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Orioles morning notes on Markakis, Roberts, Tillman, lineups

The Orioles have a day game at Fort Myers, Fla., today against the Boston Red Sox. Brian Matusz will start today in another important outing in the rotation’s fifth-spot competition.

Chris Tillman, who is dealing with a sore abdomen, also will pitch. He’ll be in a minor league game at Twin Lakes. He expects to pitch three innings.

Brian Roberts is making his first road trip. That’s significant to the media maybe. But not to Roberts, who is coming back from a variety of injuries but has been healthy all spring. He hasn’t made a road trip yet, but most veterans hadn’t.

“There haven’t been a whole lot of guys that are over (age) 28 that have been on road trips,” he joked.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter was being cautious with Roberts, but with the season approaching is ramping up the second baseman’s playing time. That’s what Roberts wants, and a road trip to him is just a necessary part of spring training.

“It’s just another game. I told them I couldn’t care less about playing on the road. It’s just jump in a car for an hour and go,” Roberts said. “I don’t really think I have a whole lot of tests left. I mean the biggest one, probably, is playing three or four days in a row, which I’m about to do, too. And I am not really concerned about that either.”

Nick Markakis (neck) is finished with his Dosepak medication and met with his doctor Monday. He’ll check back again Thursday or Friday and hopes to be cleared for baseball activities by then.

“I’m optimistic I’ll be able to do stuff at the end of the week,” Markakis said. “I’m feeling good and that’s all that really matters right now.”

Markakis has a slight herniation – or tear – in his neck area and has not played since March 1. He said some soreness is lingering, but otherwise he has full range of motion.

“I’m not limited with anything now. Just a little bit of soreness in there,” he said. “Hopefully the next couple days it will get out of there and I’ll be ready to roll.”

Here are the lineups for today’s game:

Orioles: Roberts 4, Flaherty 6, McLouth 8, Davis 3, Betemit DH, Machado 5, Trayvon Robinson 7, Teagarden 2, Pridie 9. Matusz 1.

Red Sox: Ellsbury 8, Victorino 9, Pedroia 4, Napoli 3, Saltalamacchia 2, Middlebrooks 5, Gomes 7, Sweeney DH, Iglesias 6, Dempster 1.   

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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