O's reunite with reliever Hunter; recall Drake

O's reunite with reliever Hunter; recall Drake

NEW YORK -- The Orioles added a familiar face on Sunday morning, with right-handed reliever Tommy Hunter rejoining his former club on a Major League contract.

Hunter's arrival was part of several roster moves as Baltimore, which entered the day having lost three straight, tries to get back on track. The O's also recalled reliever Oliver Drake from Triple-A Norfolk and designated pitcher T.J. McFarland and outfielder Julio Borbon -- added on Saturday -- for assignment.

Hunter was used in the eighth inning of Sunday's 5-0 win over the Yankees, bridging the gap between starter Kevin Gausman and Zach Britton.

"Zach needed to pitch an inning today, and Tommy, I thought it was a good idea to get him moving," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. 

Hunter, an outgoing and popular personality in the O's clubhouse, entered to much excitement and plenty of hugs. The right-hander, who broke into the big leagues with the Rangers, was traded from Baltimore to the Cubs midway through last season, and signed with the Indians last offseason.

"I have no idea," Hunter said of how the road back lead to Baltimore. "There was a slip, a fall, a break of the back, three offseason core surgeries and a few things that happened in the meantime. I had a kid [with wife, Ellen,]. There was a lot of things that happened to get me back to this spot. It's come full circle and, to be honest with you, I couldn't be happier."

The 30-year-old Hunter was with the Orioles from 2011-15 and went 21-20 with a 4.22 ERA , allowing 185 earned runs over 394 2/3 innings pitched with 257 strikeouts. He gives Showalter another veteran option for a 'pen that has been forced to pick up a lot of extra innings all year, requiring a significant amount of roster shuffling.

"There were a lot of memories here. A lot of lasting memories, not only for me, but for my family as well," Hunter said. "Baltimore is special to me, my family, it's always going to hold a special place. Walking back through the doors and seeing all the faces I just saw makes you smile pretty big."

Drake returns with a 9.53 ERA over four games with the O's this season. He has a 2.72 ERA in 47 games with Norfolk.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.