The Orioles are still searching for a starter to go seven innings or more (updated)

Will this be the night that the Orioles see one of their starting pitchers go seven innings or more? Will Jason Hammel become the first in 2013 to do that?

Hammel may be the most likely of the O’s starters to get that done. The longest outing by an O’s starter is 6 2/3 innings, with Hammel doing that on April 7 against Minnesota. Chris Tillman equaled that on Monday against Toronto.

The Orioles remain the only team in Major League Baseball yet to have a starter go seven or more.

Hammel is 2-1 with an ERA of 4.74, and has gone six innings or more in each of his four starts. Last year, Hammel made 20 starts and went seven innings or more four times, and six or more 12 times.

The Orioles are tied for fifth-worst in the AL in average innings per start in 2013:

4.7 innings - Houston
5.3 innings - Minnesota
5.4 innings - Cleveland
5.5 innings - Toronto
5.6 innings - Baltimore, Oakland and Los Angeles

In the only start of his career ever at Oakland, Hammel went 7 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and two earned runs for Colorado on June 26, 2009.

In his last start on Saturday against the Dodgers, Hammel went six innings, allowing seven hits and four runs with three walks and five strikeouts.

In that outing, Hammel was at 51 pitches after just two innings, and trailing 4-0, but he was able to get through six innings, which was important in Game 1 of a split doubleheader.

He threw 113 pitches in that game, the most by any O’s starter this season. The Orioles have gotten a quality start (3 ER or fewer over 6 innings or more) nine times in 21 games and seen their starter go six or more 11 times.

O’s pitchers, average innings per start:

6.2 - Jason Hammel
6.0 - Miguel Gonzalez & Wei-Yin Chen
5.7 - Josh Stinson
5.2 - Chris Tillman
4.8 - Jake Arrieta

Update: Well, Hammel has a shot to get seven innings tonight. He and the Orioles have a 5-2 lead in the sixth. Hammel is at 80 pitches and has allowed just two hits over the first five innings. He gave up two unearned runs during an ugly bottom of the second for the Orioles, which featured two errors and a misplay in center by Adam Jones that was scored a double.

The Orioles have since scored five unanswered runs, with Nick Markakis coming up with two RBIs and Chris Davis hitting a solo homer. That is Davis’ eighth homer.

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