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Orioles left fielder Luke Scott is 2-for-19 with seven strikeouts against left-handed pitching this season, but those hits are homers, including the three-run shot last night off Jeff Francis. Scott also hit a two-run shot off of John Danks on April 29.

Through 28 games, Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis is hitting .207 with two homers and nine RBIs. Through 28 games last year, Markakis batted .311 with two homers and 11 RBIs.

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Reliever Jim Johnson was unavailable last night after pitching four times in the previous seven days, a total of 5 2/3 innings during that span.

In his first six appearances this season, reliever Jason Berken allowed one run on five hits and two walks while striking out 11 over 8 1/3 innings. In his past five outings, the right-hander has surrendered seven earned runs on 11 hits and five walks while striking out two over 4 2/3 innings. Berken, who had shoulder issues last year, said he feels good physically, but he's just leaving too many pitches up.

The Orioles' agreement with Alfredo Simon will call for him to be removed from the restricted list and be put not just on the 40-man roster, but also the 25-man big league roster when/if he's built up and ready to go. My belief was that Simon was more of an insurance policy at this point, but apparently, I was way wrong. If he shows he's healthy and pitches well, starting tomorrow at Double-A Bowie, he'll join the club, and it's going to be sooner rather than later.

The Orioles traded minor league outfielder Jeff Fiorentino to the Atlanta Braves for cash considerations. Fiorentino, 28, was hitting .250 (14-for-56) with two homers and 13 RBIs in 20 games for Double-A Bowie. Outfielder Kyle Hudson has been promoted from Single-A Frederick to Bowie to take Fiorentino's spot.

Assuming he has no setbacks, the best estimate for shortstop J.J. Hardy to return to the Orioles is Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners. Hardy is expected to start a rehab stint Friday at either Triple-A Norfolk or Single-A Frederick.

Before their game at Kauffman Stadium tonight, many of the Orioles are taking a tour of the Negro League Museum. The trip, planned by the club's director of public relations, Monica Barlow, is not mandatory, but many of the players have expressed interest in attending, and manager Buck Showalter is also expected to go.

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