Hammel's struggles continue in big way (O's lose 12-10)

Jason Hammel retired the side in order in the fourth, the only time tonight that he posted a clean inning.

By the fifth, his start had completely unraveled.

Hammel is charged with seven runs and 10 hits, both season highs, in 4 2/3 innings, with two walks, four strikeouts and a home run. He threw 99 pitches, 58 for strikes.

Reliever Alex Burnett inherited a runner and promptly issued a walk and gave up a ground-rule double to No. 9 hitter Yunel Escobar that completed Hammel's line.

Burnett wasn't the answer. He allowed two runs of his own on Desmond Jennings' two-run single, and he walked Matt Joyce before striking out Ben Zobrist to end the frame.

The ugly inning included an Adam Jones throwing error and Matt Wieters passed ball. Jones also froze momentarily on Escobar's double, though the ball was absolutely crushed.

So what's going on with Hammel? He's allowed 13 runs and 18 hits in his last two starts covering 8 2/3 innings, and his ERA is up to 5.72.

Burnett threw 26 pitches while recording one out in the fifth. Does he get optioned back to Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday? The Orioles could use the extra bullpen arm, but he's not going to be available.

Perhaps they make two roster moves. They need to create one opening on the 25-man roster for starter Jair Jurrjens.

Yamaico Navarro tripled to lead off the bottom of the fifth, and he scored with one out on Manny Machado's ground ball.

Tampa Bay 9, Orioles 4

Navarro could get an extended look at second base. He's really pushing for it tonight.

Down on the farm, Steve Johnson was charged with five runs (four earned) and four hits in 3 1/3 innings at Triple-A Norfolk, with four walks and five strikeouts. He threw 85 pitches, 49 for strikes.

Mike Belfiore let two inherited runners score.

Double-A Bowie's Kevin Gausman is dealing. He's allowed one run and four hits in six innings, with one walk and 10 strikeouts. He's thrown 90 pitches, 60 for strikes.

The Orioles intend to keep him at Bowie. No plans to bring him up. But how much longer can they tolerate these abbreviated starts from their rotation?

Update: Gausman was removed after the sixth, so the above line is final.

He's pretty good.

Burnett is charged with three runs and three hits in one-third of an inning, with two walks and one strikeout. Troy Patton gave up two runs of his own in the sixth, as Tampa Bay extended its lead to 12-4.

The 12 runs allowed are a season high for the Orioles. They've allowed 17 hits in each of their last two games.

Tonight's attendance: 38,061

Update II: Now it's interesting.

The Orioles scored six runs in the bottom of the eighth, the last three on Chris Dickerson's first home run - a laser onto the flag court in right off reliever Kyle Farnsworth.

Tampa Bay 12, Orioles 10

That's Dickerson's first home run since Sept. 26, 2012 with the Yankees.

Machado had an RBI groundout after Nate McLouth's leadoff triple. The Orioles have two triples in the same game for the first time since July 7, 2010 vs. the Twins.

Nick Markakis singled, Chris Davis doubled with two outs and Wieters lined a two-run single into center field.

Farnsworth replaced starter Jeremy Hellickson and gave up a single to J.J. Hardy, which brought Dickerson to the plate. And Dickerson brought the crowd to its feet.

Farnsworth came out of the game after Navarro's infield single - his second hit of the night.

Did anyone think the Orioles would bring the tying run to the plate tonight?

McLouth flied out against Joel Peralta, and the Orioles were finally done in the eighth.

A field goal wins it.

Update III: Peralta stayed in the game while struggling Rays closer Fernando Rodney warmed in the bullpen, and he retired the Orioles in order. Tampa Bay held on for a 12-10 win.

Jones flied to center field to end the game.

The Orioles have lost three in a row, and they're giving Jair Jurrjens an audition Saturday afternoon.

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