Hicks out of Orioles lineup with back soreness (plus other notes)

SAN DIEG0 - Orioles outfielder Aaron Hicks returned to the club yesterday after injuring his left hamstring, started in left and exited in the eighth inning with discomfort in his back.

Hicks singled twice but didn’t appear to be running at full speed.

Austin Hays replaced Hicks last night and is starting in left tonight.

“He feels better today,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “Just came out with some back soreness. I don’t know if it was maybe just a little more intensity in these types of games, or maybe locked up on him a little bit. But feels much better today.”

Hicks played two games on his rehab assignment with Triple-A Norfolk. He hadn’t appeared with the Orioles since July 24 in Philadelphia.

Hyde doesn’t know whether the back issue is tied to the previous hamstring injury.

“I’m not really sure, medically, if the kinetic chain is related or not,” Hyde said, “but all I know is he had a little bit of back soreness and he feels better today.”

Hyde also said Hicks is playable if the Orioles need him.

Cedric Mullins doesn’t appear to have any restrictions after returning from his second groin injury. He’s patrolling center field in his usual manner and making Gold Glove plays.

“He definitely came back at game speed,” Hyde said. “That’s why we kept him down a couple more days. We wanted him to stretch it a little bit and to push it. He tried to lay down a drag bunt one time. If there was a stolen base opportunity in that third or fourth game, we wanted him to go just to kind of get back to game speed a little bit when he got here.

“He’s moving great, he looks awesome and he’s running extremely well.”

Left-hander John Means threw 45 pitches in 1 1/3 innings with Double-A Bowie tonight against Altoona. He allowed three runs and three hits and threw 33 pitches in the first and was removed in the second after a strikeout, a hit-by-pitch and a full count to the next batter.

Nick Richmond’s wild pitch left a fourth run on Means’ final line.

Means tossed two scoreless innings in his previous start and threw 28 pitches.

The Orioles want to reinstate Means from the 60-day injured list in early September as part of an expanded 28-man roster. Clubs are allowed to carry up to 14 pitchers.

For the Padres
Ha-Seong Kim 2B
Fernando Tatis Jr. CF
Juan Soto LF
Manny Machado 3B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Jake Cronenworth 1B
Gary Sánchez C
Garrett Cooper DH
Ben Gamel RF

Michael Wacha RHP

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