WASHINGTON - Jason Hammel gave up his first run tonight when the Nationals strung together three consecutive two-out singles in the bottom of the fifth, the last one by Steve Lombardozzi.
Orioles 6, Nationals 1.
Four of the last five Nationals have hits against Hammel, including Ryan Zimmerman, who led off the sixth with a double. Five of the last six have reached base after Adam LaRoche followed with a walk.
Hammel is trying to produce the rotation's fifth consecutive quality start, but he'll need to bear down.
Down on the farm, Triple-A Norfolk's Steve Johnson was removed after two innings tonight with a strained groin muscle.
Johnson allowed a hit and walked a batter before coming out of the Tides' game against the Pawtucket Red Sox. Willie Eyre replaced him.
Former Orioles farmhand Chorye Spoone is pitching in relief for Pawtucket.
Update: Hammel is charged with four runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings, with two walks and five strikeouts. He threw 94 pitches, 53 for strikes.
Six of the last eight batters reached against Hammel. Luis Ayala let both inherited runners score.
Orioles 6, Nationals 4.
The Orioles' string of quality starts ends at four.