More notes before tonight’s Orioles-Astros game

Orioles manager Buck Showalter met in his office with executive vice president Dan Duquette before his pregame session with the media. Duquette briefed him on the latest trade talks, which haven’t yielded another addition since the Orioles acquired reliever Francisco Rodriguez from the Brewers for minor league infielder Nicky Delmonico.

It’s still not a topic of conversation in the Orioles’ clubhouse.

“I think guys know, one, there’s not a whole lot they can do about it, and two, they’re smart enough that they don’t say things that reflect on their teammates,” Showalter said. “They’re not going to talk about a position or some part of the game that we’re in need of. There’s not a perfect team out there. There’s not a perfect player. There’s not a perfect coach, manager, writer, whatever.

“You’ve got to be careful about spending too much time in somebody else’s backyard and not your own, so that’s where I’m trying to keep my focus.”

Showalter noted again how the Orioles already acquired Rodriguez and pitcher Scott Feldman in separate deals earlier this month.

“We did it a long time ago in baseball circles,” Showalter said.

Second baseman Brian Roberts is close to going on paternity leave for the birth of his first child.

“Any day now. It’s exciting,” Showalter said.

Manny Machado’s 39 doubles lead the majors by seven despite not recording one in his last 82 plate appearances. He’s gone 18 full games without a double, the longest stretch of his career, topping a 15-game streak from Aug. 18-Sept. 3, 2012.

Machado (135) and Adam Jones (129) have combined for more hits than any other pair of teammates this season, six more than the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera (136) and Torii Hunter (122), according to STATS.

Chris Davis hasn’t homered in 10 straight games, his longest stretch of the season. The previous longest was eight games twice: April 29-May 8 and June 4-11. Davis doesn’t have an extra-base hit or an RBI in the last six games, tied for the sixth-longest stretch of his career. His career-high is 10 from June 15-28, 2012.

“It was hard to follow that pace,” Showalter said. “He spoiled us at a very high level. He wants to get back to it. I’m not going to get into the mechanics, what I think he’s doing and not doing, and what’s different. Everybody’s got an idea about that.

“If you’d see all the constant tinkering that’s done, whether it’s in the video room or whether it’s in the cage. I hear that. Believe me, these guys are searching for perfection every day. They are. And then, once they get in a groove, how long can I stay there?”

Davis is serving as the designated hitter tonight, with Ryan Flaherty making his first major league start at first base.

“We as a staff kind of mapped out some things that we wanted to do with these off days,” Showalter said. “I wanted to get Matt two days away from catching, which we were able to do. I wanted to get Chris two days off the field, so to speak. Got some things I want to do between now and the end of the next trip. We’re going to take advantage of some things. Adam will get something like that at some point. Especially the guys who went to the All-Star Game. They really haven’t had any down time.”

Bud Norris will start against the Orioles on Wednesday if he’s not traded, according to Houston reporters. Former Oriole Erik Bedard is scheduled to start that night. He could be pushed back to Thursday if he isn’t traded.

Showalter had eight left-handed hitters in his lineup against Norris until the right-hander was scratched. Left-handers are hitting .306 against Norris this season, compared to .241 by right-handers.

Drungo Hazewood, the Orioles first-round pick in 1977 (19th overall) who spent seven years in the organization and reached the majors in 1980, died Sunday in California after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 53.

In his six games with the Orioles, Hazewood was 0-for-5 with four strikeouts. He will forever have one of the best names in franchise history. RIP.

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