9/11/2013 11:13 P.M. ET
Orioles commemorate Sept. 11 anniversary
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles joined the rest of Major League Baseball on Wednesday night in commemorating the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks with special American flag caps for their contest against the Yankees.
The game-worn, autographed and authenticated hats will be auctioned online at orioles.com/auction and all proceeds will benefit the Frank J. Battaglia Signal 13 Foundation, which provides financial assistance to Baltimore Police Department personnel who suffer extreme personal emergencies. The auction runs until Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
"As Americans, we've got to pay tribute to the people that fell that September 11 morning and the people who reacted so quickly," said Orioles center fielder Adam Jones of Wednesday's commemorative efforts. "We are still fighting that war on terror. So, it's something that, as Americans, you learn and appreciate that you can't take your freedom for granted anymore. So it's something where you show your gratefulness for the U.S. military."
The Orioles also observed a moment of silence prior to the national anthem in honor of those who lost their lives in the terrorist attack and had the U.S. Army Quartet on tap to sing "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch.
Norris has elbow discomfort, Hammel to step in
BALTIMORE -- Orioles right-hander Bud Norris is dealing with right elbow discomfort and will have his turn in the rotation skipped in favor of Jason Hammel on Friday night in Toronto.
Norris, who was acquired from the Houston Astros in a Trade Deadline deal, couldn't pinpoint exactly when the issue started but was optimistic that a few extra days of rest would help calm things down and put him on track to start the team's following series in Boston.
"A fatigue and tightness kind of thing," Norris said of the elbow issue, which cropped up last month in Arizona. "There was no specific day. Obviously getting to this point in the season, we're adding up and so forth. I definitely felt it in my last couple [games], but I wanted to go out there and compete."
The decision came to skip him after Norris felt his elbow bark up again during Wednesday afternoon's work day.
"We want to back off and treat it," manager Buck Showalter said. "You're always working on your next start and there's some things that guys do. I think talking to Bud and to trainers, I think it would be best to stay away from all the work that starting pitchers do to get ready for their fifth day and just let it quiet down. It managed itself well the last time, so we want to get back to that. I think you'll see him pitch again for us."
Norris is 10-11 with a 4.12 ERA in 30 games, 29 starts, between Houston and Baltimore this season.
Markakises have son, outfielder joins O's for game
BALTIMORE -- Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis and his wife, Christina, welcomed their third child, a boy named Toby, on Wednesday afternoon after inducing labor in the early-morning hours.
"Everything seems to be fine," manager Buck Showalter said. "I can tell how tired Nicky was, because he texted 7 pounds and 16 ounces. That is 8 pounds, right? That's a big boy."
Markakis was waiting for his sister-in-law to arrive before leaving the hospital and was expected at Camden Yards prior to the Orioles' game against the Yankees. Despite being at the hospital at 4.a.m. ET, Showalter expected Markakis to try to talk his way into the starting lineup.
"I'm sure he'll walk in and try to plead his case, " said Showalter, who went with Michael Morse in the starting lineup in Markakis' place.
Markakis entered the day batting .271 in 142 games and was 3-for-7 with a double, run scored and two RBIs over his past two games, an encouraging sign given his prolonged slump this season.
• Jason Hammel will start Friday's game in Toronto in place of Bud Norris, the team announced prior to Wednesday's game. No reason was immediately given for the switch.
• Showalter said despite wanting to stay away from several guys in Tuesday's loss, including right-handers Darren O'Day and Tommy Hunter, he doesn't expect to add another pitcher to the team's 11-man bullpen. O'Day has been battling a physical issue, though Showalter declined to elaborate on it.
• Orioles attendance is up this year more than 15 percent and MASN's ratings are up more than 50 percent from 2012. Additionally, O's merchandise sales are up more than 89 percent, which is the biggest increase in baseball. Baltimore is on pace for the best regional-sports-network season rating on record (since 2001) and its highest attendance (at around 2.4 million) since 2005.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.