Jeff Niemann threw the ball relatively well in Thursday's 4-3 win over the Orioles. But he didn't throw it hard, clocked mostly at 85-86 mph and topping out an 88, below his normal velocity.

Rays manager Joe Maddon said there is no concern that Niemann, who was shut down at the end of last season because of shoulder inflammation, was injured: "He was not wincing. There were no issues."

Niemann said he was throwing that way by design, using primarily cutters and two-seam fastballs during the 71-pitch outing. His priority was movement rather than velocity, which is normally 90-91 mph for him. He allowed four singles — two in the infield — walked three and struck out three.

"I think the gun's a little off," Niemann said. "We're definitely going more movement right now; we're able to execute and get those bad swings and get those weak-hit balls. For me, it's more important what the hitter's telling me than what the radar gun says."

Maddon noticed the reduced velocity but also the results.

"He got sharper as the game was in progress. His velocity came up to 87-88 on occasion but definitely had good movement," Maddon said. "He was fine. There were no issues. … He just did not have that normal velocity. As long as he's well, I'm sure that's going to show up. The thing that I liked was the fact that the ball continues to move so much."