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Hunter: Back soreness not enough to sideline him in season

Orioles starting pitcher Tommy Hunter, who was scratched from his coming exhibition start because of lower-back soreness, said that the injury is not serious and he would take the mound if it were a regular-season game. Instead, he will pitch two innings of simulated game action Tuesday to limit the scope of his activity on the mound.

"I'm not concerned at all,'' he said. "I can still pitch. I've still thrown bullpens with it, but it wasn't getting any better, so they just decided to take two days and go from there. So, I'm not missing anything, other than the little intrasquad today. We're just going to take it slow because it's spring training.

"If it was midseason, I'd be playing. That was the word I wanted them to know. It wasn't getting any better, but maybe a couple days will get it over the hump. It's just a little discomfort, and it wasn't during pitching. It had nothing to do with pitching. It was just bending over picking up ground balls, as bad as that sounds."

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