Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Orioles Team Report Apr 15, 2008

When the Orioles arrived back in Baltimore on Monday to start a seven-game homestand, manager Dave Trembley felt it was time to talk to his position players. It was time to calm them down; time to get them back on track where hitting was concerned.

After winning six of their first seven games, the Orioles took a nosedive. The most noteworthy decline came from the hitters, who suddenly couldn’t get hits with runners in scoring position.

That malady was glaring on Sunday when the Orioles loaded the bases with no outs in the first and seventh innings and managed only one run from the two threats and that came on a walk that forced in the run.

During the just-ended six-game road trip, the Orioles left 43 runners on base and, in the final three games at Tampa Bay, the hitters were 5-for-26 with runners in scoring position.

Trembley met with the players on Monday shortly after they all arrived at the clubhouse and reportedly told them to start being more patient at the plate, to have better and thereby more productive at bats.

“It’s been somewhat sporadic,” the manager said of the hitting. “It either comes all at once or it’s been missing. You’d like to think that now, being at home, we’ll get on a roll and those hits will start falling in.”

The Orioles responded with 13 hits on Monday, with seven of the nine hitters in the order getting at least one hit.

Orioles 4, Blue Jays 3: Kevin Millar singled in one run in the first and hit a two-run homer in the fifth before Ramon Hernandez got the fourth run home on a sacrifice fly in the eighth. Matt Albers allowed one run on five hits and one walk in five innings to get his first win for Baltimore and relievers Jim Johnson, Jamie Walker and Chad Bradford held off the Jays until closer George Sherrill gave up a single and home run in the ninth, but stayed in to get his sixth save.

Notes, Quotes

• RHP Matt Albers made his first start and got his first win as an Oriole on Monday. He gave up a first-inning run to the Blue Jays, then blanked them through five innings before giving way to a string of relievers that concluded with George Sherrill, who got his sixth save.

• CF Adam Jones struck out four times on Sunday and prompted manager Dave Trembley to think about changing his lineup after he reached a team-high 10 strikeouts while taking only one walk. On Monday, Jones endured an intensive session with hitting coach Terry Crowley before the game and responded by going 3-for-3 with a walk.

• LHP George Sherrill gave up his first hits after 4 2/3 perfect innings this season. He was tagged for a single and HR in the ninth inning, but remained in the game to be credited with his sixth save in as many opportunities.

• LHP Adam Loewen, who will pitch on Tuesday against the Blue Jays, is one of the three members of the Orioles’ rotation without a win. Jeremy Guthrie is 0-1, while Loewen and Daniel Cabrera combined for five no-decisions going into the Tuesday game.

• 1B Kevin Millar got the first three RBIs of the game on Monday on a first-inning single and a fifth-inning two-run homer, but it was Ramon Hernandez’s sacrifice fly in the eighth that accounted for the winning run.

By The Numbers: 2—Home runs off the bat of the Rays’ Carlos Pena, marking the first time since 1998 that Jamie Walker gave up home runs in back-to-back appearances (Friday and Saturday). Both game-tying shots came in the eighth inning.

Quote To Note: “When you come in here and play this team, you better get as many runs as you can because you’re probably never going to have enough. … Every time you get an opportunity to tack on, you have to tack on.”—Manager Dave Trembley talking about playing the Rays at Tropicana Field.


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