R.A. Dickey is no stranger to pitching through aches and pains, and the Blue Jays right-hander will do so again when he makes his scheduled start against Miguel Gonzalez and the Orioles on Tuesday night at Camden Yards.
Dickey will be looking to pull the Blue Jays even in the American League East foes' first series of the year after the Orioles took a 2-1 walk-off win in Monday's opener. He will pitch despite leaving his last start with tightness in his upper back and neck.
Dickey (2-2, 4.30) experienced the problem against the White Sox on Thursday, when he recorded his second consecutive strong outing, throwing six shutout innings with seven strikeouts. He exited despite throwing only 64 pitches, describing it on Monday as feeling "like a knot … that emits pain."
"I don't know if I would consider it a stabbing sensation, but you know it's there," Dickey said.
While Dickey has not dealt with this exact injury before, he pitched with a torn plantar fascia in 2011 and a torn abdomen last year, when he won the National League Cy Young Award. He played catch on the side this week instead of doing his usual bullpen session to help with the healing process.
"It's just part of getting older and still being able to juggle it all," he said.
The Orioles will counter with Gonzalez (1-1, 4.00), who is coming off the least effective of his three starts Thursday against the Rays. The righty enters having allowed eight earned runs in 18 innings.
Blue Jays: Arencibia brings power behind dish
• When J.P. Arencibia slugged his team-leading seventh home run Sunday, it gave him 47 since the start of the 2011 campaign, the most among Major League catchers. He sits one ahead of Baltimore backstop Matt Wieters.
Arencibia's seven homers are tied for first in the AL with the Orioles' Chris Davis and the Indians' Mark Reynolds, who played for Baltimore the past two years. Arencibia is also second in the league with 29 strikeouts, while walking only twice, and his on-base percentage sits at .273.
• When Adam Lind was called out on strikes in the seventh inning of Monday's game, it ended a streak of nine consecutive plate appearances in which he had reached base. Lind singled and walked in his first two trips to the plate Monday after walking in his previous five, dating back to Saturday.
Orioles: Burnett can fill innings in 'pen
• Right-hander Alex Burnett was called up from Triple-A Norfolk prior to Monday's game, when the Orioles optioned starter Jake Arrieta there. Burnett will pitch out of the bullpen, which has been overworked of late.
"He can give us some length," manager Buck Showalter said. "In the American League East, length is two innings. He's capable of pitching that much. Whether Toronto lets him pitch that much, we'll see. Pretty even splits down there, so whether that correlates to the big leagues, we'll see."
Baltimore selected the 25-year-old off waivers from Toronto on April 12, about two weeks after the Jays claimed him off waivers from the Twins. Burnett, who is 8-11 with a 4.61 ERA in 174 big league relief appearances, recorded three scoreless outings while at Norfolk.
• Dickey has pitched at Camden Yards only twice, once in 2003 and once in '10. Orioles hitters are a combined 5-for-37 (.135) against him, with no home runs.
• Gonzalez went 1-1 with a 4.32 ERA in three games against the Blue Jays last season, including a May 29 relief appearance that marked his Major League debut.
Andrew Simon is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.