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With Chris Davis Ailing, Orioles Recall IF Jemile Weeks

April 26, 2014

The Orioles not only lost a 5-0 shutout April 25, but they might have lost their All-Star first baseman for a stretch.

Chris Davis was removed from the game in the fifth inning with an oblique strain, keeping him out of the Orioles' lineup April 26 -- and likely longer.

Davis, who underwent an MRI April 26, said he wasn't yet certain when he'd be able to return to the field.

Orioles 2014: Chris Davis (batting)
Photo Credit: Mitch Stringer/PressBox

"I don't know right now," Davis said. "I still think it's a little too early to tell. … I'm still a little sore."

Still, Davis was optimistic that he'd be able to avoid a stint on the disabled list.

"Oh yeah," Davis said. "I even think, as sore as I was yesterday, I don't think it was a DL thing. I think it was just, kind of like [manager] Buck [Showalter] said, 'Try to get ahead of it right now so it doesn't turn into a DL thing.' I think the biggest thing to remember is we've got a lot of games left to play. Missing one or two games now is better than missing 10 or 15 down the road."

Davis said he hoped that the injury would subside relatively quickly with treatment and rest. The Orioles' schedule could give Davis an advantage in that respect, as the Birds will have three off days during an eight-game span April 28-May 5.

"I'm still going through treatment," Davis said. "I don't expect to be doing too much today, but hopefully we can kind of test it and see how I'm feeling and see what we've got tomorrow. … It's always helpful knowing that you can take advantage of those [off days]. We'll just take it one day at a time, not try to get ahead of ourselves."

Davis wasn't sure of the source of the injury, and said it could have been a combination of plays.

"It's hard to remember one specific point," Davis said. "There were a couple times. I dove in Boston for that foul ball. I dove in Toronto on the turf. It kind of bothered me a little bit, but nothing really outstanding or that was excruciating pain or anything like that. It was just discomfort. And obviously last night, I think a lot of it had to do with the cooler weather -- a little bit harder to stay loose. Just a couple swings, it obviously didn't feel good at all."

With Davis out, the Orioles' April 26 lineup will take on a different look. Usual right fielder Nick Markakis is starting at first base for the third time during his career, and first since 2011. Nelson Cruz will start in right field, and recently promoted infielder Jemile Weeks will start as the designated hitter. 

The Orioles recalled Weeks from Triple-A Norfolk April 26. Weeks was off to a hot start for the Tides, batting .296 with a .932 OPS during 17 games. He had seven extra-base hits and 16 walks during 72 plate appearances. The Orioles acquired Weeks from Oakland for closer Jim Johnson Dec. 2, 2013.

Weeks briefly joined the Orioles earlier this season in New York, as the Birds considered calling him up when outfielder David Lough was sidelined. But Lough was able to return and Weeks returned to Norfolk without officially being recalled.

"This one's for real," Weeks said, "so we're trying to make the most of this real opportunity."

Weeks said he appreciated the opportunity to jump directly into the starting lineup.

"I think you come up here, and a lot of guys might wonder when they're going to play this and that," Weeks said. "But I kind of know how Buck operates, and whatever he thinks is the best lineup to win, he's going to put it up there."

Weeks takes the roster spot of left-hander T.J. McFarland, whom the Orioles optioned to Norfolk April 25. McFarland made two appearances for the Birds, allowing one run in four innings of relief.