It's back to baseball tonight, as the Orioles begin a three-game series against the Athletics at Camden Yards.
One of the most important tasks of the day will be performed by Jason Hammel, who's scheduled to throw off a mound for the first time since going on the disabled list retroactive to July 29 with a right flexor mass strain. He's been playing catch and long tossing.
Hammel is nearing an injury-rehab assignment. He's expected to make at least two starts before the Orioles add him to their expanded September roster.
Since he's on the disabled list, Hammel would be eligible for the postseason roster if the Orioles make it.
They can figure out later how to make room in a rotation that already includes Bud Norris, Chris Tillman, Scott Feldman, Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez.
Norris will make his fifth start tonight for the Orioles, and his sixth appearance. He's 0-2 with a 7.82 ERA in three career starts against Oakland, allowing 11 earned runs and 15 hits, walking seven and striking out 11 in 12 2/3 innings.
Norris is 2-0 with a 4.63 ERA in two home starts.
Left-handers are batting .302 against Norris, compared to .248 by right-handers.
Dan Straily will make his second career start against the Orioles and his first at Camden Yards. Back on Sept. 16, 2012, Straily allowed four runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings, with five walks and one strikeout. Matt Wieters homered twice off him.
Wieters has three homers in his last five games and four in his last eight.
Straily hasn't gone more than 5 2/3 innings in four of his last five starts.
Straily has a 2.05 ERA in the fourth inning, an 8.44 ERA in the fifth and a 3.60 ERA in the sixth. File that one away for later.
Wilson Betemit moved his injury-rehab assignment to Triple-A Norfolk last night, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in the Tides' 3-2 victory.
Zelous Wheeler's two-run, walk-off single in the ninth gave Norfolk the win. Henry Urrutia was 3-for-4.
Betemit was 6-for-16 with two doubles and three RBIs with the Gulf Coast League Orioles, 5-for-17 with four RBIs with Single-A Frederick and 6-for-17 with three RBIs with Double-A Bowie. His rehab assignment ends on Sunday, but the Orioles can seek an extension.
Betemit's mobility is the issue. I've heard that he's not moving as well as needed to be activated from the disabled list.