SD@BAL: Pearce's single gives O's eighth-inning lead

BALTIMORE -- Steve Pearce again got the start at designated hitter for the Wednesday matinee versus the Padres. He was batting ninth but has been heating up lately.

Pearce got the tiebreaking single that gave the Orioles a brief 2-1 lead in the eighth inning Tuesday night, and he's been on a roll after his slow start. Pearce pushed his average up to .250 entering play on Wednesday after beginning the season with an 0-for-13 skid. He went 0-for-3 with a walk in Wednesday's 8-4 loss to San Diego.

Since then, Pearce has gone 10-for-27 (.370) with two homers and seven RBIs, and has fared better than Nolan Reimold (.188).

Pearce made the team thanks to a strong Spring Training, where he finished with a .340 average, seven homers and 18 RBIs.

Manager Buck Showalter stuck with Pearce after his slow start, and that patience has paid off with the recent hot streak. Pearce also tied a career high with three hits, plus the game-winning RBI, in the team's victory against the Angels on May 4.

"Steve had some good at-bats," Showalter said. "I thought he had three really good at-bats last night. He's a professional hitter. He's the one guy who sat over there for six or seven days. I want him to get him some at-bats, but Nolan will be back in there."

Gonzalez to pitch simulated game on Friday

BAL@NYY: Gonzalez induces a double play to escape

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles are going to have Miguel Gonzalez pitch a simulated game on Friday to get him closer to possibly returning to the starting rotation next week.

Gonzalez, on the disabled list (right thumb blister) said after Wednesday's game that pitching coach Rick Adair told the right-hander he'd throw 25-30 pitches and do his workout. After that, they'll see how everything goes, and Gonzalez could come back early next week, as he's eligible to return on the 19th or later.

"I think it was a good idea," Gonzalez said. "Rick Adair and Buck [Showalter] were talking about it, letting me know. I think it will be fine facing my teammates."

He's going to throw without a bandage on his blister. Bandages aren't allowed in games, but he said if he doesn't feel right, he'll finish up with the bandage."

The team had talked about having him possibly go to Bowie for a rehab assignment, but they changed up and went to the simulated game. He threw earlier today and said everything worked well.

"The ball was coming out good," he said. "The breaking pitches were fine. I was pretty happy with my performance."

Worth noting

• Jake Arrieta threw a bullpen session for Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday, and once he started throwing, he didn't have any right shoulder discomfort. Showalter said he wasn't sure if Arrieta, who missed Sunday's scheduled start, would pitch for Norfolk this weekend or not.

• Had the Orioles tied the game on Tuesday night, Showalter said Chris Davis -- who was pinch-run for -- would have been replaced at first base by Nick Markakis.

• Three Orioles have 13 or more doubles -- Adam Jones, Manny Machado and Davis -- the most of any Major League club. Machado hit three more in Wednesday's 8-4 loss to San Diego to up his season total to 17, Davis hit one and now has 14 on the year.

• Machado went 1-for-4 in Tuesday's loss to the Padres, but that ended his streak of three-hit games at three. Machado was the first Orioles player to do accomplish that feat since Melvin Mora in 2008. But he stayed hot on Wednesday, tying his career high with four hits.

According to Elias, the last Major League player under the age of 21 to have three straight three hit games was Pittsburgh's Rennie Stennett (Sept. 3-5, 1971).

The Orioles have had just three players get three hits in four straight games -- as Machado tried to do Tuesday -- Don Buford (1970), Eddie Murray ('81) and Cal Ripken, Jr. ('90).

Machado is hitting .343. He has 12 career homers and, according to STATS, if Machado can get one more homer before July 6, he'll pass Boog Powell for the most home runs by an Orioles player before the age of 21.