Monday, June 2, 2008

Orioles Team Report Jun 2, 2008

Third baseman Melvin Mora had Sunday off, two days after a throwing error cost the Orioles in the 13th inning Friday.

Mora’s throw to first baseman Kevin Millar was high, sparking the Red Sox rally that ended in a 5-2 Boston win.

“I threw it away. I just threw it away. I should have thrown better than that.”

Mora had no specific explanation for the throw, but the Orioles third baseman has been coming up short on a number of throws to first base lately. Mora has nine errors in 50 games at third base. Two came in Friday’s game.

“If I don’t play defense we cannot win the game, especially on the hot corner,” Mora said. “You need to play defense.”

The former utility man has settled in as a third baseman with the Orioles, where he’s played primarily since 2004—his third full season in Baltimore.

Mora has been battling a sore right shoulder since spring training, and missed two games last month after taking a batting practice grounder off his shoulder.

Mora is batting .245 with seven home runs and 29 RBIs.

Left-handed batting Aubrey Huff replaced Mora in Sunday’s starting lineup against Boston right-hander Bartolo Colon.

“You’re not going to get a hit every day, but if you play defense every day, that’s important,” Mora said. “You need to go out and play defense every day.”

Red Sox 9, Orioles 4: Boston outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury is a thorn in the Orioles’ side. The young and talented left-handed hitter went 3-for-5 with a stolen Sunday to improve his series line to 7-for-15 with seven stolen bases. Ellsbury leads the majors with 27 stolen bases, and Sunday was caught for just the third time all season.

Notes, Quotes

• RHP Steve Trachsel made just his second career relief appearance for the Orioles Sunday. Trachsel last appeared in a regular season relief appearance with the Chicago Cubs in 1995. He also pitched out of the bullpen in the 1996 All-Star Game. Trachsel’s turn in the rotation would be Tuesday, but the Orioles had yet to announce a starter as of Sunday afternoon.

• RHP Jim Johnson has a 1.19 ERA through 30 1/3 innings pitched, but he will be moved from his role and into the starting rotation. Manager Dave Trembley Sunday ruled out the possibility Johnson would start Tuesday’s game in Minnesota.

• INF Aubrey Huff started at third base in place of Melvin Mora Sunday. It was the fourth time Huff has started at the hot corner this season. Against a Boston lineup with seven right-handed bats Sunday, he was not handed an easy task.

• RHP Chad Bradford served up Manny Ramirez’s 500th career home run Saturday. It was the second home run the submariner allowed this season, marking the first time since 2004 that he’s allowed multiple home runs in a season.

• C Ramon Hernandez came into spring training in terrific shape, and Orioles management expected a big season out of him. But Hernandez, who had Sunday off, is batting .222 with four home runs and 20 RBIs. He is 6-for-22 on the homestand, and has thrown out only 9-of-53 attempted base stealers.

By The Numbers: 8—Outfield assists by right fielder and former college pitcher Nick Markakis, tops in the major leagues through Sunday.

Quote To Note: “I’m happy for him. He’s got a uniqueness about him that makes him easy to like… You take away the hair and the baggy uniform, he’s just a guy that can hit.”—1B Kevin Millar, on former Boston teammate Manny Ramirez’s 500th career home run, which came against the Orioles Saturday.


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