Orioles pregame notes on Strop, Belfiore, Chen and Jurrjens

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis is back in the starting lineup tonight after missing two days following the death of his grandmother.

Right-hander Jason Hammel will look to improve his road record this season to 7-0.


The Orioles have scored 54 runs in nine games (6.0 runs a game) against Tampa Bay this season

Other items of note:


-- Orioles manager Buck Showalter said right-hander Pedro Strop will be a consideration to be activated off the DL on Saturday. Strop said his bullpen session on Thursday went well and he has no pain.

-- Left-hander Mike Belfiore has been recalled from Triple-A Norfolk and will be availabe in the bullpen, giving the Orioles four left-handed relief arms. His stay could be short-lived if Strop comes off the DL.

-- Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen threw from 90 feet on Friday as he continues to increase distances in his throwing program, which began Monday.

-- Norfolk right-hander Jair Jurrjens likely won't make his turn in the rotation Saturday after leaving his last start after allowing six runs in 2 2/3 innings with a thumb injury. Showalter said Jurrjens felt discomfort in his last throwing session Friday.

-- Einar Diaz will coach first-base tonight for the Orioles, filling in for Wayne Kirby, who is attending his daughter's high school graduation.

-- Scott McGregor will fill in as Triple-A Norfolk pitching coach for Mike Griffin, whose mother died Thursday.

Here are tonight's lineups:

Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Matt Wieters C
J.J. Hardy SS
Chris Dickerson DH
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Jason Hammel RHP

Matt Joyce RF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Kelly Johnson LF
Evan Longoria 3B
James Loney 1B
Desmond Jennings CF
Luke Scott DH
Jose Molina C
Yunel Escobar SS
Chris Archer RHP

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