CHICAGO -- With Manny Machado out for the season and facing right knee surgery, Chris Davis could see a lot of time at third base over the season’s final five weeks and any postseason run.

Davis made his sixth consecutive start at third base Saturday, and as long at Steve Pearce continues hitting while playing first base, he likely will remain there barring a trade.

When Davis doesn’t play, expect Ryan Flaherty and Jonathan Schoop to also get some action at third base, depending on which one of the two plays second base.

Davis said the news of Machado needing knee surgery was a surprise inside the Orioles clubhouse.

“It was disappointing,” “Davis said. “Obviously, we didn’t expect that. We were hoping for the best. You never know with injuries like that, knees, shoulders. Things like that are hard to come back from, but we want what’s best for him. Obviously, he’s going to play.

"He’s got a bright [future] ahead of him. We understand that there are going to be challenges in our way. Losing Matt [Wieters] earlier this year wasn’t cool, but we’ve been able to bounce back. Guys are going to have to step up. That’s what it’s all about. I wish him the best.

“We’re confident in the group that we have. Even coming out of spring training, knowing that we, you’re going to have injuries, knowing that you’re going to be beaten up. I think we were confident in the guys we have at Triple-A, the guys who have been around the team at spring training that know what their job is.”

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said he expects it to be difficult to make a trade to upgrade at third base. Since the nonwaiver trade deadline has passed, any player trade must be made after a team makes a claim on a player on trade waivers.

Players are placed on waivers often and most of the time they move through waivers going unclaimed and nothing happens. Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre reportedly cleared waivers over the past week, going unclaimed. When a team makes a claim on a player on trade waivers, that team exclusively negotiates with the player’s team.

That doesn’t mean it would be easy to make a deal. The Orioles are in an obvious position of need, which would give other teams more negotiating power and reason to demand more to execute a trade. The Orioles have been wary of trading the organization's top young pitching talent, but they did trade left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (the team's No. 3 prospect, according to Baseball America) to acquire left-handed reliever Andrew Miller in a clear "win-now" move.

Other items of note:

* After going 0-for-4 on Saturday, right fielder Nick Markakis is hitless in his last 16 at-bats, his longest hitless streak of the season.

* With his first-inning double Saturday, Pearce extended his hitting streak to six games. He’s hitting .346 (9-for-26) over that stretch.

* Jonathan Schoop’s second-inning double was his fourth double over the last six games.

eencina@baltsun.com

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