Updating Patton, Hammel, Thome and the defense (O's lead 3-1)

NEW YORK - Troy Patton threw on flat ground from 60 feet on Thursday, and the Orioles will check on his right ankle today before confirming the next phase of his rehab schedule.

"First time he's gotten the ball in his hand and able to put pressure (on the ankle). First time he's thrown and landed on the ankle," said manager Buck Showalter. "That was a good first step. I haven't gotten the report today. We should get something a little after noon today, with him and (Stu) Pomeranz."

Unfortunately for the Orioles, Patton isn't close to getting back on the active roster.

"No, it's not imminent," Showalter said.

Executive vice president Dan Duquette will be in Frederick tonight to watch Jason Hammel, who's slated to throw 70-75 pitches for the Keys.

"We'll see how he feels physically and if he's not favoring (his right knee) at all," Showalter said. "I think the last hurdle is just to get over the mental part of it and not thinking about it. I don't care how many sim games you pitch, it's good to get in a game environment like that. We'll lean on Dan and Hamm.

"I hope we get good news out there and he's a candidate the next time out. If not, he'll start in Bowie next time."

Hammel could start Sept. 6 for the Orioles.

Nothing new on Jim Thome, who remains in Sarasota.

"I'm hoping we get some news that he's swinging the bat again today," Showalter said. "I'd really like to get him back."

The Orioles continue to lead the American League with 96 errors, but the Rockies lead the majors with 101. The Orioles have the fourth-best fielding percentage in the second half.

"It's been huge," Showalter said. "I think Mark (Reynolds) settling in at first base and Manny (Machado) doing some things over there (at third base) has been pretty solid for us. And (Nate) McLouth. We feel like three guys are doing a good job at those three places that we were struggling with a little bit. And it's been big.

"It's one of those quiet things that nobody can really pinpoint, but pitchers feed off of that, too, with their aggressiveness. You see a guy like Miguel (Gonzalez) attacking the strike zone and trusting the defense. I know you look at the error total, but the last couple of months, it's been pretty solid for us."

Showalter said he's still going to look for ways to get Wilson Betemit "involved."

Update: The Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Nick Markakis' leadoff walk, J.J. Hardy's single and Nate McLouth's double play bouncer. Adam Jones walked and moved up on a wild pitch, but Matt Wieters struck out.

The defense assisted Wei-Yin Chen in the bottom of the first, with McLouth making a sensational diving catch in left-center field to rob Derek Jeter, and Markakis making a lunging grab in right to deny Nick Swisher.

McLouth covers a lot of ground in left. Jeter appeared to have an easy double, but McLouth closed on the ball in a hurry.

Update II: Six of the first nine Orioles reached against Yankees starter David Phelps, who's lucky that he's only down, 2-0.

Phelps began the second by hitting Chris Davis and walking Mark Reynolds. The runners moved up on Omar Quintanilla's sacrifice bunt, and Davis scored on Manny Machado's single. Markakis hit into a 6-4-3 double play to bail out Phelps.

The Yankees had two relievers warming in the second inning, which is highly unusual. Double-barrel action this early in the game? Is manager Joe Girardi already thinking about matchups?

Update III: Wieters homered into the second deck in right field to give the Orioles a 3-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning.

Wieters has seven homers at Yankee Stadium, his highest total in any visiting ballpark. He has a 13-game hitting streak against New York.

Chen has retired the first nine batters.

Mark Reynolds has walked twice today, raising his team-leading total to 60. He got picked off first base in the fourth inning.

Update IV: Robinson Cano homered off Chen, who had retired the first 11 Yankees.

Orioles 3, Yankees 1.

Chen has allowed 22 homers this season.

Curtis Granderson left the game in the third inning with tightness in his right hamstring. He'll undergo an MRI.

Phelps left the game after walking his sixth batter with two outs in the fifth. He also allowed three hits and hit a batter. Not good for the pace of the game.

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