The Baltimore Orioles send righty Jason Hammel to the mound in search of a second straight pitching gem when they host the Toronto Blue Jays tonight in the second of three games at Camden Yards.
Hammel, who's 2-0 in three starts thus far in 2012, follows up a sterling effort from teammate Tommy Hunter, who tossed six innings of one-run ball in the Orioles' 2-1 victory in Tuesday's series opener.
Hunter (2-1) surrendered just three hits and three walks while striking out three and Pedro Strop worked around a one-out walk in the ninth to record his first career save.
"(Hunter) seemed to attack the strike zone a little more," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "I was really proud that he got to the sixth inning with the pitch count he had. He's going to keep firing bullets."
Endy Chavez added a hit and a run scored for the O's, who improved to 3-1 against Toronto after taking two of three from the Jays earlier this season.
Hector Alvarez (0-2) was charged with both runs on five hits and two walks over seven innings for Toronto. Eric Thames had two hits, including a solo homer for the Blue Jays, who were coming off a four-game sweep of Kansas City.
A 28-year-old from Greenville, S.C., Hammel is 3-0 in nine career appearances against the Blue Jays with a 4.25 earned run average, including a five-inning stint on April 14 that yielded a no-decision after he allowed two runs in five innings.
He's won his other two starts of the early schedule, defeating Minnesota and Chicago while giving up three runs on eight hits in 14 innings.
Hammel struck out 10 batters against the White Sox, giving him 18 so far in 19 innings of work.
Toronto replies with youngster Kyle Drabek, who beat the Orioles a day after Hammel's aforementioned outing, scattering six hits and allowing a single earned run in 7 1/3 innings of a 9-2 triumph.
He picked up a win and a no-decision in his other two starts and has allowed five runs and 13 hits in 18 overall innings of three outings, in which the Blue Jays are 3-0.
Baltimore is 3-0 in games Hammel has pitched.
Drabek has split a pair of lifetime decisions against the Orioles in three meetings, posting a 2.51 ERA in 14 1/3 innings.
Toronto went 27-9 against Baltimore the previous two seasons, but the Orioles opened up this year's season series by taking two of three in Toronto.