Play it again -- Orioles 3, Nationals 2

May 20, 2007|By ROCH KUBATKO

Two strategies

Washington chose to intentionally walk No. 8 hitter Corey Patterson in the second inning with Jay Payton on second base and two outs. The Nats wanted to face the pitcher, Jeremy Guthrie, in that situation. It seemed early for such a plan, but it worked. Guthrie grounded out, and the game remained scoreless. The Orioles had the same decision to make in the bottom half with two on and two outs, and they pitched to No. 8 hitter Nook Logan, who delivered a run-scoring double. That was the only run until the Orioles tied the game in the eighth.

Stymied again

What is it about no-name pitchers making a name for themselves against the Orioles? It happened again last night when left-hander Mike Bacsik, recalled from Triple-A Columbus to replace injured starter Jason Bergmann, tossed six scoreless innings in his first major league appearance since 2004 with the Texas Rangers. Last week, Toronto's Jesse Litsch made his first start above Double-A and held the Orioles to one run over 8 1/3 innings. Oakland's Dallas Braden, fresh from the minors, beat the Orioles last month for his only victory.

No hook

Given the chance to remove Guthrie from another quality start, Sam Perlozzo declined. He let Guthrie bat with two outs in the seventh inning and the Orioles trailing 1-0, and Guthrie struck out. Perlozzo visited the mound in the bottom half, but also let Guthrie stay in. Guthrie's pitch count stood at 111 when he departed after the seventh. It was 92 when Perlozzo made the controversial decision to yank him from last Sunday's game in Boston with one out in the ninth and the Orioles ahead 5-0. The bullpen collapsed and the Orioles lost, 6-5.

On deck

The series ends today with Erik Bedard opposing another fill-in starter for the Nationals, left-hander Micah Bowie. Bedard is 3-2 with a 4.67 ERA and hasn't won since April 18. Bowie is replacing Jerome Williams, who returned to the disabled list with a shoulder injury. He's 0-2 with a 3.71 ERA.

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