Hunter’s hand and Davis’ interview skills (O’s down 3-1)

WASHINGTON - We’re still in a rain delay at Nationals Park. It was pouring a few minutes ago, but the intensity has lessened.

That doesn’t mean we’re close to starting tonight’s game. Rain continues to fall and there was thunder and lightning earlier, but the grounds crew is sweeping water off the tarp.

Orioles reliever Tommy Hunter told reporters earlier today that his right hand feels better, though he’s still got some soreness, and he could probably pitch tonight if needed.

“It’s sore,” he said. “It’s kind of like a hitter taking a foul ball off the ankle. I don’t know. It’s not broke, so I might as well throw.”

Hunter did some light tossing yesterday.

Asked if he could pitch, Hunter replied, “Yeah, I would assume so. I don’t think there’s any limitations. It’s just sore. It feels like I got hit by a baseball still, two days later.

“It’s not even bruised. It makes me feel like a wuss, I guess. I don’t know.”

Hunter underwent an X-ray yesterday that came back negative. He had some sort of scan on Sunday, also negative, that he can’t describe.

“I have no idea,” he said. “They explained it to me. One is like driving a not-so-cool car and one of them is driving a really cool car. They’re both going to get you there, but it’s just a matter of what kind of style you’re riding in.

“One’s grainy and one’s not grainy. I don’t know. I’ve got no idea.”

Hunter watched the replay and how he checked his hand after fielding Jose Bautista’s comebacker Sunday in Toronto and flipping the ball to first baseman Chris Davis.

“All my teammates have brought that up quite often,” Hunter said.

As if on cue, Davis joined reporters and asked his own question to cap off the interview.

“Were you embarrassed by the way you acted after you caught the ball like a grown man?” Davis said, using a water bottle for a microphone. “You walked over to the bag, flipped it to me and then acted like a 3-year-old girl looking for her binkie.”

Davis strolled away as reporters laughed and Hunter tried to respond.

“I do have a smile on my face,” Hunter said, “but I was not embarrassed at all under any circumstances. That (expletive) hurt.”

More laughter.

“There you go,” Hunter said, concluding the interview.

So far, it’s been the highlight of the day.

Update: Kevin Gausman faced four batters and was down 3-0 in the first inning.

Steve Lombardozzi and Ryan Zimmerman singled with one out and Adam LaRoche crushed a 96 mph fastball for a three-run homer.

Gausman threw 18 pitches, 11 for strikes.

Nats right-hander Nate Karns, up from Double-A Harrisburg to make his major league debut, retired the Orioles in order on three ground balls in the top of the first. His fastball topped out at 97 mph. Same with Gausman in the bottom half.

Update II: The Orioles got one run back against Karns in the top of the second inning.

Davis singled with one out and scored all the way from first base on Matt Wieters’ double down the right field line.

Wieters is 7-for-9 with four doubles and five RBIs in his last three games, and his average is up to .249.

J.J. Hardy singled to put runners on the corners with one out, but Yamaico Navarro struck out on a 95 mph fastball and Gausman swung through a 94 mph fastball after running the count to 2-2. He fouled off one pitch.

Down on the farm, Jair Jurrjens went six innings tonight at Triple-A Norfolk and allowed four runs and eight hits, with one walk and three strikeouts. He threw 102 pitches, 72 for strikes.

Ryan Flaherty and Russ Canzler have homered for the Tides.

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