TORONTO – With the Yankees losing to the Red Sox 5-1 this afternoon, the Orioles could jump in front of New York in the division and wild-card standings with a win over the Blue Jays.
Last night’s game was a big step for Jason Hammel in returning from the DL. Hammel said his slider felt as good as it’s felt since April. He was able to throw it for a strike and bury it. His curveball also had a little extra break, a sign he’s fully recovered from right forearm tightness.
Hammel said he didn’t know what his next step was, but he would treat it as if he’s starting in four days. He has a work day tomorrow. He also could return to the bullpen.
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Bud Norris hasn’t thrown since the team decided to skip his Friday start with elbow stiffness that’s bothered him for the past several starts. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he’d talk to Norris today about how he feels.
Monday’s off day, the team’s final off day of the season, means the Orioles don’t have to fill that spot in the rotation yet. Scott Feldman and Wei-Yin Chen are scheduled to pitch Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, in Boston and Chris Tillman is now slated to pitch Thursday on regular rest.
** Baltimore native Steve Clevenger said he received about 50 text messages from friends back home after making his first start with the Orioles. Clevenger also hit a game-tying two-run double, his first hit in an Orioles uniform.
** Steve Houff, the Ellicott City resident and Orioles fan who purchased Chris Davis’ 50th home run ball to give to him after Friday’s game, received tickets for him and his four friends right behind the Orioles dugout for the final two games of the series from the team and Davis.
Here are today’s starting lineups
Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Matt Wieters C
Danny Valencia DH
Brian Roberts 2B
Chris Tillman RHP
Jose Reyes SS
Brett Lawrie 3B
Edwin Encarnacion DH
Adam Lind 1B
Moises Sierra RF
Colby Rasmus CF
J.P. Arencibia C
Ryan Goins 2B
Anthony Gose 2B
Esmil Rogers RHP