8/30/2014 7:13 P.M. ET
After encouraging MRI, Pearce still day to day
By David Wilson / MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- The right abdominal strain that forced Steve Pearce out of the Orioles' 9-1 win against the Twins on Friday before the fourth inning shouldn't keep him out long -- a Saturday morning MRI confirmed that it was just a mild strain and the surprising slugger said he's "day to day."
"It's just what I thought," Pearce said. "I just wanted to take care of it before it got out of hand."
The diagnosis is "about as good of news as you could expect," O's manager Buck Showalter said. A night earlier, he made sure to avoid calling it an oblique injury, and the MRI confirmed that Pearce avoided a more serious injury like something with that muscle or a sports hernia.
Pearce got treatment on his abdomen on Saturday and said he's off baseball activities for a couple days. Showalter chose not to elaborate on a more specific timetable for Pearce.
"I don't want the other team to know that," Showalter said. "I want them to think that I could use him to pinch-run, play first base, maybe even pinch-hit tonight. It does change some strategy with teams."
Pearce said he first felt the injury in his lower right abdomen on Thursday and played through discomfort until the third inning on Friday. When his spot was due to come up in the order, Jimmy Paredes stepped into the on-deck circle instead and replaced him in the field at the start of the fourth.
Pearce, who has become Baltimore's everyday first baseman since a right knee injury ended third baseman Manny Machado's season on Aug. 11, is batting .289 with 16 home runs this season and saw his career-long 11-game hitting streak come to an end on Friday after he grounded out in his only at-bat.
A day later, the abdomen still wasn't bothering Pearce away from the field. He only feels any discomfort when he swings the bat. He even dismissed the notion that a pair of athletic plays he made in the field affected the ab.
"As far as doing regular things, I don't really feel it," Pearce said. "I only feel it on the baseball field, so that's another good sign."
With Pearce's injury, Chris Davis slid back to first base -- he had been primarily playing third since Machado's injury -- for the remainder of Friday's game and played there again on Saturday. Paredes started at third after playing the final six innings there on Friday and singling in his first at-bat with the O's.
• Wei-Yin Chen is back from Sarasota, Fla., and part of the Orioles' taxi squad on Saturday. He's scheduled to start on Sunday.
• The O's outrighted second baseman Cord Phelps and starting pitcher Suk-Min Yoon to Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday to free up two spots on the 40-man roster ahead of September callups. The Orioles currently have 38 players on the roster and can still move Machado to the 60-day disabled list to free up one more spot.
David Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.