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O'Day, Orioles' bullpen ready when called on

KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Darren O'Day believes the entire Baltimore bullpen brigade has a Boy Scout's motto these days: Be prepared.

Some bullpens operate well with strictly defined roles, but the Orioles are in a flexibility mode these days after some uneven outings from closer Tommy Hunter. A case in point came in Thursday's 2-1 win over the Royals when O'Day was summoned in the sixth inning. Although O'Day has been used to working later, manager Buck Showalter felt it was a crucial juncture with two on, one out and the Orioles up by one run.

O'Day responded by escaping the jam and then adding a clean seventh inning for good measure.

"What we have now is a group of guys who are ready to pitch at any time," O'Day said. "It really forms cohesiveness and keeps everybody on their toes. Everybody is in play at all times. That's only going to do good things for us in the long run."

Showalter said he plans to use his bullpen with three factors in mind.

"We want to put them in spots that give us the best chance to win, gives them the best chance for success and gives them the best chance to stay healthy," Showalter said. "Those are the three things we are looking at."

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to
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