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BAL@SEA: Norris fans Seager to escape a tight spot

The Orioles are one of the teams rumored to be interested in acquiring Red Sox ace Jon Lester, and Baltimore executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette did not shoot down the possibility.

"We'd be interested in adding pitchers that could help us at the top of our rotation," Duquette said on Wednesday afternoon. "Who wouldn't be?"

Lester's future will be more clear by the time the first pitch is thrown between the Orioles and Angels on Thursday night at Camden Yards, with the non-waiver Trade Deadline at 4 p.m. ET.

"We have a couple of active discussions," Duquette said. "We have some discussions that are no longer active from yesterday, so we've been able to see where we can make a trade and help our ballclub."

The Orioles acquired right-hander Bud Norris last year at the Deadline and he will take the mound on Thursday with the club seeking a three-game sweep. He earned a win against the Angels on July 21 by holding them to one run in 6 2/3 innings, while striking out eight.

The Angels have already addressed their most pressing need by adding three relievers in 22 days to turn their bullpen into a strength. They are not expected to make another deal before the Deadline.

Left-hander Tyler Skaggs will make the start for the Halos. He needed 104 pitches to complete 5 2/3 innings during his last start on Friday, but he allowed just one run in the team's 2-1 victory against the Tigers. It was the first time since May 20 that Skaggs surrendered fewer than two runs.

"In between some of the erraticness we saw from Tyler, I think he made some terrific pitches, kept us in the game against a tough lineup with a lot of tough right-handed hitters," manager Mike Scioscia said after the game.

Angels: Wilson nearing return to rotation
Left-hander C.J. Wilson is expected to return and start Saturday's game against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

Wilson completed his normal between-starts bullpen session on Wednesday, two days after an 81-pitch start for Double-A Arkansas. If he can rebound from a 10.26 ERA from June 24 to July 9, Wilson could be a huge upgrade to the Angels' rotation.

"I just want to step back in and be a winning piece," Wilson said on Tuesday. "If I had been pitching well, I'd have like 13 wins by now. I have to get back on that train."

Orioles: Ubaldo ready for next step
Ubaldo Jimenez said his right ankle feels good following his first rehab start on Tuesday with Class A short-season Aberdeen.

"I was able to throw all my breaking balls, mostly for strikes," said Jimenez, who was placed on the disabled list on July 13. "I was able to throw 74 pitches. I covered first base and third base. That was the main thing, just seeing how the ankle would respond."

Jimenez will throw a side session later in the week before pitching either Sunday or Monday for Triple-A Norfolk or possibly even the Orioles.

Worth noting
• Skaggs has not pitched seven innings in a game since July 2.

• Hunter Harvey, one of the Orioles' top pitching prospects, has been shut down for the season after an MRI done on Tuesday revealed he has a strained flexor mass.

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