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Orioles Notebook: Hammel to have MRI Thursday

BALTIMORE - Orioles starting pitcher Jason Hammel will undergo an MRI Thursday morning after re-injuring his surgically repaired right knee in Tuesday night's game against Tampa Bay.

Hammel said after Tuesday night's game he felt a sharp pain in his knee, similar to when he injured it before. Hammel originally injured his knee on July 13 and had arthroscopic surgery to repair it, missing about eight weeks.

The right-hander went 8-6 with a 3.43 ERA in 20 starts for Baltimore, but Tuesday was just his second start since returning.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he hopes to have an idea of how severe Hammel's injury is Thursday afternoon.

"I don't think we'll really know anything until we get the MRI back," Showalter said.

Showalter added there is a possibility Hammel will seek a second opinion on the knee after the MRI.

2013 SCHEDULE RELEASED: The Orioles' 2013 schedule was released Wednesday and Baltimore will begin its season April 2 with a three-game series at Tampa Bay.

The home opener is set for April 5 against Minnesota. Nine of the team's first 13 games are on the road.

The Orioles play 16 home games in June, the most they play in any month, and also have 10 home games against the Red Sox and Yankees throughout the season.

INJURY UPDATES: Right fielder Nick Markakis successfully underwent surgery on his broken left thumb on Tuesday. Markakis had two pins inserted into his hand and rejoined the team Wednesday. The pins will be removed from his hand in three weeks.

Showalter said that designated hitter Jim Thome and relief pitcher Troy Patton are both expected to rehab in the Fall Instructional League by the beginning of next week.

LOOKING AHEAD: Joe Saunders (2-1, 4.24 ERA) will start the first of a three-game series Friday against the Oakland Athletics, who currently have the top spot in the wild-card standings. The starters for the rest of the series are to be announced.

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