Angels short-circuit DuBose, hold off O's

Lefty is gone in 2

Tejada slam in 9th not enough, 7-6

August 24, 2005|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Given 20 minutes' notice that he was starting last week because of an injury, Orioles pitcher Eric DuBose threw six scoreless innings against Oakland. Interim manager Sam Perlozzo joked that he should spring the news on DuBose in the same late fashion again if it meant getting similar results.

Two days turned out to be too much.

Serving again as a replacement for Daniel Cabrera, who went on the disabled list yesterday, DuBose was gone after the second, a barrage of hits sending him to the bench and reducing the importance of a late rally in a 7-6 loss to the Los Angeles Angels before 31,768 at Camden Yards.

Miguel Tejada hit a bases-empty homer in the eighth and a two-out grand slam in the ninth off closer Francisco Rodriguez. Tejada pointed to the sky as he rounded first base, but no miracles were coming.

Juan Rivera had a two-run double off Jorge Julio in the ninth that gave the Angels a 7-2 lead before the Orioles sprung to life.

"We have the same confidence as we did earlier," Tejada said. "Even when they scored two runs, we had confidence that we could win."

If only the game hadn't gotten away from the Orioles so soon.

The Angels collected eight hits off DuBose to take a 3-0 lead. They added four singles against John Maine in the third, scoring twice, and the Orioles (60-64) were spiraling toward their 24th loss in 35 games.

DuBose (1-1) wasn't supposed to throw batting practice, but the Angels treated him like part of their baseball family. He retired only one of the first eight hitters but didn't allow a run because Chone Figgins was caught stealing and Garret Anderson bounced into a double play.

"It could have been worse," Perlozzo said.

The Angels loaded the bases with none out in the second, but Adam Kennedy fouled out to Melvin Mora, who slammed into a corner of the padded brick wall while making the catch, and Figgins flied to medium center. One out away from escaping another jam, DuBose allowed a two-run single to Orlando Cabrera and, after a single, hit Vladimir Guerrero with the bases filled again to make it 3-0.

Nine batters came to the plate, extending DuBose's pitch count to 55. His second start since an Aug. 9 recall from Double-A Bowie didn't exactly go as planned, and Perlozzo said he might flip-flop DuBose and Maine in the rotation.

"It's one of those things where I never really got a chance to get in any kind of rhythm," DuBose said. "I felt like I was scuffling from the get-go."

DuBose threw one curveball, which Darin Erstad turned into a single. The pitch worked for him a week ago. It disappeared last night.

"He was basically fastball and changeup, and he was behind in the count," Perlozzo said. "You're not going to have success that way."

Figgins batted three times in the first three innings. Cabrera was 3-for-3 with three RBIs through the third.

"In the bullpen I felt fine, and during the game I felt fine," DuBose said. "I just didn't make pitches when I had to."

Perlozzo made some changes to his lineup, dropping Eric Byrnes to eighth and putting Javy Lopez in the cleanup spot. But an offense that scored six runs during the Cleveland Indians' three-game sweep at Jacobs Field failed again in the clutch against Angels starter Jarrod Washburn - the third consecutive left-hander to oppose the Orioles.

Lopez homered in the fourth inning for the only run off Washburn (7-7), who lasted 6 1/3 innings. Sammy Sosa assumed he had one in the second, hopping out of the batter's box before realizing the ball would hit near the top of the left-field fence. Sosa was thrown out trying for a double.

"I hit it pretty hard, but that's the way it is," Sosa said. "I tried to stretch it to a double and got caught."

Left fielder Rivera, who went 4-for-5 with two RBIs, also threw out Tejada at second base in the sixth inning with the Orioles trailing 5-1.

The Orioles have lost four straight since sweeping the Athletics and giving the impression they were ready to make another run at the playoffs.

"We can't get down because we've lost four in a row," Tejada said. "We're not the only team to do it."

Perlozzo wants his players to understand that, despite their tumble in the standings and disappearance from the wild-card race, "there is plenty of baseball there." The games count. The season isn't over.

"We have to play our best baseball and be up," he said. "We owe it to ourselves, our fans and to our teammates to play good baseball, at least hard baseball, the rest of the way.

"There's a mind-set that I think needs to be developed around here, that we are still in this thing and we are going to play hard. It doesn't matter if we have one game or 40 games left. If I were to leave here, that's one of the things I'd like to see us accomplish."

Orioles tonight

Opponent: Los Angeles Angels

Site/Time: Camden Yards/7:05

TV/Radio: Comcast SportsNet/1090 AM

Starters: Angels' Bartolo Colon (16-6, 3.46) vs. Orioles' Erik Bedard (6-4, 3.12)

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