ST. PETERSBURG -- Melvin Mora was back in the lineup for Friday night's series opener against the Rays after leaving Wednesday's game in New York with a laceration on his right ring finger.

The Orioles' starting third baseman was spiked by the cleat of Yankees designated hitter Hideki Matsui in the third inning and did not return.

On Thursday, manager Dave Trembley consulted with head athletic trainer Richie Bancells, and although he was encouraged by the negative X-ray and Bancells' report, the skipper opted to give Mora an extra day off. In Mora's absence, the Birds substituted Alex Cintron into Wednesday's game and started Aubrey Huff in Thursday night's loss to New York.

Thankfully, the injury seems to now be a non-issue for the two-time All-Star, who reported to be in no pain and did not receive any treatment on Friday. To prevent the wound from reopening, Mora will use a glue-like bonding substance.

The return of Mora's bat is a good thing for the Orioles, who have dropped their last two games -- mustering only one run in the process. The veteran infielder enters Friday's game tied for second in the American League with a .417 average with runners in scoring position, and is second on the team in RBIs (23).