Hardy expects to play on Tuesday

Orioles manager Buck Showalter confirmed that outfielder Quintin Berry will have his contract selected from Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday. Relievers Ryan Webb and T.J. McFarland and catcher Steve Clevenger will be recalled.

Infielder Alexi Casilla is expected to join the taxi squad in Sarasota.

The Orioles were checking on reliever Andrew Miller, who had a slight limp walking off the mound following the top of the eighth inning.

"Richie (Bancells) was talking to him up the runway there," Showalter said. "See what we got."

hardy hit white sidebar.jpgShortstop J.J. Hardy left the game, won by the Twins 6-4, after the seventh inning with a spasm in his lower back.

"It didn't lock up or anything," Hardy said. "It just tried to spasm. It spasmed up on me a couple times."

Hardy said the discomfort isn't the same as the April back pain that forced him to miss five games.

"Similar, but not even close to the degree that it was," he said. "I mean, what happens is it spasms up and it completely locks up on me and that's when I miss a week. This was just it would grab on me. Probably three or four times today, but it didn't lock up. Probably a good thing I got out of there.

"Before this April, it was five years before anything like this has happened. And this time again, it's just little spasms. I don't know if it's from being dehydrated or what. But this is nothing like April. So, I feel good about it."

Hardy is hopeful that he can play Tuesday night against the Reds.

"I think getting out of there today was probably the right decision," he said. "It didn't lock up, it just spasmed a couple times. So, drink a lot of this Pedialyte and be good.

"A lot of people blame that on the heat. I don't know. I feel like I was definitely hydrated. I always sweat a lot. I can lose eight pounds on a hot day. Hot game, I'll lose eight pounds and the next day I'm back to normal. I drink a ton of water and everything else. I don't know. Could be from the heat."

Showalter wasn't taking any risks with his Gold Glove shortstop.

"Just some back spasms cropped up on him," Showalter said. "He kind of wanted to continue, but I didn't want to take the chance of getting him worse. I'm hoping it's just a sticky, hot day. Just kind of caught up to him a little bit and we want to be on the safe side. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

"I didn't like his last at-bat, I noticed he looked a little different and I had J.R. (John Russell) during the at-bat, I said, 'Check with him.' He did. Said it tightened up on him a little bit.

"He's had some back soreness like everybody does from playing games, but nothing that's kept him from playing."

I asked Showalter how Hardy looked "different."

"You can tell," he said. "When you're around the players as much as we are, you can tell their body language a little bit. Something might be a little bothersome, maybe a little more erect or taking more time between pitches out of the box, things like that. Just not their normal tempo."

Kevin Gausman worked at a nice tempo for most of today's game, but a couple plays weren't made in the field and he absorbed the loss after going a career-high 7 1/3 innings.

"Gaus was good, period," Showalter said. "There wasn't much hiccup there. The eighth inning was good, too. We had a couple plays we didn't make, but the ball was carrying obviously. Anything up in the air was going a long way, but he kept the ball in the park and gave us a good chance to win.

"I was proud of him. He was good today. He carried his stuff, command was good. Was completely different than some of the challenges he had in his last outing."

Miller has allowed inherited runners to score in his last two appearances. Joe Mauer greeted him today with a two-run single.

"First of all, Mauer, take a good look," Showalter said. "Seeing him struggle a little bit, you won't see that much at all. Swing and a miss and it was like everybody thought we were in a different league. He got a ball up and blocked it out there and the ball carried off the wall, and then he gives up a jam shot. Other than that, he pitched well. What's that, three pitches? They were hacking."

The Orioles were challenged by back-to-back four-game series and won six of eight games. They lead the Yankees by 8 1/2 games in the American League East.

"I'm not going to sit here and say we'd have taken it before it started, but you guys can do that part of it, Showalter said. "We go out there every day trying to win every game. You'd like to finish it off, but the Twins are a very proud organization. You can tell they're an up-and-coming offensive team.

"If you look at some of the guys they're missing and some of the guys they've got coming, they're going to be a force in the American League. The people in Minnesota will be soon seeing a pretty good team there. Not that they're not now. Trying to stay off the bulletin board."

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