More notes before tonight's game against the A's

Scott Feldman is available in the bullpen tonight for the Orioles, and he will start Sunday's series finale against the A's if he isn't needed in relief.

The A's changed their rotation for the series. Jarrod Parker will start Saturday instead of left-hander Tommy Milone, who was scratched, and Sonny Gray will start Sunday.

The Red Sox tentatively are scheduled to start Felix Doubront, John Lackey and Jon Lester in the three-game series against the Orioles that begins Tuesday at Fenway Park.

Manager Buck Showalter talked to Jason Hammel about the right-hander's bullpen session before meeting with reporters today.

"Ham went good," Showalter said. "The plan is for him to do it again Sunday, and then decide if that's enough for him to go out, which I hope it is. But that would be the earliest. Hopefully, he could pitch somewhere Wednesday or Thursday. I'm just thinking out loud. I haven't gotten that far with Billy (Castro)."

As I wrote in the previous blog entry, Hammel could pitch in relief in his second rehab game.

"I would think for sure his first appearance there would be as a starter, just to make sure he starts an inning and gets time to warm up and all that for sure. And then also there's things that could change up here which dictates that he needs to come back in a certain role," Showalter said.

Hammel isn't expected back before rosters expand on Sept. 1, but that's not written in stone. Circumstances could get him back here beforehand. Again, not likely, but not impossible.

"As a starter, yes," Showalter said. "We could have a need here and we really like what we've seen and something could happen physically, knock on wood, and maybe a starter has an issue or something goes wrong, we could kind of push it up a little. But, especially, if we're going to have more people in the bullpen. Some of the things we're doing with our starters, with Feldman and (Miguel) Gonzalez, we might have eight guys down there."

The Orioles traded veteran starter Freddy Garcia to the Braves this afternoon for cash considerations, a move done as "an ethical thing as much as an evaluation," Showalter said.

"Freddy's going to be in the big leagues for them and we weren't sure that that's where we were going to go for sure," Showalter said. "I think he deserved that opportunity. Now, if we're playing the Braves in the World Series and he's sticking it to us, we'll probably regret it, but in the long run, this is what's best for Freddy and his career, and I applaud Dan (Duquette) and the organization for doing it the way they did it."

Bud Norris is going for his career-high 10th win tonight.

The Orioles need one more win over the A's to clinch the season series for the first time since 1998 (8-3).

With his next home run, Matt Wieters will reach 20 for the third straight season. J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones already cracked the 20-homer plateau for a third straight year.

According to STATS, the only team since 1921 to have a catcher, shortstop and center fielder (based on primary position) each hit 20-plus home runs in even two straight seasons before this Orioles team was the 2007-08 Cleveland Indians (Jhonny Peralta, Grady Sizemore and Victor Matinez in 2007, and Kelly Shoppach in 2008).

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