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Orioles' Darren O'Day returning to Baltimore to have shoulder examined

Orioles reliever Darren O'Day, who hasn't pitched since June 1, tested his hamstring by doing some pitchers fielding practice drills and other running exercises.
Orioles reliever Darren O'Day, who hasn't pitched since June 1, tested his hamstring by doing some pitchers fielding practice drills and other running exercises. (Gail Burton)

SAN FRANCISCO — As the Orioles opened their three-game interleague series against the San Francisco Giants on Friday night at AT&T Park, setup man Darren O'Day was traveling back to Baltimore get his right shoulder examined Saturday.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said O'Day felt some "posterior shoulder discomfort" during his outing Thursday in Oakland, where the right-hander allowed two runs in one-third of an inning and let an inherited runner score.

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O'Day will miss the Orioles' series in San Francisco, and maybe more time depending on team orthopedist Dr. Michael Jacobs' evaluation of the shoulder.

"I feel pretty confident he would not have pitched here with what he told us yesterday," Showalter said. "We have some hope that something could resolve itself by Tuesday or Wednesday."

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The Orioles will recall Triple-A Norfolk right-hander Tyler Wilson if it becomes clear that O'Day will need to go on the disabled list after his appointment. Wilson is on the team's taxi squad and must officially be added to the 25-man roster by Saturday or returned to the minors.

"We're hoping it's something that will resolve itself quickly," Showalter said. "It's yet to be seen whether they'll inject him [with cortisone] or not. I don't know if they'll do it tomorrow. With the off-day [Monday], we probably wouldn't have pitched him today or the weekend. It was prudent to get him there. If we get some type of news from Dr. Jacobs, we don't want to [have to] get a guy across the country, so we thought it was smart to get Tyler out here."

Showalter said Thursday was the first time O'Day complained about any shoulder problem. But O'Day has yielded five earned runs over his past three outings spanning 1 2/3 innings. In those outings, O'Day let seven of the 12 batters he faced reach base.

"He said that yesterday was the first time [he felt pain]," Showalter said. "He had some real good outings since he's been back. I know you don't forget that, and he's had a couple where it wasn't. Now I don't know how forthcoming [he has been]. I know Darren wanted nothing to do with going back on the DL, but he's also not going to do anything to hurt the club. He actually wanted to stay and pitch through it, but we just didn't think that was a very good idea."

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O'Day, who signed a four-year, $31 million deal in the offseason to remain with the Orioles, missed nearly eight weeks with a slow-recovering strained right hamstring. He posted five straight scoreless outings after his return on July 24 before being scored upon in two of his past three outings.

Pearce making strides

Infielder-outfielder Steve Pearce took one step toward avoiding the DL by taking batting practice before Friday's game, marking the first time he has hit since leaving Sunday's game with a right flexor mass strain.

Showalter, who said Pearce was an option to pinch-hit Friday, said he'd like to get Pearce into the lineup for Saturday's game against Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner.

"It will be a little tougher with the National League rules," Showalter said.

Around the horn:

Outfielder Joey Rickard, who is on the DL with a right thumb ligament injury, will see hand specialist Dr. Kenneth Means on Wednesday. "They pushed it up a day, so we'll see," Showalter said. "It will be good to hear what he has to say." … Left-hander Brian Duensing (left elbow inflammation) threw a 25-pitch bullpen session Friday. … Double-A Bowie left-hander Chris Lee (lat muscle soreness) is throwing from 60 feet on flat ground.

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