Machado cleared to run sprints

Orioles third baseman Manny Machado got six at-bats today against left-hander Johan Santana in a simulated game at the Ed Smith Stadium complex.

Machado was scheduled for two at-bats, but received an additional four.

"I think that two was a minimum," said manager Buck Showalter.

Machado has been cleared to run full-speed on Monday, one of the final hurdles before getting into extended spring training games and going on an injury rehab assignment.

"They said they think he snuck a couple in today on the back fields," Showalter said.

Rule 5 pick Michael Almanzar, on the disabled list with left patellar tendinitis, also played in today's simulated game.

"That was good to hear," Showalter said.

Left-hander Troy Patton pitched today while continuing to serve his 25-game suspension.

Outfielder Francisco Peguero remains on a hitting progression while recovering from a wrist injury. Reliever Edgmer Escalona, on the 60-day disabled list with a right shoulder impingement, remains shut down.

As I wrote earlier, reliever Brian Matusz and hitting coach Jim Presley are absent while recovering from flu-like symptoms. Presley definitely won't be here tonight.

"That's about as bad as a human being can look, the way he looked last night," Showalter said. "We've had seven, eight, nine cases since spring, so we're trying to keep it from spreading."

Showalter won't publicize whether Matusz will be here later, but it's not likely to happen. Matusz went to the emergency room last night.

"He's improved," Showalter said. "We'll see what happens between now and game time."

Shortstop J.J. Hardy and outfielder David Lough are back in the lineup tonight.

"We waited maybe an extra day just to be on the safe side," Showalter said. "I know J.J.'s excited to get back out there. David feels good.

"I'm looking forward to getting those two guys back out there."

Showalter isn't overly concerned about Lough's symptoms because "doctors cleared him and he did not have a concussion."

"That's good news," Showalter said. "Whatever's happened in the past, we've kind of put that behind us."

Showalter would like to give Steve Pearce a start Sunday against Blue Jays left-hander Mark Buehrle. It's under consideration.

Pearce has received only three at-bats.

"I'm trying," Showalter said. "We'll see how tonight goes."

Showalter was told that Double-A Bowie pitcher Zach Davies was struck on the pitching elbow in the second inning today and left the game.

"I watched the first inning," he said. "Guess I should have kept watching it."

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