BALTIMORE (AP) — Jason Hammel pitched eight innings of five-hit ball and had a career high-tying 10 strikeouts to lead the Baltimore Orioles past the Washington Nationals 2-1 on Friday night.
Coming off a one-hit shutout against Atlanta, Hammel (8-2) allowed an unearned run in improving to 5-0 lifetime against Washington. The right-hander has gone 19 straight innings without giving up an earned run, a streak that began on June 10 against Philadelphia.
Hammel did not walk a batter and was removed after 96 pitches. He came within one inning of becoming the first Oriole to throw two straight complete games since Sidney Ponson in May 2004.
Jim Johnson got three outs for his 21st save.
Mark Reynolds homered, and J.J. Hardy contributed offensively and defensively in helping Baltimore end a three-game losing streak.
Hammel outpitched Washington’s Ryan Zimmermann (3-6), who allowed two runs and eight hits over seven innings. Zimmerman is 0-2 in his last five starts since May 22.
Baltimore took a 2-1 lead in the fifth on a two-out RBI double by Hardy, who stepped to the plate mired in a 1-for-25 slump.
In the Washington seventh, with two on and two outs, Hardy leaped high to snare Jesus Flores’ liner to shortstop. Hardy made a similar catch on Steve Lombardozzi’s hard-hit ball in the eighth.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson last watched a game in the dugout at Camden Yards in 1997, when he guided the Orioles to the AL East title. He was fired after the season by owner Peter Angelos, and Baltimore hasn’t had a winning season since.
“Managers are hired to get fired. All the times I was here were fun times for me,” Johnson said before the game. “I really enjoyed playing here and learning the game of baseball here. It was fun to come back and manage in the town where I had played in. Played in a bunch of World Series here. My only regret was that I didn’t get to manage the team in a World Series here. All my memories of Baltimore and baseball are nothing but great memories.”
After the start of the game was delayed 61 minutes by the threat of rain, Hammel pitched a perfect first inning and struck out the side in the second around a double by Michael Morse.
In the bottom of the second, Reynolds lined a 1-1 fastball into the seats in left to end an 0-for-11 skid.
Washington tied it in the fifth. Ian Desmond singled, rounded second base and took off for third on a groundout and scored on Reynolds’ errant throw from first to third.
NOTES: The game drew a crowd of 45,891, the fourth sellout of the season at Camden Yards. Orioles LF Nolan Reimold will have neck surgery Monday and is likely lost for the season. He’s been on the DL since May 4. Orioles RF Nick Markakis (hand) hasn’t swung a bat since undergoing surgery three weeks ago, but says he expects to return to action before the All-Star break. Edwin Jackson (3-4) starts for Washington on Saturday against the Orioles, who will send rookie Wei-Yin Chen (7-2) to the mound. Chen is 4-0 at home but lost to the Nationals on the road last month.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)