Simon simply sensational (O's win 8-1)

Just when I'm convinced that Alfredo Simon should be used as a power arm in the bullpen, he turns in a start like this one.

Simon has held the Twins to one run and three hits over seven innings, his only mistake resulting in Danny Valencia's homer in the third. He's walked one and struck out seven.

Simon is nearing the end. He's thrown 103 pitches 68 for strikes.

In his last three starts, Simon had allowed 16 runs (13 earned) and 29 hits over 15 2/3 innings, with five walks and four home runs. He kept lowering his arm slot, and it appeared that he was running out of steam.

Buck Showalter tells Jim Hunter how impressed he was with Alfredo Simon's outing in the O's win

It's not like Simon had a normal workout routine over the winter.

Back on Aug. 2, he limited the Royals to one run and four hits over seven innings, but he hadn't come close to that level of excellence until tonight.

It would be tough to remove him from the rotation after this performance. I guess we'll have to put my power-arm theory on ice.

Simon is making his first career start against the Twins, but he has two saves and has held them to one run over 11 2/3 innings - the first 4 2/3 in relief.

Update: Simon threw 114 pitches in a career-high eight innings while allowing one run and three hits, with one walk and a career-high eight strikeouts. He retired 17 of the last 18 batters he faced. Sensational.

Down on the farm, Triple-A Norfolk's Chris Tillman allowed four runs in six innings against Durham - all on solo home runs.

Rhyne Hughes hit his 12th homer for the Tides, and John Hester hit his seventh.

Double-A Bowie's Bobby Bundy allowed four runs (three earned) and four hits in four-plus innings, with five walks and three strikeouts. His ERA is 9.00.

Left fielder LJ Hoes is 2-for-3 with two RBIs, leaving his average at .307. Second baseman Greg Miclat is 2-for-3 with a double. He's batting .282.

Steven Bumbry hit his 10th home run for Single-A Frederick.

Ryan Berry, pitching for short-season Single-A Aberdeen, allowed one hit in four scoreless innings. He walked none and struck out five.

Update II: Willie Eyre tossed a scoreless ninth to complete an 8-1 victory.

The Orioles have two chances to win their first series since June 24-26 and their first road series since May.

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