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Machado to have knee examined Thursday; Chen rocked by Rays

SARASOTA, Fla. - Manny Machado still hasn't played this spring. On Thursday, he'll fly to Los Angeles to see Dr. Neal ElAttrache, his surgeon, to check on his left knee. He'll immediately return to Sarasota.

The Baltimore Orioles star third baseman isn't going to be cleared, manager Buck Showalter said after Wednesday's game.

"It's not like he's magically going to start playing in games the day he gets back. When [trainer Richie Bancells] and our people feel he's ready, he'll play, so this isn't some get out of jail card he's going to get," Showalter said.

"If you're expecting a yea or nay from this doctor tomorrow on Manny, it's probably not going to happen as far a decision, because that decision has already been given to us. It's pretty much in our hands," Showalter said.

Machado was operated on Oct. 14. A four- to six-month recovery was forecast.

"Our doctors in Baltimore want him to see [Dr. ElAttrache] one more time. It's kind of in our hands. Dr. ElAttrache has told us, it's not like I'm going to write some magic ... he's not going to give some note or something. He'll see where [Machado] is comparatively speaking," Showalter said.

Assuming Machado begins the season on the disabled list, then Ryan Flaherty will probably play third base.

Jonathan Schoop or Jemile Weeks could play second. Non-roster infielders Alexi Casilla and Alex Gonzalez are also possibilities.

LEAVING CAMP: Baltimore optioned South Korean right-hander Suk-min Yoon and catcher Johnny Monell to Norfolk and reassigned outfielder Xavier Paul to minor league camp.

Yoon got a late start because he couldn't obtain his work visa until last week.

"I've thought about it, but I really wasn't expecting it," Yoon said through his interpreter. "I actually feel good right now. I want to maintain where I'm at."

Showalter wants Yoon to get more innings in the minors and possibly start.

"We think he's got a chance to be with us at some point. I think he said the other day when I was talking to us, he needs to go down there and pitch innings, and they're starting to go away," Showalter said.

Monell's demotion leaves Steve Clevenger as the leader in the jockeying for the backup catcher's job, but Showalter admitted the team may be searching for an alternative.

"He's the leading candidate. Stevie's presented himself well. We'll see what happens between now and the end of the spring, what other options present themselves," Showalter said.

The moves leave 43 players in camp.

CHEN ROCKED: Wei-Yin Chen allowed six runs on 10 hits in 3 2-3 innings as the Orioles lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 7-4 at Ed Smith Stadium

"I felt very good overall. Some of the pitches were up so they squared them up. Other than that I felt pretty good," Chen said through his interpreter.

Chen gave up seven extra-base hits: five doubles and two home runs.

Yoon allowed a run in two innings.

Adam Jones had his first RBI of the spring on an opposite field home run. He also stole two bases on one play against a Tampa Bay shift.

LOUGH CLEARED: David Lough, who's been out for the past week with a stiff neck was given the go ahead to play. Showalter said that he'll play against Pittsburgh Thursday.

Lough was checked for a possible concussion, but that was ruled out.

"They cleared me to go for activity and stuff so I feel pretty good about it, getting back on the right track here with baseball before the break," Lough said.

COMING UP: The Orioles play the Pirates in Bradenton Thursday night. Bud Norris, Steve Johnson, T.J. McFarland and Alfredo Aceves pitch for Baltimore. Francisco Liriano is scheduled to start for Pittsburgh.

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