Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Orioles Romp Mariners, 12-4

Nick Markakis 03:55, 19 July 2007 . . Metsfan7 . .Image via Wikipedia

Luke Scott got a measure of revenge for manager Dave Trembley, who got himself tossed in the first inning.

Scott had seven RBIs and powered the Baltimore Orioles to a 12-4 win over the Seattle Mariners Tuesday night.

He started with a 2-run single in the first, then hit a 2-run triple in the sixth and launched a three-run home run in seventh inning. His previous high for RBIs was five.

"Luke comes in (the clubhouse) and I said, 'hey, get me a couple would you?' He said, 'skip, if they throw it across the plate I'll have a chance. Then he hit that triple," Trembley said. Then he came in again and said, 'next time they throw it over the plate I'm going to hit it out of the ballpark.' I said, 'you do that,' and he did."

However, it was Scott's first-inning single to center that set the stage for Trembley's outburst. Center-fielder Gutierrez's scooped up the ball but his throw home flew into the stands. Trembley argued that the lead runner, Nolan Reimold, should have scored because the base runner is allowed two bases from where they were at the point the ball left Gutierrez's hand.

The manager went out to argue to no avail. During the side change, Trembley asked Reimold where he was and he told him he was past second base. Trembley then went out again, hollered at ump Tom Hallion, threw his cap and got the hook.

Gutierrez hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the inning to give Seattle the lead. That extended his hitting streak to a career-best 10 games. He is hitting .500 (20 of 40) during the surge.

But Trembley's ejection seemed to bolster the Orioles, especially Scott.

"I talked to him after my second at-bat and he asked me, 'put one out for me,"' Scott said. All right, if I get something to hit. I put a pretty good swing on it."

Trailing 3-2 entering the sixth, Nick Markakis singled off Chris Jakubauskas (5-6). With one out, Aubrey Huff was intentionally walked. Reimold, who had two hits and three RBI, tied it with a RBI single to right.

Scott followed with a low line drive to center field that went to the wall. He scored on Melvin Mora's single that made it 6-3.

"We had a good game going and then the wheels fell off," Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. "Jak got through the fifth then came out in the sixth and tried to protect the lead. It really came down to getting behind on Huff. That was kind of the turning point of the game. I felt we should have challenged him a little more."

The Orioles added six runs in the seventh. Ty Wigginton had an RBI double, Reimold had a two-run single, and Scott connected on his 17th homer of the season to make it 12-3.

Mark Hendrickson (4-4) pitched 2 2-3 scoreless innings for the win.

Seattle starter Erik Bedard, who had missed the last 25 games with left shoulder inflammation, worked the first four innings. He allowed two runs, two hits, walked one and struck out eight, matching his season high. He was on a 75-pitch count.

"The first inning was a little off but then I started throwing strikes and getting outs," Bedard said. "My arm felt good. I'm ready to go."

Ken Griffey, Jr's eighth-inning double was his 514th. That tied former teammate Edgar Martinez for 39th on the career list.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mariners 5, Orioles 0

SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 10:  American League All-...

Jarrod Washburn is pitching better than ever in his 12th major league season.

Washburn tossed a one-hitter for his ninth career complete game, leading the Seattle Mariners to a 5-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night.

"It's the best stuff I've ever had," he said.

Nick Markakis had the only hit off Washburn (4-5), a two-out single in the fourth. Washburn faced just one batter over the minimum, issuing no walks and striking out three in his 110-pitch effort.

Russell Branyan hit his 21st homer, Chris Woodward doubled in a pair of runs and Ichiro Suzuki had an RBI single for Seattle.

Washburn recorded the second one-hitter at Safeco Field and 10th in franchise history. It also was his first complete-game win since he beat the Oakland Athletics 2-0 on April 25, 2007, with one of his two three-hit games, his previous career low.

"I think he's pitching as good as I've ever seen him," Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. "He has more command of certain pitches."

