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07/05/12 10:30 PM ET

Davis scratched with neck muscle strain

ANAHEIM -- Orioles infielder/outfielder Chris Davis was a late scratch from Thursday's game with a trapezius muscle strain. Ryan Flaherty started in right field in his place.

The trapezius is a large muscle that spans the neck, shoulders and back. Its chief action is to support the shoulders and limbs and rotation of the scapula necessary to raise the arms above shoulder level, which explains why the most discomfort is coming when Davis tries to throw.

It is not immediately known how serious the injury is or if it will require a trip to the disabled list, but Davis has had previous issues in the area. Davis had a right shoulder strain last season that caused him to miss about three weeks.

The 26-year-old is hitting .274 with 14 homers and 40 RBIs in 70 games for the Orioles this season, and is 4-for-12 with a double, a homer, two runs scored and five RBIs in three games this road trip.

Gonzalez gets first start in familiar setting

ANAHEIM -- Orioles pitcher Miguel Gonzalez will make his first Major League start on Friday night in Anaheim, but it will feel like a home crowd for the 28-year-old, who expects approximately 50 familiar faces to be in attendance at Angel Stadium.

"We are 50 minutes away from Anaheim," said Gonzalez, who went to high school in San Fernando, Calif. "It's pretty exciting to be here in front of family and friends."

While fellow long man Dana Eveland was also an option, manager Buck Showalter preferred having the lefty Eveland available to follow right-hander Jake Arrieta on Thursday. The Angels also fare much better against left-handed starters, and Showalter said the Orioles want to see what they have in Gonzalez -- who has pitched to a 2.31 ERA in three games out of the bullpen -- before the break.

"Anywhere they put me, that's where I'm going to do my job and try to do my best," said Gonzalez, who made six starts for Triple-A Norfolk earlier this season. "Obviously they are giving me the opportunity to start tomorrow, so I'm going to give it my all."

As far as any pitch-count limits, Showalter said: "I think he can go closer to 100, if Anaheim will allow it."


• Orioles bullpen coach Bill Castro left the team this morning to fly back to the Dominican Republic due to a death in his family. The Orioles had special assistant Brady Anderson in the bullpen on Thursday and will have Don Werner for the rest of the series.

• Showalter said there was no news regarding the MRI exam on second baseman Brian Roberts' right hip. Roberts was placed on the disabled list prior to Tuesday's game with a right groin strain.

• Nick Markakis (right wrist) will start his rehab assignment on Saturday for Double-A Bowie, and the plan is for him to play through Monday. He reportedly felt good on Thursday while swinging the bat and will do the same thing again on Friday.

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.