Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he didn't go old school by design. It was purely by necessity and circumstance that four of his young, inexperienced starters have ended up in the bullpen in September.

"That's the way it used to be done," Showalter said. "You used to come up as a reliever, you build up all your innings as a starter in the minor leagues and then you came up. Ask Jim Palmer and those guys, you started out that way. You'd give them a little and see how much they could take."

Three members of the Orioles' Opening Day rotation are now currently in the bullpen: Jake Arrieta, Brian Matusz and Tommy Hunter. Rookie Steve Johnson, a starter for most of his pro career, also is pitching primarily in relief.

"I'm learning. I'm not fully comfortable but I'm comfortable enough to get the job done," said Johnson, who has a 1.35 ERA in seven relief outings, including three scoreless Saturday. "I've been starting my whole life, so I've converted OK so far, but I've got a lot of work to do."