Game update and more from Showalter (update)

Jason Hammel threw 10 of his 13 pitches for strikes in the first inning today, allowing a single and striking out two. He retired the side in order in the second, picking up another strikeout.

Hammel has thrown 27 pitches, 20 for strikes.

J.J. Hardy hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the second to give the Orioles a 2-0 lead. Hardy’s ball traveled an estimated 374 feet.

The Orioles have hit seven homers this season. None of them are solo shots.

Nick Markakis added an RBI single with two outs. He’s batting .360. Today’s single produced his first RBI.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter will explain later today how he’s set up his rotation, which doesn’t include Miguel Gonzalez in the Boston series.

Gonzalez is being pushed back and most likely will start at Yankee Stadium later in the week. He won both starts in the Bronx last year as a rookie, allowing four runs, walking one and striking out 17 in 13 2/3 innings.

Showalter may be lining up Gonzalez to face the Yankees. Also, Gonzalez continues to wear a bandage on his shin after being hit by a comebacker at Tropicana Field. He says that he’s fine physically.

Earlier today, infielder Wilson Betemit visited the clubhouse on his way to be examined by a team physician. He’s heading back down to Sarasota on Wednesday, three days after Brian Roberts.

“He and Robby, you don’t want to see anybody get hurt, but the news we got back was as good as you could expect. The potential was there for something longer,” Showalter said.

“Robby and I were talking in the dugout. He’s already got his date targeted for when he’s going to join us. It’s a little bit ahead of normal schedule, but I like having him think this way as long as it’s smart.

“You know all the injuries we had last year. The job those guys do in Sarasota, the rehab in that facility that Mr. Angelos has allowed us to have there... There’s things we can’t get done. Obviously, trying to treat somebody at Fenway Park in the visiting locker room compared to Sarasota is like night and day. And plus, Richie (Bancells) is locked into the 25 we’ve got here and a couple coaches with bad backs.”

Jair Jurrjens, making his first start at Triple-A Norfolk last night, held Durham to one hit over six scoreless innings. Showalter checked the report that he receives each day on the various affiliates and mentioned that “the narrative wasn’t as good as the line. It wasn’t quite as effusive as I thought it was going to be.”

The report on Kevin Gausman, who gave up six runs (four earned) and eight hits in four innings for Double-A Bowie, included how he was in the strike zone too much. Gausman struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter.

Left-hander Zach Britton lasted only two innings today in Game 1 of Norfolk’s doubleheader against Durham. He allowed one run and two hits, walked four, struck out one and threw three wild pitches. He threw 54 pitches, 20 for strikes.

Britton developed a blister on his pitching hand while throwing at Twin Lakes Park last Sunday. Maybe it’s still bothering him.

Update: The Twins received two gift runs in the top of the third inning when Justin Morneau’s fly ball with the bases loaded and two outs dropped between Adam Jones and Nolan Reimold for a double.

Maybe it was the sun. Maybe it was a miscommunication. Whatever the reason, Hammel was burned by his two walks and hit batter, and a mix-up in the outfield.

Jones was credited with a double in the bottom of the third when Twins center fielder Aaron Hicks slipped and fell as he slowed in right-center and prepared to make the catch. Catcher Joe Mauer dropped a foul pop up later in the inning.

Strange day, indeed. Most peculiar.

Hammel has allowed two runs and two hits in five innings, with three walks, three strikeouts and a hit batter. He’s thrown 67 pitches, 37 for strikes.

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