The pending roster move, Chen, Tillman and more

The Orioles will provide more information today on Manny Machado's MRI results and the condition of his right knee. They're expected to place their third baseman on the 15-day disabled list after he was diagnosed with a sprained ligament.

Triple-A Norfolk infielder Cord Phelps is in Baltimore and waiting to have his contract purchased. The Orioles signed him off waivers from the Indians on Nov. 25.

The Orioles can't go into tonight's game without Machado and shortstop J.J. Hardy, whose MRI confirmed that he's got a sprained left thumb. A two-man bench won't work. Not having a backup infielder won't work.

Chris Davis may have to play third base tonight, which would put Steve Pearce at first. Ryan Flaherty can handle shortstop while Jonathan Schoop plays second.

The Orioles are counting on Hardy to be ready on Friday, which would allow Flaherty to play third.

chen-pitching-black-back-sidebar.jpgMeanwhile, manager Buck Showalter wants to provide left-hander Wei-Yin Chen with additional rest as allowed by the schedule, weather or his creativity.

Chen hasn't started since Aug. 6 in Toronto. His next start following last night's postponement is being pushed back to Friday in Cleveland.

By my faulty math, he's working on eight days rest.

Chen is 5-2 with a 3.90 ERA in 11 starts on regular rest this season, 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA in three starts on five days rest, and 4-2 with a 4.70 ERA in eight starts on six or more days rest.

In 15 career starts on six or more days rest, Chen is 7-3 with a 3.45 ERA over 88 2/3 innings. It's his lowest ERA of the three scenarios that I listed above.

Chen's got a pretty big responsibility on Friday. The Orioles have won eight consecutive series openers dating back to July 21 in Anaheim. They've gone 25-15 in series openers this season - 13-7 at home and 12-8 on the road.

Chris Tillman, who takes the mound tonight, is 3-5 with a 2.77 ERA in 12 home starts this season. He's 5-5 with a 5.64 ERA in 12 career starts against the Yankees, but 2-2 with a 3.68 ERA in five starts at home.

Tillman has registered a quality start in both outings against the Yankees this season, tossing seven scoreless innings June 22 in the Bronx and allowing three earned runs in 6 2/3 innings on July 12 at Camden Yards.

Derek Jeter is 8-for-20 (.400) lifetime against Tillman.

The Yankees decided to start Michael Pineda tonight instead of continuing his rehab assignment. They can't afford to keep losing ground to the Orioles.

Pineda hasn't pitched in the majors since April 23, when he was ejected from a game at Fenway Park for using pine tar on the ball. The umpires' first clue was the huge glob of pine tar on his neck. It looked like he had a second head.

Pineda was suspended 10 games, but his problems didn't end there. He strained his right lat muscle while throwing a simulated game before being reinstated.

Karma is a pitch.

In two starts against the Orioles, Pineda has allowed four runs and 13 hits in 13 innings, with two walks and 13 strikeouts.

Adam Jones is 3-for-6 against Pineda. Hardy is 3-for-5 with two home runs, but he may not be available.

The Orioles lead the majors with 150 home runs and are on pace to hit 206 this season. They've posted seven 200-plus home run seasons in club history (2013, 2012, 1999, 1998, 1996, 1987 and 1985), but have never done it in three straight years.

The Orioles are 34-10 in their major league-leading 44 multi-homer games and are 57-25 when they hit at least one this season.

After beginning the season 19-21 at home, the Orioles have gone 14-5 since June 30 and registered a 2.78 ERA. They've held opponents to a .226 average.

A leftover from Monday night: Nick Markakis (1,328) moved into 10th place on the club's all-time games played list, passing Brian Roberts.

Roberts remains a free agent, by the way, and I still haven't heard of any interest from the Orioles.

MASN will re-air the 60th anniversary celebration on Sunday, Aug. 17 at 8:30 p.m. and Thursday, Aug. 21 at 8 p.m. Plan accordingly.

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