Jason Hammel was in the midst of another quality start after allowing just two runs over his first six innings, but thanks to a three run seventh, the Chicago White Sox take game one of the three game set 5-2.
Hammel (7-5) looked very good in his first six innings as his fastball command was superb and his curve ball seemed to return to 2012 form, but he seemed to run out of gas in the seventh. He entered the inning trailing 2-1, but Baltimore was very much in the game and needed Hammel to keep the score at 2-1. Then after getting the leadoff hitter, Hammel hit a batter, allowed a single and a fielder's choice that brought home a run to increase the deficit to 3-1. Now with two outs, one runner on and Adam Dunn at the plate, and with Hammel almost obviously tired, it was a bit of a surprise that Manager Buck Showalter did not have a left hander up in the bullpen because Dunn has an average below .150 against left handed pitchers this season. Dunn proceeded to absolutely crush a two run home run to right field to give the White Sox a 5-1 lead.
Jason did complete the seventh inning, and although he gave up three runs in the frame, Baltimore can be encouraged by his outing last night as he looked like the guy we expected him to be for the first six innings. His final line for the night was seven innings pitched, while allowing five runs on nine hits, one walk and seven strikeouts.
Kevin Gausman came in to pitch a scoreless eighth inning, and his outing could be one of two concepts. Showalter could have been giving Gausman an audition in short relief or he could have simply used Gausman one last time before optioning him in order to make room for Scott Feldman today, who the Orioles acquired via trade yesterday from the Chicago Cubs.
It would appear that either Gausman or Danny Valencia would be the player optioned to make room for Feldman, and we should find out later today.
Offensively it was a bit of a struggle against White Sox starting pitcher John Danks (2-5). Danks tossed seven plus innings while allowing two runs and just six hits to the powerful Orioles lineup. Brian Roberts got the scoring started for the Birds last night with a solo homer in the third, which was his first home run in over two years. Adam Jones drove in the only other run the Orioles would score in the seventh with an RBI single.
The Birds return to action tonight as they look to even the series by sending the newly acquired Feldman to the mound for his Orioles debut against White Sox starting pitcher Hector Santiago (3-5). Orioles fans will be anxiously watching as they see their newest addition to the starting rotation take the mound.
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