NEW YORK -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter said on Wednesday that, if necessary, Jason Hammel will start Game 5 of the American League Division Series on Friday at Yankee Stadium.
After Wednesday's 3-2 loss in 12 innings, Showalter picked lefty Joe Saunders over Chris Tillman to start Game 4, meaning Tillman won't get a start, at least not in the ALDS.
"No, that will probably be Ham," Showalter said before Wednesday's game about whether Tillman or Saunders could possibly start Game 5. "He is having a work day right now. If that goes like we hope it goes, he would pitch Friday."
Hammel allowed two runs over 5 2/3 innings in Sunday's series opener, his first outing since Sept. 11 and just his fourth start since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in mid-July. He made two starts upon his September return, but discomfort forced him to miss the rest of the regular season.
On Sunday, he kept the Orioles in the game, but inefficiency led to his relatively early departure. Hammel allowed four hits and issued as many walks, tossing 112 pitches -- the first time he surpassed the 100-pitch mark since July 7 against the Angels.
Hammel made three regular-season starts against the Yankees this year -- two in Baltimore -- finishing with a 3.94 ERA. But the best of those starts came at Yankee Stadium on April 30, when the right-hander tossed six innings of two-run ball in a 2-1 O's loss.