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Orioles notes: Chris Tillman on track to return Sept. 11, Adam Jones returns to lineup

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman throws in the first inning to the Tampa Bay Rays during the second game of a day-night doubleheader at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 25, 2016.
Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman throws in the first inning to the Tampa Bay Rays during the second game of a day-night doubleheader at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 25, 2016.(Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman is on track to return from the disabled list, where he has spent the past two weeks with right shoulder bursitis, on Sept. 11, manager Buck Showalter said Friday.

"Chris felt good today, so he's right on that schedule we set up," Showalter said. "If everything goes well, he'll pitch on [Sept. 11], if he doesn't have any setbacks on that."

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Tillman is scheduled to throw in the bullpen Sunday and Wednesday, then have a light catch on Sept. 9 before retaking his spot in the rotation in the series finale against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.

The veteran right-hander, who leads the team with a 15-5 record and a 3.76 ERA, has battled a shoulder ailment for most of August. He had a start pushed back from Aug. 17 to Aug. 20 to deal with it, but struggled badly and then had a problem in his subsequent bullpen that landed him on the disabled list.

He had a cortisone shot, and has thrown off flat ground twice this week.

Jones back in lineup: Center fielder Adam Jones returned to his place atop the Orioles lineup after missing five games with a hamstring strain.

"I'm going to be there for my team," Jones said. "It's an exciting month. Last month of the season, see what we've got."

Showalter said there was some apprehension putting him in the lineup, but noted that this type of injury means Jones won't be fully healthy all year. The time off has helped, however.

Jones had praise for his fill-in, Nolan Reimold, and said this was the time of year that a veteran team like the Orioles is made for.

"I think we've been in this situation the last five years, so I think we've got guys who understand what it takes, especially this time of season," Jones said. "The pitching staff understands; they've thrown enough innings. [Dylan] Bundy, [Kevin] Gausman, now with all these innings they're eating up, they're going to be competitive pitchers. It's the first time for them, but there's a lot of experience already on that level. We just need to jell together, mesh together, and combine our experiences and understanding of what we need to do, especially these last 29 games to go, and pull through."

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Around the horn: Helen Maroulis, a Rockville native who won a gold medal for in 53-kg wrestling at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, threw out the ceremonial first pitch Friday. Reliever Darren O'Day, who has been out for three weeks with a rotator cuff strain, played catch Friday and will throw off the half-mound Sunday, Showalter said. … Outfielder Joey Rickard (torn thumb ligament) had a doctor's appointment and has been fully cleared for baseball activities, Showalter said. Showalter said they'll know in the next week or so if Rickard has indeed avoided surgery, and if all goes well, he'll be ready to join the team when he's eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on Sept. 19.

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