Jordan Norberto, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 21 with left elbow tendinitis, is hoping to play catch next week but may or may not return in time to pitch in the postseason. He is 4-1 with a 2.77 ERA, striking out 46 and walking 22 in 52 innings over 39 outings this year. "We do feel like we have good depth in our bullpen, but man, he was a major contributor," manager Bob Melvin said. "He got righties out, he got lefties out, he gave us length. He pitched late in games, picked up a starter who was struggling early. He was as versatile of a guy as we have. ... Once he starts throwing I'm not sure how long it would take to get him in game shape and how we would do that." Orioles: Machado among rookies thriving under Showalter
If the season ended today, the Orioles would play in the postseason for the first time in 15 years, thanks in large part to rookies like Manny Machado, who is hitting .270 with four home runs and 15 RBIs in 34 games this year. He preserved a 2-2 tie in Wednesday's win over the Rays by pump-faking a throw to first base before getting pinch-runner Rich Thompson in a rundown between third base and home plate. He later capped the game off with a walk-off single in the 13th inning. "[Showalter] tries to deflect all that positive attention away from [Machado]," J.J. Hardy said. "I think that's what [Showalter was] doing. Everyone realizes how great a play it was, but he's like, 'It wouldn't have worked if J.J. wasn't there.' I think 30 out of 30 big league shortstops would have been there. It's really not me. I think he was just deflecting that [attention]." Worth noting
The A's, who have won eight of their last nine games, have the best record in the Major Leagues since the All-Star break at 41-18 (.695) and have won 61 of 91 games since June 2. The Orioles fell to 12-18 (.400) against the AL West this season following a loss to the A's on Saturday night. They are 69-46 (.600) against teams from all other divisions. The Orioles grounded into a double play in four straight innings in Friday night's series opener, marking the second time this season that a team has grounded into a double play in four consecutive innings.