Pregame Showalter (game under way)

WASHINGTON - Orioles manager Buck Showalter said it’s “probably too soon” to know whether Jeremy Guthrie will avoid a trip to the disabled list, but he added, “We like our chances after today.”

“I’m sure Andy (MacPhail) talked about it some, but from talking to Richie (Bancells), who talked with Dr. (John) Wilckens, and the MRI results and everything, it’s pretty encouraging compared to what it could be. I think the next couple of days will give us a pretty good idea of what we’re dealing with. We’re not going to preclude him from Tuesday yet.”

Showalter contacted Guthrie before the MRI, which revealed a mild strain in the pitcher’s back.

“He was more stiff than he was tender today, which was a good sign,” Showalter said. “Knowing Jeremy, that was the concern for me because for him to come out of the game, you’ve got to know that there is something bothering him.”

The Orioles could juggle the rotation and give Guthrie a few more days.

“With the off days, we could,” Showalter said. “We’re obviously going to need a starter on Tuesday. Immediately, somebody that is here who is capable of doing it is (Jason) Berken. But that means that you have to stay away from him. I think it’s kind of a work in progress to see what the needs are as far as Berken is concerned.

“Andy’s got it wired about some things that we could do as early as tomorrow if we have to, but we have to get our arms around it and get a feel for where Jeremy is today. Obviously, we have to get a starter on Tuesday. It’s going to be either Berken, Guthrie or somebody from Norfolk.”

Rick VandenHurk is starting tonight for the Tides. Chris Tillman is scheduled for tomorrow, Brad Bergesen Sunday and Mitch Atkins Monday. Tuesday’s starter is listed as TBA, but it would be Chris George’s turn.

Showalter said he hasn’t completely ruled out using Vladimir Guerrero in the field.

“Obviously, I talked to Vlad about it,” Showalter said. “I’m not going to say that there isn’t any situation where we wouldn’t play him in the field, but tonight, obviously, he’s a really good pinch-hitter for us coming off the bench.”

Game update: The tarp’s on the field and we won’t start on time tonight. The rain seems to have stopped and the sky is clearing, but here we sit.

Game update II: The Nats are shooting for an 8 p.m. start.

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