TORONTO -- Adam Jones, who has been dealing with a sore groin, started at designated hitter for the third consecutive game in Baltimore's series opener against the Blue Jays on Thursday.
Jones was out running on the Rogers Centre field well before the team went out to stretch and take batting practice, and manager Buck Showalter said the center fielder has continued to show signs of improvement.
Showalter is hopeful Jones will be back in the outfield for Friday's game.
"Each day, it is getting a little bit better the way we are doing it," Showalter said about the two-time All-Star. "It's nothing serious, just want to make sure it doesn't turn into something."
The skipper said Jones was ready to go, but the team is exercising a little bit more caution due to the AstroTurf playing surface in Toronto. Showalter said the turf in Toronto, which he described as harder and firmer than the Rays' turf, can be very difficult to play on.
"We are cautious, anyway, because we did it on grass in Baltimore," Showalter added.
Jones, who entered Thursday's contest batting .316 with six homers, 30 RBIs and an .837 OPS, is eager to get back out on the field, Showalter said.
"He's not real happy about DHing," Showalter said. "We have two or three guys that can play center field, too. But we are looking forward to getting Adam back out there."
Gausman recalled from Bowie; Arrieta optioned
TORONTO -- As expected, the Orioles officially selected the contract of right-hander Kevin Gausman, who will make his Major League debut against the Blue Jays on Thursday to kick off a four-game set in Toronto.
To make room for Gausman on the 25-man roster, Baltimore optioned righty Jake Arrieta to Triple-A Norfolk, while reliever Alex Burnett was designated for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.
Arrieta was recalled from Norfolk on Saturday to help aid an overworked bullpen, but he didn't appear in a game and hasn't thrown a Major League inning since starting an April 21 contest against the Dodgers.
Manager Buck Showalter said although Arrieta didn't see any game action, he was a nice insurance policy to have, but the team ultimately needed to get him some innings.
"We had two of three options, and felt we needed to get him back on the mound down there and get him pitching again," Showalter said.
Arrieta, who will join Norfolk's starting rotation, has gone 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA in three starts with the Tides.
Gausman, meanwhile, the Orioles' No. 2 prospect according to MLB.com, rose fast through Baltimore's system after being selected with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. In eight starts at Double-A Bowie, Gausman went 2-4 with a 3.11 ERA over 46 1/3 innings. His control has been exceptional, as the 22-year-old struck out 49 batters while walking just five in his first season above Class A ball.
Showalter said Gausman's parents and girlfriend would be in attendance for his debut.
"We brought him up because we thought he could help us," Showalter said.
"It's fun for him. I want him to trust himself and try not to give the level of play too much credit, but also have a respect for it, which he will. We had him with us all spring, so it's a pretty easy transition."
McLouth dives into crowd for catch; almost hit by drink
TORONTO -- Nate McLouth found himself in the middle of a play on Thursday he likely won't forget.
McLouth aggressively pursued a fly ball that Colby Rasmus hit to left to lead off the bottom half of the sixth inning, which was hooking foul. The 31-year-old McLouth made the catch right before crashing into the wall down the left-field line and flipping into a bunch of fans who were seated in the first couple of rows.
After taking a brief moment to get to his feet, McLouth rose up and held the ball in his glove, while the section of fans were making gestures with their arms in an attempt to persuade third-base umpire Manny Gonzalez that he dropped it.
Gonzalez, however, ruled it a catch.
"The only thing that I hit a little bit was my shins," said McLouth, who went 2-for-5 in Baltimore's 12-6 loss. "On top, there is a kind of like a metal bar on top of the wall -- my shins scraped it a little bit. But it wasn't too bad."
Things got ugly fast after that.
As McLouth was preparing to throw the ball back into the infield, a fan situated behind the Blue Jays bullpen in left threw a bottle on to the field that just narrowly missed him.
A startled McLouth shot a look back, but he said everything happened too fast for him to realize exactly where it was coming from. Despite the potential danger that came with the ill-advised decision from the spectator, McLouth brushed it aside as an isolated incident.
"I'm not really sure how close it landed. I kind of had my back turned and sort of heard something hit behind me," McLouth said.
"That's just one person doing something they shouldn't do."
The fan was spotted by security and ejected from the game. McLouth complimented the job done by the umpires and security during the ordeal, which prompted manager Buck Showalter to race out to the outfield.
"It's unfortunate," Showalter said. "The umpires and the security did what they do. Unfortunately, it happens in ballparks now and then. Usually it's one person. You don't group the whole."
• Wilson Betemit, who tore the PCL in his right knee, will begin light baseball activities next week, Showalter said.
• Taylor Teagarden (thumb) will catch batting practice on Thursday and will also begin hitting off coaches that day at the Orioles' Spring Training facility in Sarasota, Fla.
• Showalter turned 57 on Thursday.
Chris Toman is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.