Still no rain as tonight’s game gets under way (O’s up 3-1)

Wei-Yin Chen’s first pitch came at 7:09 p.m. It’s 63 degrees and overcast, but no rain.

Alex Gordon singled up the middle on the second pitch, but Alcides Escobar grounded into a double play.

Chen threw 10 pitches, seven for strikes, in the first inning.

Orioles starters have pitched 185 innings in 32 games before tonight, an average of 5.78 innings per start. Last season, they tossed 937 2/3 innings in 162 games, an average of 5.79 innings per start.

Are they really doing that much worse than last season? You be the judge.

The five members of the current Orioles rotation are a combined 12-18 with a 5.88 ERA in 43 career games against the Royals.

The Orioles have made just one error in the last 10 games and three in the last 17 games.

The Orioles (0-for-9) and Royals (1-for-10) are batting a combined .053 as pinch-hitters. The Orioles and Indians (0-for-3) are the only teams without a pinch hit.

Jason Hammel picked up his fifth win Sunday to start the year 5-1. He was 6-1 to start the 2012 season.

According to Elias, with a win in his next decision, Hammel will become the first Oriole to go 6-1 or better to start consecutive seasons since Mike Boddicker went 6-1 to start 1985 and 10-1 to start 1986.

Zach Britton began the 2011 and 2012 seasons with a 5-1 record.

Executive vice president Dan Duquette introduced himself to backup catcher Chris Snyder earlier today. Duquette traded for Snyder, but he wasn’t on the West Coast trip.

Duquette complimented Snyder on Saturday’s game.

Update: The Orioles scored three runs off Royals starter Ervin Santana in the first inning.

Santana, who threw 33 pitches, gave up consecutive singles to Manny Machado, Nick Markakis and Adam Jones, and a two-out, two-run double to Matt Wieters.

Machado has hit safely in 21 of his last 26 games, and 14 of his last 15.

Santana had a 13-inning scoreless streak before tonight’s game.

Update II: Escobar’s two-out RBI single in the third inning reduced the Orioles’ lead to 3-1.

J.J. Hardy made a sensational diving stop and throw to retire Salvador Perez and end the fourth. I guess his elbow isn’t bothering him that much.

Former Oriole Miguel Tejada also made a great diving stop and throw to retire Jones and end the bottom of the third.

Down on the farm, Triple-A Norfolk first baseman Travis Ishikawa has two more hits tonight to extend his streak to 10 games and raise his average to .278.

Jake Arrieta has allowed three runs (two earned) and four hits in four innings. Luis Jimenez hit a two-run homer off him.

Arrieta was hit on his right hand by an Andy LaRoche comebacker in the second inning, but stayed in the game.

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