Nate McLouth on the home crowd, facing Sabathia and more (draft picks head to Aberdeen)

It was after one of the late season games last season when the Orioles’ Nate McLouth compared the Camden Yards fans to a college football crowd. He thought the home-field advantage was that good then.

McLouth would like to see the same turnout this weekend, when big crowds are expected for all three games of the Yankees-Orioles series that starts here tonight.

“I can just speak on what I’d heard that Camden Yards seemed to be a place in the past where a lot of New York fans would come and be heard, but it’s nice that that is changing,” McLouth said.

“We’ve already seen some of it this year (wild crowds) and I guarantee you we will see some of it this weekend. That is so much fun to play in front of the fans here. They’re crazy and it’s awesome.”

McLouth will be hitting tonight against New York lefty CC Sabathia and not David Phelps, the starter originally listed. One report said this was the scheduled Yankees rotation all along, but it sounds like Yankees officials just didn’t tell anyone. At least not the many reporters, publications and Web sites that were listing Phelps as the starter.

Sabathia is 17-4 with a 3.12 ERA in 27 career starts against the Orioles. In two starts this season, he is 1-0 with a 3.14 ERA against the Orioles.

“He used to throw 96 (mph) consistently,” McLouth said. “He doesn’t walk anybody first of all. To have that good of stuff and not walk anybody makes him that much better. He really locates his fastball well, moves it around the plate. He’ll be tough.”

McLouth is in the lineup against the lefty tonight. He is dropped to eighth in the order, a spot where he has yet to bat this year. He is hitting .244 in 41 at-bats versus left-handed pitching.

“The last few games, I’ve started against lefties (manager Buck Showalter)has lowered me down (in the order),” McLouth said. “That is fine with me. I like Nick (Markakis) leading off hitting against lefties. If you look at his numbers, against whatever pitcher, home or road, he’s so consistent. I like it. Whatever scores us the most runs.”

Draft picks head to Aberdeen: The Orioles have sent four more 2013 draft picks to short-season Single-A Aberdeen, including the grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski. The O’s have sent left-hander Donnie Hart (round 27), left-hander Mitch Horacek (round 9), right-hander Dylan Rheault (round 19) and outfielder Mike Yastrzemski (round 14) to the IronBirds.

Rodriguez move is now official: Also the news reported here yesterday, that lefty pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez is being promoted from Single-A Frederick to Double-A Bowie was made official this afternoon. Brian Ward is going on the Baysox’s disabled list. Rodriguez is expected to make his Double-A debut on Monday night at Prince George’s Stadium.

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