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LAA@BAL: Norris holds Angels scoreless over seven

As they continue to win series, the American League East-leading Orioles haven't been paying much attention to the rearview mirror.

"Regardless of what the other teams do, you control something today in your game," manager Buck Showalter said. "If you start thinking how Toronto, Boston, New York and Tampa does every day, with 40-something games left -- you can't live in that world. And our guys don't. They don't scoreboard-watch, they scoreboard-glance. We've got to assume the other teams are going to win every game they play."

Baltimore will be paying attention to the Yankees on Monday, though, when they come to town for a three-game set at Camden Yards.

New York is in the middle of the pack in the AL East and in the hunt for a playoff spot, so manager Joe Girardi knows the upcoming series will be big for his club, which is 3-6 against the Orioles this season and 1-2 in Baltimore.

"They're important games because we're chasing them, and they have a lead in our division, and that's where we want to be -- on top of the division," Girardi said. "We have 10 more games with them, but the important thing is that we continue to take series. You need to do that if you want to play in October."

They didn't do that in their latest series, though, dropping two of three games to the Indians. The Orioles, meanwhile, did win their series against the Cardinals.

In Monday's series opener, Baltimore right-hander Bud Norris will take the mound against Yankees southpaw Chris Capuano.

Norris (9-7, 3.68 ERA) is coming off a win over the Blue Jays in his last outing, in which he went 5 1/3 innings and allowed two runs. He beat the Yankees in his only start against them this year on June 21, when he gave up one run over five innings of work.

In Capuano's last start, he took a no-decision against the Tigers but offered up his best performance in pinstripes, outdueling Justin Verlander for 6 2/3 innings. He allowed just one unearned run on five hits and a walk while striking out eight.

Capuano hasn't made a start against Baltimore this season, but pitched against them a few times in relief, allowing two runs in 3 2/3 total innings.

Yankees: Teixeira returns to lineup batting cleanup
Actions speak louder than words, and after a healthy round of normal batting practice, Mark Teixeira indicated to Girardi that his left pinky was well enough to play in Sunday's series finale with the Indians. Teixeira went 1-for-4 with a strikeout.

Girardi had penciled his slugger to hit fourth in the lineup but wanted to see how Teixeira reacted after batting practice. The switch-hitter took strokes from both sides of the plate, appearing to grip the bat tightly and even launched a few balls over the wall.

Teixeira sustained a laceration to his left pinky in Wednesday's 5-1 victory over the Tigers, requiring three stitches. He had swung at 50 percent as the cut healed but appeared to take full hacks before Sunday's game with his pinky wrapped with a bandage.

Orioles: Hardy late scratch Sunday with sprained left thumb
The Orioles announced that shortstop J.J. Hardy was scratched from Sunday's starting lineup with a sprained left thumb shortly before they took the field for the finale against the Cardinals.

Hardy, who entered the day batting .283 with six homers and 40 RBIs, was on the field for pregame batting practice and was initially listed as batting sixth. He was replaced by Ryan Flaherty.

It's unknown how Hardy sustained the injury and the severity of the sprain, but any significant time missed for the Gold Glover would be a major blow to the Orioles.

Worth noting
• By winning their series against St. Louis this weekend, the Orioles clinched their first season-series victory over the Cards. The clubs met two other times -- Baltimore lost two of three games in St. Louis in 2003 and was swept at home in 2011.

• Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda has two Minor League rehab starts under his belt and has indicated he would be ready to return to the Yankees' rotation as early as their upcoming series in Baltimore. Girardi had no updates on his status just yet.

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