NEW YORK - Orioles manager Buck Showalter appeared to be bothered more by the number of walks and hit batters from his pitchers last night than Adam Jones' dropped fly ball and the triple play that contributed to an 8-5 loss to the New York Yankees.
Jason Hammel has been a comfort to Showalter this afternoon.
Hammel issued only one walk in six innings, and he left the game with the Orioles ahead, 5-3. Brian Matusz has replaced him in the seventh with the top of the Yankees' order due up.
Hammel allowed three runs (two earned) and eight hits, walked one and struck out four. He threw 95 pitches, 65 for strikes.
The Orioles walked six batters last night and hit two others. Showalter talked about areas that the club needed to improve on, and his message was clear.
Hammel surrendered two home runs today, including Vernon Wells' solo shot in the sixth that reduced the Orioles' lead to 5-3.
Ichiro Suzuki walked and Francisco Cervelli singled, but Hammel struck out Lyle Overbay on his 91st pitch and retired Jayson Nix on a pop-up into foul territory.
Now it's up to the bullpen, as the Orioles try to climb above .500 again.
Instant update: Brett Gardner reached on a bunt single, but Matusz retired the next three batters - two on fly balls to Adam Jones.
Jones spit sunflower seed shells as he made a two-handed catch of Kevin Youkilis' long drive to center field. Now he's just messing with us.
Update II: Darren O'Day stranded two runners in the eighth inning by striking out Brennan Boesch, and Jim Johnson recorded his fifth save in a 5-3 victory.
Johnson tore through the top of the Yankees' order, retiring Gardner on a slow roller to the right of the mound, Robinson Cano on a bouncer to second and Youkilis on a grounder to third.
The Orioles hit three home runs and climbed back above .500 at 6-5. Wei-Yin Chen and Hiroki Kuroda square off tomorrow