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Early Orioles notes: Jones scratched from lineup because of wet field conditions

For the second straight game, center fielder Adam Jones was scratched from the Orioles' starting lineup within 90 minutes of first pitch.

The team announced that Jones was kept out of Tuesday's lineup against the New York Yankees "as a precaution due to wet field conditions."

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Before Tuesday's game, both teams took batting practice as scheduled through a light mist, but the forecast called for heavier rain later in the night that never fell.

"It was supposed to be misty and pick up rain all through the game and field was pretty sloppy during BP," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said after Tuesday's 8-3 loss. "In fact, I was a little surprised we took BP in that. … Didn't think it was going to get any better and I didn't like the risk factor. It was my decision. Adam was ready to go."

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Tuesday marked the fourth straight game Jones has missed. He missed the first three with a sore left ankle and hip.

Showalter initially had Jones in the starting lineup, in center field and batting second, and said Jones successfully went through a series of drills to test the injury before batting practice.

"Adam went through the paces and feels ready to play," Showalter said then.

But after batting practice, the Orioles changed their starting lineup, with Joey Rickard making his fourth straight start in center field for Jones.

The Orioles have treated Jones' injury as day-to-day. When Jones first sat on Saturday, Showalter — saying that the outfielder has aggravated ankle and hip ailments he first felt two weeks ago in Detroit — was optimistic Jones could return for the series opener against the Yankees on Monday.

Hart returns from funeral

Left-handed reliever Donnie Hart left the club after Monday's game to attend his grandfather's funeral in San Antonio and returned Tuesday. He entered the game against the Yankees in the sixth inning and pitched a perfect 1 1⁄3 innings.

If a player is placed on the three-day bereavement leave list, he is unavailable for all three days.

Progress for Harvey

Showalter said he received a positive report on pitching prospect Hunter Harvey's first bullpen session coming back from Tommy John elbow reconstruction Monday in Sarasota, Fla., from player development director Brian Graham.

"He said you could tell by Hunter's face how good he felt about it," Showalter said. "The first time he really had a chance to turn it loose and get a good return for it, so that was encouraging."

Showalter said Harvey is scheduled to be able to pitch in games in late June or early July.

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Britton update

Showalter said that the intensity of Zach Britton's throwing sessions has picked up while he's rehabilitating a left forearm strain in Sarasota.

Showalter has steered away from providing a projected return date for Britton, but when asked whether it's possible Britton returns before the All-Star break, Showalter said "it is in that proximity."

"I just don't think that it's fair for Zach or the people running the program to put some false deadline [on it]. ... We've got it mapped out daily, and the day he would return to us with a little bit of wiggle at the end where it could be a little early, could be a little later."

eencina@baltsun.com
twitter.com/EddieInTheYard

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