Orioles center fielder Adam Jones was out of the starting lineup for the sixth straight day Saturday, still nursing back spasms that have sidelined him since Monday.
Jones tested his back again before Friday's game — running in the Fenway Park outfield, taking 25 swings off the tee and hitting soft toss — but was sore Saturday from the previous day's work.
"We had two lineups, one with Adam in and one without," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Close again. [He's] a little sore from yesterday … but I think a little better. I expect him by the end of the day. They do a lot of treatment during the game. [I] didn't quite like the body language, the walk around the clubhouse. He's still a little stiff.
"He's certainly earned that. He's a guy that posts up as good as anyone in baseball. If he even mentions something to you, you know it's bothering him."
Jones, who hasn't played since Sunday's series finale at the Tampa Bay Rays, was available off the bench Saturday. But Showalter had been saying that was the case without playing Jones over the previous few days.
"He's available," Showalter said. "I mean, if I said, 'Adam, let's give it a shot,' he'd be the first guy out there. It's just not fair to him and the team. ... Someone's got to make that decision, and Adam's not going to. I don't expect him to. It's not his job. … Adam's earned the right to tell us how he feels and then we'll make that decision."
Gonzalez to start Tuesday
After getting through Saturday's bullpen session well, right-hander Miguel Gonzalez will be activated from the disabled list to start Tuesday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Baltimore.
Gonzalez, who is on the DL with right shoulder tendinitis, hasn't pitched since Aug. 30 in Texas.
"It's great," Showalter said. "We were really hopeful at the time that he'd be able to get back for a couple of starts. Hopefully, more than that. But, it's good for him and the organization to finish the year healthy."
Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez will start Sunday's series finale in Boston and right-hander Chris Tillman is in line to start Monday's series opener against the Blue Jays. Showalter hasn't announced a starter for Wednesday or Thursday, but Kevin Gausman and Tyler Wilson could fit into either of those spots. Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen will start Friday's game against the New York Yankees.
Flaherty starts in left field
Ryan Flaherty made his first start in left field single July 1, 2012. Flaherty made six previous starts in left field, all in 2012, and three have come at Fenway Park. So Showalter had faith that Flaherty could handle the intricacies of the 37-foot-high Green Monster in left field.
Flaherty made an impact with his glove right away Saturday, making a running, leaping catch in front of the Green Monster on Xander Bogaerts' line drive to left.
Showalter said he wanted to get Flaherty, who hails from nearby Portland, Maine, in the lineup in Boston because he has been one of the Orioles' best hitters at Fenway Park. Flaherty entered Saturday a .388/.434/.567 hitter with nine extra-base hits (seven doubles, one triple and one homer) and 11 RBIs in 20 career games at Fenway, and was 3-for-6 off Boston's Saturday starter, Craig Breslow.
"He basically grew up [here]," Showalter said. "I knew I wanted to get Ryan in as much as I could here. Statistically, he's our best hitter here in this ballpark, so we'll see if that continues."
Around the horn
Showalter wanted to give Chris Davis a day at designated hitter Saturday because he has a bruised right shin from fouling a ball off his leg. "I really need to get Chris off the field for a day and DH," Showalter said. "If you notice, he doesn't wear a shin guard — he's hit his shin in the same place twice. He's got a pretty good knot on that leg and I really need to get him off the field for a day." … The Orioles entered Saturday leading the majors with a .988 fielding percentage and the fewest errors committed. … Steve Pearce's outfield assist Friday gave the Orioles 44 on the season, the most in the majors.