More about the third inning and Hammel (O’s win 8-2)

BOSTON - The Orioles erupted for seven runs in the top of the third inning today, their highest output in a single frame since they scored eight runs in the bottom of the fourth on May 25, 2011 against the Royals.

The Orioles also collected seven hits in the inning - including six with two outs - their highest total since tallying seven in the top of the second inning on July 10, 2011 at Boston.

Jason Hammel doesn’t need much support today.

Hammel has retired 15 of 16 batters since Adrian Gonzalez’s double in the first inning. He’s working on a two-hit shutout, with one walk and eight strikeouts.

Hammel is trying to give the Orioles their 10th quality start in the last 12 games. His ERA is down to 1.66, and he still hasn’t given up more than two earned runs in any start this season.

Hammel was 0-2 with a 6.14 ERA in nine career games against the Red Sox, including three starts. In those starts, he was 0-2 with a 7.43 ERA in 13 1/3 innings.

In his only start against the Red Sox, Hammel gave up five earned runs in four innings back on Sept. 26, 2006, when he pitched for the Rays.

Update: O’Day allowed an inherited runner to score in the seventh, leaving Hammel with two runs and a 2.09 ERA. Hammel gave up four hits, walked one and struck out eight in 6 2/3 innings. He threw 115 pitches, 72 for strikes.

O’Day leaves after a one-out double by Dustin Pedroia in the eighth. Troy Patton, who pitched two innings last night and warmed up a few times, will face David Ortiz and maybe Adrian Gonzalez.

Could we see Kevin Gregg in the ninth?

Fifteen of 16 Orioles were retired before Wilson Betemit walked in the eighth. Betemit has walked four times in two games after drawing two free passes heading into this series.

Update II: O’Day’s scoreless streak reaches 10 games and 12 innings. The bullpen’s streak reaches 20 innings. But it took a diving stop and throw by Robert Andino to retire Mike Aviles and strand two runners in the eighth.

Troy Patton replaced O’Day and retired David Ortiz on a liner to the mound. Adrian Gonzalez reached on an infield hit - J.J. Hardy made a diving stop, but Chris Davis couldn’t scoop the throw - and Matt Lindstrom entered the game.

I didn’t think we’d see Patton today after he warmed up a few times and threw two innings last night.

Kevin Gregg is warming in the ninth with the Orioles leading, 8-2.

Update III: Gregg retired the side in order on a ground ball and two pop ups.

Lindstrom hasn’t allowed a run in 11 innings this season. Gregg hasn’t been scored upon in his last three outings.

The bullpen’s scoreless streak reaches 21 innings.

The Orioles are nine games above .500 for the first time since July 15, 2005.

Gotta be having fun now, right?

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