Beachy injured, Braves manage one hit in loss

ATLANTA (AP) — Jason Hammel just wanted go deep into the game and give Baltimore’s bullpen some rest.

He nearly got his first no-hitter in the process.

Hammel

pitched a one-hitter for his first career shutout, allowing only Jason

Heyward’s two-out single in the seventh inning, and the Orioles beat the

Atlanta Braves 5-0 on Saturday night.

“A no-hitter would’ve been

nice, but it gave the bullpen the night off,” Hammel said. “I heard

from them. Not one bullpen pitch thrown. That’s huge because we’ve been

taxing them pretty good.”

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. He 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.

Atlanta

pitcher Brandon Beachy (5-5) left in the fourth inning with right elbow

soreness. The major leagues’ ERA leader allowed no hits and one run,

struck out five and walked one.

The Braves have lost five of six.

Hammel

(7-2) had been struggling on the road, entering with a 1-1 record and a

4.76 ERA in his previous three starts away from Camden Yards. 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 again with two out in the seventh. Heyward followed with a

clean single to left field, but Eric Hinske flied out to end the

inning.

Hammel got through the ninth in six pitches, retiring

Michael Bourn on a flyout and Martin Prado and Brian McCann on

groundouts before receiving congratulations from his teammates.

The Baltimore dugout started buzzing as Hammel ended the fifth with a no-hitter intact.

“A

lot of guys get in a different mental frame, but you could tell that he

didn’t,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “I think everybody kind

of knew what was going on. Guys were starting to scatter in the dugout,

and I noticed guys standing in the same place, including me.”

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.

“I had a terrible track record against the Braves,”

Hammel said. “These guys have given me nightmares, especially here at

Turner Field. I’m very excited to get out of here with a win. They put a

good team on the field every year.”

After walking Chris Davis on

six pitches with two outs in the fourth, Beachy stopped in front of the

mound and signaled to 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. He now has a 2.00 ERA.

“We’re

going to get the MRI and hope for the best on the results,” Beachy

said. “It’s really frustrating. I’ve had a lot of success when I’ve felt

good this year. I feel like I’m in a position where I know more. I know

what I’m trying to do and I’m doing it, when I physically can.”

Anthony

Varvaro came in and walked Adam Jones and Matt Wieters to load the

bases. Mark Reynolds then hit a 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 lined a two-run single to right.

Hammel,

who took a no-hitter into the eighth inning April 8 before beating the

Minnesota Twins 3-1, said his bullpen session gave him no idea he would

one-hit the Braves.

“I actually had a terrible bullpen, believe

it or not,” he said. “I was kind of feeling my way through the first two

innings and then obviously just carried it on and found a pretty good

groove.”

NOTES: It was Hammel’s second career complete

game and first since he pitched eight innings in the Rockies’ 1-0 loss

at the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 1, 2009. … 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 on 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 on his left index finger. … 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.