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Machado improving, rests for third straight game

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SEATTLE -- Manny Machado was sidelined for the third consecutive Orioles game Thursday, but the third baseman said his back is getting better and he is hoping to play during the four-game series against the Mariners.

"It's definitely gotten better," said Machado, who was a late scratch on Tuesday with lower back spasms suffered during his final round of pregame batting practice. "It's something that's just an annoying pain. It's definitely gotten down to a pinpoint pain now. We will see how it feels the next couple days."

Machado, who has been resting and getting treatment, planned on taking BP and fielding ground balls on Thursday and will take it from there. He said the pain has gone down, and the 22-year-old is just waiting for the last bit of discomfort to clear out before returning.

"It's getting better every day," manager Buck Showalter said of Machado. "I think he will able to play during the series. Maybe tonight, who knows? He might be available ... he's close."

In his absence, the Orioles have used Ryan Flaherty at third base.

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.

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