Washburn, who was 5-14 with Seattle last year, said the biggest key to his success this season has been his two-seam fastball. He worked on it in spring training with pitching coach Rick Adair and bullpen coach John Wetteland.

"I've always had a two-seam fastball but it's never sunk before," he said. "The mechanical adjustments we made in spring training - Rick and Wette - they made a little adjustment with me and it's paid off. That's what I owe it all to, that mechanical adjustment."

Washburn threw mostly fastballs against the Orioles, mixing in a handful of breaking pitches and one changeup. He threw a two-seamer to Markakis that broke in on his hands, and he sliced into shallow left field.

"If it wasn't for Nick's little hit out there to left, he's got a perfect game," Baltimore designated hitter Aubrey Huff said. "He was that good."

Brad Bergesen (5-3) went six innings for the Orioles, allowing four runs, three earned, and six hits. He walked four and struck out four.

"I'll take Bred Bergesen for the way he pitches, the way he competes, the way he keeps us in the game," Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said. "It just so happened that Washburn was much better tonight."

Branyan connected on a 3-0 pitch in the first and Suzuki singled in Rob Johnson in the fifth to give the Mariners a 2-0 lead. Woodward tacked on a bases-loaded double in the sixth and Ryan Langerhans added a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Angels 9, Orioles 6

Vladimir Guerrero at bat, August 28, 2005. 23:...

It used to take the Angels three or four hits to score a run, their aversion to walks and working counts forcing them to generate most of their offense from the batter's box.

Sunday, these new princes of patience cobbled together three runs on only one hit in a seventh-inning rally that lifted the Angels to a 9-6 come-from-behind victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

With the score tied, 6-6, in the seventh, Juan Rivera and Mike Napoli drew bases-loaded walks off reliever Chris Ray, and Kendry Morales added a sacrifice fly, as the Angels erased a 4-0 deficit for the second straight game.

It marked the first time in almost 30 years the Angels have come back from four-run deficits to win consecutive games, the last coming July 14-15, 1979, against the New York Yankees.

"Yeah, that was pretty odd," third baseman Chone Figgins said of the three-run seventh. "We're trying to be more patient. . . . I think it confuses the pitcher. He's thinking, 'They're usually a hacking team, and they're not swinging.' I think it makes them try to be more perfect, and they end up being more wild."

The Angels ranked 12th among 14 American League teams in walks last season and 11th with a .330 on-base percentage.

They still won't be confused with Oakland's "Moneyball" teams from earlier this decade, but they now rank ninth in the league with 266 walks and fifth in the league with a .345 on-base percentage.

"There are six guys with legitimate home run power and some guys who are patient," said Angels closer Brian Fuentes, who threw a scoreless ninth for his league-leading 24th save.

"It's got to be tough for other pitchers."

Bobby Abreu, who leads the team with 46 walks, opened the seventh with a walk off reliever Matt Albers, and Torii Hunter slammed a double to center field to put runners on second and third.

Baltimore Orioles Manager Dave Trembley chose to intentionally walk Vladimir Guerrero, who hit a two-run homer in the fifth, his second in two games, to load the bases.

Trembley summoned the right-handed Ray, who walked Rivera and Napoli to force in runs that gave the Angels an 8-6 lead. Morales' sacrifice fly to left made it 9-6.

"They cracked the door open for us," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "In the past, we've had trouble making pitchers work for outs. We're doing a much better job of that."

Angels starter Joe Saunders appreciated the effort. He suffered his second straight subpar start, allowing six runs -- five earned -- and seven hits, including two homers, in 5 1/3 innings but escaped with a no-decision.

"The hitters picked me up," Saunders said. "This one's on them. They did their job today, not me."

Saunders was glad to get out of Texas, where he was rocked for eight runs and six hits, including four home runs, in last Tuesday's 9-5 loss to the Rangers, which dropped him to 0-5 with an 11.68 career earned-run average at the Ballpark in Arlington.

