While waiting for first pitch ... (we’re under way)

First pitch at Camden Yards is scheduled for 7:55 p.m.

Over in Frederick, Manny Machado will serve as the designated hitter tonight, just as Orioles manager Buck Showalter suggested would happen.

Nelson Cruz has registered at least one RBI in seven consecutive games. The last Oriole with a streak of eight straight games was shortstop J.J. Hardy on Aug. 2-12, 2011.

Ryan Flaherty had a crowd of reporters around his locker this afternoon after Major League Baseball announced a change to the controversial transfer rule that saddled him with an error Sunday night in Boston.

Flaherty joked that the change in the rule occurred too late for him.

“I think everyone’s glad it went back to the way it was before. It’s changed back now and move on,” he said.

“To be honest with you, I didn’t really know the rule had really happened to me. I found that out pretty quick. But it’s back now and move forward.”

Showalter won’t mourn the loss of the transfer rule.

“I applaud the fact they did it quickly, all things considered,” he said. “It was good communication, obviously, with the people with replay and everything. They’re very easy to get a hold of, they answer all questions. We felt like this was coming. And move on. It’s behind us.

“It happened and we knew there was going to be some adjustments that had to be made. Everybody was told about it. What they were calling was not a surprise to anybody. We talked about it. That was one of the points in the spring that we felt would be an issue, with what the definition of catching the baseball is and securing it. I know one of the groups that’s real happy about it is the umpires.”

Flaherty received lots of unwanted attention for being victimized by the rule, but Showalter said, “Refresh my memory. Didn’t we benefit from that call, too, though?

“I’m not going to dwell. Ryan and our infielders knew what was going to be called, whether it was fair or not fair. It’s not like we weren’t forewarned. We talked to our guys in the spring about it and we talked to our guys in the advance meetings about it, and everybody knew. That’s why there wasn’t a whole lot of argument or whatever out there. Whether it was right or wrong, that’s the way they’re going to call it. Shame on you if you haven’t made your people aware of that. And anybody that comes out and complains about it must not have been listening in the meetings.

“Obviously, it doesn’t seem particularly fair. It’s what we all grew up with, understanding what was a catch. You close your glove around something, it’s yours.”

Should MLB adjust the pine tar rule that led to a 10-game suspension for Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda?

“Always, initial reaction is enforcing the letter of the rule,” Showalter said. “My personal opinion is, instead of addressing the issue, they should address the problem. The problem is the baseball.

“We’ve been doing something pretty archaic for a long, long, long, long time and that’s putting mud on it. The problem is, guys can’t grip the ball. And you put mud on it and it’s 40 degree, it gets slicker. If I’m a hitter or an opposing manager, I want you to be able to grip the baseball.”

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