Jason Hammel’s streak of consecutive scoreless innings ended at 19 tonight when the Angels’ Torii Hunter belted a home run in the top of the first inning.
Hammel struck out Mike Trout on a 94 mph fastball and Kendrys Morales on a 93 mph fastball, but Hunter jumped on a hanging curveball.
Trout got his revenge in the bottom of the first with an incredible leaping catch at the center field fence to rob J.J. Hardy of a home run. Hardy is in a 3-for-41 slump, but he lined out to shortstop last night and deserved much more than an F-8 in his first at-bat tonight.
Trout scaled the fence - you saw what I did there - on a play that will get lots of airtime on SportsCenter. Simply amazing.
Chris Davis followed with a single to snap his 0-for-29 streak, and he scored from first base on Adam Jones’ double into the left field corner. Third base coach DeMarlo Hale made the aggressive send and Davis slid home safely to tie the game.
Matt Wieters grounded out, making the Orioles 2-for-42 and 5-for-53 with runners in scoring position, depending how far back you want to go.
A few minor league notes:
Left-hander J.C. Romero is ready to rejoin Triple-A Norfolk’s roster after being placed on the temporary inactive list. Romero hasn’t allowed a run in 10 1/3 innings with the Tides. He’s permitted three hits, walked two and struck out 11.
Romero has an opt-out clause in his contract and the Orioles must make a decision on him by the All-Star break or talk the veteran into waiving it.
Tides second baseman Ryan Adams, who’s been on the disabled list since the middle of May with a fractured right thumb, is close to returning.
Norfolk outfielder Scott Beerer remains on the disabled list after undergoing surgery to remove a broken hamate bone from his right wrist on May 4. Beerer reinjured the wrist in an extended spring training game - a reminder to the Orioles that they must use caution with Nick Markakis, no matter how badly he wants to pick up a bat.
Markakis is expected to take some dry swings with a fungo bat on Friday.
Norfolk outfielder Xavier Avery was the talk of the International League for a while, and now I’m told the same is true of teammate LJ Hoes.
This is great news for the Orioles because both players are only 22 and competing at the highest level of the minors.
Hoes is batting .275/.330/.407 with five doubles, two triples, one homer and eight RBIs in 24 games.
When teams talk trade with the Orioles, they often bring up Avery, Hoes and Double-A Bowie shortstop Manny Machado, who homered again tonight.
Updated: Hammel turned in his shortest outing of the season, departing after 3 1/3 innings and six runs on the board. He hadn’t allowed more than four earned before tonight.
Matt Lindstrom replaced Hammel, and Wilson Betemit’s error - he failed to catch Wieters’ pickoff throw to third base - allowed the seventh run to come home.
Albert Pujols was walked intentionally and Morales followed with an RBI single.
Hammel was charged with a eight earned runs and eight hits, with three walks and two strikeouts. He threw 76 pitches, 46 for strikes.
The eight earned runs matches a career high for Hammel.
Another run was charged to Lindstrom on Alberto Callaspo’s second hit of the inning.
Angels 9, Orioles 1.
The Angels took the lead in the third after Hammel retired the first two batters. A single and two walks loaded the bases, and Morales delivered a two-run single.
The wheels came off completely in the fourth, which included two errors by the Orioles. Adam Jones also was charged with one.
Kevin Gregg will come into the game in the fifth.
Nick Johnson has left the game with an injured right wrist. Ryan Flaherty pinch-hit for him in the fourth.
Update II: The Angels scored two unearned runs off Kevin Gregg in the fifth after he loaded the bases with two outs and Brian Roberts committed the Orioles’ third error.
Angels 11, Orioles 1.
Robert Andino has replaced Jones in center field - the third time in his career that he’s played the position. The game’s a blowout and Jones could use a breather.
Hardy finally got a hit in the fifth inning, and it came on a blooper into shallow right field after Trout robbed him of a home run and shortstop Erick Aybar made a leaping catch to take away a potential single. Hardy is now 4-for-43.
Down on the farm, Brandon Waring has homered for the fourth consecutive game - two with Double-A Bowie and two with Norfolk.
Update III: Peter Bourjos added an RBI double off Darren O’Day in the seventh, and Morales followed with a run-scoring single to increase the Angels’ lead to 13-1. Dana Eveland is warming and will pitch the eighth, as manager Buck Showalter attempts to empty his bullpen.
The Angels are doing a lot of their damage with two outs.
The Yankees won today, so the Orioles will drop five games behind them in the American League East unless they stage one heck of a comeback.
Norfolk’s Chris Tillman allowed one run and five hits in 5 2/3 innings, with one walk and seven strikeouts. He threw 96 pitches, 65 for strikes.
Tillman has allowed one earned run or fewer in each of his last three starts, but he’s only covered six, 5 1/3 and 5 2/3 innings.