Tuesday, December 1, 2020

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Steve Johnson experiencing left oblique discomfort, Avery on way to Houston

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Ravens and Orioles beat reporter for WNST BaltimorePositive.com and is a PFWA member. His mind is consumed with useless sports knowledge, pro wrestler promos, and movie quotes, but he struggles to remember where he put his phone. Luke's favorite sports memories include being one of the thousands of kids who waited to get Cal Ripken's autograph after Orioles games in the summer of 1995, attending the Super Bowl XXXV victory parade with his father in the pouring rain, and watching the Terps advance to the Final Four at the Carrier Dome in 2002. Follow him on Twitter @BaltimoreLuke or email him at Luke@wnst.net.

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As if the Astros’ offensive explosion Wednesday night didn’t hurt enough, the Orioles may have lost a member of their bullpen in the process.

Speaking to reporters in Houston following Baltimore’s 11-7 loss, right-handed pitcher Steve Johnson revealed he is dealing with a left oblique issue that he first felt while warming up early in the game as starter Freddy Garcia was lit up for four home runs in three-plus innings of work at Minute Maid Park. Johnson entered in the fourth inning and gave up two homers in the inning on his way to completing 2 1/3 innings.

Johnson hopes the issue is minor and won’t warrant a trip to the disabled list, but oblique injuries are never a good sign as left-handed starter Wei-Yin Chen can attest.

Per WNST.net’s Ryan Chell, outfielder Xavier Avery was on his way to Houston Thursday morning and could be a short-term option on the 25-man roster with Markakis not scheduled to rejoin the club until Friday in St. Petersburg.

The Orioles are already playing shorthanded as right fielder Nick Markakis is away from the club for his grandmother’s funeral, but Johnson would have been unavailable to pitch in the series finale in Houston anyway after throwing 55 pitches on Wednesday.

Johnson began the season on the 15-day DL with a right lat strain suffered in the latter stages of spring training.

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