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Jason Hammel gets good news about his right knee after MRI

Right-hander hopes he can pitch again this season

By Childs Walker and Eduardo A. Encina

The Baltimore Sun

7:43 PM EDT, September 13, 2012

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Orioles right-hander Jason Hammel received positive news about his injured right knee Thursday, when an MRI showed no new injury.

Though Hammel said there's no official timetable for his return, he said he hopes to pitch again this season.

"It's the best situation we could have," Hammel said after Thursday's game. "I was pumped to hear that. I thought something else was going on just by the way it felt."

"We got good news that there's no new injury we can see on the MRI," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Right now, he's going with us on the plane to start working on getting back as an option to start for us."

Hammel limped off the mound in the fourth inning of Tuesday's win over the Tampa Bay Rays. He was making his second start back after missing nearly eight weeks following arthroscopic surgery to that knee. He said he experienced the same piercing pain he felt from the original injury.

But Hammel said his knee felt significantly better on Thursday after a day of rest. He said he will likely rest the knee several more days before beginning strengthening work and trying to push off his leg.

"I want to get back out there as soon as I can," he said. "But obviously, if I can't use my leg, I can't pitch."

Strong outing for Chen

Wei-Yin Chen delivered one of his better starts of the season Thursday, six days after the New York Yankees battered him for seven runs in 4 2/3 innings.

Though he did not figure in the decision, Chen allowed only two runs and struck out seven in 7 1/3 innings, his second-longest outing of the season. The Taiwanese left-hander has struggled to string together effective starts in recent weeks.

"Wei-Yin was outstanding," Showalter said. "He was sharp. He was as impressive as anybody."

The Orioles have scored three or fewer runs while Chen was in the game in 14 of his last 22 starts.

Around the horn

Showalter announced that left-hander Zach Britton will start Saturday's game in Oakland. … Right-hander Chris Tillman (inflamed ulnar nerve) said he hasn't been told when he will make his next start. He said it could be Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. … Adam Jones' 10-game hitting streak was snapped Thursday. … Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, the Notre Dame football walk-on immortalized in the 1993 film "Rudy," threw out the first pitch before Thursday's game. Ruettiger's nephew, John Ruettiger, is an outfielder in the Orioles' minor league system. He batted .280 and stole 28 bases at three stops this season. ... The Orioles have extended their 1992 "throwback" ticket prices for their next home series Sept. 24-26 against the Toronto Blue Jays. Eutaw Street bleacher seats, regularly $19, will be sold for $4, while left field lower box tickets, regularly $32, will be sold for $8. Fans who already purchased seats in those sections at normal prices will receive a refund for the difference mailed to them within four weeks.

childs.walker@baltsun.com

eencina@baltsun.com

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