Play it again -- Orioles 2, Royals 1, 10 inn.

April 13, 2007|By JEFF ZREBIEC | JEFF ZREBIEC,Sun Reporter

Hard-luck Trachsel

Wasn't Steve Trachsel supposed to be the biggest question mark in the Orioles' rotation? He has made two starts and he should be 2-0, not 0-0. Alex Rodriguez prevented him from getting a victory in his Orioles debut by hitting a grand slam off closer Chris Ray in the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Last night, the Orioles' cold bats were to blame. Trachsel has given up seven hits in 13 2/3 innings and has a 2.63 ERA, the second best among Orioles starters.

Green means go

Juan Samuel is known as an aggressive third base coach, and that certainly showed in the seventh inning. With the Orioles trailing by a run, Samuel waved Jay Gibbons home on Kevin Millar's double to the left-center-field gap. Gibbons, who was trying to score from first, was thrown out. It looked like a costly mistake, but catcher Paul Bako eased some of the burden on Samuel by dropping a double down the left-field line to score Millar and tie the game.

Huff's struggles

The Orioles signed Aubrey Huff to provide a presence in the middle of the order and to protect cleanup hitter Miguel Tejada. It looked like a great move when he had two hits in each of his first two games. But since then, Huff is 5-for-34 with 11 strikeouts. He struck out in his first three at-bats last night with a man on base each time, then flied to deep center with two on in the eighth. He grounded into a fielder's choice with the bases loaded in the 10th before Gibbons won it.

On deck

The Orioles will send their ace, Erik Bedard, to the mound tonight against Kansas City Royals right-hander Brandon Duckworth, who pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings in his season debut. Bedard is 1-1 with a 3.63 ERA in three career starts against the Royals.

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