Hammel through the fifth (O's lead 8-2)

Jason Hammel has run up his pitch count tonight, but he's held down the Royals.

Hammel is shutting out Kansas City on five hits over five innings, with one walk and seven strikeouts. But he's thrown 93 pitches, including 61 for strikes.

A walk and double put two runners in scoring position with one out in the fourth, but Hammel struck out Alex Gordon and Brayan Pena. Two singles, Hammel's throwing error and a stolen base again put two runners in scoring position with one out in the fifth, but Eric Hosmer struck out on Hammel's 92nd pitch and Billy Butler lined out to shortstop J.J. Hardy, who made a leaping catch to kill the rally.

In his last two starts, Hammel allowed eight earned runs (nine total) and 13 hits, walked five and struck out eight in 10 1/3 innings.

Former Oriole Bruce Chen has allowed only one run, on Adam Jones' sacrifice fly, in four innings.

Catcher Matt Wieters committed his fifth error, matching his total for each of his first three seasons.

Down on the farm, Brian Roberts went 0-for-1 with a sacrifice fly in three innings at Double-A Bowie. He started at second base after initially being listed as the designated hitter. He's expected to take off tomorrow.

Roberts is 0-for-3 with two walks, an RBI and a run scored in three games at Bowie.

Update: The Orioles have scored four runs in the fifth to give Hammel and the bullpen some breathing room, and they're still batting with no outs.

Hardy had a two-run double, and he raced home on Nick Markakis' double. Markakis scored on Adam Jones' single into center field.

Cha-ching!

Xavier Avery led off the inning with a walk. He broke too soon for second on a stolen base attempt, but he beat the throw from Hosmer at first base.

Avery took third on Robert Andino's bunt single. Andino also broke too soon for second, but he avoided the tag by lifting his left arm as he dived into the bag.

Chen appeared to have both runners picked off, and the Orioles ended up with two stolen bases.

Chen has been removed from the game with Jones on first base and no outs in the fifth.

Orioles 5, Royals 0.

Update II: Jones stole second, took third on an error and scored on Chris Davis' single.

Orioles 6, Royals 0.

The Orioles sent 10 batters to the plate. Congrats to Avery for starting and ending the same inning for the first time in a major league game.

Tonight's attendance: 28,954. That includes a stadium-record walk-up total of nearly 11,000.

Update III: Hammel's done after six scoreless innings. He allowed five hits, walked one and struck out seven. He threw 104 pitches, 68 for strikes.

Stu Pomeranz has entered the game.

Update IV: Davis launched a two-run homer onto the flag court in the seventh inning - the ball hit one of the orange umbrellas - and Jeff Francoeur belted a two-run homer off Pomeranz in the eighth.

Pomeranz hadn't allowed an earned run in two games with the Orioles, five with Bowie and five with Triple-A Norfolk.

Each of the last 10 Orioles victories have been by three runs or fewer. Tonight, they've got more of a cushion as we finish up the bottom of the eighth.

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