Hammel hitting the road again

MINNEAPOLIS - Jason Hammel goes for his sixth win tonight, as the Orioles begin a three-game series against the Twins at Target Field. Then it's back home.

Not worth unpacking the suitcase.

Only three other pitchers have six wins in 2013: Clay Buchholz, Matt Moore and Jordan Zimmermann. All five of Hammel's wins have come on the road.

According to STATS, Hammel is the fifth Orioles pitcher to win each of his first five road starts in a season since the franchise moved to Baltimore in 1954. The only Orioles pitchers to win each of their
first six road starts since 1954 are Hoyt Wilhelm (1959) and Jeff Ballard (1989).

Also according to STATS, if Hammel wins tonight, he will become the first pitcher since 1920 to record his sixth road win before May 17. Pedro Martinez (2000), Wilbur Wood (1973) and Jim Perry (1970) all recorded their sixth road win on May 17.

Hammel's next scheduled start will be at home.

Only two pitchers in the live-ball era have registered five road wins in a season at an earlier date than Hammel (May 5): Dave Stewart (Oakland) on May 3, 1988 and Kevin Correia (Pittsburgh) on May 4, 2011.

With a win in his next decision, Hammel would become the first Oriole to go 6-1 or better to start consecutive seasons since Mike Boddicker went 6-1 in 1985 and 10-1 in 1986 season. Hammel started the 2012 season with a 6-1 record.

Hammel is 2-1 with a 3.04 ERA and three quality starts in four career starts against the Twins. He's never pitched at Target Field.

But enough about Hammel.

Since the start of the 2012 season, Nick Markakis' .538 average (21-for-39) against the Twins is the highest by any major league hitter against an opponent in a minimum of 40 plate appearances, topping Ryan Theriot's .477 average against the Padres.

Per STATS: Manny Machado has hit safely in eight of his last nine road games, batting .410 (16-for-39) with three homers, seven RBIs and 10 runs scored.

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