Smith scratched from Orioles lineup (O’s down 4-0)

BOSTON - Dwight Smith Jr. has been scratched from the Orioles lineup today with a sore right leg. Manager Brandon Hyde passed along the news that Smith is available to play if needed.

Trey Mancini moves from right field to left, Joey Rickard goes to right and Cedric Mullins gets the start in center.

Smith was supposed to make his 15th start in left field.

Smith-D-Swing-Gray-sidebar.jpg“He’s been playing great defense in left field,” Hyde said. “I knew he was going to be a good outfielder. I didn’t know he was going to make the plays he’s been making. That play in the corner the other night ... He’s been playing flawless left field. It’s been a huge plus for us. And what he’s doing with the bat. He’s been playing great baseball.”

Smith drew three walks yesterday, the most by an Orioles player since Tim Beckham on July 28.

Pitcher Alex Cobb won’t come off the injured list when he’s eligible Tuesday, with Hyde wanting to push him back a few extra days.

Hyde said Cobb likely will start during the Twins series at Camden Yards that begins on Friday.

Cobb is on the IL with a lumbar strain, but his back responded favorably yesterday after playing catch at Fenway Park. Hyde and pitching coach Doug Brocail need to see Cobb complete a pain-free bullpen session before clearing him to be activated.

“It’s a little bit unclear,” Hyde said. “Just to kind of get him on the right throwing program. But positive day for him yesterday. Back felt good and it felt good after he threw. Look for him to come off the IL and make a start hopefully in the Minnesota series.

“He’s got to get on the mound, he’s got to throw a side and see how he recovers for that. But we’re looking at the Minnesota series.”

Cobb made only one start since coming off the IL following the groin injury sustained late in camp. He allowed two runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings against the Yankees in the home opener and the Orioles lost him again after the back flared up.

“We’re in the middle of April, so you want him to be healthy,” Hyde said. “The back is a tricky deal, too. He’s had a couple things since spring training that you don’t want to push. The back, you don’t want it to be an issue all year, so you want to make sure he’s healthy.”

Left-hander John Means makes his second major league start today. He lasted three innings Tuesday night against the Athletics and allowed five runs, but only one earned. Three infield hits in the same inning contributed to his woes.

Means threw 60 pitches, his second-highest total this season.

“John’s been pitching really well,” Hyde said. “Just continue to do what he’s been doing. He had that really unlucky inning against Oakland, but the way he’s been throwing the ball has been fantastic.

“I love his aggressiveness, I love how he competes, I like how he uses the elevated fastball with a really good changeup. Look forward to watching him today.”

Mancini is 7-for-10 with two home runs and six runs scored in the first inning. The six runs lead the majors and the seven hits are tied for first with the Rangers’ Elvis Andrus.

Mancini is batting .365/.410/.622 (27-for-74) in 19 career games at Fenway Park.

Andrew Cashner matched his career high yesterday by winning his third decision in a row.

The Rays are starting Tyler Glasnow in Tuesday night’s series opener against the Orioles at Tropicana Field.

For the Orioles
Jonathan Villar 2B
Joey Rickard RF
Trey Mancini LF
Renato Núñez DH
Hanser Alberto 3B
Jesús Sucre C
Chris Davis 1B
Richie Martin SS
Cedric Mullins CF

John Means LHP

Update: Xander Bogaerts’ fly ball to deep center field scored Steve Pearce in the fourth and broke a scoreless tie.

Update II: Bogaerts hit a three-run homer off Josh Lucas in the eighth to give Boston a 4-0 lead.

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