Simon makes 2011 debut (Jones hits walk-off)

Alfredo Simon pitched the ninth inning tonight, the third reliever used by manager Buck Showalter. And he was the most interesting of the group.

Simon retired the side in order, getting two fly balls and a strikeout. He hadn’t pitched in a major league game since Sept. 26, 2010, when he was ejected after hitting Toronto’s Jose Bautista.

You know the rest of Simon’s story, though separating fact from fiction is exhausting and can produce a migraine.

Simon wants to focus on baseball, so that’s what we’ll do here.

His fastball topped out at 95 mph. He also threw his splitter, curveball and slider.

The strikeout came on a nasty curve that froze Jeff Francoeur.

The Orioles continue to trail the Royals, 3-2.

Instant update: Doubles by J.J. Hardy and pinch-hitter Felix Pie with one out in the bottom of the ninth produced the tying run off Royals closer Joakim Soria.

Update II: Adam Jones hit a walk-off two-run homer with two outs in the ninth. That’s the Orioles’ first walk-off homer since Brian Roberts on Aug. 9, 2010 against the White Sox.

Jones launched an 0-2 pitch over the center field fence. He was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts lifetime against Soria before tonight.

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