Thursday, April 17, 2008

Orioles Team Report Apr 17, 2008

Melvin Mora doesn’t have the greatest batting average, and his home-run power doesn’t scare many opposing pitchers. But the veteran third baseman is versatile enough to earn the accolades doled out to him by manager Dave Trembley.

Mora’s average, home-run and RBI totals—currently .236 after going 0-for-4 on Wednesday, with a team-best three HRs and six RBIs—have slipped each of the past three years, but he has received little mention for his defense, which has remained solid, sometimes even spectacular.

Perhaps as important as his offense or defense is Mora’s role with the younger players. He tries to keep them loose. He gives them advice. He shows them how to do things. The Venezuelan is able to do that because he has played numerous positions and been expected to fill a variety of roles at the plate.

Trembley has taken notice of all the things Mora does and said, “I think Melvin has made some very positive contributions. He’s been here in Baltimore for a long time, and I think it’s good for our club to have guys like him on our team.”

Mora, who almost always hits at No. 2 in the order, has earned the praise of leadoff man Brian Roberts. He credits Mora with making it easier for him to steal bases because he knows when to swing at a ball and when not to.

“It might not be indicative of the batting average, but the way he goes about playing and his approach and everything has been very good,” Trembley said.

“I think you have to balance your club out with guys that know how to play and can teach those younger guys how to go about doing it,” the manager added.

White Sox 3, Orioles 1: Adam Loewen had his best performance of the season, but he started the night giving up a single to Nick Swisher, walking Orlando Cabrera and watching Jim Thome’s third home run of the season soar over the wall. They were the White Sox’s only runs of the game. Aubrey Huff got his 12th RBI when he singled home Nick Markakis with the Orioles’ lone run in the fourth inning. They were limited to five hits by Jose Contreras.


• SS Luis Hernandez, whose batting average had fallen to a meager .233, was rested in favor of Brandon Fahey, who went into the game with a less-than-impressive .091 average.

• LHP Adam Loewen gave up a hit, a walk and a home run to the first three batters of the game, then gave up only three more hits and no runs through the next five innings. He did, however, walk five batters.

• RHP Jim Johnson, who was called up from Class AAA Norfolk when the team needed a spot start from long reliever Matt Albers, continued to impress. He hurled two perfect innings, giving him no runs and two hits in 5 1/3 innings over three appearances.

• LF Luke Scott, who came from the Astros in the deal for Miguel Tejada, continued to be one of the most consistent hitters on the team. His hit on Wednesday gave him a four-game streak with a pair of two-hit games in the mix. He leads the team with 18 hits.

• RF Nick Markakis scored the Orioles’ only run of the game, putting him atop the team with 11 runs scored. He also leads the team with 12 walks and a .460 on-base percentage.

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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