Jason Hammel scratched Thursday with sore right knee

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From MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli comes word that the Orioles have scratched Jason Hammel from his scheduled Thursday start against the Rangers with what is being termed “right knee soreness.”

An MRI taken Wednesday on Hammel’s knee revealed only inflammation and fluid buildup — with no structural damage. So the Orioles are confident that he’ll be able to avoid the 15-day disabled list.

A replacement for Thursday hasn’t been named.

Hammel, 29, has posted a fantastic 2.09 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 38/11 K/BB ratio through 38 2/3 innings this year. Baltimore enters Wednesday night’s action with a 19-11 record, which is tied for first in the AL East.

Brandon Phillips hit his 200th career home run

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Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.

Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. lays out to make a great catch in deep right-center field

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Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, Jr. robbed Giants first baseman Brandon Belt of at least a double in the top of the first inning of Monday’s game at Wrigley Field. Almora completely left his feet to catch the ball before landing just shy of the warning track.

The Giants took the early lead two batters prior to Belt’s at-bat as Joe Panik hit a solo home run to center field.