Orioles pitcher Britton remains on track for June return

May 15, 2012 | Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Needing a win to salvage a split in a brief two-game set and improve their 2-5 mark against the New York Yankees in 2012, the Orioles couldn’t ask for a more difficult task than trying to solve lefty CC Sabathia.

The burly left-hander has manhandled the Orioles over the course of his career, owning a 16-2 record with a 2.86 earned run average in 23 career starts. Even pitching in homer-happy Camden Yards, Sabathia has a 10-1 mark with a 2.95 ERA. His only loss in Baltimore came in his first start as a Yankee in the 2009 season opener.

Speaking of left-handed starters, the Orioles received more encouraging news on 24-year-old Zach Britton this afternoon after he pitched four innings in an extended spring training game. Britton threw an additional inning on the side to complete a total of 67 pitches.

The young southpaw is scheduled to have one more outing in Sarasota on Monday. If all goes to plan, the club will then decide whether Britton will go on a minor league rehabilitation assignment at that point. Manager Buck Showalter has targeted an early June return for Britton if all goes to plan without any unexpected setbacks.

The news isn’t nearly as encouraging for left fielder Nolan Reimold, who is still experiencing tingling in his fingers stemming from a bulging disc in his neck. Showalter labeled the likelihood of the outfielder receiving a second epidural as a “probability.”

Relief pitcher Matt Lindstrom is optimistic that he will be ready to return from the disabled list when his 15 days are up, but Showalter took a more conservative approach when asked about the reliever’s injured middle finger. An MRI has revealed a partial tear and the team will have a specialist look at it before speaking further about Lindstrom’s return.

The injury, however, is not believed to be a long-term concern beyond the next couple weeks.

Starting pitcher Jason Hammel told reporters he was feeling good after making his first start since May 5 on Monday night. He is scheduled to make Saturday’s start in Washington against the Nationals.

Here are Tuesday night’s lineups…

New York
SS Derek Jeter
RF Nick Swisher
2B Robinson Cano
3B Alex Rodriguez
1B Mark Teixeira
CF Curtis Granderson
DH Andruw Jones
LF Jayson Nix
C Chris Stewart

SP CC Sabathia (5-0, 3.51 ERA)

Baltimore
2B Robert Andino
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Nick Markakis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
1B Wilson Betemit
DH Bill Hall
3B Steve Tolleson
LF Xavier Avery

SP Wei-Yin Chen (3-0, 2.43 ERA)

Hear more form Buck Showalter as well as starting pitcher Jason Hammel in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault right here and follow WNST on Twitter for live updates and analysis from Oriole Park at Camden Yards throughout the evening.

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