Simon doesn't complete five, Orioles not competing against Lackey

In typical Orioles fashion, the starting pitcher didn't complete five innings tonight and the opponent did all of its damage with two outs.

The Orioles should receive a check in the mail whenever it happens to another team.

Alfredo Simon took a shutout into the fifth inning, but the Red Sox scored three runs with two outs on doubles by Kevin Youkilis and Josh Reddick.

Simon matched his season high in innings by going 4 2/3. He allowed seven hits, walked three batters - two intentionally - and struck out one. He threw 87 pitches, 46 for strikes.

He didn't drill David Ortiz or any other Boston players. John Lackey hit Nick Markakis in the sixth, but nobody left the dugouts or bullpens. He just drilled Derrek Lee on the left thigh with two outs in the seventh and got a warning.

Speaking of Lackey, his 7.47 ERA is down to 6.89 because he's blanked the Orioles on three hits, with six strikeouts, over six innings.

The Orioles are curing what ailed him. Terrific.

Like that never happens.

It should be interesting to see what manager Buck Showalter does with the rotation after the break, and after Mitch Atkins takes the mound tomorrow afternoon. Brian Matusz and Zach Britton are in the minors. Chris Jakubaukas is in the bullpen with Brad Bergesen.

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