Steve Pearce (left oblique) played left field and went 1-for-3 with a double in Double-A Bowie's 2-0 loss on Sunday — and he could join the Orioles as early as Monday.

There had been a possibility that Pearce would leave Sunday's game in Bowie to join the Orioles for their charter flight to Kansas City on Sunday evening, Orioles manager Showalter scratched that idea.

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Showalter said he wanted to see how Pearce rebounded after playing nine innings at Bowie, something he hadn't done during his brief rehabilitation stint.

"It's possible. We'll see how Steve comes through," Showalter said before Sunday's game. "I'd like to see him play nine innings. We play nine innings up here … sometimes more than nine."

Pearce, who has batted .227 with .290 on-base and .392 slugging percentages in 58 games for the Orioles, has been on the DL since July 22.

** In other news, shortstop J.J. Hardy wasn't in Sunday's starting lineup, primarily because of a sore left groin that has limited his ability to run the past few days. Ryan Flaherty got the start, but Hardy said he was already feeling better Sunday and should be ready to play Monday in Kansas City.

"I'm not concerned at all. I played [Saturday] and it actually feels better today, so I think that's a really good sign," Hardy said.

Hardy, 33, said he's been feeling some discomfort for a few days, but felt it more sharply Friday. He wouldn't suggest that physical issued could be a reason for his offensive woes this season. He's hitting .220 with just seven homers in 92 games this season.

"I'm not gonna make an excuse," Hardy said. "Like we always talk about, everybody in here is dealing with something so I've just got to swing the bat better. It's simple as that."

Showalter, who also wanted to get Flaherty some playing time Sunday, said when Hardy admits something is bothering him, the team listens intently. But it's tough to know whether there is a correlation between his sagging offense and nagging injuries.

"We've seen J.J. hit 30 home runs in a year, I think, and we've seen him do other things. He's spoiled us at a level that he's not at, at the moment, but it's there," Showalter said. "It's trying to get to it. I've been around some players that really don't tell you about a lot of things until after the season's over. When J does bring something out [about an injury], you know it's something you should pay attention to."

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