NEW YORK -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter hoped center fielder Adam Jones, who was held out of on Monday's afternoon's starting lineup, was mad at him -- a sign that Jones' progress has reached a point to where he's nearly a full-go.
"I think he's available in a certain part of [the game]," Showalter said, adding that Jones still had to come through pregame batting practice. "He's real close to being a ready guy. He may even be [on Monday], but we will be cautious with it."
Jones exited Wednesday's game prior to his seventh-inning at-bat, and he received a cortisone injection in his left shoulder prior to Thursday's 6-4 loss to the Red Sox. He has been sidelined for the majority of the past two weeks -- with the plunking from Gavin Floyd on Aug. 24 causing him to miss the following five games -- but said on Monday morning that he was feeling much better.
Jones has made it no secret that he's anxious to play, echoing the sentiment by Showalter over the weekend that he's "not a real good spectator."
In Jones' place, Showalter has used Corey Patterson in center field and Felix Pie in left, although it's likely Jones could make his return to the starting lineup as soon as Tuesday.
Uehara, Gonzalez outings encouraging to O's
NEW YORK -- Much of the Orioles' surge in the season's final two months has been due to playing with a healthy Felix Pie, Brian Roberts and the bullpen the team envisioned this spring.
"The fact of this matter is we started this year without [Jim] Johnson, Koji [Uehara] and [Michael] Gonzalez -- the guys we had sort of marked for the seventh, eighth and ninth [innings] -- who have all shown when they are healthy they can pitch," president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said.
And pitch well. Uehara -- who had two separate stints on the disabled list this season -- picked up his seventh save with a scoreless ninth on Monday, and has a 1.44 ERA in his last 22 appearances. Two of his four earned runs over that 24-inning stretch came in the form of consecutive homers in Saturday's loss, which marked the first long ball allowed by Uehara since June 23, 2009.
Gonzalez also surrendered a homer -- a two-run shot to Rays pinch-hitter Rocco Baldelli -- for the first time this season on Sunday, but has pitched to a 2.87 ERA in 18 outings since coming off the 60-day DL.
Manager Buck Showalter used both Uehara and Gonzalez in consecutive games over the weekend -- helping quell any lingering durability concerns -- and said he was encouraged by how they looked.
"It's been a product of a lot of work by a lot of people, including them and the medical staff to get back to this point where they are both available back-to-back days like that," Showalter said. "We got the shadows just right [on Sunday]. The game went just long enough to get those guys in there."
Uehara took it one step further with Monday's outing, which marked the third consecutive game he has closed out for the O's. He has saved seven of Baltimore's last nine wins and continues to be a stabilizing force for a 'pen that has gone though tremendous states of flux.
"Ever since he's been back, every time they've called on him, he's been ready," reliever Matt Albers said of Uehara. "It's been great, watching-wise. Any time you have the back of your bullpen set, it lines everybody else up. You know he's got the ninth and that's going to be OK. It's been really big for us."
"Obviously, the team is playing well," Uehara said through translator Jiwon Bang of an Orioles team that is 20-3 under Showalter. "And I get to pitch in a good situation, so that's motivating, yes.
"Mentally, I'm feeling good. I'm happy I've had some success."
Hernandez, Viola, Patton to join Orioles
NEW YORK -- The Orioles will get an extra set of arms in New York on Tuesday, with David Hernandez, Pedro Viola and Troy Patton expected to join the club prior to the 7:05 p.m. ET game against the Yankees.
Hernandez -- who has been on the 15-day disabled list since Aug. 6 with a left ankle sprain -- tossed a rehab outing for Double-A Bowie on Monday afternoon, giving up one hit in an inning of work. He struck out all three batters he faced on Saturday, and manager Buck Showalter said prior to Monday's Orioles game that the organization felt Hernandez was "real close."
Viola struggled at Triple-A Norfolk, recording an 0-2 record and a 17.65 ERA in 8 2/3 innings before going down to Bowie. The lefty went 3-4 with a 3.59 ERA, including 19 walks and 64 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings with the Baysox. He matched his season high with six innings on Monday in Bowie's season-finale loss to Richmond.
Both Hernandez and Viola are on the team's 40-man roster, although this will be Viola's first trip to the big leagues. The pair will add depth to a 'pen that has been surging since back-end guys Jim Johnson, Michael Gonzalez and Koji Uehara returned.
Viola is the second pitcher to be recalled under the expanded roster, with the Orioles adding starter Chris Tillman and a trio of position players: Nolan Reimold, Roberto Andino and Brandon Snyder.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.