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TOR@BAL: Johnson fans six over five scoreless frames

The Orioles remained atop the American League Wild Card standings and trailed the Yankees by just one game following Friday's games, and on Saturday night at Camden Yards, the O's will send an impressive rookie right-hander to the hill against the Red Sox.

Righty Steve Johnson looks to continue Baltimore's season-long dominance against the Red Sox, who the Orioles have beaten in 11 of 16 meetings this year. Johnson earned his fourth win of the season his last time out, throwing five shutout innings against the Blue Jays on Monday.

"He's got a good presence," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He presents a calm front. He pitches with a lot of confidence."

Johnson, who tossed two shutout innings of relief against Boston on Aug. 16, is 3-0 with a 2.12 ERA in his last three home starts.

Right-hander Felix Doubront opposes Johnson, and he, too, also had an impressive outing his last time out -- which came against the Orioles. Doubront, who has pitched a career-high 154 innings this year, struck out a career-high 11 on Sunday and makes his final start of his first full season in the Sox's rotation.

"He wanted to prove that these innings aren't something for us to be concerned with and that he's a good pitcher," manager Bobby Valentine said after Doubront's last start. "He had some hurdles to get over, and when he's not pitching, you can't get through those hurdles. And I've seen him get through them and continue to get better."

Red Sox: Ellsbury expected back
Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury is expected to return to the lineup Saturday for the first time since Sept. 20. Although Ellsbury won't allow Valentine to disclose his latest injury to the media, one report has it as a lat strain.

"He's going to actually test everything, they said, today," Valentine said Friday. "Then if all goes well, tomorrow will be the day. I hope all goes well throwing and hitting."

Ellsbury is hitting .296 against the AL East this year.

Orioles: Wieters questionable
Matt Wieters missed Friday's series opener as he and his wife Maria celebrated the birth of their first child, Maverick Luther. It is unclear whether he will join the team Saturday.

"He's got his priorities where they need to be," Showalter said. "He is still at the hospital. ... He has been there obviously for quite awhile without sleep, so we'll see what tomorrow brings. He is where he should be.

Worth noting
• Baltimore's Mark Reynolds is hitting .383 with five doubles, six home runs and 16 RBIs in 13 games against the Red Sox this year.

• Doubront has allowed three runs in 13 innings (2.08 ERA) in two starts against Baltimore this season.

• The Red Sox are 6-13 in a stretch where they face division foes in their final 24 games. Comments