Orioles manager Buck Showalter said that right-hander Kevin Gausman, who is dealing with a mild intercostal strain in his ribcage suffered during his most recent start, was feeling better Friday and is scheduled to start either Tuesday or Wednesday on the road against the Toronto Blue Jays.
"Gaus is feeling good," Showalter said. "… So far so good for that."
Right-hander Chris Tillman, who suffered his shortest start of the season Thursday, going just 1 2/3 innings in a 5-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox, would start on the day Gausman does not.
"It'll be hopefully Tillman-Gausman or Gausman-Tillman Tuesday and Wednesday depending on a lot of factors we'll take in each day," Showalter said.
Because he has six starters to choose from, Showalter has tried to give his rotation pieces extra days off in September. Right-hander Dylan Bundy will start Sunday on one extra day of rest, and Gausman would get two or three extra days of rest with Monday's day off.
Showalter has not announced when right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez would make his next start. Jimenez last pitched Wednesday, and his worst start of the season came in his only start at Rogers Centre, when he lasted just one-third of an inning and allowed five runs on six hits on June 12.
Scouting challenge: Facing an interleague opponent in the last home series of the regular season presents its challenges in terms of preparing for an unfamiliar foe. The Orioles have not played the Diamondbacks since 2013, when they were swept in three walk-off losses in Arizona, including two in extra innings.
"It's just a real challenge," Showalter said. "I was here last night 'til late. Here early trying to get familiar with a lot of things. Trying to figure out if they're in that find-out development mode or trying to put their best foot forward these three games. You never know. That's their prerogative and they can do whatever they want. That's one of the biggest challenges late in the season."
The Orioles entered Friday's series opener with an 11-6 record in interleague play in 2016, but are just 3-12 overall against the Diamondbacks including a 1-5 record against them at Camden Yards.
Showalter said that not only do expanded rosters — as well as whether a losing team is in rebuilding mode for next year (Arizona entered the series 24 games under .500) — play a role in preparation, but it's an easier adjustment for National League teams coming to play in AL ballparks than the other way around.
"They may have a certain progression of relievers, but now that may change this time of year," Showalter said. "They're able to take someone they play in the outfield who isn't very good and put him in a DH spot for instance. It's always, for me, more advantageous for the National League teams coming to the American League rules than the other way around. We would have to take a Pedro Alvarez out of the lineup, like we did when we went over there."
Around the horn: On Friday, left fielder Hyun Soo Kim made his second start in the leadoff spot this season, allowing the Orioles to slide Adam Jones into the No. 2 spot in the order. "Just a little different look," Showalter said. "A little different feel." … Showalter said before Friday's game that the team was still uncertain when left-hander Jayson Aquino would be available. He missed the previous two games with a viral infection and hasn't pitched since Monday. … Rookie Trey Mancini, who homered in his first two major league starts, became the first player to accomplish that feat since Rockies shortstop Trevor Story, who homered in his first four games this season, from April 4-8.