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 yester day, DuBose was gone after the second inning, a barrage of hits sending him to the bench and making a late rally nothing more than a cruel tease 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 grand slam with two outs in the ninth off closer Francisco Rodriguez. Tejada pointed to the sky as he rounded first base, but there would be no miracles.

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.

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 hit Vladimir Guerrero with the bases filled again.

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.

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

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 6M-- innings. Sammy Sosa assumed he had one in the second, hopping out of the batter's box before realizing his ball would hit near the top of the left-field fence. Sosa was thrown out trying for a double.

Left fielder Juan Rivera also threw out Tejada at second base in the sixth inning with the Orioles trailing 5-1.

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."

The interim tag still hangs from Perlozzo, though it's expected to be torn off after the season unless the team experiences a total collapse. The Orioles are 9-8 under his watch, with four straight defeats.

"I would definitely love to come back and start out fresh with this club. I don't think that's been a secret to anybody at all, but you are going to write things like that now, and then if we lose a couple more, you'll write that I'm gone." he said.

"We'll play them one at a time and it"ll work out in the end whichever way it's supposed to work out. I told all the players I'm going to try to be fair, consistent and honest with them the best I can. And then it's my job to earn their respect. That means leading them in the right direction, running the club as good as I can run it so that they realize that they can be confident in me to make the right decisions and to keep things in check.

"That's exactly what I've been working to do, trying to get them to believe in me because I believe in each one of them. We"re in this thing together. That's the way it starts. That's the way it should finish."

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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