Orioles manager Buck Showalter talks a lot about "passing the baton," but he usually is referring to hitters having the patience to take a walk and trust the next guy in the lineup to keep a rally going.
Apparently, it also applies to the starting rotation, which has strung together three terrific performances in the Orioles opening series against the Minnesota Twins.
Jake Arrieta gave up two hits over seven shutout innings in the opener and Tommy Hunter carried a shutout into the eighth inning on Saturday, which put some pressure on newcomer Jason Hammel to take the baton and close out the series with a strong outing.
He has done more than that, carrying a no-hitter through seven innings while the Orioles built him a 3-0 lead. J.J. Hardy put him on top with a first-inning homer and Wilson Betemit doubled home a pair of runs to give him the three-run cushion heading into the seventh.
Let's see what happens.
(UPDATE) Twins designated hitter Justin Morneau just doubled to right field to lead off the eighth inning and break up Hammel's no-hitter and Josh Willingham has followed with a double to break up the shutout. Orioles lead, 3-1.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times