The Orioles are here at Kauffman Stadium to open this quick two-game series against the Royals, but as of the beginning of batting practice today, Orioles manager Buck Showalter was not.

As of 5:40 local time, when the Orioles were taking batting practice, Showalter was not here. He's handling an undisclosed personal matter, a team spokesman said. 

Showalter did arrive in Kansas City with the team and bench coach John Russell, who said he was in touch with Showalter about today's lineup, said Showalter is expected to arrive by first pitch.

I'm still chasing more details on this. More to come.

Also, Brian Roberts is on this trip -- another positive sign considering it's essentially a 36-hour trip -- and is continuing to work on diving for grounders. He's remaining positive that he's on the right path back to playing in a game soon. More on that later here on the blog.

Xavier Avery is back atop the Orioles batting order, hitting  leadoff and playing leftfield. It's his fourth straight start since being called up from Triple-A Norfolk and is the third time he's hit leadoff against a right-handed starter.

Here are today's lineups:

Orioles
Xavier Avery LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Nick Johnson DH
Wilson Betemit 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Robert Andino 2B
Tommy Hunter RHP

Royals
Jarrod Dyson CF
Eric Hosmer 1B
Billy Butler DH
Alex Gordon LF
Jeff Francoeur RF
Mike Moustakas 3B
Alcides Escobar SS
Chris Getz 2B
Humberto Quintero C
Felipe Paulino RHP