There's a deliberate method to the Orioles' efforts to return closer Zach Britton from his forearm strain back to full health, with the schedule laid out for him over a three-week period closely mirroring how he'd typically get ready in spring training.

"Zach was trying to push it forward and maybe take an extra [outing]," Showalter said. "But if you do that, it takes away from the replication of spring training. Everything's designed for him to try to join us on [July 5], which would be a normal spring training for him. He's feeling good. Last night was the first night he really felt like he really turned it loose without any conviction about is this going to hurt or is that going to hurt, and pitched in a game without thinking about it."


Britton had his third rehabilitation outing Saturday for Low-A Delmarva, sitting 94-95 mph and walking a batter but facing the minimum in a big win for the Shorebirds. His next outing is Monday at Double-A Bowie, then he has two days off before pitching Thursday for Bowie and Friday for High-A Frederick. Britton's final outing will be at Triple-A Norfolk before he joins the team in Milwaukee for a planned July 5 return.

That Britton is having a spring-training replica in June is of interest because his actual spring training was accelerated this year. He had an early case of soreness in his oblique area that shut him down for a few weeks and delayed his normal progression, and the team had to cram a few extra outings in to get him ready for Opening Day.

Once he returned, he wasn't himself, battling the forearm problem that landed him on the disabled list twice. He allowed one run in nine appearances with five saves, but had to battle control troubles and didn't have many of the clean outings that were so prevalent in last year's record-setting season.

But Britton is progressing well and looked healthy Saturday, according to a scout. And he set a good example at Delmarva while he was there.

"They're having a [pitcher fielding practice] session they have about every third day with the pitchers there," Showalter said. "[Director of player development] Brian [Graham] didn't want to let him join it because he was pitching that night, and Zach somehow tagged his way into it. He said, 'I feel horrible. I'm here trying to set an example and I'm standing on the side while they're doing PFPs.' So he got out there and led the drill."

Davis progressing: First baseman Chris Davis (oblique) will remain in Florida to rehab at the club's facility in Sarasota after the Orioles leave Tampa Bay, and is seeing improvement after a pair of platelet-rich plasma injections.

"He's sleeping now and he's not having that every-action pain, when he's trying to pick something up or reach for something in everyday life," Showalter said. "He made some progress with that."

It remains unclear how long Davis will be out, but the early estimate after he suffered the injury two weeks ago was at least a month.

Around the horn: Outfielder Mark Trumbo had a hit changed to an error from Friday night's game, taking two RBIs off his tally. … Infielder Ryan Flaherty (shoulder) is doing everything but throwing, and Showalter said he might stay with the team, as his progress has been more marked over the past few days. … Outfielder Joey Rickard is making his second start against a right-handed pitcher in a row. The Orioles' entire lineup is right-handed against right Jake Odorizzi on Sunday.

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