BALTIMORE -- Right-hander Tommy Hunter, who lost the team's closer's job last week, was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain prior to Thursday's series opener against the Indians.
Hunter said he first felt something while making a few throws during pregame on Wednesday in Pittsburgh, and manager Buck Showalter said later that the club played down a man. Hunter arrived at Camden Yards on Thursday not feeling any better and Showalter decided to make the move.
"Knowing the history with Tommy, Tommy has been out as long as two months with this [injury]," Showalter said. "He's had two DL stints that were extended. Like Chris Davis, we are hoping to catch this in the infancy of what could be a lot worse, and try to rectify it in the DL period."
Hunter said he hadn't been hampered by the injury prior to Wednesday, so it's not a reason for his recent struggles on the mound. He converted 10 of his first 11 save opportunities, but blew his last two and his failure to have a clean inning became a concern. Hunter allowed 11 earned runs on 25 hits, five walks and a hit batsman over 16 1/3 innings.
"There's really no excuses for those [games]," Hunter said. "Sorry. That's what everybody is fishing for. I apologize. I can't give you any of those answers."
To take Hunter's spot on the 25-man roster, the Orioles recalled right-hander Preston Guilmet from Triple-A Norfolk. Given that it was an injury situation, the club did not have to wait the required 10-day window to recall Guilmet, who gives the O's another right-handed relief option.
The 26-year-old, who had three days off before throwing 13 pitches on Wednesday, has appeared in two games for the Orioles, striking out three in 1 2/3 scoreless innings. In 15 games for Norfolk, Guilmet was 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA over 18 innings.
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.