O's Hammel expected to start Thursday

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TORONTO (AP) -- Baltimore Orioles right-hander Jason Hammel is expected to come off the 15-day disabled list Thursday to start the opener of an important four-game series against the New York Yankees.

Hammel had a successful bullpen session in Toronto on Tuesday. He hasn't appeared in a major league game since July 13, when he left a start against Detroit with pain in his right knee. He underwent surgery the following week.

Hammel pitched five scoreless innings in a rehab start at Class-A Frederick last Saturday, his first live game following a pair of simulated games. The Orioles wanted to see how Hammel performed in his bullpen session before deciding whether to start him against the Yankees, who led the Orioles by one game in the AL East entering play Tuesday.