Orioles demote Garcia, call up Gausman

The Baltimore Orioles optioned Freddy Garcia to Triple-A Norfolk on Monday, one day after the veteran pitcher was hit hard in his most recent start, while recalling top prospect Kevin Gausman from the minors.

Garcia was rocked for seven runs and seven hits in just 2 1/3 innings of the Orioles' 13-5 loss at Toronto on Sunday, which raised his season earned run average to 5.77 over 11 appearances (10 starts). The right-hander has gone just 1-3 with a troubling 10.19 ERA over four starts and one relief outing in June, while allowing nine home runs in 17 2/3 innings over that span.

As a vested player, the 36-year-old Garcia has the right to decline the option and become a free agent if he chooses.

Gausman, the No. 4 overall pick of the 2012 MLB Draft, made five starts for Baltimore earlier this season before being sent back to Norfolk on June 14. The 22-year-old did struggle in his first taste of the majors, going 0-3 with a 7.66 ERA and serving up seven homers in 24 2/3 innings.

The highly regarded right-hander is a candidate to start Friday's home game against the New York Yankees, in which Garcia had been originally scheduled to pitch.