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Orioles reliever Tommy Hunter escapes without serious injury

BaseballTommy HunterBaltimore OriolesNick MarkakisAlex BurnettWalter Reed National Military Medical Center

There was some real concern after Sunday's game in Toronto when right-handed reliever Tommy Hunter grabbed a hard comebacker with his pitching hand.

But after preliminary X-rays, icing and some rest, Hunter described the injury as "an itty, bitty bruise" on Monday. He played catch at Nats Park before Monday's game and underwent another X-ray, which Orioles manager Buck Showalter said came out "clean."

"It's not too bad," Hunter said. "Just kind of feels like what a hitter would feel like after taking a ball off the ankle."

He and Showalter would prefer if he doesn't subject his throwing hand to such danger in the future. But Hunter said it wasn't planned.

"Stupid, really stupid, but you can't really control something like that," said Hunter, who is 3-1 with a 1.86 ERA in 18 games this season. "You see something coming at you like that, you're going to stick your hand out. Just a reaction."

Markakis continues roll

With two more hits Monday, including a two-run single in the fourth that gave the Orioles the lead in a 6-2 win, right fielder Nick Markakis extended his hitting streak to 12 games. In that span, he is hitting .377 (20-for-53) with 11 RBIs and seven runs scored.

"It's just a matter of getting comfortable, getting your timing down," said Markakis, who is batting .305 on the season. "I preach about it all the time, especially at this level. If a pitcher makes a mistake, you've got to take advantage of it. You can't miss it."

With a hit Tuesday, Markakis will tie shortstop J.J. Hardy for the club's longest hitting streak of the season. Hardy hit in 13 straight games from May 3 to May 18.

O's to face Karns on Tuesday

With Tuesday's expected starter, Ross Detwiler, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained oblique, the Nationals have promoted Nathan Karns from Double-A Harrisburg to start against fellow rookie Kevin Gausman.

Karns, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound right-hander who was the organization's minor league pitcher of the year in 2012, was 4-2 with a 4.60 ERA in nine starts this year for the Senators.

Baseball America listed Karns as Washington's fifth best prospect heading into 2013. Although a bit surprising of a pick for Tuesday, Karns was on the Nationals' 40-man roster and other candidates weren't.

Around the horn

Adam Jones' streak of homering in four straight games came to an end Monday. He did, however, have two hits, including a double. … Monday was Miguel Gonzalez's 29th birthday. The Orioles wore their "digicamo" hats and uniforms Monday in honor of Memorial Day. The gear will be part of an online auction on orioles.com until June 2 at midnight with proceeds going to the Yellow Ribbon Fund to benefit patients at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. … A group of Orioles players and staff will visit the Walter Reed facility before Tuesday's game. ... Right-handed reliever Alex Burnett was claimed off waivers by the Chicago Cubs on Monday. Burnett allowed three earned runs in 1 1/3 innings for the Orioles this year. He was designated for assignment when the club promoted Gausman on Thursday.  

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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BaseballTommy HunterBaltimore OriolesNick MarkakisAlex BurnettWalter Reed National Military Medical Center
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