothing that's going to alter some of the things I do on the mound or stuff like that. There's a lot more things that go into it than just standing on the mound, but I think jogging, running, it's a little stiff, but nothing that I can't get through."
Against the O's, Gallardo will look to reverse his recent fortunes. Through four May starts, Gallardo has gone 0-3 with a 6.33 ERA, after allowing just eight runs in his previous six games combined.
Gallardo has also been the recipient of sparse run support this season. The Brewers offense is averaging 2.6 runs per game when Gallardo starts, which has no doubt played a part in keeping him without a win since April 6.
On the other end, the O's will turn to consistent righty Bud Norris. Acquired from the Astros before last year's Trade Deadline, he has posted the lowest ERA (3.83), WHIP (1.17) and allowed the fewest hits (49) of anyone in Baltimore's rotation this season.
Perhaps most importantly, Norris has been unhindered by injury in 2014 -- a feat he'd like to see continue.
"I just want to go out there and pitch and give my team a chance every five days and stay healthy," he said. "I think that's the best I can do."
Norris got the win in his last time out, holding the Indians to four runs on six hits over six innings on Friday night. He is 3-2 with a 3.00 ERA in seven night-game starts, as opposed to 0-2 with a 7.15 ERA in his only two daytime outings of the year.
Brewers: K-Rod fighting command issues
• Francisco Rodriguez has not displayed the same type of command he showed earlier in the season. In fact, after not giving up a single run through the month of April, Rodriguez has allowed seven runs over his last eight innings of relief, and he also blew a save opportunity in Monday's loss to the O's.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke acknowledged that his closer has had issues with location lately.
"Frankie depends on the command," Roenicke said. "He depends on the off-speed stuff. When he's not commanding his fastball, now he's got to go to the off-speed and he has to be really good with those pitches."
Orioles: Clevenger demoted, Davis back in lineup
• Catcher Steve Clevenger was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk in order to make room for first baseman Chris Davis on the 25-man roster. Davis returned to the starting lineup on Tuesday after a two-day stay on the paternity list, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a walk in his first game back.
The move also left Caleb Joseph as the club's backup catcher behind the recently acquired Nick Hundley. The right-handed-hitting Joseph has just one hit in 23 Major League at-bats this season, though he previously hit .261 in 22 games with Norfolk. Clevenger was batting .243/.300/.378 before his demotion.
• Brewers veteran Aramis Ramirez has been sidelined since May 10 due to a strained hamstring, but on Tuesday he took part in his first fielding practice since sustaining the injury. Roenicke said Ramirez might take some live swings on Wednesday against reliever Wei-Chung Wang, who is scheduled to pitch in a simulated game. Ramirez was hitting .252 with five home runs before landing on the disabled list.
• Milwaukee first baseman Mark Reynolds, who spent two seasons in Baltimore, is hitting just .149 at home this season. Nine of his 12 home runs have come away from Miller Park.
• With their 7-6 loss on Tuesday night, the Orioles fell to 11-7 in one-run games this season.
Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.