Thursday, April 10, 2008

O's Fall in Game 1 of Double Header

ARLINGTON -- It had to end sometime. The Orioles saw their momentum stopped short in the first act of Thursday's doubleheader, when the Rangers used a seventh-inning rally to earn a 3-1 win. Baltimore had won six straight games heading into Thursday and was one positive decision short of the team's longest win streak since the 1999 season.

Both teams were evenly matched in the first half of the double-dip, thanks to efficient outings from the respective starting pitchers. Baltimore's Steve Trachsel worked into the seventh inning and allowed just five hits, but Texas starter Kevin Millwood worked through the seventh and managed to strand runners on base in several tight spots.

"Both starting pitchers were on their game," said Baltimore manager Dave Trembley, "And obviously the team that broke through first and took advantage of it was the team that was going to win the ball game. We had an opportunity and we couldn't get it done. But you had to like the way that Trachsel pitched. He made some big pitches."

The road team's best chance came in the third inning, when center fielder Adam Jones led off with a double. After that, Nick Markakis walked and Kevin Millar reached on a fielder's choice, but Millwood (1-2) got a line drive and a strikeout to end the threat. Baltimore (6-2) didn't get another hit until the seventh inning and never got back to scoring position.

"He's a crafty veteran," Trembley said of Millwood. "He uses both sides of the plate, he doesn't give you the same look all the time and he had real good movement on his pitches. With all due respect, I thought both pitchers benefited from the time of the game. They started it late and it seemed like hitters on both sides were having trouble picking up the ball."

Texas (4-4) broke the deadlock in the bottom half, thanks to some help from the road team's defense. Second baseman Ian Kinsler singled, stole second and scored on a base hit by shortstop Michael Young. Young wound up stealing second cleanly and going to third on a throwing error before scoring on a sacrifice fly from Josh Hamilton.

Trachsel (1-1) was only charged with two earned runs, and did his job by pitching deep in the game. Baltimore manager Dave Trembley had said that he'd like to avoid using his relievers in both ends of the doubleheader, and Trachsel helped make that a reality. Setup man Jamie Walker relieved Trachsel in the seventh and Greg Aquino pitched the eighth.


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