Baltimore ace Jason Hammel retired 17 straight batters before walking Dan Uggla with two out in the seventh, then Jason Heyward followed with a clean single to left field to break up Hammel's no-hit bid.
ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves are hoping it’s just a minor injury for Brandon Beachy. It just doesn’t look very good.
Beachy left in the fourth inning with right elbow soreness and the Braves managed just one hit in a 5-0 loss to Jason Hammel and the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night.
“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.”
Hammel (7-2) struck out eight and walked two in his first career shutout, allowing only Jason Heyward’s two-out single in the seventh inning. He threw 65 of 102 pitches for strikes.
Brian Roberts drove in three runs for the Orioles, who have won six of seven.
The Braves have lost five of six.
Beachy (5-5) left in the fourth inning. The major leagues’ ERA leader allowed no hits and one run, struck out five and walked one while throwing 57 pitches.
Beachy was 0-3 with a 3.47 ERA in his previous four starts and had seven days of rest following his last outing, a no-decision June 8 against Toronto. After announcing the decision to give Beachy extra time off, manager Fredi Gonzalez said the right-hander had no injury issues.
That all changed when Beachy, a power pitcher, threw a pair of 70 mph curveballs to Chris Davis with two outs in the fourth.
“I started Davis off with those curveballs and I felt it,” Beachy said. “I just knew. It was different than it had been before, so I needed to stop.”
Added Gonzalez, “His velocity went straight down.”
After walking Davis on six pitches, 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 Gonzalez.
Beachy retired his first 11 batters. He now has a 2.00 ERA.
“I threw those curveballs, and it didn’t feel right,” he said. “I didn’t feel like I was going to be able to throw it to the plate. I looked up there, and it said 86 — my fastball.”
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. Roberts added a two-run single in the seventh.
Hammel retired 17 straight batters before walking Dan Uggla with two out in the seventh. Heyward followed with a clean single to left field, but Hammel got Eric Hinske to fly out to end the inning.
Heyward took little solace in breaking up the no-hit bid.
“All in all, honestly, we want to win games,” Heyward said. “That’s what we set out to do. But to lose your starting pitcher tonight, the kind of year he’s been having, it’s really unfortunate.”
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.
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.”
That might not be the case if Beachy gets bad news from his MRI.
“You saw his velocity going down a little bit, and we were wondering,” Bourn said. “But his health comes first. He’s too good to try to be pushing it. All of us, all 24 guys, want him to be out there, but he’s got to be healthy.”
NOTES: Bourn went 0 for 4 to snap a career-high 14-game hitting streak. … 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. … Gonzalez said before the game that Chipper Jones, who was held out with a swollen left knee, will be in the lineup at 3B 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 at his left index finger.