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Observations as Orioles come off Mets series, head to Yankee Stadium for four games

In all likelihood, Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy and utility man Ryan Flaherty will be on their way to New York this morning to meet up with the team for tonight's series opener against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

Hardy could be activated for tonight's game. Flaherty isn't eligible to come off the disabled list until Friday.

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The Orioles need help, especially in the middle infield. Injuries to Jonathan Schoop and Flaherty had the team scrambling for answers at second base. The Orioles went as far as playing the defensively limited Jimmy Paredes there and also tested out Steve Pearce, who has never played the position before.

And while Everth Cabrera gave the Orioles a boost in helping fill in for Hardy at shortstop, he is now hitless over his last 17 at bats. He can't use his best asset – his speed – if he's not getting on base.

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Cabrera was on third base in Wednesday's 5-1 loss to the Mets with a runner on first and one out in the fifth when Alejandro De Aza attempted a drag bunt toward first.

Right-hander Jacob deGrom threw to third, where Cabrera – blocked by third baseman Daniel Murphy – clumsily attempted to get back to the bag. He was called out, but Orioles manager Buck Showalter said that Cabrera would have been safe had he slid instead of staying up.

After Wednesday's game, Showalter admitted the Orioles have had some defensive issues in the middle infield, so he can't wait to get Hardy and Flaherty -- two of the team's steadiest defenders -- back in the lineup.

-- Following an umpires' review that saw Dilson Herrera's RBI double ruled a two-run homer, Showalter came out to argue that pinch hitter Johnny Monell, former Orioles property, should have been forced to remain in the game.

Monell stepped into the batter's box before the Mets requested a review, but after the hit was changed to a homer, deGrom remained in the game.

"Their batter got in the batter's box, the pinch hitter, so he's in the game," Showalter said. "Two of the umpires went to look at replay, and the other two should have seen it, but didn't. deGrom should have been out of the game, and he was coaching the runner also. Once you get into the box, whether you report it or not, you're in the game."

Showalter was also upset that the video board showed a replay of the play before a review was requested, which is not allowed.

-- The Orioles open up their four-game series against the division-leading Yankees (17-11) tonight at Yankees Stadium with right-hander Chris Tillman on the mound.

Tillman hasn't had a great deal of success in his career against the Yankees or at Yankee Stadium. He is 5-5 with a 4.96 ERA in 14 career starts against New York and is 3-3 with a 7.47 ERA in seven career starts at Yankee Stadium.

But last season, Tillman was 1-1 with a 1.98 ERA in four starts against the Yankees, including a game in which he threw seven scoreless innings in his only 2014 appearance at Yankee Stadium.

Alex Rodriguez is 5-for-10 with three homers and seven RBIs against Tillman. Mark Teixeira is hitting .333 (7-for-21) in his career against Tillman.

eencina@baltsun.com
twitter.com/EddieInTheYard

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