But the left-hander didn't fare much better on the left coast, falling behind in counts and laboring throughout an afternoon in which he threw 111 pitches, only 60 for strikes.

He gave up a game-opening home run to Brian Roberts, a two-run double to Roberts in the third and a solo home run to Matt Wieters in the sixth.

But the Angels scored three in the third (Abreu two-run double, Hunter RBI double), two in the fifth on Guerrero's homer and tied the score on Erick Aybar's RBI double in the sixth.

"I'm proud of the boys," Saunders said. "They really picked me up."

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Angels 11, Orioles 4

Maicer Izturis of the Los Angeles Angels of An...

Vladimir Guerrero hasn't had too many curtain calls this season. So when he hit a three-run shot in the eighth to put a stamp on the Los Angeles Angels' comeback win, fans were cheering for him to step out.

So was teammate Torii Hunter.

"When he hit it, everybody in the dugout felt so good for him. That's Vladi and that's what he does. Hopefully he continues that," Hunter said.

Guerrero hit his third home run of the season and had four RBIs, and the Angels scored 11 unanswered runs - six in the eighth - to beat the Baltimore Orioles 11-4 on Saturday night.

Guerrero's home run brought the Fourth of July fireworks out early. He hit a 1-0 pitch off reliever Brian Bass to left field, setting off celebratory fireworks after the homer.

Behind Guerrero, who has been hitting out of the DH role nearly all season as he comes back from a pectoral muscle injury, the Angels scored six runs in that eighth.

They batted around and also had RBIs from Hunter and Chone Figgins.

"It took us a while to get going, but at the end of the night with Vlad going deep, that was definitely nice," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

A rally in the seventh, with Juan Rivera driving in the go-ahead run off Baltimore pitcher Danys Baez, put Los Angeles up for good, 5-4.

Baez (4-3) replaced Matt Albers to start the inning, and the Angels didn't waste any time getting to work.

Figgins and Bobby Abreu led off with singles, and Hunter was walked to load the bases. Figgins scored on Guerrero's double-play grounder to tie it at 4, and Rivera drove in Abreu when Baltimore's Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts misplayed his popup.

"You can't afford to do that when you're playing a good team and you're playing on the road," Baltimore Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "You've got to stay away from the big inning and make the most of the opportunities that you have. There were breakdowns in a lot of different areas and we paid the price for that."

Jason Bulger (3-1) worked 1 1-3 innings for the win.

Jason Berken pitched four innings for Baltimore, giving up three runs - two earned - while striking out three in one of his shortest outings this season.

"My goal is obviously to try to pitch deep into the game and give us a chance to win. Tonight it just didn't happen," Berken said.

Angels starter Sean O'Sullivan gave up four runs in 5 2-3 innings. Baltimore took a 3-0 lead in the third off the rookie in an inning where Los Angeles came up short on defense.

His work wasn't enough, though. After the game, the Angels optioned him to Triple-A Salt Lake for outfielder Reggie Willits.

"I was just trying to keep us in the game as long as I could and let the offense take over," O'Sullivan said. "They put some good swings on some pitches and I wasn't able to get the groundball where I needed to."

Brian Roberts, Jones and Markakis drove in runs for the Orioles, with Roberts' RBI double to right field coming off a hit that landed just inches from Abreu's glove. That close play was the second that landed Baltimore's players on the bases - Robert Andino squeezed in a single to put runners on the corners after shortstop Maicer Izturis couldn't make the throw to first in time.

Jones' RBI single in the fifth made it 4-0.

Then the Angels started putting things together offensively.

Abreu, Hunter and Guerrero drove in runs off Berken in the fifth to cut the lead to 4-3. But Rivera hit into a double play to end it.

"We gave them far too many opportunities. We were ahead 4-0, and when you get outscored 11-0 after that, obviously there are a lot of breakdowns in a lot of different areas that have to occur for that to happen," Trembley said.

