American League Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, July 2nd
(All times Eastern)
Baltimore Orioles (42-36) at Seattle Mariners (34-47), 10:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Baltimore - Jason Hammel (8-3, 3.29)
Seattle - Hisashi Iwakuma (1-1, 4.75)
(Sports Network) - Jason Hammel tries to state his case to be on the American
League's All-Star team this evening when the Baltimore Orioles begin a three-
game set with the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
After a surprising first half, the Orioles will be represented in Kansas City
by three players: catcher Matt Wieters, outfielder Adam Jones and reliever Jim
Johnson. Hammel could be the team's fourth All-Star, as he is one of five
players vying for the fans' vote for the final roster spot.
"Obviously, it's a tremendous honor just to be in the Final Vote," Hammel
said. "It would be a nice personal accomplishment, but you still need the team
to get to this point."
Hammel, though, is coming off his worst outing of the season in his last start
against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Hammel was roughed up to the tune
of eight runs and eight hits in only 3 1/3 innings, dropping him to 8-3, while
skyrocketing his ERA to 3.29.
"There haven't been many people pitching better than Hamm, and he gets a
mulligan," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said after that outing. "He had
pretty crisp stuff. Just one of those nights where nothing seemed to go his
Hammel is 1-0 in three games (two starts) against the Mariners with a 2.92
The Orioles will need Hammel to bounce back tonight after the team dropped
three of four over the weekend to the Cleveland Indians, including a 6-2
setback on Sunday.
Brian Matusz lasted only four-plus innings after allowing five runs -- four
earned -- on seven hits and three walks.
"Outings like that you can withstand here and there," Showalter said.
"Consistently, when you have two or three days like that, it's, I don't want
to say an energy sapper, but it kind of gets back to what makes you struggle
as a team."
After the game, the Orioles optioned Matusz to Triple-A Norfolk. The 25-year-
old left-hander went 0-5 with an 8.44 earned run average in his last starts.
"My last five, six outings or so I just haven't been getting the job done,"
Matusz said. "Today was just really inconsistent. I had some signs of good
pitches, just haven't been putting it together. It's killing the bullpen and
makes it tough."
Seattle, meanwhile, split its four-game series with the Boston Red Sox over
the weekend, falling in Sunday's finale, 2-1, in 10 innings.
Jason Vargas threw eight solid innings, but served up a game-tying home run to
Dustin Pedroia in his last inning.
"Vargas pitched a great ball game and when you got a chance to take three out
of four against a pretty good ball club, you've got to finish those games off
and we most definitely did not today," said Seattle manager Eric Wedge.
Tonight, Seattle turns to Japanese righty Hisashi Iwakuma, who will be making
his first major league start in place of the injured Kevin Millwood.
Used primarily as a long reliever, Iwakuma has gone 1-1 with a 4.75 ERA this
Baltimore took four of six from the Mariners last season.
07/02 10:42:19 ET
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