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Davis and Hardy still sore, but injuries don't appear to be serious

First baseman Chris Davis and shortstop J.J. Hardy remained out of the Orioles' lineup for a second straight day, though early tests on each revealed no significant concerns.

Davis (sore right shoulder) and Hardy (sore left ankle) both had X-rays taken Friday night and they came back clean. However, the Orioles sent both players for further testing Saturday afternoon.

Davis had a magnetic resonance imaging taken on his right shoulder, and Hardy had a CT scan performed on his ankle. The results of the tests were not immediately available.

Hardy's situation, which arose when he was removed from Thursday's series finale in Kansas City, is of particular concern because team doctors haven't been able to immediately diagnosis it.

"We'd like to know, and I know J.J. would like to know, what is causing it," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "It's kind of strange with no swelling at all. He actually felt good yesterday before the game, but we're trying to be careful with it and keep it from acting up during the game."

As he awaited the results of the MRI, Hardy said that his ankle has improved over the previous two days. Davis also was optimistic that he's not dealing with anything serious.

"I feel pretty normal today," said Davis who the Orioles acquired last Saturday from the Texas Rangers in the Koji Uehara deal. "I can lift my arm up over my head. There's a little stiffness when I get to the top, but I feel pretty good."

In Hardy's absence, Robert Andino was in line to make another start at shortstop while Mark Reynolds was scheduled to play first base for the fourth time this season.

Still deciding on Tuesday's starter

Zach Britton's move to the disabled list opens another vacancy in the Orioles' rotation. For now, Showalter said that they've discussed filling it with a current member of the bullpen.

"That would be a fair call. I'd lean that way, but stay tuned," Showalter said. "It's tough to commit to that until you see how you get through [tonight]."

The top two candidates to start on Tuesday appear to be Jo-Jo Reyes, who the Orioles claimed off waivers on Tuesday, and Brad Bergesen, who has made 12 starts for the club already this season.

But Reyes and/or Bergesen could be needed to pitch over the next three games, which could force the Orioles to again dip into the minor leagues and find a starter.

A couple of candidates from Triple-A Norfolk are Rick VandenHurk (6-13, 4.80) and Steve Johnson (0-4, 6.10). Brian Matusz started tonight for the Tides so he doesn't appear in the conversation.

Meanwhile, Britton (left shoulder strain) started taking medication to ease the inflammation. He'll rest for about a week and then possibly make a rehab start around Aug. 14 or 15. That would put him in line to start for the Orioles on Aug. 20, the first day that he's eligible to come off the disabled list.

Patton standing tall

Left-hander Troy Patton has worn out the path from Triple-A Norfolk to Baltimore over the past two seasons, but he had very little to show for it in terms of big league experience. That, however, has changed.

Patton, 25, has made six relief appearances since his July 17 promotion, and he's allowed three earned runs, eight hits and two walks while striking out nine over 9 1/3 innings. His best performance arguably came Friday when Patton retired the first nine batters that he faced before leaving with the bases loaded and no outs in the eighth inning.

He was charged with one earned run on two hits and a walk over three innings, earning praise from Showalter.

"I was really impressed with Patton," Showalter said. "I thought he threw the ball real well, the only reason why we stayed in that ballgame. Troy's been pitching pretty well here. I'm proud of him."

Around the horn

To make room for recently-signed reliever Wille Eyre on the roster of Triple-A Norfolk , the Orioles released right-handed reliever Josh Rupe. Rupe made the Orioles' Opening Day roster as the long man, but he was designated for assignment on May 10 after compiling a 5.65 ERA. Rupe had a 7.07 ERA in 30 appearances for the Tides before he was released … Eyre pitched a scoreless innings in his Norfolk debut Friday … Jake Arrieta (bone spur in right elbow) was placed on the disabled list to make room for the activation of Saturday's planned starter, Chris Tillman, from the disabled list.

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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