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Orioles @ Yankees Game 2

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Greetings from the Bronx again, where the Orioles will play their fifth consecutive day game. The O’s are coming off a 4-2 loss on Monday and have dropped five of their last six.

*Shortstop J.J. Hardy remains sidelined with lower back spasms, although manager Buck Showalter said he’s a lot better today and could be available off the bench.

Hardy being unavailable yesterday severely limited what Showalter could do for late-game substations and it was interesting to see backup catcher Steve Clevenger take ground balls at third base in pre-game batting practice. He did come up as an infielder….

*Johan Santana came through yesterday’s sim game with positive reports, as did Dylan Bundy following his side. Manny Machado continues to progress and Showalter said he did some pool running among his activities today.

*Miguel Gonzalez will make the start for the Orioles tomorrow in the series finale, which marks the five-year anniversary of friend and former Angel teammate Nick Adenhart’s passing. Adenhart was killed by a drunk driver and Gonzalez actually used his glove in his first career Major League start and used to carry it with him, although it got too worn out and he now plans on getting the glove framed.

Here are your lineups…

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
Delmon Young DH
Chris Davis 1B
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Nelson Cruz LF
Steve Lombardozzi 2B
Ryan Flaherty SS
Jonathan Schoop 3B

Wei-Yin Chen LHP

YANKEES LINEUP
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Carlos Beltran RF
Alfonso Soriano DH
Brian McCann C
Francisco Cervelli 1B
Brian Roberts 2B
Yangervis Solarte 3B

Ivan Nova RHP

Os acquire Guilmet, Reimold to 60-day DL

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NEW YORK— The Orioles made a minor trade on Monday, acquiring right-handed pitcher Preston Guilmet from Cleveland one exchange for Minor League outfielder Torsten Boss.

The O’s optioned Guilmet to Triple-A Norfolk and moved Nolan Reimold from the 15-day disabled list to the 60 to clear a roster spot. Manager Buck Showalter said prior to Monday’s game that Reimold had not been doing baseball activities and had just been receiving treatment on his neck.

Guilmet, 26, was drafted by Cleveland in the ninth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft and he posted a 1.68 ERA with 20 saves in 49 games for Triple-A Columbus in 2013.

“[He] has command of fastball, slider and split-finger which he mixes to get hitters out,” executive vice president Dan Duquette said in a text message about Guilmet. “We expect he’ll contribute to the Major Lg team this season given his track record and experience closing games.”

Last season in Columbus, Guilmet averaged 10.1 strikeout per nine innings and appeared in four games for the Indians, pitching to a 10.13 ERA in 5 1/3 innings.

Orioles @ Yankees, New York’s home opener

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Greetings from the Bronx, where the Orioles will take on the Yankees in their home opener. The O’s are fresh off yesterday’s 3-1 win in Detroit.

*Shortstop J.J. Hardy is not in the lineup as he continues to deal with lingering back spasms.

Hardy said this morning it’s particularly frustrating because this is probably the healthiest Spring Training he’s ever had. He is better today than yesterday and could be used in some capacity, manager Buck Showalter said.

*Johan Santana will throw a two-inning sim game at the team’s spring facility today. As I wrote yesterday, Dylan Bundy is still on for a 30-pitch side and Francisco Peguero will start a hitting progression.

Here are your lineups…

ORIOLES LINEUP
David Lough LF
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Matt Wieters C
Nelson Cruz DH
Steve Lombardozzi 2B
Ryan Flaherty SS
Jonathan Schoop 3B

Ubaldo Jimenez RHP

YANKEES LINEUP
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Carlos Beltran RF
Brian McCann C
Alfonso Soriano DH
Brian Roberts 2B
Kelly Johnson 1B
Yangervis Solarte 3B

Hiroki Kuroda RHP

Hardy scratched again

DETROIT— Shortstop J.J. Hardy was a late scratch from Sunday’s game and had his batting practice cut short with another back spasm, this time in a different place.

Hardy almost missed Friday’s game and had been dealing with a nagging back spasm that he played through on Wednesday and Thursday before taking the series opener in Detroit off. While his most recent spasm is in a different place, it’s still a concern for a struggling Baltimore, who has been without their starting shortstop for two of three games.

Hardy last season became just the fourth player to hit three or more home runs off Sunday’s Tigers starter Justin Verlander in on season and entered the game a career .258 (7-for-31) with three homers and seven RBIs. The Gold Glover is a huge part of the Orioles infield, with Hardy saving a run in Saturday’s game.

Ryan Flaherty moved from third base to take Hardy’s place, with Jonathan Schoop getting the start at third.

Orioles @ Tigers Game 3 (Hardy scratched)

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Greetings from Comerica Park, where the Orioles will try to avoid being swept by the Tigers…

*Shortstop J.J. Hardy was a late scratch and had his batting practice cut short with another back spasm, this time in a different place. Hardy also missed Friday’s game and we should know more post game on this latest injury.