NOTES: Orioles' SS Cesar Izturis could be activated Friday to play against Toronto, Trembley said before the game. Izturis, who had an emergency appendectomy and has not played since June 3, will get through batting practice and a few games with Double-A Bowie before being activated. "If he passes all that he'll be ready to be activated," Trembley said. ... Angels 2B Howie Kendrick got to the stadium just in time to stay in the lineup. After getting called up from the minors, Kendrick's flight was delayed from Colorado Springs.

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Orioles Cling to Victory over Angels (Video)

David Hernandez appears to be in the Baltimore Orioles' rotation for the long haul because of injuries. He shouldn't have to look over his shoulder for a while.

Hernandez allowed three runs and six hits over 6 2-3 innings after being staked to a six-run lead in a 6-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.

"David knows that it's not a start-by-start basis. It's not a tryout. He's the guy. So he needs to just relax and prepare himself to pitch whenever his turn comes up," manager Dave Trembley said. "I think he did as well tonight as we've seen out of any of our young guys this season."

Of the four starting pitchers the Orioles are using in this series — Hernandez, Jeremy Guthrie, Jason Berken and Rich Hill — only Guthrie had faced the two-time defending AL West champs before.

"When you face that lineup, they'll make you work for it - especially those guys at the top," Trembley said. "We've got some guys who are learning at the major league level, and for the most part we're real impressed with the progress we're getting out of our guys. I think it says a lot about the future."

Hernandez (2-2) struck out two and walked two in his fourth big league start and second since Koji Uehara went on the disabled list with elbow tendinitis. The rookie right-hander gave up a fourth-inning RBI double by Maicer Izturis, and a two-run homer by Kendry Morales in the sixth.

"Being able to throw my off-speed pitches for strikes was really huge," Hernandez said. "I was able to locate my slider and changeup and get early outs, and that's what helped me pitch deep into the game. Sometimes that's the advantage you have when you're a pitcher they haven't seen before and they don't really know what to expect."

Aubrey Huff hit a three-run homer and Luke Scott doubled home two runs for the Orioles, whose victory dropped the Angels into a first-place tie with Texas for the division lead.

"The guy they had tonight, he has a nice arm and good velocity. The scouting reports said he was kind of wild, but I didn't see that tonight," Torii Hunter said of Hernandez. "I remember last year we faced a lot of young guys and first-time guys, and we didn't do so well."

George Sherrill got three outs for his 18th save in 21 chances.

Ervin Santana (1-4) threw 99 pitches over five innings, allowing six runs, eight hits and three walks in his first start off the disabled list, after missing two starts because of stiffness in his right forearm and triceps.

Two of the runs were unearned as a result of shortstop Erick Aybar's fielding error - only the third for Aybar in his last 45 games. In his four starts this season at Angel Stadium, Santana is 0-2 with a 12.12 ERA.

"You can go on rehab assignments - but when you come back here, you've got to find the rhythm. And that's what's going to happen with Santana," Hunter said. "But you've got to give him at least a couple of starts because he hasn't pitched in a while. He still had good stuff, but right now he's not himself and he's trying to find it."

The Orioles, who came in hitting a major league-best .298 with runners in scoring position, took a 2-0 lead in the first when Scott lined a double high off the 18-foot wall in right with the bases loaded.

Scott has driven in at least one run in four consecutive games, equaling the longest streak of his four-year career. The last time he did it was May 27-30, when he homered in his first four games off the disabled list and went 8 for 15 with 14 RBIs after missing 14 games with a left shoulder strain.

Huff, who didn't have an RBI in 15 previous career at-bats against Santana, made it 5-0 in the third with his 11th homer of the season. He has 14 RBIs in his last 14 games and a team-high 55 for the season.

