Orioles solve Hellickson riddle (Hardy and Markakis updates)

Tampa Bay pitcher Jeremy Hellickson was 3-0 with a 1.25 ERA lifetime against the Orioles before tonight. They were batting .205 against him.

Hellickson allowed five earned runs in May. He was nothing short of dominant.

Then he showed up at Camden Yards for tonight’s game.

The Orioles scored five runs off him in the first two innings, on J.J. Hardy’s leadoff homer and Nick Markakis’ grand slam. He exited after 5 2/3 innings with the Orioles leading, 5-0.

Jake Arrieta was cruising until the sixth, when Sam Fuld broke up his no-hit bid with a leadoff double and Justin Ruggiano followed with an infield single. Reid Brignac popped up, and Johnny Damon bounced into a 1-4-6-3 double play that will get lots of air time on SportsCenter.

The ball deflected off Arrieta’s glove That’s the “1” part. Robert Andino ranged up the middle, made the backhanded stop and quickly flipped to Hardy, who fired to first to complete the double play. It was dazzling.

Andino made another outstanding play in the seventh inning, lunging to his left to smother Casey Kotchman’s grounder and throwing from his knees.

You can argue that Ryan Adams might have made those plays, too, but manager Buck Showalter is more certain that Andino will do it.

Arrieta made it through seven scoreless innings, allowing two hits, walking three and striking out four. He threw 98 pitches, 56 for strikes. Thirty-eight of those pitches came in the last two innings.

Arrieta tied his longest outing of the season. He also went seven innings on May 4 in Kansas City.

Tonight’s attendance: 17,900

Update: J.J. Hardy has reached base all five times tonight on a home run, two walks, a hit by pitch and a single. That’s what you want in a leadoff hitter.

Nick Markakis is making a mockery of his extra-base hit slump. He plated two runs with a double in the bottom of the eighth inning, giving him a career-high six RBIs.

Markakis had totaled six RBIs in his previous 27 games.

Orioles 7, Rays 0.

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