NYY@BAL: Teagarden blasts a three-run homer to left

BALTIMORE -- Orioles catcher Taylor Teagarden will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Norfolk on Friday, and he could be activated and rejoin Baltimore early next week.

"He'll catch nine innings there tomorrow and seven to nine [innings] on Saturday and DH Sunday," manager Buck Showalter said of Teagarden, who is working his way back from a dislocated left thumb. ""Hopefully all those things happen. That's the plan."

Teagarden has been working out at extended spring in Sarasota, Fla., and assuming all goes well with Norfolk, he should join the Orioles on their upcoming road trip. Baltimore travels to Houston for three games following Monday's off-day, and then the club heads to St. Petersburg for a weekend set against the Rays.

Teagarden, the backup to Matt Wieters on the club's Opening Day roster, was placed on the DL on April 28 after taking a foul ball off the tip of his thumb the day prior in Oakland. He is 0-for-13 in four games this season.

Adjustments seem to be working for O's Johnson

WSH@BAL: Johnson shuts the door on the Nationals

BALTIMORE -- Orioles closer Jim Johnson entered Wednesday night's game to cheers from the crowd at Camden Yards, a sign of faith in the struggling right-hander that didn't go unnoticed.

Asked if he thought the stoic Johnson -- who went on to record his 16th save -- appreciated the gesture more than he let on, manager Buck Showalter said yes.

"He hasn't said anything to me and he won't," Showalter said. "But, you know, with Jimmy, it's just he'll look at me and I'll look at him, he'll make some eye contact and he knows -- I know what he's thinking, and he's got a pretty good idea what I'm thinking."

Johnson, who hurled a 1-2-3 ninth inning, was going to pitch in Wednesday's game, save situation or not, given that he had a few days off prior to that. The 29-year-old, who saved 35 consecutive games before blowing four of five, has been working hard to get back on track and put the rough stretch behind him.

"I feel better," said Johnson, who has struggled mainly with his location. "I'm just trying to make the adjustments that I have to and just continuing that, and trust that what I'm doing is the right thing."

Johnson, who led the Majors with 51 saves last year, said his offspeed pitches were a little better on Wednesday night and he will continue to learn from his previous struggles. The O's closer has had the public support of Showalter throughout the process.

"I look at everything, you take the good with the bad," Johnson said. "You watch the video, you take what you take out of it. You can overanalyze things, but there's keys in my delivery, there's keys in being successful and I'm going to continue to focus on those."

Showalter: 'Solid Stevie' key to O's comeback

WSH@BAL: The Orioles pound four homers vs. Nats

BALTIMORE -- Partially lost in the flurry of home runs Wednesday during the Orioles' come-from-behind win was reliever Steve Johnson's scoreless outing.

Johnson got the win, but the offensive output made the headlines.

Following Wednesday's 9-6 win, manager Buck Showalter had praise for his reliever, who had just pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings to give the offense a chance to rally.

"Probably the key outing was Steve Johnson's," Showalter said. "Stevie was solid. Kind of settled things down and gave us a chance to get back in it a little bit. We got a couple good innings out of our bullpen behind it to make it matter."

Tommy Hunter pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Jim Johnson closed the win with a scoreless ninth.

"It's our job," Steve Johnson said after Wednesday's game. "Come in, and especially with this team, you know that they could explode like they did [Wednesday]. Keep the game close and try to put up a lot of zeros. Hunter and Jim did that behind me, and fortunately I was able to do the same."

He said the way the Orioles have swung the bats of late helps ease his mind as a reliever, even when he enters with the team trailing.

"There's a no-quit attitude. You never, especially in this park with the offense we have, there's no reason to," Johnson said. "We proved that tonight and we've proved it a bunch of times. We [relievers] see that, so we go into the game and know at any point they could turn it around."

With Baltimore struggling to piece together a consistent rotation, there's been talk of stretching out an effective reliever -- Johnson or lefty T.J. McFarland -- to convert him to a starter.

"I'm stretched out if they need me. I'm really here to do whatever they need me to do," Johnson said. "Right now, I'm in the bullpen and that's going to be my mentality until they tell me any different."