This is not the way I envisioned the O's opening the second half- Jason Hammel exited the game in the fourth inning after injuring his knee and the O's were held to just six hits in a 7-2 loss to Detroit on Friday night at Camden Yards.
It was actually really tough to watch this game...I was extremely excited to see how this club would kick-off the second half. Hammel was on the mound, Nick Markakis was back in the lineup, the O's had just signed their top draft pick Kevin Gausman and the team, although struggling as of late, was well-rested and in sole possession of second place in the East.
Hammel (8-6) allowed two early runs on four singles in the first inning before settling down. Typically, Hammel is lights-out in the first inning...a graphic on MASN showed that he had only allowed two first-inning earned runs in his first 17 starts. But he equaled that total on Friday night, and left in the fourth inning after injuring his knee. Hammel has an MRI scheduled for Saturday afternoon...
Markakis, batting leadoff for the first time in his career, drove in the first run of the game with a ground-rule double in the third inning, but that was all the O's managed until Matt Wieters drove home Adam Jones with a double in the ninth.
With the loss, the Birds (45-41) maintained their hold on second in the division but now trail New York by eight games and lead Tampa Bay by just 1/2 game. Wei-Yin Chen takes the mound Saturday afternoon and looks to lead the O's back to the win column. I'll be there to cheer on the home team and pick up my Jim Palmer commemorative statue.