Orioles give Jurrjens early lead (O’s lead 6-4)

If the Orioles aren’t careful, Jair Jurrjens may expect this kind of offensive support in every start.

The Orioles scored four runs off Rays starter Roberto Hernandez in the bottom of the first inning to give Jurrjens an early cushion in his debut with the club.

Nick Markakis had an RBI double that scored Nate McLouth, who led off with a single, and Adam Jones and Chris Davis hit back-to-back home runs. Jones launched an 0-2 changeup into the left field seats. Davis crushed a 92 mph sinker, the ball landing in the Orioles’ bullpen.

Jones is 6-for-11 lifetime against Hernandez. Davis has 12 home runs and 40 RBIs this season - against a bunch of guys, not just Hernandez.

The Orioles also went back-to-back on April 27 in Oakland, with Markakis and Jones doing the honors.

J.J. Hardy reached on an infield single with two outs to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. Chris Dickerson singled, making him 8-for-18 in his last six starts, including a home run and six RBIs. Yamaico Navarro reached on an infield hit to load the bases before McLouth struck out on Hernandez’s 36th pitch.

According to Elias, the last time that the Orioles had seven or more hits in the first inning was Sept. 24, 2003 at Boston, when they collected eight in a 7-3 win.

Jurrjens breezed through the first inning on 10 pitches, including eight for strikes. He retired leadoff hitter Desmond Jennings on one pitch, an 89 mph fastball that resulted in a pop up to shortstop Hardy. He struck out Ben Zobrist on an 82 mph changeup to end the inning.

Jurrjens struck out the side in the second inning, getting Evan Longoria on a 90 mph fastball, James Loney on an 82 mph changeup and Luke Scott on a 90 mph fastball.

That’s 21 pitches, 17 strikes in two innings.

Jurrjens hadn’t pitched in a major league game since logging one inning against the Miami Marlins on July 31, 2012. His last win came on July 8 at Philadelphia.

His last complete game and shutout? July 1, 2011 vs. the Orioles, who managed only one hit.

Manny Machado has grounded out twice to short. Didn’t both of his RBIs last night come in that fashion?

Update: That was a rough third inning for Jurrjens, who surrendered three runs on four extra-base hits and increased his pitch count to 47 (34 strikes).

Jurrjens retired the first seven batters before Jose Molina’s ground rule double, which held up after umpires reviewed it. Yunel Escobar followed with an RBI double - the No. 9 hitter again hurting the Orioles - and Matt Joyce homered onto the flag court with two outs.

Zobrist doubled, but he was stranded when Longoria flied to the fence in center.

Hernandez has been removed from the game after hitting Davis to open the bottom of the third. Pretty short leash from Rays manager Joe Maddon.

Hernandez faced 14 batters, and nine of them reached.

After another review, perhaps that leash was the proper length.

Update II: Davis scored with one out on Hardy’s double to left-center field off reliever Cesar Ramos.

Orioles 5, Tampa Bay 3

Hardy is batting .383 with 10 RBIs during his 13-game hitting streak. His average is up to .245.

Update III: Jurrjens is done after five innings, as Tommy Hunter warms in the bullpen.

Jurrjens allowed four runs and six hits - all for extra bases - with one walk, five strikeouts, one home run and a wild pitch. He threw 75 pitches, 51 for strikes.

Jurrjens retired Longoria on a slow bouncer to Machado with two runners in scoring position and two outs in the fifth. He pumped his fist as if he were delivering a knockout punch.

An Orioles starter will go five innings or fewer for the sixth time in the last seven games.

Markakis has his first three-hit game since collecting four hits on April 6.

McLouth has two stolen bases today and is 13-for-14 this season.

Rays catcher Jose Molina hit his second double and exited the game with left hamstring tightness. I just assumed it was exhaustion.

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