Play it again -- Orioles 5, Blue Jays 2

May 24, 2007|By ROCH KUBATKO

Odd double steal

The Orioles scored a run in the fifth inning in a most unusual manner. With Corey Patterson on third base, Brian Roberts broke too soon for second and got caught in a rundown after Toronto starter Dustin McGowan stepped off the rubber. Roberts kept glancing at Patterson while trying to stay alive, waiting for him to break for home. It finally happened as shortstop Royce Clayton, who also was checking Roberts, flipped the ball to McGowan covering first. McGowan's throw to the plate sailed over catcher Jason Phillips' head, and Patterson scored.

Target practice

The Blue Jays would love to get through one game against the Orioles without having a batter hit by a pitch. They'll have to wait another night, because starter Steve Trachsel nailed Frank Thomas on the left arm with a fastball in the sixth inning. Thomas wasn't happy about it, judging by his reaction, but he went to first base without incident. It eased his pain a little that Clayton delivered a sacrifice fly later in the inning.

No sign of Baez

Giving in to Danys Baez's slump, manager Sam Perlozzo avoided the right-hander in the eighth inning. He called upon left-hander Jamie Walker to protect a three-run lead, even though the Blue Jays' due hitters - Troy Glaus, Frank Thomas and Aaron Hill - bat right-handed. The move went against conventional baseball wisdom, not to mention the percentages, but Walker retired all three batters. Glaus grounded out and Thomas and Hill flied out.

On deck

It might be too soon to declare Jeremy Guthrie the staff ace, but he's doing a pretty good impression. Guthrie hopes to keep it going tonight in the series finale. He'll oppose Shaun Marcum, who's making his third start. Marcum tossed six no-hit innings in his first start before leaving the game because the right-hander reached his pitch count. He didn't allow a hit in the first four innings of his next outing, making it 10 straight and tying a club record shared by Dave Stieb and David Cone.

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