The Orioles undoubtedly will go into Saturday night's game against the Royals without first baseman Chris Davis. The uncertainty is just how many games he'll miss after that. Davis left Friday night's 5-0 loss to the Royals with a left oblique strain.
The reigning American League home run champion actually seemed in good spirits about the injury, joking with reporters that he would be sidelined 48 to 65 weeks. Even so, the reality is that an oblique injury typically takes six to eight weeks to heal.
"I've never had an oblique strain or whatever you want to call it, but it doesn't feel so bad right now that I can't move or anything like that," Davis said. "So I think right now, we'll just take it one day at a time."
Davis appeared to be hurting in his last at-bat, grimacing during a third-inning lineout against Yordano Ventura. He said he's been dealing with some discomfort in the area for the past few days.
"I think this time of the year, it's early, it's cold outside, the weather's not the most ideal. You're going to have aches and pains," Davis said. "Tonight, when I started swinging, felt good in the cage before the game, and a couple swings off of Ventura just didn't feel good. At that point, Buck [Showalter] kind of took it out of my hands. Something that we're going to keep an eye on and hopefully not let it get too bad right now. It's too early for that."
Wei-Yin Chen makes the start for the Orioles, and he'll take on right-hander and former O's ace Jeremy Guthrie in the second game of the series.
Earlier on Friday, Guthrie sat in the visiting clubhouse at Camden Yards, munching popcorn and watching video of the Orioles hitters. It was like watching the main feature at the Rialto.
"It's better than going to the movies," Guthrie said.
When Guthrie faces the Orioles on Saturday, he'll be back at the ballpark where he's pitched most often in his career. He spent five of his 11 Major League years with the Orioles.
So is it an advantage or disadvantage to be pitching on such familiar ground?
"I don't think it's either," Guthrie said. "Because if the team you're facing is good, that's a disadvantage. If the team you're facing is bad, that's an advantage. It has nothing to do with the stadium."
Of course, he does feel comfortable in Baltimore.
"Oh, I feel comfortable. I felt very comfortable in Houston, too. I was actually comfortable in Cleveland," said Guthrie, touched for four runs in each of those games. "If 'comfortable' was the issue, I'd be a Cy Young Award winner every year. I'm very comfortable."
Orioles: Machado back with a bang
After several months of rehab from left knee surgery, third baseman Manny Machado moved into the next phase of his recovery with a flourish on Friday night. Beginning an assignment with Baltimore's Class A Advanced affiliate, the Frederick Keys, Machado smacked two doubles and a triple in four plate appearances and came around to score two runs against Myrtle Beach.
"I'm glad rehab's over with. It's been too long," Machado said a couple of hours before Frederick's 5-3 loss. "But it's part of the process. You can't just walk up the mountain in one day. It takes time, and I'm excited to be out here."
Unfortunately for Machado, the weather threw a wrench in the Orioles' plans for him, which included batting second in the lineup and playing third base for nine innings on Friday at Harry Grove Stadium. With first pitch delayed about an hour by rain, Machado was switched to designated hitter as a precaution against the wet playing conditions.
Although he couldn't try out his glove, Machado made good use of his bat. Facing Myrtle Beach left-hander Victor Payano, Machado put an inside-out-swing on a 1-2 pitch and lined a double down the right-field line in the first inning. In the third, he lifted a deep fly ball into the right-field corner and motored into third without hesitation when right fielder Nick Williams couldn't make a tough sliding catch. Machado then jumped on a first-pitch fastball in the fifth, rocketing a shot off the center-field wall -- 400 feet away -- for an easy double.
Royals: Bueno report is 'muy bueno'
Left-hander Francisley Bueno, in his third week on the disabled list, threw a bullpen session on Friday afternoon at Baltimore and reported that his injured left pinky was just fine. He was hit in the hand by a batted ball on April 6 against the White Sox.
"He threw good, he had a good side session," said pitching coach Dave Eiland. "There's no discomfort in the hand or the finger anymore. So he'll probably throw another light side again here Sunday morning, and then we're looking at batting practice on Tuesday or Wednesday in Kansas City."
Bueno will be sent out on a Minor League injury rehabilitation assignment after the Royals see how his BP session goes.
• The Orioles lead the Majors with eight outfield assists, led by ex-Royal David Lough's three.
• Last year, the Royals won the season series against the Orioles, four games to three. The Orioles won two of three in Baltimore.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.