Orioles’ Jason Hammel flirts with no-hitter in 5-0 win over Braves

June 16, 2012

Baltimore Orioles right-hander Jason Hammel took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Braves on Saturday night at Turner Field.

Jason Heyward’s two-out single to left in the seventh inning broke up the no-hit bid, but Hammel still gave the Orioles the best pitching performance of his career — a one-hitter and his first complete-game shutout — in a 5-0 victory against the Braves.

With the win, the Orioles (38-27) kept pace with the Yankees, staying 11 / 2 games back of division-leading New York.

Hammel retired 17 straight at one point and allowed just one baserunner — a walk to Dan Uggla to open the second inning — until issuing another walk to Uggla with two outs in the seventh. Then Heyward came to the plate and lined a 3-1 pitch for a single.

“A lot of guys lose their mental frame of mind [after giving up a hit] but he didn’t,” Orioles Manager Buck Showalter said. “Everybody knew what was going on. Guys were starting to scatter in the dugout. I noticed everybody was standing in the same place after the sixth inning, including me.”

The 29-year-old right-hander, acquired in February in the trade that sent Jeremy Guthrie to Colorado, has had an up-and-down season. He opened the season 6-1, but hasn’t won a game in three outings since. He’s coming off a start in which he issued a career-high five walks and allowed 10 baserunners through the game’s first two innings.

And Hammel had struggled against the Braves, going 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA in five previous starts against Atlanta — he was 0-2 with a 11.74 ERA in two starts at Turner Field.

— Baltimore Sun

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