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Orioles notebook: Adam Jones returns to action, Matt Wieters sits

Orioles notebook: Adam Jones returns to action, Matt Wieters sits
Orioles center fielder Adam Jones watches his two-run home run during the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday, Sept. 4, 2015, in Toronto. (Darren Calabrese / Associated Press)

The Orioles welcomed back one of their banged-up veterans to the starting lineup Friday, while another was out because of a lingering injury.

Center fielder Adam Jones, who left Monday's game in the eighth inning with a sore right shoulder and hadn't played since, was in his customary third spot in the lineup Friday.

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Catcher Matt Wieters, who had been dealing with a sore left wrist for a week but started Tuesday, was out of the lineup with lingering wrist soreness.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said both had MRIs on the affected areas — Wieters on Thursday and Jones on Friday — and nothing too concerning was discovered.

"They're both not requiring anything more than what we're doing," Showalter said. "But, still, you can see where some of the discomfort comes from."

Jones was hoping not to miss any time after Monday, but Showalter kept him out of the lineup Tuesday and Wednesday, hoping that three straight days off (with no game Thursday) would help Jones rest various ailments caused by the long season.

Showalter said he didn't ask Jones whether he wanted to play Friday; he already knew the answer.

"I know what he's going to say. Sometimes you have to take that out of play," Showalter said. "Same way with Matt. Hopefully, Matt will be good to go [Saturday]. He's available in some fashion."

Wieters hurt his wrist while attempting a diving stop at first base Sept. 4. He didn't play again until Tuesday at Yankee Stadium when he had two hits. Showalter said he doesn't think that game aggravated the injury; it just continues to be sore.

"I asked him that. He said no, it's about the same," Showalter said. "It's getting a little better each day."

Because it is his bottom hand, the soreness is more apparent when the switch-hitter is hitting right-handed. So it makes sense that Wieters sat Friday against left-hander Danny Duffy but likely will get the start Saturday versus right-hander Yordano Ventura.

The season is dwindling, but Showalter said he has not dismissed the idea of Wieters playing consecutive days behind the plate, something he has done just twice this season and only once since the All-Star break. Wieters didn't return from 2014 right elbow (Tommy John) surgery until June.

"We'll take him any way we can get him. We knew coming in that you probably wouldn't get the complete thing until next year. But it's been pretty good," Showalter said. "Nothing's really changed to make us think that [he wouldn't be available for consecutive games at catcher]. … If he and the medical people think it works, we'll do it. It's his call."

Wieters is a pending free agent, but Showalter said he's not making up his lineup card thinking about what playing or not playing means to Wieters' future.

"The bottom line of everything is what's best for the Baltimore Orioles that night," Showalter said. "And I like all the guys that wear our uniform and always try to put them in the right light that they deserve. But at the end of the day, we are trying to win every game. And most of the time that's with Matt in [the lineup].

Machado batting second, Reimold leading off

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With Gerardo Parra not in Friday's lineup against a left-hander, Showalter shifted the top of his order a bit.

He put Nolan Reimold in the leadoff spot for the third straight game — but this time, usual leadoff hitter Manny Machado was dropped to the second spot.

In the previous two games, Machado dropped from leadoff to third with Jones out. In those contests, having Reimold batting first and Machado third had to do with necessity. With Jones back Friday, it was done as a choice.

For one, Showalter said Reimold has "been on a pretty good presentation as a starter." On Wednesday, Reimold reached base three times as a leadoff hitter, twice with walks, and had a .328 on-base percentage heading into Friday — third on the team for players with at least 100 at-bats.

Plus, Machado can hit anywhere; he has started 111 games at leadoff, five batting second, six batting third, one batting 5th, 13 at sixth and four at seventh.

"Some people think Manny, [the second place in the order is] his best spot. Some people now this year think one is his best spot, some people think three, some people think six," Showalter said. "But it kind of fits for us where we are today."

Mainly, Showalter said, he devised Friday's batting order on what he might do in pinch-hitting situations later in the game, and how it would affect what the Kansas City Royals would be able to do with their impressive relief corps. And he obviously liked having Machado, Jones and Davis, who won't be pinch hit for, in a row.

Chen gets start Sunday

Showalter said left-hander Wei-Yin Chen will start Sunday night against Kansas City in the nationally televised game on ESPN. It had been listed as TBA, but Showalter decided to keep every pitcher on turn, which means they'll all get one extra day of rest because of Thursday's day off.

Chen is 2-1 with a 4.15 ERA in seven career starts against the Royals.

Around the horn

In continuation of Thursday night's suspended game, Triple-A Norfolk beat Columbus 6-1 Friday to tie their International League first-round playoff series at 1-1. Tyler Wilson allowed one run in five innings while Christian Walker and Henry Urrutia each homered. ... The Maryland Transit Administration will extend Light Rail service for fans traveling to the Orioles' 8:05 p.m. game against the Royals on Sunday at Camden Yards. Light Rail will run limited trains to get fans to the game. The last trains leaving will depart one hour after the game up until 11:30 p.m. If the game goes beyond 11:30 p.m., the last and final trains will depart Camden Yards Station at 12:30 a.m., regardless of whether the game has ended. ... As part of an MLB initiative, the Orioles, Royals and Friday's umpires wore caps with a side patch of the American flag to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. … High-A Frederick Keys groundskeeper Mike Soper was named Carolina League Sports Turf Manager of the Year. … Before Saturday afternoon's game, the Orioles will host the Red Land (York County, Pa.) Little League team that won the U.S. Championship and lost the Little League World Series to Japan. … The first 20,000 fans ages 15 and over attending Saturday's game will receive a Birdland knit scarf.

twitter.com/danconnollysun

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