Jones drives in two to back Hammel as O’s take series opener

There was a festive mood at Camden Yards today with the news that the Orioles are close to signing Adam Jones to a contract extension. Then the game started, and the O’s kept the good feelings going.

Jason Hammel pitched out of a few jams, Jones knocked in two runs and the O’s scored five in the last of the fifth. Chris Davis added a two-run home run in the last of the seventh, and the O’s beat Kansas City 8-2 tonight in Game 1 of a three-game series.

The Orioles moved to 29-17 and won for the seventh time in 10 games and the 15th time in 22 games, improving to 21-10 over their last 31 games.

They are now 3-0 against Kansas City and 9-1 on the year against the AL Central.

With the win, the Orioles have recorded three consecutive winning months of 10 games or more for the first time since since September 2004 to May 2005.

The Orioles took a 1-0 lead on Jones’ bases-loaded sac fly in the bottom of the first. He got a big ovation and then hit a fly ball to medium-left to deliver the game’s first run.

Meanwhile, Hammel pitched out of jams in the fourth and fifth, stranding two runners each inning and coming up with four strikeouts in those frames.

Hammel improved to 6-1 with an ERA of 2.78, allowing just five hits over six innings with one walk and seven strikeouts. He threw 104 pitches and now has allowed two runs or less in seven of his nine starts.

The Orioles broke the game open with a five-run fifth that included J.J Hardy’s two-run double, a Nick Markakis RBI double and Jones’ run-scoring single.

The Royals got on the board in the top of the eighth with a two-run home run by Jeff Francoeur.

The O’s host Game 2 of this series on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. with Wei-Yin Chen (4-1, 3.35 ERA) facing Felipe Paulino (2-1, 1.42 ERA).

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