Orioles get good news on injury front

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Perhaps it's just a small victory in a long season, but the Orioles left Nationals Park on Sunday without placing anyone on the disabled list.

The Orioles lost two players to injury Saturday afternoon and their staff leader Thursday, but it looks like all three will avoid DL stints.

Left-hander Brian Matusz, who was forced to leave Saturday's start with left hamstring cramps, said he was a little sore Sunday but he still believes he will be fine for his next start — which probably will be Friday.

"It feels good. It's a little sore today, but my mobility's really good. My flexibility's there. It's just a little sore from the cramping," Matusz said. "I don't sense that there's going to be a serious problem."

Left fielder Luke Scott, who left Saturday's game with back spasms, was unavailable to play Sunday but said his condition had improved.

"I am feeling better," Scott said. "I am going to do some more treatments on it. Shut down for a day and hopefully be ready [Monday]."

Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie (upper back strain) threw a light bullpen session Sunday, and manager Buck Showalter said he expected Guthrie to make his scheduled start Tuesday.

"It went well today," Showalter said of Guthrie's side session. "He told me it looks like 90 percent, and we'll make the final call [Monday] and see how he feels from the throwing he did [Sunday]."

Showalter also said second baseman Brian Roberts (concussion) will join the team Monday in Pittsburgh and "work out a little bit with us" before his Tuesday visit with sports concussion specialist Dr. Michael Collins.

Russell heads back to Pittsburgh

Orioles third base coach John Russell will head back to Pittsburgh this week for the first time since being fired by the Pirates as manager at the end of last season. He said he still has plenty of friends there and expected to have dinner Sunday night with the doctor who delivered his son.

"I spent three years as a coach and three years as a manager; you meet a lot of people," Russell said. "So you're looking forward to that."

In Russell's three seasons leading the Pirates, they were 186-299 and finished last in the National League Central each season. He said he wasn't sure how he would be received by Pirates fans.

"A lot of the people in Pittsburgh that knew what we were doing were very pleased with what was going on. You're always going to have the people that aren't going to be satisfied. So I'll get some mixed feelings, I guess, from the fans," Russell said. "There's a lot of people there I like and enjoy being around, the city's great and the stadium's beautiful. I'm just on the other side this time. I'm sure there will be some people that will heckle me a little bit, to say the least."

Alphabet soup

Sunday marked the third time in five weeks that the last names of a game's starting pitchers totaled at least 21 letters, according to Stats LLC. Chris Jakubauskas faced the Washington Nationals' Tom Gorzelanny. Jakubauskas also pitched against the Toronto Blue Jays' Carlos Villanueva on Tuesday. On May 14, the Arizona Diamondbacks' Josh Collmenter and Los Angeles Dodgers' Chad Billingsley also combined for 21 letters. You have to go back to April 12, 2010, according to Stats, for a longer combination: 23 letters (and one hyphen) when the Seattle Mariners' Ryan Rowland-Smith faced the Oakland Athletics' Justin Duchscherer.

Around the horn

Center fielder Adam Jones threw out Ryan Zimmerman, who was attempting to stretch a single into a double, in the first inning. It was Jones' eighth outfield assist this season, which leads all center fielders. … Jakubauskas became the first Orioles pitcher with two hits in a game since Erik Bedard did it against the Nationals at RFK Stadium on May 20, 2007. It has been accomplished 130 times in Orioles history. … Sunday's national anthem was performed on a bat-olin — a baseball bat rigged to be a violin — by Glenn Donnellan. Almost as impressive, Orioles fans, not thrown off by the bizarre instrument, managed to still scream "O" with aplomb.

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

twitter.com/danconnollysun

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