Zach Britton is 2-for-2 today after reaching on an infield hit in the fifth inning, but he stumbled after crossing first base and looked like he injured his leg. Fortunately for the Orioles, he was laughing after returning to the bag and stayed in the game.
He's the only one laughing.
Britton scored on Nick Markakis' third hit, a double. Markakis' average is up to .292.
Blake Davis has made two outstanding plays at second base.
Adam Jones is 0-for-3 and has left six runners on base. He fouled out with runners on second and third and no outs in the fifth.
Jones still has a shot at being part of the American League All-Star team, but fans will have to vote for him on MLB.com over Alex Gordon, Paul Konerko, Victor Martinez and Ben Zobrist.
I'll be honest, I don't like Jones' chances here.
Konerko is batting .317 with 21 homers and 62 RBIs. It would be tough to deny him.
Martinez is batting .335 in 69 games. Gordon is batting .301 with 24 doubles, 10 homers and 46 RBIs. Zobrist is tied for the major league lead with 27 doubles.
Jones is hitting .285, including today's 0-for-3, with 13 homers and 46 RBIs.
â€ªI mentioned Triple-A Norfolk pitcher Mitch Atkins in an earlier entry, so I should include his stats. He's 2-3 with a 3.11 ERA in eight starts, with 37 hits allowed in 46 1/3 innings.
Atkins has allowed two earned runs or fewer in his last four starts and six of seven.
Atkins, a strong candidate to start Tuesday night, is only 25 years old. I just figured he was a 30-something journeyman toiling in Triple-A. Sorry about that, Mitch.
I introduced myself to Atkins on the first day of spring training. He looked a little lost, since he was used to being in Arizona with the Cubs. He never threw a pitch for the Orioles because of an oblique injury.
I wrote after the Orioles recalled left-hander Pedro Viola that it was considered a short-term move, which suggested that another roster move was coming. And there's room on the 40-man roster for Atkins, since Viola was already on it. We'll find out Tuesday.
Update: Zach Britton can't record an out in the sixth and takes a seat on the bench with one run in and two runners on base.
Britton threw 92 pitches, 49 for strikes. He didn't look the same after beating out that infield hit. Maybe it's just coincidence. Maybe not.
Oriole starters have completed seven innings only once in the last 19 games. I'd settle for a full six. They have two quality starts in the last 16 games.
Update II: Jim Johnson let two inherited runners score and one of his own. Pinch-hitter Eric Hinske's two-out, two-run single gave the Braves a 4-3 lead.
Johnson got a ground ball. Just not in a good spot.
Britton is charged with three runs. And the Orioles might regret wasting so many prime scoring opportunities.
Same as it ever was.