DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Baltimore Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis said Tuesday that although the stiffness in his neck is getting better, he likely will still be absent from the team's starting lineup for at least the next few days.
"It's safe to say a couple more days," Markakis said. "If the season was going on today, I would probably be able to play today, but it's spring, so we'll take it easy, nice and slow, no rush."
Markakis was scratched from the lineup for Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates when he woke up with a stiff neck.
"I don't know if I did it lifting or something, but I just went home a couple nights ago and started getting a pain in my neck and I tried to stretch it out and that didn't help, obviously," Markakis said. "The next morning, I woke up and it was real stiff and bothering me. I've never had anything like it, so I didn't know what to expect."
Markakis, who hasn't done any baseball activity since Sunday, said he couldn't move his neck at all that morning. He said the stiffness affects most of his movements -- side to side, up and down.
"The good thing is I wasn't getting any numbness or any pain down my arm or leg or anything, so we've kind of ruled out anything with a disc, probably," Markakis said. "That's good. Today's better than yesterday, so that's all we can hope for and we move on from there.
"I'll get my treatment and hopefully I'll be out there in a couple days."
Markakis, who typically has not needed many spring training at-bats to get ready for the season, is 3-for-12 with one RBI and two walks in four Grapefruit League games.
He went into last season having played in at least 160 games in four of the previous five seasons, but underwent three surgeries in 2012, including a season-ending left thumb surgery in early September after he was hit by a fastball thrown by the New York Yankees' CC Sabathia.
The Orioles play at home today and Thursday, then don't play at Ed Smith Stadium again until Sunday. Veteran starters usually don't make road trips early in spring training.
The Orioles plan to hold a "public celebration of life" for former manager Earl Weaver at Camden Yards at 2 p.m. April 20, the team announced Tuesday.
The Hall of Famer died in January at the age of 82.
The event, called "A Celebration of Earl," is scheduled to include a video tribute and several guest speakers, including former Orioles players Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson and Rick Dempsey, as well as current Orioles manager Buck Showalter, Baseball Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson, and Weaver's son, Mike.
Gates A and H will open at 1 p.m. for the event, and complimentary parking will be available in Lot B/C. The program is free.
Once the event ends, the ballpark will be closed. It will reopen at 5 p.m. for that night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Pearce, Jackson go deep
Steve Pearce and Conor Jackson, candidates for for a reserve first base-outfield roster spot this spring, combined to hit three of the Orioles' four homers in a 6-6, 10-inning tie with the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
Pearce homered twice and Jackson added three hits, including his third homer of the spring.
In six spring games, Pearce, who spent last season shuffling between the Orioles, Yankees and Houston Astros along the waiver wire, is 6-for-11 with three homers and nine RBIs. Jackson, who played the entire 2012 season in Triple-A, is 9-for-19 with three homers and six RBIs.
"It's one of those things," Jackson said. "It's competition. Competition breeds success. I've always said that from the first day of my career. When you don't have that competitive guy pushing you, you kind of stay stagnant as a player."
After the Orioles fell behind, 5-2, in the fifth, Jackson and Pearce hit back-to-back solo homers in the sixth. Catcher Luis Exposito's two-run shot gave the Orioles a 6-5 lead.
Ryan Langerhans tied the game in the bottom of the ninth with a solo homer off Orioles right-hander Zach Clark.
Right-hander Steve Johnson, making his first start of spring training after two relief appearances, struggled with his control early, allowing two runs over two innings, including a solo homer by Andy LaRoche in the second.
"I felt good physically, so that was good, but obviously the results weren't really what I wanted," said Johnson, who typically has excellent control. "I wanted to go out there and pound the zone. Just couldn't really get in a rhythm today, especially early. (In the) second inning, I felt a little better and pounded the zone a little more. First inning, I just left the ball up a lot."
Bundy feeling better
Top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy, who missed his last scheduled spring outing Sunday after tweaking his groin, was slated to resume throwing Tuesday by participating in the team's biomechanical testing.
Bundy said he felt the tweak while running sprints Friday. He said he could have pitched Sunday, but the team wanted to push him back as a precaution.
"I was kind of being stubborn and I wanted to run more, so it's just (a) little tweak, nothing big," Bundy said. "I really wasn't worried about it. They wanted to hold me back now instead of later during spring training."
Around the horn
Outfielder Nolan Reimold, back in the lineup Tuesday for the first time since abruptly exiting Friday's game with a sore right shoulder, was 0-for-3 with a strikeout while serving as the designated hitter. .... Pitching prospect Kevin Gausman allowed three hits over two shutout innings, striking out two looking. ... Catcher Matt Wieters won't play in today's home exhibition against Spain's World Baseball Classic team, giving him an extra day off. As a whole, the Orioles lineup will have its share of reserves. "We're going to use it as an opportunity to look at guys we might not be able to normally," Showalter said. ... Jake Arrieta and Zach Britton will pitch against Spain. Darren O'Day and Jim Johnson were slated to pitch in that game as well, but Showalter backed away from that Tuesday. ... Richard Salazar, a 2001 draft pick of the Orioles, will start for Spain. He pitched for the Sioux City Explorers of the independent American Association in 2012. ... Right-hander Jason Hammel will start Thursday's home game against the Blue Jays at Ed Smith Stadium.
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