The Orioles open their four-game home series against the Chicago White Sox tonight at Camden Yards.
The White Sox have won six straight and 21 of their last 31. Their 54-34 record since May 17 is the second-best record in that span in all of baseball, just behind Cincinnati's 58-35 mark.
Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen will start for the Orioles tonight. Chen (12-7), who has won four of his last five starts, won his first major league game against the White Sox on April 17, allowing two runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings in a 3-2 win at U.S. Cellular Field.
Here's what's going on around the Orioles clubhouse:
- Right-hander Jason Hammel threw roughly 60 pitches in a three-plus inning simulated game today. Barring a setback tomorrow, he will make a minor league rehab start on Saturday, likely for Class-A Frederick, where he would throw a maximum of five innings. If he comes out of that well, he could be an option to start on Sep. 6 against the Yankees at Camden Yards.
- Wilson Betemit is taking his first live batting practice to test his right wrist. He arrived in Baltimore from Sarasota, where he was hitting off a tee, yesterday. He will hit with the team Monday and Tuesday and could go on a minor league rehab assignment on Wednesday. He could be activated by Saturday.
- Orioles manager Buck Showalter has spoken to newly acquire pitcher Joe Saunders and told him he will make his first Orioles start on either Wednesday or Thursday. Saunders' locker is here in the Orioles clubhouse – he will wear No. 48 – but he's not expected to be in uniform until tomorrow.
- It's looking like Zach Britton will start on the day Saunders doesn't. Showalter said both Miguel Gonzalez and Steve Johnson remain starting options, but neither is currently not in the rotation.
- Jake Arrieta is here to work out of the bullpen tonight – essentially replacing Matt Lindstrom – but it's not certain how long he's here. He might be optioned back to Norfolk to make room for Saunders and that move could come as early as tonight.
Here are the starting lineups:
Nick Markakis RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Lew Ford DH
Mark Reynolds 1B
Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Robert Andino 2B
Wei-Yin Chen LHP