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Showalter: 'Solid Stevie' key to O's comeback

BALTIMORE -- Partially lost in the flurry of home runs Wednesday during the Orioles' come-from-behind win was reliever Steve Johnson's scoreless outing.

Johnson got the win, but the offensive output made the headlines.

Following Wednesday's 9-6 win, manager Buck Showalter had praise for his reliever, who had just pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings to give the offense a chance to rally.

"Probably the key outing was Steve Johnson's," Showalter said. "Stevie was solid. Kind of settled things down and gave us a chance to get back in it a little bit. We got a couple good innings out of our bullpen behind it to make it matter."

Tommy Hunter pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Jim Johnson closed the win with a scoreless ninth.

"It's our job," Steve Johnson said after Wednesday's game. "Come in, and especially with this team, you know that they could explode like they did [Wednesday]. Keep the game close and try to put up a lot of zeros. Hunter and Jim did that behind me, and fortunately I was able to do the same."

He said the way the Orioles have swung the bats of late helps ease his mind as a reliever, even when he enters with the team trailing.

"There's a no-quit attitude. You never, especially in this park with the offense we have, there's no reason to," Johnson said. "We proved that tonight and we've proved it a bunch of times. We [relievers] see that, so we go into the game and know at any point they could turn it around."

With Baltimore struggling to piece together a consistent rotation, there's been talk of stretching out an effective reliever -- Johnson or lefty T.J. McFarland -- to convert him to a starter.

"I'm stretched out if they need me. I'm really here to do whatever they need me to do," Johnson said. "Right now, I'm in the bullpen and that's going to be my mentality until they tell me any different."

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