BALTIMORE -- The Orioles activated first baseman Chris Davis from the 15-day disabled list Sunday, a move that would have generated more enthusiasm in the clubhouse if catcher Matt Wieters didn't take his place on the DL with a right elbow strain.
After spending the minimum time on the disabled list with a strained muscle near his left ribcage, Davis was in the starting lineup for Sunday's game against the Houston Astros.
Wieters had an MRI on his elbow Monday and visited Dr. James Andrews, who prescribed he rest his arm. Wieters served as designated hitter this week, but the Orioles decided it would be a good idea to shut him down for a while.
"I think to get the best opportunity for this to heal properly we need to let it quiet down completely," manager Buck Showalter said. "You're getting treatment all day then it's, 'Hold on a second to take some swings in the cage. I got to get ready for the game.' "
Showalter added: "Originally, they felt the best case scenario was a two- or three-week period where he wasn't throwing. I think this gives us the best opportunity for this thing to manage itself."
Wieters is batting .308 with five homers and 18 RBIs, but he has thrown out only one of 12 would-be base stealers.
"It's not like some acute pain. It's just that he knows it's not like it should be to catch at the major league level," Showalter said. "A lot of catchers would die to be able to make the throws Matt has made so far this year."
Davis led the majors last year with 53 home runs and 138 RBIs. This season he has two homers and 13 RBIs in 22 games.
He went on the DL on April 27, retroactive to April 26, after being pulled from a game against Kansas City. His rehabilitation assignment lasted only one game -- a 1 for 4 outing Saturday night for Class A Bowie.
"He's doing some things now he wasn't able to do that three or four day period he was trying to play through it," Showalter said. "That was good to hear from him."
Steve Pearce performed well at first base and at the plate, but Davis lobbied to return Sunday and got his wish.
"Steve Pearce is no stranger to success," Davis said. "He's been big for us the last couple of years and he's done a great job. But I'm tired of seeing him hit home runs."
Astros manager Bo Porter was hoping Davis might remain on the DL at least another day, through the end the three-game series that concluded Sunday.
"I thought he was going to stay down in Bowie," Porter joked. "We might just walk him four times. No, he's a good player. But you make quality pitches you have a good chance of getting him out. I'm sure they're excited to have him back."