Baltimore Orioles Get 3 Quick Wins with Quality Starting Pitching

Chip SpanglerContributor IIIApril 9, 2012

Jason Hammel didn't allow a hit until the eight inning of Sunday's 3-1 victory over Minnesota.
Jason Hammel didn't allow a hit until the eight inning of Sunday's 3-1 victory over Minnesota.Greg Fiume/Getty Images

It's early in the season, but the Baltimore Orioles are off to a good start.

In a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins, the O's won all three games at Camden Yards. The early wins may not raise any eyebrows, since Baltimore got off to a good start last year. After the season ended with 93 losses, the good start to 2011 didn't mean a thing.

But one thing in which O's fans may put hope is not the wins themselves, but the performance of the starting pitchers.

Each of the three starters (Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter and Jason Hammel) pitched at least seven innings, and the trio combined to give up only one earned run. Hammel had a no-hitter through his first seven innings. Through the seventh inning of Sunday's game, he faced the minimum 21 batters, and his only two baserunners (allowed via walk) were both erased by double plays. Neither Arrieta nor Hunter gave up an earned run.

Jim Johnson has come out of the bullpen to record two saves in as many opportunities. While Patton struggled in his appearance in the opener, the rest of the bullpen has done its job.

There's a lot of season left to be played, and the next series against the Yankees will certainly be tough. Brian Matusz starts on Monday, newcomer Wei-Yin Chen takes the mound on Tuesday, and Arrieta will make his second start on Wednesday.

New York is looking to get back to its winning ways after getting swept by Tampa Bay. The games will not be easy for the O's pitchers. Matusz has struggled against NY in the past and will be looking to redeem himself.

But while the season is young, the quality starts bode well for the Orioles' future.

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