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Orioles Notebook: Sickness hitting Orioles hard

BALTIMORE - Hospital masks and tubs of Purell are welcome inside the Orioles' clubhouse these days.

Flu-like symptoms are making their presence known among Baltimore's baseball team, and Tuesday's casualties included center fielder Adam Jones and relief pitcher Evan Meek.

Both players were sent home because of illness, a few days after hitting coach Jim Presley and reliever Brian Matusz were stricken with the bug.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Jones didn't seem himself when he arrived at Camden Yards, and the club sent him home as it did with Meek. Matusz spent some of last weekend in the hospital.

"It's not just in our locker room. Unfortunately, medically, a lot of it is unavoidable," Showalter said. "Other than don't touch or communicate with anybody all day. Pretty hard to do in our sport. I'd like to say I haven't seen it before, but I have. I just hope it runs its course."

Showalter said he was planning to give Meek a few days of rest but would have liked to have had him in the bullpen just in case. As for Jones' absence, possibly not having an All-Star in the lineup speaks for itself.

"You're talking about two guys, from what I know of them, they're not one of those guys that likes ill health," Showalter said. "They don't let you feel every ounce of discomfort they're feeling during the course of the day. If they had to go home, that gives you an idea of what's going on."

FOR JACKIE: April 15 is Jackie Robinson Day across baseball, with every big-league player wearing a No. 42 jersey to honor Robinson and recognize his breaking the color barrier. Robinson made his major-league debut April 15, 1947.

Showalter's connection to the Hall of Famer came when he managed in the minor leagues and had Russ Meyer as his pitching coach. Meyer played with Robinson from 1953-55.

"I used to love to sit on the bus and hear him tell stories about it," Showalter said. "He wasn't particularly kind to him early on, but they came to really, really respect him. Said he was just a fabulous player. Pretty cool. Now it is, probably wasn't then."

INJURY UPDATES: Rule 5 pick Michael Almanzar (knee) played five innings Tuesday, and Showalter said he's is getting ready to go on a rehab assignment. ... Johan Santana (shoulder) is set to throw batting practice Thursday as part of his work week ... Manny Machado (knee) took infield and had five at-bats in a simulated game Tuesday, and sprinted six times at various distances. Showalter said he's expected to run the bases Wednesday. ... Dylan Bundy (elbow) should be able to throw breaking balls from a pitching mound at some point this week, Showalter said.

MAKEUP DATE: The Orioles announced Tuesday's rained out game will be made up later in the season, which took away the chances for a doubleheader Wednesday. The game will go on as scheduled with first pitch at 12:35 p.m.

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