BALTIMORE -- The Orioles wanted to keep their ace Chris Tillman on regular rest, using Thursday's off day to have the right-hander pitch Friday's series opener against Toronto. That puts Bud Norris' home season debut on Saturday night, opposed by righty Drew Hutchison, as Baltimore tries to get back on track following Friday's 2-0 loss.
"I didn't want to push Bud any further back," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of the weekend rotation. "I didn't want him getting too far away from the baseball. We've done a lot of work and pulling up guys' success rate with four days, five days, six days and different parts of the season, too.
"I think with Chris, it'd be more beneficial for him to keep the ball in his hand."
Tillman -- who went eight dominant innings -- has a slightly better career ERA when kept in turn, while Norris, who will have two extra days, traditionally has struggled with that much rest. In 17 starts with six or more days' rest, Norris is 3-9 with a 5.40 ERA. He is coming off a loss in Detroit in which Norris allowed five runs on nine hits.
Hutchison has made two starts already this season and is 1-1 with a 6.23 ERA coming off of an impressive Spring Training. He had Tommy John surgery midway through 2012 and made it back to the Minors at the end of last season before showing up at camp full-go. He is coming off a poor start, Sunday's loss to the Yankees, in which he lasted just 3 1/3 innings and surrendered six earned runs on six hits and a trio of walks.
After the game, Hutchison took full responsibility for the defeat and his outing.
"It was just execution and not performing," Hutchison said. "When we score four runs, we should win. I didn't even give us innings."
Blue Jays: Reyes nearing return
Jose Reyes appears to be moving closer to a rehab assignment and a return to the Blue Jays' lineup.
Reyes, who has been out since the team's Opening Day loss in Tampa Bay on March 31 due to a left hamstring injury, did some running before Friday's series opener against the Orioles and fared well.
The shortstop and manager John Gibbons both said if all goes well after Reyes pushes things while running the bases Saturday, that they'll start planning details for a rehab assignment, which would eventually lead to his return.
"He'll head out in the next few days," Gibbons said. "We'll see how he bounces back [Saturday]. [He'll] run the bases [Saturday], and we'll see where we're at."
Orioles: Machado progressing
Manny Machado will have a pair of at-bats against Johan Santana in a simulated game during extended spring camp on Saturday.
Machado, who is rehabbing from left knee surgery, has not had an at-bat, so this is a step forward. The third baseman is still not cleared to run -- it's his last remaining step -- so he will remain stationary after each at-bat is done. Santana was already slated to throw batting practice on Saturday.
There's no timetable for Machado, who won a Gold Glove Award and was an All-Star in his first full season, but he would have to start running the bases and doing sprints before he can play in extended spring games. The 21-year-old would also likely need a rehab assignment after that.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.