<a href="" target="_new" title="O's edge Angels">Video: O's edge Angels</a>

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Angels 5, Orioles 2

John Lackey looks to be back in top pitching shape.

Lackey pitched eight solid innings and Bobby Abreu provided the offense with two home runs as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 on Thursday night.

The right-hander, who had a loss and a no-decision in his last two starts, got the run support he needed this time from Abreu's 14th career multihomer game and his first as an Angel.

He struck out seven and gave up four hits and a walk against the Orioles, who are in last place in the AL East.

The ace breezed through Baltimore's lineup, except for a jam in the fifth, showing the form when he won 19 games in 2007.

"This is the best stuff we've seen him have in a couple of years. This rivals anything we've seen with John," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

"When his fastball command is there, he can quietly roll through a lineup. ... His arm felt good, his delivery felt good and he was throwing to spots easy with a lot of life on his fastball tonight."

A fastball he utilized early.

"I was able to get through the first inning without throwing anything but a fastball so that kind of establishes that and gets you rolling a little bit," said Lackey, who missed the first six weeks of the season with a right forearm strain.

He gave up one single through the first four innings before getting into trouble in the fifth. Rookie Matt Wieters tied the game at 1 with an RBI single, but Lackey struck out Robert Andino and Brian Roberts with two runners on.

"He was putting it where he wanted it," catcher Mike Napoli said. "To me, it looked like the John of last year when he was going good. He was getting through a lot of innings. It looks like things are coming around now."

Both of Abreu's homers were to right field off starter Jeremy Guthrie, who gave up nine hits in seven innings.

Luke Scott homered in the seventh to bring the Orioles
within three runs, but they dropped to a dismal 11-24 on the road.

"Lackey had a real good slider. It seemed like when he got two strikes, he expanded the strike zone. We just didn't have enough tonight," Orioles manager Dave Tremblay said.

Guthrie made it through three easy innings before giving up the homer to Abreu in the fourth.

Then the Angels broke things open.

Maicer Izturis tripled and Napoli walked to put runners at the corners. Chone Figgins drove them in two batters later to make it 2-1 and Abreu cleared the bases with his sixth homer of the season.

"The bad pitch to Abreu on the first home run was a changeup that I left up. I tried to go in with a fastball the second time and got it in there, but he did a great job on it," Guthrie said. "It really surprised me that he put that much barrel on the ball and was able to hit it out like that. But he always has a good quality at-bat. He's just a great hitter."

The Angels are hoping this game gets Abreu going.

"It's great to see the power start to appear because that's something we obviously talked about in our lineups," Scioscia said. "We need more batter's box offense and slugging percentage and some guys are starting to get into their game and deliver and it's a big night for Bobby tonight. Hopefully he'll start doing it a little more consistently."

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Red Sox Rally, Beat O's in 11

For a the second day in a row, Jonathan Papelbon unexpectedly found himself in position to try and become Boston's career saves leader.

Just one day before, Papelbon was defeated by the biggest comeback in Batimore Orioles history. On Wednesday, after the Red Sox staged an improbable rally of their own, Papelbon got his coveted save.

Boston used a four-run ninth inning to pull even, Julio Lugo singled in the tiebreaking run in the 11th and Papelbon emphatically closed a 6-5 victory over the Orioles.

Papelbon got three outs for his 20th save this season and 133rd with the Red Sox, breaking the team record held by Bob Stanley.

"Obviously, it feels good," Papelbon said. "When I set out to be the closer of the Boston Red Sox, there were definitely a lot of goals in sight and this was one of them. To finally get it and get it out of my head, you know, to stop thinking about it, is definitely good for me. It's done with. Let's move on."

On Tuesday night, Papelbon yielded the key hit in the eighth inning of a game in which Boston's bullpen blew a 10-1 lead before losing 11-10.

In this one, Red Sox pitchers retired the final 24 batters. Ty Wigginton hit a leadoff homer in the fourth off Josh Beckett to put the Orioles up 5-1, but that would be Baltimore's final baserunner.

