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Orioles infielder Tim Beckham kicks off rehab at Bowie on Friday

BOWIE — Orioles infielder Tim Beckham kicks off what will be a week-long rehabilitation assignment Friday with Double-A Bowie with a scheduled six innings at third base. Beckham is coming off core muscle surgery in late April that repaired some longstanding muscle problems he had played through.

Beckham, 28, is excited to get back on the field and to get into game shape ahead of the June 23 date when he is eligible to be activated from the 60-day disabled list.

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"I definitely feel a lot better," Beckham said Friday. "I feel a lot better as far as squatting down, my mobility going left to right. I'm not going to sit here and say I'm going to feel great, like 1,000 percent better and play. I'm going to do what I can when I'm on the baseball field, just like everyone else, and I'm going to go hard when I'm out there."

Richard Bleier was the Orioles' best reliever this season before a lat injury likely ended his year.

In his first rehab game, he went 0-for-2 with a walk, a run scored and an error. Beckham was hitting .179 with a home run in 23 games with the Orioles when he began to deal with a groin injury he had experienced off and on at several points in his career, both with the Orioles and the Tampa Bay Rays. He hopes to start to improve at the plate with Bowie before he gets back to the majors.

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"Just see some pitches, put together some good ABs, and not really looking for results down here," he said. "I just want to hit some balls on the barrel man, play some good baseball, and I'll be ready once [June 23] gets here."

More than anything, Beckham wants to get back and help the Orioles out of the hole they're in.

"It's a tough year for everyone," he said. "We've got a couple guys playing really good ball — Manny [Machado], [Adam Jones], [Danny] Valencia — they're swinging it really well. We've got guys that are grinding it out up there and that's what it's about. Baseball is a grind, and no one ever said it was easy. A lot of people in that clubhouse, we've never been through anything like this so far in our careers. It's unfortunate we're not playing good baseball right now, and the only thing we can do is keep coming to the field every day and putting in the work, you know?"

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