Hammel throws five innings in minor league game

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles right-hander Jason Hammel allowed three runs and three hits over five innings today in a game against Tampa Bay’s high Single-A team on the Camden Yards field at the Ed Smith Stadium complex.

Hammel walked three batters and struck out six before heading to the clubhouse. He threw 76 pitches, 47 for strikes.

The assumption is that Hammel was making his final start before the Orioles announce him as their opening day starter. They begin the 2013 season against the Rays on April 2 at Tropicana Field.

Hammel issued a walk and gave up a single to the first two batters he faced today. One run scored on an error and another on a single. The inning was stopped after Hammel recorded his second out on his 23rd pitch, his first strikeout of the afternoon.

Hammel retired the side in order in the second inning on 11 pitches, striking out two batters.

One of the hits off Hammel was a leadoff triple in the fifth inning on a bouncer up the first base line.

It appeared that Hammel was throwing all of his pitches. One batter ducked out of the way of a curveball that dropped in for a strike.

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Spring training will end with Hammel making only three starts against Grapefruit League competition, with other outings coming against minor leaguers here or at Twin Lakes Park. He threw two scoreless innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates on March 1, allowed one run in 2 1/3 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays on March 7 and allowed four runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings in a March 17 split-squad game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Minor league catcher Caleb Joseph set the target for Hammel this afternoon.

Cuban defector Henry Urrutia struck out on three pitches and flied out in his first two at-bats.

The Orioles fielded mostly a Single-A team, with the exception of Niuman Romero, Buck Britton, Kyle Hudson and Michael Olhman, who also will be part of tonight’s roster when the Orioles host the New York Yankees at Ed Smith Stadium.

Wei-Yin Chen will make a start against another minor league team at noon Thursday on the Camden Yards field.

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