Hunter Shines on the Mound, Jones Homers; Orioles Snap Losing Skid

Yesterday, the Orioles got a well-needed victory as Tommy Hunter’s arm and Adam Jones’ propelled them over the Minnesota Twins, 2-1.

Baltimore snapped a painful three-game losing streak and finally got a stellar performance from a starting pitcher. Hunter, who was demoted back to the minors again this season for the second time, was brought back up to the majors to stop the bleeding for the Orioles. He did his job, tossing 7 1/3 innings in which he only gave up a run.

Considering how bad he looked throughout most of the season, this is a watershed moment for him. That being said, who knows if Hunter’s start on Wednesday night is the beginning of something or a mirage; however, the Orioles needed one of their young guns to step up on the mound.

He is the third pitcher in as many days to be called up from Norfolk. This time, maybe he will stick around for much longer. Really, the team needs clutch performances like with what Hunter on the moound did last night to stick around in the wild card hunt. Who know if Dan Duquette can swing a deal for starter like – for example, Francisco Liriano, who has been striking out the world but lost last night to the Orioles.

Right now, with a 47-44 record and still very much in the Wild Card hunt, can Baltimore grind out games in the second half. The offense has struggled mightily; however, the pitching issue – especially on the starting end should be paramount.

The Orioles have depth in terms of their arms available in Norfolk. The question is this: can any of them pitch effectively from start to start?

As well, can the arms pitch deep into games and mitigate the use of the bullpen? Buck Showalter has done a fantastic job with managing so far in 2012; however, one can only go to the well so many times before it starts to dry up. That is what is happening to the bullpen.

Adam Jones provided all the offense for the Orioles as he hit his 22nd homer in the first inning – a two-run shot.