Orioles vs. Royals lineups and pregame notes

*Manny Machado starts at third and bats eighth today against right-handed starter Luke Hochevar. Wilson Betemit had been playing the majority of games at third base versus right-handed starters — mostly due to his .306 average with 11 home runs against righties this season — but will start at first tonight. Friday will mark Betemit’s 12th start of the season at first, where manager Buck Showalter said he takes grounders almost every day. Showalter plans to “take each day as it comes” with regards to Machado and the O’s lineup, saying Chris Davis is also an option at first. Mark Reynolds is not in Friday’s lineup.

*Jason Hammel is expected to be with the team tomorrow, at which point Showalter said the right-hander will throw down a slope, but not off the mound. Hammel’s first action off the mound could potentially come Monday and Thursday. Hammel has been on the disabled list since July 15 because of a right knee injury that required surgery, and Showalter said Hammel’s return date will be based entirely on what he can handle. Once Hammel’s knee is healthy, the team believes he will be able to progress very quickly through his recovery.

*Ryan Flaherty said he went through a miserable 36 hours because of the bacterial infection that forced him to the disabled list on Wednesday, but has seen significant improvement since going on antibiotics. He said his energy level feels fine, but he and the doctors are just waiting for the swelling in his tonsils to subside. Showalter said he would go out on a rehab stint “not before Sunday.”

*Jim Thome, on the disabled list since July 31 with a herniated disc, has been running in a pool and doing light upper-body work.

 *Endy Chavez has opted to remain with the team rather than becoming a free agent after he was designated for assignment on August 4. Chavez will be reporting to Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday, and Showalter said Chavez would be a September call up “at worst.”

ROYALS LINEUP
Alex Gordon LF
Alcides Escobar SS
Mike Moustakas 3B
Billy Butler DH
Salvador Perez C
Eric Hosmer 1B
Jeff Francoeur RF
Chris Getz 2B
Jarrod Dyson CF

Luke Hochevar RHP

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Chris Davis DH
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Wilson Betemit 1B
Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Omar Quintanilla 2B

Miguel Gonzalez RHP

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