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Showalter: Villar 'off to a good start' with O's

MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter was impressed with Jonathan Villar's team debut on Thursday against the Rangers.

Villar, who was acquired from the Brewers on Tuesday, is part of the three-player package Baltimore received for Jonathan Schoop. He started at second base and was a bright spot, going 2-for-5 with a run scored in Baltimore's 17-8 loss.

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ARLINGTON -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter was impressed with Jonathan Villar's team debut on Thursday against the Rangers.

Villar, who was acquired from the Brewers on Tuesday, is part of the three-player package Baltimore received for Jonathan Schoop. He started at second base and was a bright spot, going 2-for-5 with a run scored in Baltimore's 17-8 loss.

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"Honestly, good, he's off to a good start," Showalter said. "Wish the game went a little bit better for him to come into, but I know from his track record, offensively, what he's going to do."

Villar said on Thursday that he wants to make an impact on the Orioles' run game. Entering the day, he had 14 stolen bases this season, and he has 141 in his six-year career.

Showalter said Villar told the coaching staff about wanting to steal more bases, and Showalter has decided to give him the green light.

"He's pretty much on his own," Showalter said. "We'll see the decisions he makes, watch him, leave him alone and let him play."

Marinez to DL, Phillips called up
Orioles reliever Jhan Marinez was placed on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain on Friday.

The right-hander went out to throw warmup pitches before the fifth -- which would have been his second inning -- but exited before facing the leadoff hitter. He allowed two runs on two hits and walked three in one inning of work.

Showalter said the injury isn't considered significant, and that Marinez could return fairly quickly. Marinez holds a 5.63 ERA in eight innings this season.

In a corresponding move, the Orioles called up right-hander Evan Phillips, who was acquired in the deal that sent Kevin Gausman and Darren O'Day to the Braves on Tuesday.

Phillips, who was born in Salisbury, Md., said he was excited when he learned of the trade. He said Baltimore was his childhood team.

"Huge Orioles fan growing up, so it was a dream come true in some ways," Phillips said. "Very excited to be here, and my family is very happy to hear about the news. Didn't really think I'd be traded, but I was very excited when I found out it was Baltimore."

Phillips' favorite Oriole growing up?

"Cal Ripken Jr.," he said. "Favorite baseball player of all time. I wore No. 8 as long as I could until single-digit numbers for pitchers became not cool. I grew up in North Carolina, so I went to [Orioles] games as often as I could, whenever we were up visiting family. Camden Yards, favorite ballpark of all time, and I'm really excited to pitch there."

The 23-year-old made four appearances for the Braves this season and held an 8.53 ERA. His roughest outing came against the Brewers on July 8, when he allowed a career-high four runs and three hits.

It wasn't the start to a big league career Phillips envisioned, but he said he feels like he's turned a corner in recent outings. He hasn't allowed a run in his last 2 2/3 innings.

"Had a rough one in Milwaukee, but after that one in Milwaukee, I really got into a good groove, and I feel like that will transition into the organization with the Orioles," Phillips said.

Wesley Dotson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington.

Baltimore Orioles, Jonathan Villar