*Manny Machado is scheduled to have another functional baseball day on Sunday as he continues to progress forward. The bigger test after he does all the activities is to see how he feels on Monday, with Machado reporting on Friday –following a day of activities– that he felt great.

“His next step is hopefully running full speed,” manager Buck Showalter said. “The last thing he’s had yet to do is sprint. And to be able to do it the next day and the next day so to speak. I don’t know when that’s going to be.”

*Michael Almanzar (knee) will start light baseball activities on Monday, with Luis Ayala resuming throwing in Triple-A that day as well.

*Dylan Bundy is slated to throw a 30-pitch bullpen session on Monday, off a regular mound, with Johan Santana scheduled for a situational side.

*Outfielder Francisco Peguero (wrist) will resume baseball activities and start a hitting progression on Monday.

ORIOLES LINEUP
David Lough LF
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Nelson Cruz DH
Matt Wieters C
Steve Lombardozzi 2B
Ryan Flaherty SS
Jonathan Schoop 3B

Chris Tillman RHP

TIGERS LINEUP
Ian Kinsler 2B
Torii Hunter RF
Miguel Cabrera DH
Victor Martinez 1B
Austin Jackson CF
Tyler Collins LF
Nick Castellanos 3B
Bryan Holaday C
Andrew Romine SS

Justin Verlander RHP

Orioles @ Tigers Game 2

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Greetings from Comerica Park where the sun is out, so it feels a little warmer than the 38 degrees on the scoreboard.

*J.J. Hardy is back in the lineup after dealing with some lower back spasms yesterday and said he feels a lot better after taking Friday off.

“I think it was a smart move considering the conditions and everything yesterday and what I was feeling the days before,” said Hardy, who played through the spasms on Wednesday and Thursday.

Hardy missed two games last year with the issue and said it was much worse the other times he’s had spasms than the most recent flare-up.

“Before that it has been 2009 in Milwaukee that I had them,” Hardy said. “It’s been a while, so I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job of doing my low back exercises. It could have turned into a two-week thing and so it probably was the smart thing to do, take yesterday off.”

*With Hardy in the lineup, the slumping Ryan Flaherty has the day off and Jonathan Schoop is back at third base. Flaherty is 0-for-15 with seven strikeouts.

“Obviously no one wants to start the season 0-for, you want to help the team”, Flaherty said. “When you are not helping the team it’s no fun.”

“Obviously you get that first one out of the way it makes everything a lot easier. But I don’t think you can try for it too hard, which can be the case a lot of the time. And it has a negative effect. But, you get that first one and then you can get things going.”

Flaherty started last year in similar fashion, going 0-for-17 with nine strikeouts and can’t pinpoint why he’s such a slow starter.

“I wish I knew. If I knew it wouldn’t be the case,” he said. “But it is what it is. I’m going to work, get better and you get out of it and things will start going better.”

ORIOLES LINEUP
David Lough LF
Nelson Cruz RF
Chris Davis 1B
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis DH
J.J. Hardy SS
Matt Wieters C
Steve Lombardozzi 2B
Jonathan Schoop 3B

Bud Norris RHP

TIGERS LINEUP
Ian Kinsler 2B
Torii Hunter RF
Miguel Cabrera 1B
Victor Martinez DH
Austin Jackson CF
Alex Avila C
Alex Gonzalez SS
Don Kelly 3B
Rajai Davis LF

Rick Porcello RHP

Post-game notes

A couple quick notes following the Orioles’ 10-4 loss to the Tigers…

*Manny Machado (knee) did functional baseball activities Thursday including some running. It came through on Friday’s report that he felt good following all of that.

*Johan Santana had a 35 pitch side session on Friday, using all his pitches, and will throw a “situational” bullpen on Monday.

*Dylan Bundy also threw a 30-pitch side session at the team’s complex in Sarasota, Fla.

*Francisco Peguero (wrist) is getting ready to start a hitting program next week, likely on Monday.

Orioles @ Tigers game 1 (updated with lineups and notes)

Greetings from Detroit, where it’s currently 38 degrees according to Comerica Park and the forecast calls for rain. It’s also supposed to snow on Saturday.

The Orioles got in around 3:3- a.m. following last night’s game, with the team arriving at the hotel closer to 4. The tarp was on the field briefly and came back off, so I’m not sure if there will be any pre game batting practice. I’ll continue to update you on the weather and game time as I get them.

*Shortstop J.J. Hardy is not in today’s lineup as he’s dealing with light lower back spasms and manager Buck Showalter didn’t want it to develop into anything more serious. Hardy felt it when jumping for a line drive and has played the last two games with it. He is available off the bench.

With Hardy out, Ryan Flaherty is at shortstop and Jonathan Schoop moves to third base. Steve Lombardozzi is at second base and Showalter relied on infield coach Bobby Dickerson’s input about what positions to put each player at to be the strongest defensively as possible.

*Steve Clevenger is also making his first start at catcher. That was the plan all along since Showalter didn’t want him to sit around too long and Matt Wieters caught last night.

