Going into yesterday’s game Jason Hammel was hoping that he could post his first win since May 27th going into the all-star break next week. Unfortunately he’ll go into the break still searching for that victory, as Toronto defeated Hammel and the Baltimore Orioles 7-3 yesterday before a sellout crowd at the yard. Hammel’s line: 6 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 1 K. In fairness to Hammel, he will go into the break with a winning record (7-6), and following yesterday’s game he took full accountability for the loss. That’s something that’s somewhat rare in pitchers and perhaps in athletes in general. Hammel’s effort cannot be questioned, but it might be fair to say that he’s allowing counts to get away from him and issuing a few too many walks. Juan Encarnacion‘s two-run homer in the first inning put the Birds in an early 2-0 hole, however that lead was cut in half with Chris Davis‘ 36th homer of the season (a solo shot) in the last of the second.
Adam Jones also turned in his second homer in as many games when he took the first pitch of the last of the fourth over the wall to knot the game up at one. The Orioles were able to take the lead following Brian Roberts‘ RBI-double later in the inning, scoring Davis (who had been hit by a pitch). However J.P. Arencibia provided Toronto with a two-out RBI-single in the sixth and suddenly the O’s trailed 4-3. Toronto would put up three runs in the top of the seventh as well to run Hammel out of the game, and the score to 7-3.
This obviously has little to do with the overall game story, however it’s interesting to note that yesterday’s game was a sellout (46,100 plus in attendance). In the past, a weekend series against a team like Toronto might have drawn 25K for a Saturday game, however the fact is that people want to see this team play now. On Friday night they drew 42K plus, so anyone who thinks attendance isn’t going in the right direction is simply…wrong. That means that people are starting to take notice of what’s going on in Birdland, which is great news for the Orioles. Granted the O’s dropped this particular game in front of a sellout crowd, however we know that you aren’t going to win them all.
The series will conclude this afternoon at 1:30 PM against Toronto, as the Birds go for the series victory. Scott Feldman will once against attempt to win his first game at Camden Yards as an Oriole, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Josh Johnson. Following today’s game the four Oriole all-stars will obviously head up to New York for the week’s festivities (with Chris Davis obviously participating in the HR hitting contest), and the rest of the team will disperse to their respective homes for a few days. Orioles fans have to hope that the players (and coaches) get some R & R this week, as we’re just beginning to enter into the grind of the dog days of the season. I presume that once the break is over, we’ll start talking about any potential trades in which the Orioles might be involved as well.