Orioles pregame: Still no timetable on Troy Patton's return

TORONTO -- The Orioles are in first place in September for the first time in 15 years, but there was no difference in the O's clubhouse before today's game than the past two days here.

It's all business here with the Orioles.


With a win, the O's can record their first series sweep in Toronto since April 22-24 of 2005 and can clinch their first season series win over the Blue Jays since 2004.

The Orioles have outscored the Jays 16-0 in the first two games of this series while riding a 22-inning scoreless streak that dates back to their weekend series in New York.

Here's what's going on in the Orioles clubhouse:

-- Left-hander Troy Patton (sprained right ankle) had his second throwing session from 120 feet on Wednesday. He will next throw from a flat mound on Friday, marking the first time he will be pushing off against the rubber. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he wouldn't give any timetable on a possible return until Patton is able to throw off an full mound.

"Until he gets on a regulation mound and throws downhill and has no problems, it's hard to put a time frame on it," Showalter said. "That's the hurdle. Once you get over that, you can have a projection. He's done that [to the ankle] before, and it's one of those things where each time you do it, it gets a little weaker. He had a pretty severe sprain there."

-- Right-hander Jason Hammel is a 100 percent go for starting Thursday at home against the Yankees. Hammel said he believes there will be no restrictions on him. "Buck told me, give me a reason to take you out," Hammel said before he left to take a flight back to Baltimore on Wednesday afternoon.

-- Showalter said designated hitter Jim Thome was seeing a specialist today hoping to get clearance to resume hitting activities.

-- Jake Arrieta and Chris Tillman have been working out with Double-A Bowie the past two days. Arrieta is expected to be recalled when the Orioles return home for Thursday's game.


Here are tonight's lineups:

Nick Markakis RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Nate McLouth LF
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Chris Davis DH
Mark Reynolds 1B
Omar Quintanilla 2B
Manny Machado 3B
Miguel Gonzalez RHP

Blue Jays
Rajai Davis LF
Colby Rasmus CF
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
Adam Lind DH
Yunel Escobar SS
Kelly Johnson 2B
Yorvit Torrealba C
Adeiny Hechavarria 3B
Anthony Gose RF
Brandon Morrow RHP