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Orioles closer Zach Britton ready for back-to-back rehab outings Thursday and Friday

Orioles pitcher Zach Britton delivers a pitch to a Hudson Valley batter during the IronBirds' home opener this month at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen.
Orioles pitcher Zach Britton delivers a pitch to a Hudson Valley batter during the IronBirds' home opener this month at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen. (Matt Button / Aegis / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

As he continues his minor league rehabilitation assignment, closer Zach Britton will make his first of back-to-back outings at Double-A Bowie on Thursday.

Britton will enter the game after right-hander starter Jesus Liranzo, who will pitch three or four innings. In Britton's final two rehab outings – on Friday night at High-A Frederick and Monday night with Triple-A Norfolk, he will be used later in the game to simulate his late-inning role.

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Showalter said those in the Orioles organization are "upbeat" about Britton's return after a shorter disabled-list period in April led him back to the DL with a recurrence of his left forearm strain.

"I think it's just staying healthy," Showalter said. "I think the back-to-back one is [important], seeing how he feels the next day. It's not like over the last year or two he's felt perfect after every outing anyway. It's just the recovery. [With] the effectiveness, you really listen to him talk, the misplayed fly ball the other day that should have been an error, there's a lot of things [to consider]. That's why you talk to the people who are there and not just watch it on tape or look at some box score. It paints very little of the picture. He's doing well.

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"Everybody's really upbeat about it. I'm hoping, he's got three more outings and he'll get to Milwaukee in time to get an at bat."

Blue Jays fan Ken Pagan is sentenced for throwing a beer can at Orioles outfielder Hyun Soo Kim.

Tillman returns to Baltimore

Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman returned to Baltimore on Wednesday after a between-starts work session to be with his wife, who is expecting the couple's first child any day now.

"Just got to thinking, why should he stay here?" Showalter said "Why doesn't he just work at home and spend the next couple of days there with his wife? She needs him more than we do today, tomorrow."

Tillman is still scheduled to start Friday night's home-series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays, but right-hander Dylan Bundy could start that game if Tillman isn't available.

Around the horn

With the Orioles scheduled to play in Milwaukee, a National League park, Wednesday, pitchers will begin to take batting practice. "What's that, the third time?" Showalter said. The Orioles have one more road interleague series after that, two games in Pittsburgh the last week of the season. … Minor league left-hander Keegan Akin, the club's second-round draft pick last year, carried a no-hit bid into the eighth inning for Frederick on Tuesday night and ended with eight one-hit shutout innings. …. Norfolk right-hander Gabriel Ynoa was hit hard Tuesday in his first outing since being optioned Thursday, allowing five runs over 3 2/3 innings. His season ERA in 10 starts at Norfolk is 7.40.

eencina@baltsun.com

twitter.com/EddieInTheYard

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