David Hernandez is throwing well so far tonight, but he went to a full count on all four hitters he faced in the fourth, pitching carefully to the middle of the Red Sox lineup. He threw 25 pitches in the inning and is at 66 for the game.
Even though he walked two in the frame, he got a Kevin Youkilis double-play grounder to help him out.
He started well, throwing just 10 pitches in a 1-2-3 first and had just 41 pitches through three. He gave up a solo homer to J.D. Drew in the second that traveled 382 feet to left center. It was the first homer he allowed this year and came after 23 2/3 innings.
The O's have lost the last 13 games started by Hernandez and he is 0-9 during that skid.
The O's lead 2-1 after 3 1/2 and Nick Markakis is 2 for 2 and now is 13 for 32 (.406) over his last eight games.
The ballpark is quite full tonight and it was a late-arriving Friday night crowd.
Update, in the fifth: Hernandez was in a big jam and got out of it. Boston had runners on first and second with one out and Marco Scutaro up. After falling behind 3-0, the count ran full. Scutaro swung and chased a high pitch, striking out and Wieters threw out Adrian Beltre trying for third. Miguel Tejada caught the ball on the move and had to reach back to tag out Beltre. A big double play for the O's.
Now he's out: Hernandez left the game in the top of the sixth. Dustin Pedroia hit a homer to lead the inning and after a walk and flyout, Will Ohman came on. He got the next two outs. Hernandez leaves with a 3-2 lead after 96 pitches and could get the win. He battled the Sox well tonight, had some close calls that did not go his way, but left with a lead.
Hernandez's line: 5 1/3IP, 3H, 2R-ER, 5B, 3K, 2 HR.......96 pitches, 56 strikes.