Orioles @ Astros Game 2

Greetings from Houston, where the O’s will take on the Astros for the second in a four-game set.

The big news today is shortstop J.J. Hardy, who went to go get an MRI at 6 p.m. CT while we were talking to manager Buck Showalter. Hardy came out from pregame batting practice and delivered the news walking through the visiting dugout. We could have more news on that later.

Hardy said he was a little improved on Tuesday, though he acknowledged it’s tough to really know when he hasn’t swung a bat. He doesn’t play to test anything until after they get the MRI back. Hardy missed five walks in 2011 with an oblique injury and feels as if he tried to test it out too soon and it set him back.

“I always think the best case scenario that the MRI is good and he’s improved tomorrow as he is today and he’s playing,” Showalter said. “Do I think that’s going to happen? Probably not. But we will see. Maybe he comes back and plays defense for us in the 10th inning.”

*With Triple-A Norfolk’s game getting rained out tonight the plan is for Bud Norris to pitch Game 1 at 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday and have Matt Wieters catch. The two will rejoin the team after that but given the extra day it’s less likely that Wieters will debut as a DH on Thursday. Showalter could opt to have him start at catcher on Friday.

Norris will also be shortened up as he’s an option to start Sunday’s game in Cleveland.

*Brian Matusz has his hearing Wednesday at Minute Maid Park and the O’s continue to be confident he will get his eight-game suspension reduced. Both Showalter and EVP Dan Duquette will be present.

*Finally, Kevin Gausman threw a two-inning sim game this afternoon and he remains on track to start a rehab assignment for Frederick next.

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Travis Snider LF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Delmon Young RF
Jimmy Paredes DH
Steve Pearce 2B
Ryan Flaherty SS
Caleb Joseph C

Mike Wright RHP

ASTROS LINEUP
George Springer RF
Jose Altuve 2B
Preston Tucker LF
Evan Gattis DH
Luis Valbuena 3B
Chris Carter 1B
Hank Conger C
Marwin Gonzalez SS
Jake Marisnick CF

Collin McHugh RHP

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