To strengthen a bench that has been thinned by injuries, the Baltimore Orioles acquired utility man Eli Marrero from the Kansas City Royals for Class A infielder Pete Maestrales.

Marrero, who batted .159 with four RBI in 32 games for the Royals, will take a physical Thursday in Baltimore and join the team in Cincinnati on Friday. Marrero had been designated for assignment by the Royals on June 1 but, according to Executive Vice President Jim Beattie, the Orioles expressed interest before then.

"I'm pretty excited we acquired him," Manager Lee Mazzilli said. "He's definitely going to be a boost to this team."

Marrero can play the outfield and first base. He primarily was a catcher at the beginning of his career, but hasn't played the position regularly since 2002. Last season, with the Atlanta Braves, Marrero did not catch a game.

"He doesn't have a problem with [catching]," Mazzilli said. "In an emergency, he'd catch guys in the bullpen to get back into it."

Perhaps most importantly for the Orioles, Marrero, a 31-year-old right-handed batter, hits very well against left-handed pitchers. In the past three years combined, Marrero is hitting .314 against lefties.

"He just sounded really excited," Mazzilli said. "He said all the things you want to hear as a manager."

To make room for Marrero, the Orioles designated Class AAA reliever Jacobo Sequea for assignment.

Sequea entered the season as Ottawa's closer, but was not effective, posting a 7.58 ERA in 19 innings. Last year Sequea led the Eastern League in saves.

Hit Streak Ends

Brian Roberts, who will return to the lineup on Friday, had his 20-game hitting streak ended on Tuesday.

"It was 36 games shy of anything that mattered," Roberts said of the hit streak. "It's not a big deal."