ATLANTA (AP) — Jason Hammel pitched a one-hitter for his first career shutout, allowing only Jason Heyward’s two-out single in the seventh inning, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Atlanta Braves 5-0 on Saturday night.
There have already been five no-hitters in the majors this season, including three this month, and Hammel made a strong bid to add to the list.
Hammel struck out eight and walked two, throwing 65 of 102 pitches for strikes.
Brian Roberts drove in three runs for the Orioles, who have won six of seven. The Braves have lost five of six.
Brandon Beachy (5-5) left the game with right elbow soreness in the fourth inning. The major leagues’ ERA leader allowed no hits and one run, struck out five and walked one.
Hammel had not pitched well recently on the road, going 0-1 with a 4.58 ERA in last three starts, but he settled down after walking Dan Uggla on four pitches to begin the second.
Hammel retired the next 17 batters he faced before walking Uggla with two out in the seventh. Heyward followed with a clean single to left field, but Hammel escaped any damage on Eric Hinkse’s flyout.
In the ninth, Hammel needed six pitches to retire Michael Bourn on a flyout and Martin Prado and Brian McCann on groundouts before receiving congratulations from his teammates.
Acquired in the February trade that sent Jeremy Guthrie to Colorado, Hammel had pitched poorly against Atlanta before Saturday, going 0-3 with 9.00 ERA in five career starts overall and 0-2 with a 11.74 ERA in two starts at Turner Field.
After walking Chris Davis on six pitches with two outs in the fourth, Beachy stopped in front of the mound and signaled for catcher Brian McCann that he was injured. He walked off the field during a mound visit from manager Fredi Gonzalez.
Beachy, who made 40 of his 57 pitches for strikes, retired his first 11 batters and was leading the majors with a 1.89 ERA.
Anthony Varvaro took his place, walking Adam Jones and Matt Wieters to load the bases and giving up Mark Reynolds’ two-run single to give the Orioles a 2-0 lead.
Baltimore went ahead 3-0 in the fifth when Roberts’ single off Varvaro scored Steve Pearce from second.
Cristhian Martinez, the third Atlanta pitcher, worked a scoreless sixth before Roberts made it 5-0, lining a two-run single to right that scored Wilson Betemit from third and Pearce from second.
NOTES: Braves CF Michael Bourn went 0-for-4 to snap a career-high 14-game hitting streak. Gonzalez said before the game that Chipper Jones, who was held out with a swollen left knee, will be in the lineup at 3B Sunday. Gonzalez likely will use Jones as a designated hitter when Atlanta visits the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox next week. Atlanta 1B Freddie Freeman was out of the lineup with a swollen knuckle at his left index finger. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said RF Nick Markakis, who underwent right wrist surgery on June 1, will visit a doctor on Friday for a standard checkup. Markakis was initially expected to miss three to four weeks. Roberts is expected to get a standard day off Sunday with 2B Robert Andino starting in his place.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)