[Back for its second year, "Down the Stretch" is a daily Orioles Insider blog that will set up the coming night for the O's and their American League competition as the push for the postseason continues.]

About last night

Orioles bullpen falters again in 5-4 loss to Yankees
Norris scratched from Friday's start in Toronto
Morse isn't stressing about slow start at Camden Yards
Markakis rejoins team after birth of his third son
Schmuck: Indians have an easier road to the wild card
Curtis Granderson makes some Eutaw Street history
Wednesday's full scoreboard


AL East standings

BOS     89-58     --
TB       78-66    9.5
BAL     78-68    10.5
NYY     77-68     11

AL wild-card standings

TEX       81-64     --
TB        78-66        --
NYY      78-68      1
BAL      77-68     1.5
CLE      77-68     1.5
KC       77-69      2

(For full standings, click here.)


Tonight's game

Yankees at Orioles, 7:05 p.m.

LHP Wei-Yin Chen (7-7, 3.82 ERA) vs. RHP Phil Hughes (4-13, 5.11 ERA)

(NOTE: Lefty David Huff had been listed as the Yankees' probable starter until after Wednesday night's game, when manager Joe Girardi said Hughes will start.)

Key matchup

Robinson Cano had a big homer last night against right-hander Tommy Hunter. He can still be dangerous against lefties, but he hasn't fared well against Chen. In 16 at-bats against Chen over the past two seasons, the Yankees second baseman has batted just .188 with one homer, one RBI and six strikeouts.

Other games that matter

Athletics (Griffin) at Twins (Diamond), 1:10 p.m.

Red Sox (Peavy) at Rays (Hellickson), 7:10 p.m.

Indians (Kluber) at White Sox (Danks), 8:10 p.m.

Thought of the day