The Orioles and Yankees are helping the American League East stake its claim to the deepest division in baseball. The East is the only division with four 70-win teams and four teams within eight games of first place, and the Yankees trail third-place Baltimore by a half-game heading into Saturday.
Both the Yankees and Orioles are within five games of both Wild Card spots, and they both know they can make a dent by going on a hot streak. New York won Friday's series opener and will send Ivan Nova to the mound Saturday, and Baltimore will counter with veteran right-hander Scott Feldman.
The Orioles can count on some reinforcements in the form of veteran outfielder Michael Morse, who was acquired in a trade from Seattle on Friday. Morse is expected to see time at designated hitter for Baltimore, and first baseman Chris Davis thinks the addition can give the team a boost.
"I think it's going to be more about what's at stake," he said. "That's going to be ... the energy booster. Knowing that every game counts. Every inning counts, every freakin' out counts. However you want to break it down. It's definitely good to add a guy who you know can complement your lineup."
Davis has hammered a league-high 47 home runs, more than all but two players -- Brady Anderson (50 in 1996) and Hall of Famer Frank Robinson (49 in 1966) -- in Baltimore's proud history. With two more doubles, Davis will become just the 12th player ever to have 40 homers and doubles.
The Yankees got home runs from Alfonso Soriano and Ichiro Suzuki in the series opener.
Feldman, acquired by the Orioles from the Cubs earlier this season, has given the team a solid presence in the middle of the rotation. Feldman is 4-3 with a 4.56 ERA in nine starts for Baltimore.
Orioles: Morse looks to turn it around in Baltimore
Morse has had a rough season for the Mariners, batting .226 with a .283 on-base percentage and a .410 slugging percentage. He's been solid against lefties, though, batting .245 with five homers and 12 RBIs in 98 at-bats, and he'll add another power threat to the league's most powerful team.
Danny Valencia went deep Friday, increasing the O's homer total to 178 on the season. They're on pace to hit 217, which would rank as the second-best total in team history.
Yankees: Nova hopes to continue outstanding stretch
Nova has completed at least six innings in nine consecutive starts, and he's managed to hold the opponent to three earned runs or fewer eight times in that span. The right-hander has allowed just five home runs all season, and he's 4-2 with a career 4.95 ERA in 10 appearances against Baltimore.
• The Orioles sent Minor Leaguer Xavier Avery to Seattle to acquire Morse.
• Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra made a rare appearance at Yankee Stadium on Friday night. The Yankees gave away Yogi Berra bobblehead dolls.
• The Yankees will push Phil Hughes to Monday and start left-hander Andy Pettitte on Sunday in the finale against the Orioles.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.