Hicks returns to injured list

OAKLAND – The Orioles couldn’t wait any longer for outfielder Aaron Hicks.

Hicks was placed on the 10-day injured list this morning with a lower-back strain, the move retroactive to Wednesday. Outfielder Ryan McKenna was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk.

Hicks is making his second trip to the IL. He missed three weeks with a left hamstring strain, returned Monday in San Diego and lasted seven innings before leaving with the back discomfort.

“It’s kind of hit or miss right now,” Hicks said yesterday. “What I’m really trying to get over the hump with is hitting. I wake up, I have good mobility, and as soon as I start hitting it kind of starts to flare up a little bit. It’s what I’m dealing with.

“It’s just annoying. Walking around I feel fine, doing little things feel fine, rotation feels fine. And then as soon as I start to try to fire it up and get moving as fast as possible is when it starts wanting to shut down.”

Hicks hit on the field yesterday and stayed on the bench in the Orioles' 9-4 win over the Athletics. He seemed to anticipate a roster move.

“I know that the days are starting to get a little shorter, so I think for me it’s just, I’ve got to do what’s best for the team, and if it is going on the IL …,” he said.

“I’ve got to get to a point where I can help this team win, and if I’m not doing it, there’s somebody else who should be able to have that opportunity.”

McKenna wasn’t in Norfolk’s lineup last night, hopping on a flight to Oakland.

Anthony Santander left last night's game with "general soreness," as manager Brandon Hyde described it. The Orioles couldn't afford to possibly be down two outfielders tonight.

The Orioles also announced that reliever Mychal Givens was put on unconditional release waivers. He was designated for assignment on Sunday.

Left-hander Cole Irvin returns to Oakland, where he pitched the last two seasons. The Orioles optioned Irvin after his third start on April 13, when the Athletics scored six runs in four innings.

Irvin joined a six-man rotation last Saturday in Seattle and tossed five scoreless innings with two hits and six strikeouts.

The Orioles remain two games ahead of the second-place Rays. They’ve won 12 of their last 18 and 26 of 38.

The Orioles are 4-1 against the Athletics this season.

Oakland is starting left-hander Ken Waldichuk, who’s 2-7 with a 6.07 ERA and 1.701 WHIP in 27 games (16 starts). He’s averaging 5.1 walks and 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings.

Waldichuk has allowed three runs with 11 strikeouts in his last two starts over 11 innings. He faced the Orioles on April 12 and surrendered three runs in 6 1/3 innings.

Seth Johnson, acquired from the Rays in the three-team Trey Mancini trade at the 2022 deadline, started his rehab assignment today in the Florida Complex League and tossed a scoreless inning with one hit and two strikeouts.

Johnson underwent Tommy John surgery shortly after the trade. MLB Pipeline ranks him as the organization’s No. 16 prospect.

The Orioles will bump Johnson to Single-A Delmarva next week.

Infielder Adam Hall, also on a rehab assignment, led off as the designated hitter and went 0-for-4 with a walk and run scored. Hall has played in three games in the FCL.

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