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Ramon's day off

The offday couldn't come at a better time for Ramon Hernandez (right), who has to be sore this morning after a night in which he showed he could play fullback if this baseball thing doesn't work out for him. Who would have expected that after watching him avoid contact at home plate for the past month?

Hernandez decked Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Akinori Iwamura to break up a possible double play in the sixth inning. The hit was a borderline cheap shot and Hernandez paid a price later in the game when Trever Miller drilled him in the hip. Ramon looked peeved as he headed for first base, but he probably had it coming.

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The Orioles couldn't exactly make an issue of anything, since O's pitchers already had hit three Tampa Bay batters, which -- incidentally -- raised their major league-leading total in that department to 80.

Bonus stat: The Orioles are closing in on the dubious Triple Crown of bad pitching in the American League. They definitely will lead the league (and the majors) in HBP and walks, but hold only a slight lead over the Kansas City Royals (70-68) in wild pitches.

Baltimore Sun photo

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