*Down in Norfolk, Kevin Gausman is slated to pitch tonight assuming the Orioles play this afternoon’s game. Gausman was scratched last night with the thought being he would be the O’s extra player if there’s a doubleheader on Saturday. That’s still the plan, so stay tuned.

T.J. McFarland had his start pushed back a day and will go on Sunday in Norfolk, following Steve Johnson. This allows the Orioles to have both options spaced out a little bit so they don’t get into a situation whether both Gausman and McFarland are unavailable to help the big league club.

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Follow along on Facebook for more news/commentary and pictures and Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates.

TIGERS LINEUP
Ian Kinsler 2B
Torii Hunter RF
Miguel Cabrera 1B
Victor Martinez DH
Austin Jackson CF
Alex Avila C
Nick Castellanos 3B
Austin Romine SS
Davis LF

Anibal Sanchez P

Orioles vs. Red Sox lineups and pregame notes

Greetings from Camden Yards, where the Orioles will take on the Red Sox following Monday’s 2-1 series-opening win. In case you missed it, I wrote about today’s starter, Ubaldo Jimenez, yesterday and you can read more on him here.

*Johan Santana threw a bullpen session yesterday and manager Buck Showalter said he’s encouraged with the way the lefty has progressed. Santana threw all his pitches and is working as if he’s on a five-man rotation right now.

The Orioles would ideally like Santana to have a 10 mph difference between his fastball and off speed.

“He had one of the best changeups in baseball, but if his velocity is only 85, can he drop his changeup to 75?,” Showalter said. “I don’t know. And is 85 enough? I think the hitters are going to answer a lot of those questions.

“I know in my mind what I’d love to see on the gun in a perfect world. But all indications are so far, so good. He hasn’t had any setbacks.”

*Dylan Bundy threw 25 pitches today, all fastballs, off a regular mound. So thats progressing, too.

*Troy Patton has been throwing and is scheduled to be in an extended spring game on Monday.

*Nick Markakis continues to receive treatment on his neck, he came in during yesterday’s off day for it as well, but he’s in the lineup again. Asked if it bothered Markakis during Monday’s opener, Showalter said he wasn’t sure but the right fielder wouldn’t have told him even if it did.

*Jonathan Schoop has primarily taken infield at second base and the expectation is he will get the bulk of his playing time there, although he is also an option at third.

*Outfielder Francisco Peguero got the cast removed from his right wrist this afternoon and had no range of motion issues so he will begin a strengthening program soon.

Here are your lineups…

RED SOX LINEUP
Daniel Nava RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Mike Napoli 1B
Gomes LF
Grady Sizemore CF
Xander Bogaerts SS
A.J. Pierzynski C
Will Middlebrooks 3B

John Lackey RHP

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
David Lough LF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Nelson Cruz DH
Matt Wieters C
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Flaherty 3B
Steve Lombardozzi 2B

Ubaldo Jimenez RHP

Orioles Opening Day news & notes (updated with lineups)

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(The Orioles players and staff will wear the bracelets above today in honor of public relations director Monica Barlow, who passed away this spring due to lung cancer. The other photo is from my spot in the press box at Camden Yards.)

Greetings from Camden Yards, where the Orioles will open the season and take on the Boston Red Sox. The forecast is sunny all day– though it still feels freezing after spending six weeks in Sarasota–after a lot of rain over the weekend.

The 2014 marks my fifth season covering the Orioles for Orioles.com with daily notebooks, features and game stories on the website along with lineups, pre game notes and other in-game news/analysis available on this blog. Follow along on Facebook for more news/commentary and pictures and Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates. Looking forward to bringing you all the very best in Orioles coverage in 2014.

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*Nick Markakis took batting practice and will play this afternoon. Markakis has been dealing with some neck spasms that started on the team flight to Norfolk on Saturday.

“I’ve been here long enough to know which injuries I can baby and which injuries I need to take care of,” Markakis said. “This is one that is kind of in between.”

Delmon Young will be designated hitter today with Jonathan Schoop starting at second and Ryan Flaherty at third base.

*Tommy Hunter has officially been named the team’s closer, with Showalter talking to the right-hander yesterday.

*The primary long man is expected to be Josh Stinson with lefties Zach Britton and Brian Matusz also capable of doing that job if needed.

*Manny Machado has not started running yet and said this morning the primary focus is on building back up strength in his calf and quadriceps. Machado will get his Gold Glove and Platinum Gold Glove today, and he’s expected to fly back to Sarasota to continue his rehab on Tuesday.

RED SOX LINEUP
Daniel Nava RF
Dustin Pedroia 2
David Ortiz DH
Mike Napoli 1B
Mike Carp LF
Grady Sizemore CF
Xander Bogaerts SS
A.J. Pierzynski C
Will Middlebrooks 3B

Jon Lester LHP

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Nelson Cruz LF
Matt Wieters C
Delmon Young DH
Ryan Flaherty 3B
Jonathan Schoop 2B

Chris Tillman RHP

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