BALTIMORE (AP) -Orioles right-hander Steve Trachsel was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday, less than 24 hours after he struggled in his shortest outing in four years.
Trachsel has a strained muscle below his lower back. He could miss only one start, because part of his stint on the DL will come during the All-Star break.
``I know Steve has been in some discomfort. He felt like it affected the way he threw last night and his preparation in between starts,'' interim manager Dave Trembley said. ``He's a very regimented, routine-oriented type guy. He gets one more start before the break, and I think everyone's feeling was to back away from that, let him get a chance to get some treatment.''
Trachsel was taken back by the news.
``It's amazing, isn't it? I haven't even seen a doctor yet,'' the 36-year-old veteran said Saturday afternoon. ``I was a little surprised.''
The injury occurred during Trachsel's previous start, on June 24 in Arizona. In 17 starts this season he's 5-6 with a 4.95 ERA.
Trachsel allowed five runs and nine hits in 1 2-3 innings Friday night against the Los Angeles Angels. It was his shortest outing since July 10, 2003, when he got only five outs against Philadelphia for the New York Mets.
Left-hander Kurt Birkins was called up from Triple-A Norfolk to replace Trachsel on the roster. Birkins will pitch long relief, because the Orioles had to use Rob Bell in that role Friday night after Trachsel was chased.
Bell, who allowed one infield hit in 4 1-3 scoreless innings, is a candidate to fill Trachsel's spot in the rotation Wednesday against the Chicago White Sox. The right-hander has 108 career starts.
Against the Angels, he came in with Baltimore trailing 5-0 and left with the Orioles up 7-5.
``Great for Rob Bell. He did his job. He has waited for his opportunity,'' Trembley said. ``He's kept himself in shape and kept himself sharp throwing out of the bullpen. You root for a guy like that.''
The Orioles also are considering Garrett Olson, who allowed only two hits for Norfolk on Friday night against Pawtucket to earn his fourth straight win.

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