A 32-pitch first inning for Hammel (O’s win 7-5)

The Orioles are playing two games today, which could tax their bullpen.

Jason Hammel’s 32-pitch first inning won’t offer much relief.

Hammel allowed back-to-back singles to Mark Ellis and Matt Kemp, and Andre Ethier belted a three-run homer onto the flag court in right field to give the Los Angeles Dodgers a 3-0 lead.

Ethier jumped on Hammel’s first pitch, a 93 mph fastball, and almost deposited it onto Eutaw St.

Former Orioles catcher Ramon Hernandez walked with two outs before Skip Schumaker struck out on Hammel’s 32nd pitch.

The Orioles surrendered first-inning home runs in all three games of the Tampa Bay series. Opponents have hit five home runs in the opening frame in the last four games.

The Orioles put two runners on base with one out in the bottom of the first on a leadoff single by Nick Markakis and a walk to Adam Jones, but Matt Wieters grounded into a 5-4-3 double play.

There are lots of Dodgers fans sitting behind the visiting dugout at Camden Yards. I wasn’t expecting this much blue in the crowd and the loud applause.

Update: The Orioles just announced that Ethier’s ball did land on Eutaw St., the 67th to do so and the 39th by an opponent.

The Dodgers added another run in the second and upped Hammel’s pitch count to 51. Justin Sellers singled with one out, Carl Crawford doubled past a diving Nolan Reimold and Ellis followed with a sacrifice fly.

J.J. Hardy followed Chris Davis’ leadoff single in the bottom of the second with his third home run of the season.

Dodgers 4, Orioles 2.

Update II: Reimold hit his third home run in six games to reduce the Dodgers’ lead to 4-3 in the fourth inning.

Hammel threw only nine pitches in the third inning and nine more in the fourth, leaving his total at 69. That’s 51 pitches in the first two innings and 18 in the next two.

Update III: Hammel made it through the sixth inning and Pedro Strop will take over in the seventh with the Orioles leading, 5-4.

Hammel threw 33 pitches in the fifth inning to raise his total to 102, but he needed only 11 to complete the sixth. He blanked the Dodgers after the second inning.

Hammel’s line: 6 innings, 7 hits, 4 runs, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts.

Hammel has gone at least six innings in all four starts this season.

The Orioles gave him the lead in the bottom of the sixth on Wieters’ leadoff single, Davis’ double, Hardy’s sacrifice fly and Steve Pearce’s RBI single.

No sense charting the futility of the Orioles’ designated hitters any longer. They still have a lot of ground to make up, but they’re finally contributing.

Update IV: Pedro Strop allowed the tying run to score in the eighth after walking Mark Ellis with one out. Strop got ahead 0-2 and lost him.

Matt Kemp followed with a broken bat single to right, the ball squirting past first baseman Davis. The ball was hit slowly enough that Ellis reached third, and he scored on Strop’s wild pitch.

Strop served up two home runs in two-thirds of an inning against Tampa Bay in his last appearance. He was removed today after an intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez, and Brian Matusz stranded both runners.

Former Orioles catcher Ramon Hernandez flied to the left field warning track to end the inning.

Matusz has stranded all 21 runners he’s inherited since moving to the bullpen last year, including seven this season.

Darren O’Day is warming in the Orioles’ bullpen.

Update V: Reimold poked a two-run double to right field in the eighth off Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario to give the Orioles a 7-5 lead.

Davis doubled off the center field fence with one out, making him 3-for-4. Hardy walked and the runners moved up on Hernandez’s passed ball. Pinch-hitter Nate McLouth was walked intentionally, and Reimold broke the tie.

Reimold has homered, doubled and driven in three runs. He had three RBIs before today.

Update VI: Jim Johnson retired the Dodgers in order for his seventh save, and his first outside the American League East.

Orioles 7, Dodgers 5.

Bring on Game 2.

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