O’s Win A Sunday Day Game 6-2

David Hernandez picked up his 3rd win.

David Hernandez has cemented his spot in the starting rotation for the rest of the season. In his last 4 starts he has a 2.45 ERA against the Angels, Mariners, Yankees, and Red Sox – all on the road. That includes his start yesterday when he pitched 7 innings, only giving up 1 run on 5 hits. He didn’t walk anybody and struck out 2 batters. The strikeouts still aren’t there yet, but hes proved that he can pitch against very good lineups. Jim Johnson gave up a run in an inning of work, but George Sherrill pitched a perfect 9th to clinch the victory and give the scouts another good look.

The offense took advantage of a noticeably older John Smoltz who just doesn’t have it like he used to. The O’s made him throw alot of pitches working the count. We took an early 1-0 lead in the 1st on a Nick Markakis sacrifice fly. In the 3rd Markakis doubled in another run, followed by a Nolan Reimold double to score him, then a Ty Wiggington single to make it 4-0. In the 4th, Brian Roberts singled and scored on a Felix Pie (yes, Pie actually played in a game. And did quite well actually with a single, double, and a walk.) double. It was 6-0 in the 5th after Markakis hit his 12th homerun (4th in the 2nd half – 9 games). Melvin Mora hit his 12th double and Roberts was on base 4 times (2 singles, 2 walks).

Player of the game: Nick Markakis (2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, double (30), HR (12) (.298 AVG))

The Orioles return home tonight and its the battle of bloated ERAs by left handed pitchers. And also a do or die chance for Rich Hill (3-3, 7.64) to stay in the rotation with Chris Tillman coming up Wednesday. Bruce Chen (0-5, 6.58) is the other starter.

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