O's hope Reynolds has turned a corner

KANSAS CITY -- The Orioles are hopeful that third baseman Mark Reynolds turned a corner offensively on Wednesday night, when he snapped out of a 5-for-53 slump with a 3-for-3 performance at the plate.

Reynolds hit three singles. He entered Wednesday's game 16-of-95 at the plate, and only six of his hits were singles in a feast-or-famine start.

"The challenge is whether it can continue and he can be consistent -- not allow himself to get himself out," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Bat speed isn't a problem. He had good pitch recognition [Wednesday], and that was the big difference. If he can do that, he's going to be a force."

Reynolds hit No. 8 in the order against right-hander Kyle Davies on Wednesday. He was moved to No. 7 in the order Thursday against left-hander Bruce Chen.

Scott dealing with sore right shoulder

KANSAS CITY -- Luke Scott is a gamer who entered Thursday's matinee against the Royals with a .371 batting average and four homers over his past nine games. But Scott has been playing through some nagging ailments and is expected to have an MRI on his sore right shoulder Monday.

"It started showing up on the [medical] sheet about two weeks ago, but they didn't think it was anything to be overly concerned with," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "They've been treating it and it's been fine [for Scott] to play. I think they are going to do something when we get back, just to make sure there's nothing else there.

"Luke's a tough guy. He doesn't let you know every ounce of discomfort. That's where some of the concern might be."

Showalter credits performance of pitching staff

KANSAS CITY -- Center fielder Adam Jones was thrust into the spotlight Wednesday night for his heads-up play that loomed large in a 3-2 Orioles' victory. Jones knew the ground rules and didn't try to make a play on the ball when Mike Aviles' hit to left-center in the eighth inning got lodged under the padding on the outfield wall.

Aviles ended up with a ground-rule double rather than a triple with one out, and he never crossed the plate with the tying run. Manager Buck Showalter applauded Jones' heady play, but also pointed out that the Orioles' pitching staff deserved ample credit for the victory.

Starter Jake Arrieta allowed just three hits and one run over seven innings. Jim Johnson and Michael Gonzalez got key outs in the eighth, and Kevin Gregg earned the save with a scoreless ninth.

"The big part of the game was the way Jake pitched," Showalter said. "Michael came in and got a big out. [Johnson] got an out from [Melky] Cabrera that was big."

Roster decision coming when Hardy returns

KANSAS CITY -- With shortstop J.J. Hardy beginning a rehab assignment for Triple-A Norfolk on Friday, the Orioles may not be far away from having to make a roster decision.

"[Orioles president of baseball operations] Andy [MacPhail] and the front office will sit down and I'm sure they'll have a direction that they feel presents us with the best situation short-term and long-term," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

Asked if he would be comfortable with a 12-man pitching staff, Showalter said: "I'll be comfortable with whatever the organization feels is the best way for us to go."

The Orioles are currently going with 13 pitchers.