Davis re­turns af­ter X-ray on sore left hand

Till­man’s shoul­der feels ‘pretty good’ for Sun­day’s series fi­nale

Baltimore Sun - - ORIOLES - By Jon Me­oli jme­oli@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/JonMe­oli

DETROIT — Ori­oles first base­man Chris Davis had an X-ray on his sore left hand, but the re­sults were re­as­sur­ing enough that he was in­serted back into the lineup as the cleanup hit­ter for Fri­day night’s series opener against the Detroit Tigers.

Man­ager Buck Showal­ter said Davis’ re­turn af­ter leav­ing Tues­day night’s game early, then tak­ing Wed­nes­day off lead­ing into the team’s travel day Thurs­day, didn’t mean the Ori­oles were in the clear on an in­jury that has both­ered the slug­ger on and off all sea­son.

“It won’t be gone un­til af­ter the sea­son’s over,” Showal­ter said. “We got some X-rays to kind of rule out some things. It’s just the con­stant pound­ing that ev­ery­body’s got. ... Chris is as good as he can be for this time of year.”

If the thumb has been both­er­ing Davis of late, he hasn’t shown it at the plate. He home­red be­fore ex­it­ing Tues­day, his11th in 20 games. Over that span, he bat­ted .290 with a 1.161 OPS. Showal­ter said it’s a credit to Davis that he has been pro­duc­tive de­spite the sore hand, but noted that he could prob­a­bly say that of all his play­ers when Septem­ber ar­rives.

“He’s not the only one,” Showal­ter said. “I could [say] the same thing ... about six or seven other guys. Detroit could do it, too. I don’t think peo­ple re­al­ize the aches and pains these guys play through seven days a week. I wish some­times the peo­ple who did the sched­ule would know, but you can’t make it pub­lic. A lot of these guys don’t want any­body to know.” Till­man ea­ger to go: Right-han­der Chris Till­man said Fri­day that he’s feel­ing “pretty good” and is ready to re­turn from the dis­abled list Sun­day for the series fi­nale against the Tigers.

Till­man hasn’t pitched since Aug. 20 and has been on the dis­abled list since Aug. 21 with right shoul­der bur­si­tis. He has thrown two bullpen ses­sions to en­sure that the prob­lems that cropped up af­ter his most re­cent start won’t be back.

“It didn’t re­ally bother me­whenIwas pitch­ing,” Till­man said. “It was [after­ward]. So that’s what we wanted to get out of the bullpens, how I felt the day af­ter and the next day. So far, it’s been pretty good.”

Ini­tially, Till­man was bumped back a few days af­ter shoul­der dis­com­fort cropped up while the Ori­oles were in Cal­i­for­nia. He pitched well in a win over the Oak­land Ath­let­ics on Aug. 11but felt some­thing the next day and was held out as a pre­cau­tion.

OnAug. 20 against the Hous­ton Astros, he al­lowed six runs on six hits with five walks with­out re­tir­ing a bat­ter in the third in­ning. He missed his spots badly at times, but blamed rust. He pitched one more bullpen ses­sion be­fore he was shut down for two weeks.

“I’m sure there will be [rust], but that’s what we’ve been work­ing on in the bullpens,” Till­man said. “That’s what we had two or three bullpens for. We had time to work on it, not just go out, feel good and pitch like I did last time. I’m try­ing to knock off that rust in the bullpen and get ready to go.”

Till­man is 15-5 with a 3.76 ERA, only re­cently passed on the team’s starter ERA chart by Fri­day’s starter, Kevin Gaus­man. Since Till­man’s most re­cent start, the Ori­oles have a 4.47 team ERA.

Showal­ter said the re­turn of Till­man and the pend­ing re­turn of re­liever Dar­ren O’Day (ro­ta­tor cuff strain), who threw a bullpen ses­sion Fri­day and re­ported no prob­lems, could be an even big­ger boost on the field than for morale. “This time of year, it’s about who can help you to pitch bet­ter,” Showal­ter said. Rickard stays in Sara­sota: Rookie out­fielder Joey Rickard (thumb) be­gan hit­ting in Sara­sota, Fla., and should be ready when he’s el­i­gi­ble to come off the 60-day dis­abled list Sept. 19, Showal­ter said.

“I was a lit­tle sur­prised he didn’t make it over to Tampa, and af­ter talk­ing to [re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion co­or­di­na­tor] Dave Walker, he didn’t know if he could or should,” Showal­ter said. “That’s prob­a­bly my fault. I should have in­vited him.” Around the horn: As part of Ma­jor League Base­ball’s ob­ser­vance of Pe­di­atric Cancer Month, sev­eral Ori­oles lined up with young cancer pa­tients wear­ing su­per­hero capes along the base lines for a pregame cer­e­mony Fri­day. … Left fielder Hyun Soo Kim started and hit ninth, his first day in the lineup since Mon­day and just his third start in the past seven games. He went1-for-3 with a dou­ble.

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