MINNEAPOLIS -- The Orioles optioned right-handed reliever Alex Burnett to Triple-A Norfolk to clear a roster spot for Steve Johnson, who started against the Twins on Saturday night.
Burnett, 25, was recalled after Miguel Gonzalez went on the disabled list on Wednesday to give the Orioles another option out of the bullpen. Burnett has had two stints with the O's since he was claimed off waivers from Toronto on April 12. He made his Baltimore debut with a scoreless inning on Thursday.
"He's a guy I enjoy talking to," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Burnett. "He's alert, looks you right in the eye. He understands what's going on. [He said], 'I'lI keep doing the same things I did to get back here. I hope nobody gets hurt and I love the situation we have in Norfolk. If you got to be in Triple-A, that's the kind of club you want to be on.' He's real impressive. I was hoping to use him last night. The game kind of dictated a different feel."
Burnett has a 0.96 ERA over 9 1/3 innings in six games for Norfolk this season.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.