Hardy expects to play Friday

NEW YORK - Reporters will meet with manager Buck Showalter at 5:15 p.m. in the visiting dugout at Yankee Stadium, where he can provide an update on David Lough and offer specifics on the injury that could force the outfielder to the disabled list.

Meanwhile, shortstop J.J. Hardy provided another update on his back. He's more optimistic about his recovery than in previous days.

"Much better now than at any point yesterday," said Hardy, who's been out of the lineup for five of the past six games. "Pretty excited about it. I feel like tomorrow I'll be able to go to the field, run around, do some stuff and really test it out and hopefully be ready to go (Friday)."

The Orioles are off Thursday, which offers more recovery time for Hardy and the chance to work out.

Hardy said he's available tonight.

"If needed, I could have done it yesterday. If needed, I could do it today," he said.

"Ideally, I'd like to be able to run around and test it out tomorrow and see how it reacts and be good to go when we get back.

"I don't want it to spasm up again and make me miss more time. I'm hoping when I get back from this, I'll be able to play the rest of the games from here on out. I definitely don't want to have a setback with this.

"We'll see how it feels. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to do everything and should be good to go. I feel good about it."

I'll post quotes later from center fielder Adam Jones, who doesn't regret comments made yesterday about harsher treatment for fans who run onto the field.

Jones suggested that offenders be fined $20,000 and do "real" jail time.

Jones also said he's not concerned about Major League Baseball looking into his comments, saying they can't fine him for offering an opinion, especially one shared by most players in the league.

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