Having won nine of 12 games, the Orioles are starting to look like the team most capable of separating itself in the American League East.
The O's will enter the All-Star break in first place, and they'll look to extend their lead over the third-place Yankees in Sunday's 8:05 p.m. ET series finale at Camden Yards.
"Any time you play the Yankees here, it's always fun," said right-hander Kevin Gausman, who will take the hill for the O's in the first-half finale. "I'm sure the place is going to be packed. It's going to be fun. I'll just try to end things on a positive note."
The Orioles will recall Gausman to start Sunday's game and take the roster spot of righty Ubaldo Jimenez, sidelined with a right ankle sprain. Gausman (3-2, 3.51 ERA) has been up and down numerous times this season, but with Jimenez sidelined, the youngster will likely remain with the Orioles coming out of the break.
The Yankees were pleasantly surprised when rookie right-hander Chase Whitley started the season 3-0, but he has since regressed. Over his last three starts, Whitley has allowed 17 earned runs in nine innings.
Sent to the bullpen after the Yankees acquired starter Brandon McCarthy from Arizona and rookie right-hander Shane Greene impressed in his first career start, Whitley will be called on to make the start on Sunday in place of injured ace Masahiro Tanaka.
"No one is going to plug that hole; he's the best in the league," Whitley said of Tanaka. "I just hope to go out and pitch -- just pitch and see what happens."
Yankees: Tanaka will not attend Classic
On the disabled list with a small tear in his right ulnar collateral ligament, Tanaka has decided not to attend Tuesday's All-Star Game at Target Field.
Instead, the right-hander will rest and begin a rehab program that the Yankees hope can get him back on the mound in about six weeks.
"I think it's really unfortunate, because he had a great first half and he's not able to be a part of it," manager Joe Girardi said. "But for some reason, I think he's going to get a chance to be a part of another one."
Orioles: Gonzalez optioned; Clevenger up
The Orioles optioned starter Miguel Gonzalez to Triple-A Norfolk in order to keep him on a regular pitching schedule during the All-Star break.
Gonzalez will start on Thursday for Norfolk and will be able to attend his daughter's first birthday party, then he'll return to the O's rotation on July 22 at Anaheim.
Steve Clevenger was promoted to serve as a left-handed bat off the bench, and he flied out in a pinch-hit appearance in the eighth inning of Saturday's 3-0 loss to the Yankees.
• Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda is inching back toward game action. Pineda threw a 25-pitch bullpen session on Friday at the club's complex in Tampa, Fla., and reported no issues. His best-case scenario is a big league return in mid-August.
Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.