"I really feel like just getting me out there every fifth day is going to help the team," said Hammel, who is 5-1 with a 3.12 ERA. "Obviously, I don't want to kill the [bullpen], but I think missing me for a couple of weeks right now is probably not in the best interest of myself or the team. I know I can help the team right now with this. It's something I can put up with, and I'm just going to keep grinding it out."
Hammel has been able to pitch through the soreness, but as he gets deeper into his outings, his right leg weakens. He lasted five innings two starts ago and 5 1/3 on Saturday, when he said he felt like he was pitching on one leg toward the end of his outing.
He's been working in between starts to strengthen the leg, doing pool exercises in an anti-gravity suit and working out on elliptical and stair-stepping machines.
"We went 5 [innings], then we went 5 1/3, now maybe we'll go 5 2/3," Hammel joked. "But obviously I want to be getting deeper into ball games, but the knee is just not cooperating right now. So I'm doing everything we can between starts to build strength and get to those sixth, seventh, eighth innings."
For now, Showalter said this Thursday's off day will allow him to push everyone back a day. So
Lefty Zach Britton, who has been on the disabled list since March with a left shoulder impingement, will make his first start of the season on a minor-league rehab assignment Saturday at Double-A Bowie against Altoona. If that goes well, he will pitch May 31 for Bowie at Akron.
After that, Showalter said, the Orioles will decide what the next step is. Because he is a pitcher, Britton is allowed 30 days on minor-league assignment before he must be recalled or optioned to an affiliate.
Around the horn
Adam Jones' third-inning single extended his career-best hitting streak to 15 games. That's the longest this season by an Oriole, besting