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O's pitchers get ready for NL play with BP

BALTIMORE -- Orioles pitchers took batting practice prior to Monday's game, which manager Buck Showalter called "always quite entertaining," as they prepare for a pair of games in Pittsburgh next week.

The O's, who will play the Pirates following next Monday's off-day, have some National League experience among their rotation with both Ubaldo Jimenez and Bud Norris starting their careers in the NL and pitching there for numerous seasons.

"Always try to pick out one guy in the bullpen, kind of as a safety valve that's not a one-inning guy [to hit]," said Showalter, who designated lefty Zach Britton to do it on Monday. "Now I got some guys fighting me. They already have."

Having Britton, who entered Monday with a 0.84 ERA, hit next week might not be a bad thing. The lefty owns a career .625 batting average (5-for-8), including a homer and two RBIs -- all from 2011, when he was a starter.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli.
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