4/19/2014 2:27 P.M. ET
Pearce trying to stay sharp in limited role with O's
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
BOSTON -- Steve Pearce has made just one start for the O's this season, on his 31st birthday (April 13), but he said prior to Friday's game at Fenway Park that he's staying ready for whatever manager Buck Showalter needs.
"I understand my role on the team," said Pearce, who has appeared in three games. "Obviously I'm not going to play first base -- [Chris] Davis is there. Obviously I'm not going to play the outfield -- we have great outfielders. So I'm just trying to do what I can, stay sharp and if something happens I'll be ready."
Pearce has just seven at-bats and one hit, a double, although he could see some more time soon given the club's seven-game road trip that includes three different start times in three days.
"It's almost like you go back to Spring Training mode," Pearce said of trying to stay game ready. "You go in there and try to make the best of the time given. You are not locked in by any means, so you got to go out there and keep grinding. It's a lot harder than playing every day.
"You can only practice so much, you can't work on game situations in practice. So, you just try to stay sharp, stay strong in the weight room, take your BPs. And stay strong mentally, too. That's the toughest part."
Machado plays first extended spring game
BOSTON -- Orioles third baseman Manny Machado went 2-for-4 over five innings in his first extended spring game on Saturday morning.
Manager Buck Showalter said the report on Machado, who also played the field, was good, and the plan is for the 21-year-old to take his scheduled off-day on Sunday before playing seven innings at third base on Monday. Machado will serve as designated hitter on Tuesday.
Assuming he sticks to the plan, Wednesday would be the earliest date for Machado to start his rehab assignment. The Orioles are optimistic when he does go to a Minor League affiliate that he won't need the full 20 days allotted since Machado has been doing baseball activities for months.
Machado is rehabbing back from left knee surgery in October.
• Part of the reason Showalter said he extended Brian Matusz to a career-high 2 2/3 relief innings on Friday was that fellow lefty Zach Britton was unavailable. Britton was sick with the same flu-like symptoms that have swept the clubhouse in recent days, and he watched Friday night's game at the team hotel. Britton was back and available on Saturday.
• Matt Wieters started the day game on Saturday after Friday's night game, with the plan for backup Steve Clevenger to catch on Monday afternoon. Wieters also got a breather with Thursday's off-day.
• Jonathan Schoop's career-high four hits on Friday were the most by an Orioles player this season. His three RBIs on April 9 in New York are also the most by an Orioles player in a game this year.
• Triple-A Norfolk starter Suk-min Yoon allowed two runs -- one earned -- on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings in a loss on Friday. The 27-year-old right-hander struck out four without walking a batter and threw 66 of his season-high 89 pitches for strikes.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.