Fresh off a complete-game, one-hit shutout, Jason Hammel held the Nationals to just an unearned run as the O's topped the Nationals 2-1 on Friday night in front of a full house at Camden Yards.
Hammel (8-2) went eight innings, tying a career-best set earlier this season with 10 strikeouts while walking none. He gave up just one unearned run on five hits, lowering his ERA to 2.61 in the process. Hammel hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 19 innings,,,
Mark Reynolds put the Birds on the board in the second with his sixth homer of the season, a solo shot to left. Reynolds also committed two errors, one leading to the Nats only run, and now has nine this year in 49 games. I'm hoping Reynolds' bat is finally heating up...we need more homers than errors from this guy.
Buck Showalter pulled Hammel after 96 pitches, electing to go with closer Jim Johnson in the ninth. The skipper said after the game that he was trying to keep Hammel under 100 pitches so he could make his next scheduled start on normal rest. Johnson allowed a walk but picked up his 21st save of the year.
With the Yankees falling to the Mets, the O's (40-30) are again just a game and a half out of first in the East, and send Wei-Yin Chen to the mound on Saturday night for a nationally televised game on FOX.