A couple of mid-game notes

Some mid-game notes after the four-run first had Camden Yards rocking about as loudly as anyone here could remember.

Is the sink back on Jason Hammel's fastball? Did it ever go away?

No, but Hammel's ground-to-air out ratio did decrease during this season from 1.95 in April to 1.32 in May, 1.33 in June and 1.21 in July.

But Hammel got the first five Yankees out tonight on groundballs and then fanned Curtis Granderson to end the top of the second. He needed just 22 pitches over the first two innings. So much for rust or lack of sharpness after not pitching in a big league game for about seven weeks.

By now, everyone has noticed that Camden Yards is sold out with an electric and raucous crowd and atmosphere. Had there been a roof on this place, it would have been blown off after Matt Wieters hit that three-run homer in the bottom of the first to make it 4-0.

Wieters has not been hitting for a big average and was at just .238 beginning tonight. But he now has 70 RBIs and has knocked in 20 over his last 25 games.

Last year, Wieters had 22 homers and 68 RBIs. Now, he has 19 and 70.

Since July 18, when the Yankees had a 10-game lead on the Orioles, New York is 21-25 and the Orioles are 30-16.

The Orioles are 57-8 this year when their starter gives them a quality start. The starters have done that in nine of the last 12 games with a starting pitchers' ERA of 2.63 in that time.

The Orioles now have 26 games left beginning tonight. If they go 6-20 they will have a winning record with 82 victories. If they go 13-13, they will have 89 wins.

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