Showalter provides pitching and injury updates (tied 3-3)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Orioles rookie David Hess will start Thursday night’s series finale against the Rays. Dylan Bundy is pushed back to Friday night against the Red Sox at Camden Yards.

“I don’t want David to get too far away from being out there,” manager Buck Showalter said.

“Also, I didn’t want to necessarily have those three young guys lined up in a row, either, if I could help it.”

The Orioles have a day-night doubleheader on Saturday against the Red Sox, and Jimmy Yacabonis could start one of the games. He’s on the mound tonight at Triple-A Norfolk, but will be shortened up to keep him available this weekend.

Veteran outfielder Craig Gentry begins an injury rehab assignment tonight at Double-A Bowie.

Infielder Steve Wilkerson, who visited the clubhouse earlier today, is nearing a rehab assignment after going on the disabled list retroactive to July 2 with a strained left oblique.

showalter-close-with-sunglasses.jpg“He thinks he turned the corner with that,” Showalter said. “Actually, with a Grade 2 oblique, he’s right on schedule. I know he’s really frustrated. He’s spent a lot of time in Sarasota this year, so I know he’s getting close to going out.”

Wilkerson could return to the Orioles in a utility role. He made two starts (four appearances) at third base and two starts at second base before going on the disabled list, and he’s played all four infield spots and right field in the minors.

“That’s what he’s been doing,” Showalter said. “That would be up to where, when he’s healthy, about whether he comes here or goes somewhere else, but that’s what he presents. He’s a guy that can play all over and play well.

“As this game evolves, those guys with three-man benches are so valuable. He could present himself as one of those guys. And catch. Those guys that can do that, their status is really going to be elevated in the game. It’s almost like an irregular regular.”

Hunter Harvey resumed his throwing program yesterday in Sarasota, and I’m told that it went well. Harvey was shut down briefly with stiffness in his right forearm, but he’s progressing back to mound work.

Rule 5 pick Pedro Araujo, who received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right elbow last week, is close to throwing again.

“I think that’s right around the corner,” Showalter said. “I think Araujo’s going to start throwing here shortly. I’m not sure exactly when.”

The Orioles could wait and put Araujo on their expanded September roster.

Asked whether Araujo could be back in the majors at some point this season, Showalter replied, “I think that’s a very distinct possibility. Hopefully, he can, at the very worst, join us for September call-ups.

“You can bank on that, I hope. I hope he does. I’d like to see him again. He’s a good young man.”

Showalter doesn’t anticipate any roster moves before the club returns home. He was asked again today about the possibility of having some of the younger guys in the minors get an opportunity, with Tides outfielder Cedric Mullins a veiled reference.

Mullins was scratched from tonight’s lineup at Norfolk, but only because of an illness.

“We brought up (Evan) Phillips and we brought up (Cody) Carroll and we added (Jonathan) Villar. We had Breyvic (Valera) for a while,” Showalter said.

“I know Dan (Duquette) and I talked some yesterday and again today. There’s some things that we could, potentially, be doing in the near future, but it’s not today and I don’t think we get back from the road trip. But there’s some stuff that he’s considering.”

Update: The first three batters singled against Alex Cobb in the bottom of the first inning - he also threw a wild pitch - and the Rays took a 1-0 lead on Jake Bauers’ RBI.

Cobb threw 21 pitches in the inning, but he limited the damage.

Tyler Glasnow has struck out five of the first six Orioles.

Update II: Tim Beckham led off the fourth with a home run to tie the game 1-1.

Update III: Trey Mancini led off the fifth with a home run off Jaime Schultz to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead. Glasnow struck out nine batters in four innings.

Update IV: The Orioles increased their lead to 3-1 in the sixth on Mark Trumbo’s RBI single that scored Beckham, who led off with a walk.

Update V: The Rays tied the game 3-3 in the eighth on two unearned runs charged to Evan Phillips, who walked three batters and threw a wild pitch. Chris Davis committed a throwing error on a potential double play ball. The tying run scored on Carlos Gomez’s double play grounder.

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