Markakis rejoins Orioles after grandma's funeral


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Baltimore Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis rejoined the team after missing two games to attend his grandmother's funeral, starting Friday night against Tampa Bay.

Baltimore optioned outfielder Xavier Avery to Triple-A Norfolk after Thursday night's game at Houston.

Also, the Orioles recalled pitcher Mike Belfiore from Norfolk, where the left-hander went 1-0 with a 4.20 ERA in 17 games. Belfiore was sent back to Norfolk after the Orioles lost 2-1 to the Rays.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said reliever Pedro Strop, out with a lower back strain, could be activated Saturday from the 15-day disabled list.

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