Strategy time

We were debating in the press box whether David Hernandez should come out for the sixth inning. I agreed with the decision. Let him start the inning and make sure a reliever is ready.

Dustin Pedroia immediately tried to destroy my argument with an opposite-field home run that reduced the Orioles’ lead to 3-2. Victor Martinez walked, and the ice beneath Hernandez’s feet had practically turned to water.

Left-hander Will Ohman was warming, so let Hernandez face right-handed hitting Kevin Youkilis. Push the kid a little farther.

Youkilis flied to center, and it was time to bring in Ohman to face J.D. Drew and David Ortiz.

Drew struck out and Ortiz bounced to the mound, and the Orioles held their lead going into the bottom of the sixth.

Hernandez is charged with two runs and three hits in 5 1/3 innings. He walked five, which is disturbing, and struck out three. He also allowed his first two home runs of the season.

Hernandez threw 96 pitches, 56 for strikes.

Double-A Bowie’s Steve Johnson has held Richmond to two runs and five hits over six innings.

Kam Mickolio threw a scoreless sixth inning for Triple-A Norfolk, striking out one. He threw seven of his 11 pitches for strikes.

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