Play it again -- Nationals 4, Orioles 3

May 21, 2007|By JEFF ZREBIEC

Key decision

With a runner on and one out and the Orioles holding a two-run lead in the eighth inning, manager Sam Perlozzo replaced Chad Bradford with right-hander Danys Baez, and not left-hander Jamie Walker. Left-handed hitter Ryan Langerhans was up, but Perlozzo said he knew that if he brought in Walker, Nationals manager Manny Acta would have sent up right-handed Tony Batista to pinch hit. Baez gave up an RBI single to Langerhans and then a two-run single to Nook Logan that gave the Nationals the lead.

He pitches and he hits

Erik Bedard got his fifth straight no-decision, but it was not because he didn't pitch well enough - or hit well enough, for that matter. In seven dominating innings, Bedard allowed one run on three hits and three walks, while tying a career high with 12 strikeouts. He threw 66 of his 98 pitches for strikes and struck out the side in three innings. He also went 2-for-2 at the plate with an RBI single and a sacrifice bunt. He entered the game 0-for-6 in his career.

Offense again offensive

Though much of the attention was on Perlozzo's decision-making and another collapse by Baez, the punchless offense deserved some of the blame. The Orioles were just 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position, with one of the hits from Bedard. The Orioles left 10 runners on base. Aubrey Huff left five on, and Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis and Jay Gibbons stranded three each.

On deck

The Orioles headed to Cooperstown, N.Y., after yesterday's game. They were scheduled to take a tour of the Baseball Hall of Fame last night, and they will play the Toronto Blue Jays in the Hall of Fame Game at 2 p.m. today. The Orioles will resume their regular-season schedule and start a six-game homestand tomorrow night against the Blue Jays, as Daniel Cabrera (3-4, 4.27) opposes A.J. Burnett (4-3, 3.99).

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