J.J. Hardy said Friday that he absolutely, positively expected to be in Saturday's starting lineup against the Toronto Blue Jays at Camden Yards.
Hardy, who has played once since the third game of the season due to lower back spasms, is batting sixth and playing shortstop against the Jays. He hasn't played at all since last Saturday – a full week of rest.
Also in the starting lineup is David Lough, who hasn't started a game since Monday in New York. He has been dealing with potential concussion symptoms that also cost him a week playing time in spring training.
Lough was cleared Wednesday and played that night in Yankee Stadium as a defensive replacement. And now will start in left field and bat eighth against Toronto right-hander Drew Hutchinson.
Matt Wieters is getting a break today – he often gets one weekend day off if possible – and that means Steve Clevenger will catch starter Bud Norris.
Clevenger, who was the club's hottest hitter in the spring, will bat fifth today – behind Adam Jones and in front of Hardy. Ryan Flaherty is also getting the day off with Jonathan Schoop back at third base and Steve Lombardozzi manning second.
Here is the Orioles' lineup: Markakis 9, Cruz DH, Davis 3, Jones 8, Clevenger 2, Hardy 6, Lombardozzi 4, Lough 7, Schoop 5. Norris 1.