CLE@BAL: Clevenger's grounder plates Jones

MILWAUKEE -- The Orioles optioned Steve Clevenger to Triple-A Norfolk to clear a roster spot for Chris Davis' return from the paternity list on Tuesday, leaving Caleb Joseph as the club's backup catcher.

The move came as a surprise, with Joseph a right-handed hitter along with starter Nick Hundley, whom the club traded for on Saturday.

"There's not a good or bad decision there," manager Buck Showalter said of the move, which the organization debated on all afternoon. "We want Stevie to catch every day right now, kind of get him back to where he was. He's very close to it. We just think with the dynamic, we like the dynamic of him and Matt [Wieters] and now until we got an idea of Nick a little bit, it kind of fits a little better. It's 51-49 percent."

Hundley got his second start behind the plate on Tuesday and will be the Orioles' primary catcher as they wait on Wieters, who is trying to avoid surgery in alleviating his elbow discomfort. The 28-year-old Clevenger has batted .243/.300/.378 in 24 games for the Orioles this season, while Joseph is 1-for-23, but the organization has been very clear that defense is a priority.

"I want him to kind of get back in that flow of catching every day," Showalter said of Clevenger. "And in a perfect world, Caleb would be doing that too. But if Matt comes back, if that is heading in that direction, it might change the dynamics of how we look at it."

Davis back in lineup after birth of daughter

BAL@MIL: Davis discusses the birth of his first child

MILWAUKEE -- Chris Davis returned to the Orioles lineup on Tuesday, as the first baseman was activated from the paternity list a day early to rejoin the team for the second game of their series against the Brewers.

"I wanted to make sure it was OK with Jill first that I came back," Davis said of his wife, who gave birth to a girl on Sunday night. "She knows where my heart is. Even though I'm not there in physical form, I'm still with those guys.

"It's hard to stay away. We watched both games, and she knows that I get excited when baseball season fires up. She understands. It's a good thing about having a great wife. She can take care of all the hard stuff when you get to go out and play."

It is the couple's first child and Davis, who said he has played baseball on less sleep, was excited to be back.

"You couldn't have asked for a better process," Davis said. "I think it went about as smoothly as it could have. Jill was a trouper. It's something you don't get to do every day. It's something that I'll never forget and hope that I can do again."

Johan closing in on rehab assignment

Johan Santana signs Minor League deal with Orioles

MILWAUKEE -- Johan Santana made what could be his final extended spring outing on Tuesday, throwing 76 pitches over 4 1/3 innings. Santana, who has a June 1 opt-out clause in his contract, could begin a rehab assignment if he remains with the organization.

"I know what the people that are watching would like to do," manager Buck Showalter said, "But whether or not that is the conclusion it comes to, that's up to Dan [executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette], Johan and probably his agent, because I do think he probably has an out, and I know there are other teams watching him throw waiting to see what we are going to do."

Signed to a Minor League deal this spring, Santana is working his way back from a second shoulder surgery and could also make one more extended start to get stretched out a little more. Should he stay with the Orioles, he would be a rotation option for Baltimore's inconsistent starting staff.

"I think it's at the point now either he goes out or he pitches one more time [in extended]," Showalter said. "It's a matter of when. I'll let them figure that out, I think he is very close."

Right-hander Edgmer Escalona (shoulder inflammation) who threw three innings on Tuesday, will go out on a rehab assignment his next time out.

Worth noting

• Francisco Peguero did not start in either of Triple-A Norfolk's games Tuesday, as the outfielder is dealing with tight hamstrings. It's not believed to be a serious issue. The Orioles have to make a decision on Peguero by Thursday, as his rehab assignment ends.

• Former Oriole Mark Reynolds took plenty of ribbing from Brewers teammates during the series, with Kyle Lohse and Yovani Gallardo hanging up signs that said, "Do not admit," in the O's dugout with Reynolds' picture.

• Davis had Wednesday's error in Pittsburgh removed and changed to a two-run double instead. The change, which leaves Davis errorless on the year, adds two more earned runs to starter Chris Tillman's totals.