"I thought today was a great opportunity for our bullpen to come show the league what we're really made of," Papelbon said. "I think we answered that with flying colors."

Daniel Bard struck out four in two innings and Ramon Ramirez (5-2) worked the 10th before Papelbon disposed of the Batimore Orioles with 18 effective pitches.

Baltimore starter Brad Bergesen gave up one run, struck out six, walked none and permitted only two runners past first base in eight innings. He was pulled after 103 pitches and with Baltimore comfortably ahead.

Then came the Boston ninth, when the Red Sox tied it against the Orioles' best two relievers. Kevin Youkilis hit a two-run homer off Jim Johnson before George Sherrill entered and immediately struck out Jason Bay and David Ortiz. Sherrill then allowed a single and two walks to load the bases for pinch-hitter Rocco Baldelli, who grounded a single up the middle to make it 5-5.

The decision to pull Bergesen left Orioles manager Dave Trembley open for second guessing, but he said, "To expect that he's going to go back out there in the ninth with his pitches where he was ... It was the right thing to do to get him out of there."

Bergesen deferred to the manager, saying, "I would always like to go back out there, and if I did I was going to battle. But Skip made the right decision. George and J.J., they've been stellar all year long, so those are the two guys you're going to go with."

In the 11th, Jacoby Ellsbury hit a leadoff double off Danys Baez (4-2) and scored when Lugo bounced a one-out single to left past the drawn-in infield.

"I just wanted to come through," Lugo said. "This is not a team that is going to roll over. They got to get 27 outs, and we proved that."

Although Bay struck out five times and went 0 for 15 in the series, the Red Sox took two of three from Baltimore for their seventh straight series win. On the heels of Tuesday's galling defeat, winning the finale felt that much better.

"I think the best thing is we needed to move on from last night," manager Terry Francona said. "The easiest way to move on is to win."

Wigginton and Luke Scott homered for the Orioles, now 29-2 when leading after eight innings.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Orioles Magic? O's Shock the Sox (Video)

Baltimore Orioles Victory

Is Orioles Magic making a comeback?

John Smoltz was shocked as the Boston Red Sox wound up losing to the Baltimore Orioles in the biggest comeback in Orioles franchise history.

“No one would have ever dreamed it would play out the way it did,” Smoltz said after the incredible rally on Tuesday night. “It’s one of those games when you shake your head and can’t believe what you just saw.”

Nick Markakis hit a two-run double off Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon to complete the comeback before a mixture of frenzied hometown fans and shocked Red Sox supporters.

Baltimore trailed 10-1 before scoring five runs in the seventh inning and five more in the eighth. The rally was even more shocking because it came against a Boston team that had defeated the Orioles eight straight times, including five this season.

Up by nine runs in the seventh, the Red Sox probably figured the only lamentable aspect of the night was that Smoltz wouldn’t get his first win with Boston because of a lengthy rain delay.

The Red Sox had no idea how bad it would get.

“It was a weird game, a terrible loss for us,” Dustin Pedroia said. “That’s upsetting. Things just kind of spiraled on us.”

Previously, the biggest comeback in Orioles history was Sept. 2, 1956, when Baltimore rallied from an eight-run deficit at Boston. In this one, the Orioles got 13 of their 16 hits in the seventh and eighth innings.

“We just had no answer,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “We went through everybody. Nothing we did worked.”

Mark Hendrickson (3-4) gave up one run in three innings and George Sherrill got three outs for his 17th save.

“That was probably the best game I’ve been involved in, right there,” Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said. “That was absolutely tremendous. When you talk about playing all 27 outs, that’s tonight.”

Takashi Saito (2-1) took the loss and Papelbon was charged with his second blown save, one night after he tied Bob Stanley’s career record for saves with Boston. The right-hander was 20-for-20 in save opportunities against the Orioles.

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