Orioles vs. A’s (Garcia traded)- updated

*Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel threw off the mound for the first time since hitting the disabled list this afternoon and came away encouraged with how he felt.

“I’m not trying to stay on the DL. I’m trying to get back, so I might as well let it fly,” said Hammel who used all his pitches and said he let it go 100 percent during the session with pitching coach Billy Castro. “It felt good for a few days now with the long toss and everything. I probably threw 30 from the stretch, next 15 from the windup and I felt real good.”

Hammel will do the same thing, maybe throwing more pitches, on Sunday and manager Buck Showalter said he could go out on a rehab assignment mid-next week. Asked if the earliest return date for Hammel would be sometime in September, Showalter said: ” As a starter, yes. We could have a need here and we really like what we’ve seen (from Hammel) 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.”

So Hammel in relief is a possibility for the Orioles in the final month. The Orioles could also go with a six-man rotation, which is something Showalter hasn’t ruled out.

“I would think for sure his first appearance there [on rehab] would be as a starter,” Showalter said.  “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.”

*Scott Feldman is in the bullpen tonight and if he’s not needed he will start Sunday’s series finale against the A’s.

*The Orioles traded veteran Minor League pitcher Freddy Garcia to the Atlanta Braves on Friday afternoon in exchange for cash considerations. The 36-year-old Garcia went 3-5 with a 5.77 ERA in 11 games (10 starts) with the Orioles this year and he was pitching at the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Norfolk.

He last pitched for Baltimore on June 23, allowing seven earned runs over 2 1/3 innings and he was later designated for assignment to clear a roster post for Kevin Gausman. Garcia –who opted to stay in the organization after he was DFA’ed– made 13 starts at Triple-A, going 8-3 with a 2.84 ERA.  He could have been a potential September callup, although the O’s pitching depth –which includes Gausman—would’ve made it hard to find a role for the righty.

Here are your lineups for the series opener…

Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Nick Markakis RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Flaherty DH
Brian Roberts 2B

Bud Norris RHP
Coco Crisp CF
Jed Lowrie SS
Josh Donaldson 3B
Brandon Moss 1B
Yoenis Cespedes Lf
Seth Smith RF
Alberto Callaspo DH
Eric Sogard 2B
Stephen Vogt C

Dan Straily RHP

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