SEATTLE -- Third baseman Manny Machado didn't start for the third consecutive game Thursday as the Orioles opened a four-game series against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
Machado, 22, said he was continuing to progress day by day, but he couldn't predict when he'd be able to return.
"It's definitely gotten better," Machado said Thursday. "It's something that's just an annoying pain. It's definitely gotten down to a pinpoint pain now. We will see how it feels the next couple days."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he hoped Machado could return during the series against the Mariners.
"He's going to start getting back into baseball activities," Showalter said. "He's close. I think we'll be able to manage it."
Machado was scratched just before Tuesday's game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim when he began feeling pain after taking a swing during batting practice.
Machado said his back continued to tighten, and he was pulled from the starting lineup. He didn't participate in any baseball activities until Thursday, when he made some throws before the game.
"Today we are going to go out there and do some stuff, see how it feels," Machado said earlier Thursday. "We will see how it goes. Hopefully, I will be [OK]. The pain has gone down, so that's a good sign.
"I haven't done anything. I was just trying to stay off of it. It's a muscle thing, so you just got to let it rest and let it heal. Going to go through a normal routine and see how it feels. Keep treating it and, hopefully, it will be gone soon."