Sunday, May 18, 2008

Orioles Team Report May 17, 2008

After a year of having to pitch in almost half of the Orioles’ games, relievers Chad Bradford and Jamie Walker are getting added rest because of the arms of youngsters, particularly Matt Albers and Jim Johnson.

Albers and Johnson both made their 15th appearance of the season on Friday and, as they have done in almost all of their appearances, they were in complete command of the opposing batters. Neither allowed a run.

Manager Dave Trembley has no qualms about using the young relievers in tight situations. He doesn’t consider anything except their results, noting that “if they can get the job done, I’ll put them in. That’s what counts, not whether they’re rookies or what they did last year.”

Trembley said of Johnson, who sports an 1.14 ERA, “I was kind of tentative about bringing him in, when he first got here, in the middle of an inning because he’s never done that before. But I haven’t seen the guy show any fear or lack of poise.

“His delivery is a whole lot better, and I think he has better life on his fastball … for a guy who’s never pitched out of the bullpen before, what he’s been is resilient with the ability to pitch back-to-back days. And he’s been resilient with coming in (in) situations in the middle of the inning.”

Orioles 5, Nationals 3: Starter Garrett Olson had the Orioles trailing 2-0 after three batters as Ryan Zimmerman singled home the two runs. But the Orioles got their sixth win in seven games as they scored twice with the aid of a wild throw in the second, got a home run from Luke Scott in the fourth and Melvin Mora and Kevin Millar singled home the final runs in the fifth. Olson held on long enough to get the win, and relievers Matt Albers, Jim Johnson and closer George Sherrill finished off the visitors. Sherrill got his 16th save.

Notes, Quotes

• LHP Garrett Olson was battered around early, but he managed to make good pitches in critical situations to keep the Orioles in the game after he had allowed two first-inning runs and came out after five innings, enough to up his record to 3-0, having allowed another run and nine total hits.

• 3B Melvin Mora was back in the lineup after sitting out two games because of a sore right shoulder from being hit by a batted ball during pregame drills on Tuesday. He made a handful of key defensive plays that might not have been made by his backup Aubrey Huff. He also had an RBI double

• LF Luke Scott, who had an explosive start to the season before slipping into a devastating slump, hit his second home run in three games. It was his third home run and 14th RBI overall to help the team overcome interleague rival Washington.

• RHP Matt Albers relieved Garrett Olson in the sixth and shut down the Nationals for the two innings he worked. He did give up two hits but he struck out three and lowered his ERA to a very respectable 2.15.

• 2B Brian Roberts had two hits, including his second triple of the season, to extend his hitting streak to five games, and with two runs scored, he has crossed the plate six times in the last four games.

By The Numbers: 12—Consecutive wins over the Royals before a loss on May 11. It was the second time Baltimore won 12 straight over Kansas City; the first was in 1970.

Quote To Note: “As soon as I shaved my head it started kicking in, so I want to tip my hat to my haircut.”—1B Kevin Millar, talking about his hitting spree since being moved from the cleanup spot on May 2.


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