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Showalter sets optimistic timetable for Darren O'Day's return from injury

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USA TODAY Sports

Showalter sets optimistic timetable for Darren O'Day's return from injury

SAN FRANCISCO—Buck Showalter is optimistic that Darren O’Day will return two weeks from now. O’Day went on the disabled list retroactive to Friday with a strain in his right shoulder rotator cuff. He's eligible to return on Aug. 27. 

“I have a lot of confidence that we’ll get it resolved in that period. He was as sore today. Said he felt better after the [cortisone] shot. Darren was pretty adamant about not going on the DL when we left Oakland, when he flew back, but today he had a little different feel for it,” Showalter said. 

He knew that O’Day was feeling differently because he didn’t fight the decision after consulting with team orthopedist Dr. Michael Jacobs in Baltimore. 

Showalter will change some roles with O’Day out. Mychal Givens will move up. and as Zach Britton said, younger pitchers will more opportunities. 

“That’s what we did when Darren was out before. We’ve already kind of done that and we’ll continue to do it. That’s who we are, and how we have to do it,” Showalter said. 

“We’re always looking from within. Mychal’s pitched well in a time of need. Our starters have gotten longer into the games, which has kept us from having to pitch some innings that we’ve pitched a lot this year.”

Givens is better qualified to pitch in more important spots. 

“I think so. It’s been going on for a year and a half. Mychal is a rookie, right?” Showalter said. “But how do you get that experience? There’s only one way to get it and that’s to start doing it. People will ask, ‘How did you know Steve Pearce could play second base or third base?’ Well, I didn’t know but we’re going to run him out there and see what happens. He’s got the skillset to be able to do it. Some guys have to grow up quick.”

MORE ORIOLES: RANKING ALL 30 MLB LOGOS FROM WORST TO FIRST

Vance Worley may get in some higher leverage situations. 

“As opposed to who? It’s all hands on deck and our guys respond pretty well to that, what the team’s needs are. Like Zach was saying, there’s an opportunity around every corner. You’ve just got to be ready to take advantage of it. Some of it’s by necessity.”

NOTE: Steve Pearce, sidelined with a left forearm strain, isn’t in the lineup on Saturday for the sixth straight game. 

“He may play today. In order to play him and Chris [Davis], you’d have to play one of them in the outfield and I didn’t want to put Chris in left field today. Steve’s a good first baseman but you’re also taking what I think is a Gold Glove first baseman and sticking him out in left field in a place he hasn’t played much,” Showalter said. 

“The other big part of it is that we [are facing] two left-handed starters against Boston [Tuesday and Wednesday] and I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize Steve being available for those games. He will give us a nice weapon off the bench.”

Showalter isn’t saying if Pearce who played only the infield with Tampa Bay, will be restricted to first base and DH duties. 

“No, I’m not going to commit to that. I feel like I could play him some places tonight if I had to if we had to switch and do some things. I’ll try to stay away from that, but we could. I talked to him today about managing it until we get to Tuesday. If we can manage it until Tuesday, we could have him back close to full strength I hope,” Showalter said. 

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Wade Miley roughed up again, Orioles shut out in St. Pete

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USA Today Sports

Wade Miley roughed up again, Orioles shut out in St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Evan Longoria and Logan Morrison homered Friday night and the Tampa Bay Rays clinched third place in the AL East with a 7-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

Longoria led off the fifth with his 20th homer off Baltimore starter Wade Miley, marking Longoria's fifth straight 20-homer season and the ninth of his 10-year career.

RELATED: WILD CARD RACES WITH THREE DAYS REMAINING

Morrison hit his 38th homer off reliever Chris Tillman in the seventh.

Rays starter Jake Odorizzi left his final start of the season after four innings with a sore right knee.

Brad Boxberger (4-4) got the win as the first of four Tampa Bay relievers.

Miley (8-15) lost his fifth straight start, giving up four runs and five hits in four innings. He walked five, raising his major league-leading total to 93. The Baltimore bullpen gave up five more walks.

Trey Mancini had one of Baltimore's four hits. It was Mancini's 158th hit, tying Cal Ripken (1982) for second-place all-time among Oriole rookies.

The Orioles, shut out for the 11th time, lost for the 17th time in 21 games and dropped three games behind Tampa Bay with two games left in the season.

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MLB Wild Card Standings: Projecting the standings with three days left

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USA TODAY Sports

MLB Wild Card Standings: Projecting the standings with three days left

With the MLB postseason only five days away and three more days in the regular season the playoff field is almost set.

After Thursday night’s action, the St. Louis Cardinals were eliminated from the second Wild Card spot in the National League. Their 2-1 loss to the Cubs put them too far out of reach of the Rockies.

In the American League the AL East race is all but done after the Yankees lost on Thursday.

RELATED: NEW MLB BRACKET PROJECTION WITH ONE WEEK TO GO

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Not too many changes in the American League race after yesterday.

The New York Yankees (89-70) lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 9-6 at home after entering the day only three games back in the division. While the Boston Red Sox (92-67) lost too, three games to surpass is too much for even the Bronx Bombers to overcome.

It will be interesting though to watch both teams sweat. Boston hosts the Houston Astros who are trying to overtake the Indians for the top seed in the AL. New York hosts division rivals Toronto.

The Minnesota Twins (83-76) lost to the Indians after allowing 10 hits in the contest. Win or lose it does not matter how they end the season because they will be the No. 5 seed and the visitors in the American League Wild Card Game. Presumably it will be against the Yankees.

AL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 29):

New York Yankees:     +6.0 
Minnesota Twins:           ---
 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Colorado was off on Thursday night in preparation for their final series of the year against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Milwaukee Brewers (84-75) did manage to gain a half game with their nail biting 4-3 win over the Reds. Brett Phillips hit a go-ahead double in the sixth inning and the final three frames remained scoreless for both squads.

They now move to two games back of the Colorado Rockies (86-73) with three games to go.

Colorado will host their final series against the Dodgers. Milwaukee is traveling to the St. Louis Cardinals (82-77) for their final three games. St. Louis is now out of contention, four games out of the final Wild Card spot.

FanGraphs.com now has Colorado at a 93.3 percent chance of taking the final postseason spot.  Milwaukee moved up slightly to 6.7 percent.

MORE NATS: WALK-OFF FOR THE NATS, COURTESY OF DE AZA

NL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 29):

#4 Arizona Diamondbacks:  +6.0
Colorado Rockies:                   ---
Milwaukee Brewers:              -2.0