Af­ter MRI, Cash­ner con­fi­dent of quick re­turn

Lefty re­liever Hart sent back to Triple-A; Mancini hot vs. Sox

Baltimore Sun - - ORIOLES - By Ed­uardo A. Encina eencina@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/Ed­dieInTheYard TUES­DAY’S BOX SCORE

An MRI per­formed Wed­nes­day on An­drew Cash­ner’s ailing back re­vealed no struc­tural dam­age, and the Ori­oles right-han­der ex­pects to be able to re­claim his ro­ta­tion spot early next week.

“It went good,” Cash­ner said of the MRI. “I mean, def­i­nitely, my back started just cramp­ing up my last start. It’s a mild strain, but I think I can be able to make my next start.”

Cash­ner said he be­gan to feel back spasms be­fore his most re­cent start Fri­day night in Toronto. Cash­ner al­lowed 11 base run­ners and three runs over a six-in­ning out­ing in a 5-1 loss to the Blue Jays.

“It started be­fore the game, and I tried to get it to work out, and I just couldn’t get it to free up and then I think as the game went on, I had no com­mand, and I was just kind of grind­ing through it,” Cash­ner said.

Cash­ner said the prob­lem didn’t im­prove over the next 24 hours, putting his next start, which was sched­uled for Wed­nes­day, in jeop­ardy.

“I was hav­ing real bad spasms, and I didn’t re­ally know,” Cash­ner said. “And the next day, I was just ex­tremely sore and then it just tran­spired into com­ing home and it hadn’t re­ally freed up, so I started feel bet­ter to­day.”

He went on the DL on Tues­day, and the Ori­oles called up rookie right-han­der Ye­fry Ramirez to fill his spot Wed­nes­day. Ramirez al­lowed three runs on four hits over 41⁄ in­nings while strik­ing out six and walk­ing one.

Cash­ner, who said he’s never had a back prob­lem be­fore, is el­i­gi­ble to re­turn from the DL on Tues­day when the Ori­oles open a three-game in­ter­league se­ries in Wash­ing­ton, and be­cause the Ori­oles have days off Thurs­day and Mon­day, he would miss only one start if he re­turns then.

Man­ager Buck Showal­ter said Wed­nes­day that the pos­si­bil­ity of Cash­ner be­ing ready by his DL date “looks good right now.”

“I’ve got a bullpen I think this week­end some­time,” Cash­ner said. “To­day’s prob­a­bly the best day I’ve had yet, so look­ing for­ward to get­ting some more acupunc­ture to­mor­row and see where we end from there.” Cash­ner Hart sent back down: The Ori­oles placed left-handed re­liever Don­nie Hart back on the Triple-A Nor­folk shut­tle be­fore Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon’s se­ries fi­nale against the Bos­ton Red Sox, op­tion­ing him to the mi­nors to cre­ate 25-man ros­ter space for right-han­der Ye­fry Ramirez, who made his ma­jor league debut Wed­nes­day.

Af­ter he was re­called to re­place Cash­ner, Hart pitched a score­less eighth in­ning in the Ori­oles’ 6-4 loss to Bos­ton on Tues­day night at Cam­den Yards. He threw 20 pitches in the out­ing, so would have been seem­ingly avail­able again Wed­nes­day, but was op­tioned in­stead.

Hart spent less than 24 hours with the big league club. This is the fourth time the Ori­oles have re­called and op­tioned Hart, with none of those stints last­ing more than eight days and three of them last­ing three days or fewer.

With Miguel Cas­tro hav­ing thrown 22⁄ in­nings Tues­day and Dar­ren O’Day and Zach Brit­ton work­ing their way back into high-lever­age roles af­ter com­ing off the DL, to say the Ori­oles bullpen is at full strength go­ing into Wed­nes­day’s game would be a stretch. The Ori­oles re­ceive a day off Thurs­day and an­other Mon­day, which should al­low a bullpen that’s ac­counted for 14 in­nings the past three days re­gain its foot­ing, though left-han­der Richard Bleier left Wed­nes­day’s game with the mak­ings of a lat in­jury.

De­spite al­low­ing nine base run­ners in 62⁄ big league in­nings, Hart has a1.35 ERA in six re­lief ap­pear­ances with the Ori­oles. He has a 2.66 ERA in 19 ap­pear­ances with Triple-A Nor­folk span­ning 232⁄ in­nings.

Showal­ter said Brit­ton and O’Day felt good and “sore in the right places” af­ter pitch­ing in re­lief Tues­day. Brit­ton made his sea­son debut af­ter spend­ing the first 66 games on the DL re­cov­er­ing from a rup­tured Achilles ten­don in­jury, walk­ing three but pitch­ing a score­less sev­enth in­ning. O’Day made his sec­ond ap­pear­ance in three days since com­ing off the DL, com­plet­ing a score­less ninth. Around the horn: With a two-hit game Wed­nes­day, first base­man Trey Mancini is hit­ting .306 (34-for-111) in his career against Bos­ton. … Third base­man Danny Va­len­cia ex­tended his hit­ting streak to six games with a fourth-in­ning sin­gle. He’s hit safely in 16 of his past 19 games dat­ing to May 13.

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