Jason Hammel made a couple mistakes in his six innings on Tuesday, but otherwise gave the Orioles what they were hoping for on Opening Day: A quality start.
The 30-year-old right-hander lasted six innings, allowing three runs on three hits and a walk. He struck out two and retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced before giving up a Ben Zobrist solo homer in the fourth.
His big mistake came in the sixth when he walked the leadoff man in the inning, No. 9 batter Kelly Johnson. He then served up a RBI double to Desmond Jennings, who moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a Zobrist sacrifice fly.
That was Hammel’s last inning of work despite throwing just 75 pitches (43 for strikes). He left the game staring out a potential loss.
Instead the Orioles reclaimed the lead with a five-run seventh against reliever Jake McGee. It included a two RBI double by Adam Jones and a three-run homer by Chris Davis.
Dating back to last year, Davis has now homered in seven of his last eight regular season games and three of his last four at Tropicana Field.
If the Orioles hang on, Hammel will pick up his first win at the Trop in his 32nd appearance (and 12th start). Hammel played for Tampa Bay from 2006 to 2008 and had lost all five of his previous decisions at Tropicana Field.