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Hunter could start rehab games next week

MLB.com

HOUSTON -- Orioles pitcher Tommy Hunter threw his first bullpen session on Sunday since hitting the disabled list with a left groin strain, and the right-hander will fly to Texas on Monday night to throw another side for the O's coaching staff before they determine the next step.

"He may fly back with us [to Baltimore] on Thursday, or he may go pitch with a team on Thursday, so we'll see," manager Buck Showalter said of Hunter, who threw at Double-A Bowie's stadium on Sunday. "He felt great today, threw breaking balls, changeups, fastballs."

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HOUSTON -- Orioles pitcher Tommy Hunter threw his first bullpen session on Sunday since hitting the disabled list with a left groin strain, and the right-hander will fly to Texas on Monday night to throw another side for the O's coaching staff before they determine the next step.

"He may fly back with us [to Baltimore] on Thursday, or he may go pitch with a team on Thursday, so we'll see," manager Buck Showalter said of Hunter, who threw at Double-A Bowie's stadium on Sunday. "He felt great today, threw breaking balls, changeups, fastballs."

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Hunter won't be ready the first day he's eligible, which is Thursday, and Showalter said he misspoke when making that statement on Saturday.

"The earliest he could throw a rehab game would be Thursday," Showalter said. "He'd probably do it again on Saturday, so the first time we might see him is on [June 9], a week from [Monday]."

Hunter has allowed 11 earned runs on 25 hits, five walks and a hit batsman over 16 1/3 innings this season. He has 11 saves in 14 opportunities and was removed from the closer role shortly before hitting the DL.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli.

Baltimore Orioles, Tommy Hunter