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Jason Hammel Surprises Royals Manager Ned Yost In Orioles Victory

Perhaps there’s no story more surprising so far in the 2012 MLB season than the team atop the AL East: the Baltimore Orioles. The team is 29-17 and among every other team contending in the division, they were likely the last choice that anyone would have thought as potential East leaders.

One of the biggest stories behind the resurgence is the Orioles’ pitching, and Jason Hammel is turning in an excellent season himself. After the last few seasons in Colorado, Hammel came to the Orioles in the offseason and is now 6-1 with a 2.78 ERA after his victory over the Royals last night. He threw six shutout innings with seven strikeouts and helped the Orioles win 8-2.

“He threw the ball well,” Royals manager Ned Yost said of Hammel. “His stuff is better than what I remember in Colorado. It surprised me a little bit. We saw it on video, but I wanted to see it in person. I was impressed.”

Hammel was coming off of a knee ailment where he had fluid drained over the weekend. It was possible he could have been skipped, but Hammel insisted he could go. Turns out he was right, and the Orioles’ day off before the series helped with some additional rest.

“That was definitely more than welcome, an off-day there,” said Hammel. “It’s been a long run for a while.”

The Royals and Orioles get started today with game two in their series, matching up Felipe Paulino and Wei-Yin Chen.

Read more about the Royals at Royals Review and for news on the Orioles go visitCamden Chat. For news and notes around Major League Baseball, check out Baseball Nation.