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Orioles’ Chris Davis sits again against Rays with stomach bug; Renato Núñez playing first base

A stomach bug held Orioles first baseman Chris Davis out of the lineup Wednesday for the second straight game.

After getting scratched from Tuesday’s lineup with an illness, Davis was not among the starting nine that Orioles manager Brandon Hyde put together for Wednesday night’s matchup with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

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"He's still not bounced back, not feeling well,” Hyde said. “Saw the doctors just a little bit ago. Still got a little bit of a virus that's just not responding the way we would've liked.”

After setting major league records for consecutive hitless at-bats and plate appearances, Davis has recorded four hits in his previous 12 at-bats with two doubles and a home run, the illness striking at an unfortunate time.

The same is true for the Orioles, who are left with only two position players available off the bench until Davis gets healthy.

“Your options are a little short,” Hyde said. “It's part of it. This happens a lot throughout the year where things come up. It's normal. It's just the adjustments you have to make and go from there."

Núñez takes the field

With Davis sidelined, Renato Núñez, who served as the Orioles’ designated hitter in 16 of their first 18 games, was in the lineup at first base, playing the field for the first time in 2019.

It also marks Núñez’s first major league appearance at first base. He has played primarily third base in his career, but a biceps strain suffered late in spring training has limited him to strictly taking at-bats. He’s done so effectively, though, posting a .290/.333/.435 hitting line entering play Wednesday.

“Nuney's obviously been swinging the bat really well,” Hyde said. “He played well in spring training, so it was a good opportunity for him to get the glove on and go out to first base."

Núñez is the fourth Oriole to start at first base this season, joining Davis, Trey Mancini and Rio Ruiz. That’s the most on the team for any position besides pitcher.

Around the horn

» Relievers Richard Bleier and Nate Karns threw bullpen sessions Wednesday at Tropicana Field as part of their efforts to return from respective arm injuries.

» Hyde has been pleased with the Orioles’ efforts catching opposing would-be base-stealers. Baltimore’s opposing stolen-base percentage of .364 entering play Wednesday is the lowest in the majors; the Orioles have halted seven of 11 attempts, including twice catching Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier in Tuesday’s seventh inning after Kiermaier made it to second on a fielding error by shortstop Jonathan Villar.

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