Confusing start by Hunter (O’s win 12-6)

Tommy Hunter retired the first 12 batters he faced tonight, which almost went unnoticed while the Orioles picked apart former Oriole Erik Bedard.

Hunter was strong, striking out three of the first six Pirates, but he won’t turn in a quality start. Not after allowing five runs and seven hits over six innings.

Rod Barajas hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning and the Pirates scored twice in the sixth on Casey McGehee’s RBI grounder and Pedro Alvarez’s single. Seven of 12 batters reached against him once his bid for perfection had ended.

Hunter has allowed five earned runs in three of his last four starts, but he’s lined up for his first victory since April 24. He walked none and struck out five tonight. He threw 76 pitches, 55 for strikes, before Darren O’Day replaced him.

Maybe he got out of whack from sitting for so long while the Orioles batted. Pretty hard to stay in a rhythm. Or maybe the Pirates decided to close their eyes and hack away, figuring it couldn’t go any worse for them. Or maybe Hunter just tired.

Hunter will take the run support without complaint. The Orioles lead 11-5 going into the top of the seventh inning, and their seven doubles are the most since Aug. 4, 2011 at Kansas City.

Matt Wieters is 4-for-4 with five RBIs, tying his career high. Steve Pearce has a career-high five RBIs, including his first home run since May 25, 2011. Mark Reynolds has doubled twice and singled.

Updated: This is the second time in club history that the Orioles have two players with five or more RBIs in the same game. Cal Ripken had six and Will Clark had five on June 13, 1999 in Atlanta. I was there so I can vouch for it.

The Orioles’ eight doubles tonight are the most since they had nine on Aug. 14, 2009 against the Angels.

Tonight’s attendance: 29,995.

Update II: Reynolds just hit his fifth home run of the season, and he hit it a long way. He’s also got two doubles and a single, so yeah, it’s been a big night.

Dana Eveland allowed one run over the last two innings, and the Orioles completed the sweep with a 12-6 victory. They’re now 7-2 in interleague play heading to Atlanta.

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