Orioles take early lead as Hart waits for next chance (O’s lead 5-1)

SAN FRANCISCO - Orioles center fielder Adam Jones is 2-for-2 in two innings tonight and the Orioles have taken another early lead, scoring twice off Giants starter Matt Cain.

They were able.

Jonathan Schoop and Matt Wieters doubled with one out. J.J. Hardy singled to put runners on the corners, Dylan Bundy struck out in his first major league at-bat and Jones poked an RBI single into right field.

The bats are still awake.

The Orioles put two runners on base with one out in the first inning, but Mark Trumbo bounced into a 5-4-3 double play. Jones led off with a single and Manny Machado reached on shortstop Brandon Crawford’s error.

Bundy retired the side in order on only nine pitches, as the Giants flied out for the cycle - center field, right field and left field.

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With the Blue Jays losing today, the Orioles can take over sole possession of first place in the American League East.

Left-hander Donnie Hart knew a few days ago that the Orioles wanted him back. He finally made it today, occupying a locker at AT&T Stadium and waiting for his next chance to pitch.

“It was kind of one of those deals where they said, ‘You’re going to go back up,’ and it felt good,” said Hart, who’s 3-1 with a 2.72 ERA in 40 games at Double-A Bowie.

“You always, whenever you get sent down, you’re trying to do everything possible to get back up there. I had maybe one or two outings where I really didn’t do what I wanted to do out there, but it felt really good to have that conversation with the manager (Gary Kendall) down there and be able to come up here.”

Hart was scored upon in his last three outings, allowing four runs and four hits in 3 1/3 innings.

“Honestly, there was one outing where I really didn’t have my stuff,” he said. “The other two outings when I gave up runs, it was kind of one of those deals when I came out because of pitch count, 20-something pitches, an inning-plus, and the runs ended up coming across. Other than that, I felt really good.

“It wasn’t something where I was all over the place throwing bad pitches. It was just one of those days.”

Hart made three scoreless appearances with the Orioles over 2 2/3 innings. The lessons learned should come in handy with his return to the majors today.

“Just to get ahead,” he said. “A lot of these guys up here, they don’t know me, I don’t know them, so they’re probably not going to go up there being real aggressive against me. So, I did a really good job of that, of getting ahead of guys and really getting into pitcher’s counts. That’s the biggest thing for me is to throw strike one and get ahead of those guys.

“I learned a lot. I think the biggest thing is that these hitters are going to hit mistakes, but if you make your pitches you’re going to get outs. Even when you do make your pitches, you might get hit, but (getting) strike one, that’s the biggest thing on my mind. I’ve got to get ahead of guys here and if I can do that I think I’ll give myself a chance to have some success up here.”

Hart, 25, is flattered that the Orioles wanted another left-hander in the bullpen, someone who could fit the specialist role, and they reached out to him. They had a few other choices.

“Yeah, it always feels good to know you’re wanted at this level,” he said. “It’s been a long road for me career-wise, but I try to keep my head out of it, focus on where I’m at in that time and in that game.

“I really didn’t see what was going on up here, so what was made for me to come up here, I don’t know.”

He’s likely to find out with so many left-handed hitters on the Giants’ roster.

Update: Trumbo hit a two-run homer in the third inning to increase the lead to 4-0. Statcast measured it at 441 feet, with an exit velocity of 113 mph.

Trumbo has two home runs and seven RBIs in the last two games.

Chris Davis followed with a single, his fifth hit in the last three games.

Update II: Denard Span’s RBI double in the bottom of the third reduced the lead to 4-1.

Bundy also gave up a single and issued a walk, so he was fortuate to only surrrender one run.

Update III: Davis led off the fifth with his 24th home run to give the Orioles a 5-1 lead.

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