Play It Again

April 08, 2008|By ROCH KUBATKO

A recap of the Orioles' 5-4 win over the Mariners yesterday:

Having clout

Aubrey Huff sure knows how to make friends. Once booed with vigor because of his derogatory comments about Baltimore on a shock jock's radio show, which he insists were a joke, Huff received another loud ovation after hitting a tiebreaking home run off Seattle left-hander Eric O'Flaherty in the eighth inning. Huff attacked the first pitch from O'Flaherty, figuring he would see a fastball for one of the few times in the series. He was right. Afterward, first baseman Kevin Millar couldn't talk Huff into holding a broom, the baseball symbol for sweeping an opponent, while being interviewed at his locker. As if the guy hasn't stirred up enough controversy.

Launching pad

Throwing strikes wasn't an issue for Daniel Cabrera in the first inning. The trick was keeping the ball in the park. Ichiro Suzuki hit the 26th leadoff homer of his career to stake the Mariners to a quick 1-0 lead, and Raul Ibanez belted a solo homer with one out. Suzuki got hold of a 93 mph fastball and cleared the fence in center field. Ibanez drove an 80 mph curveball onto the flag court in right. Cabrera lasted six innings, allowing four runs and five hits, walking four and striking out five. He left with the score tied at 4.

Heads-up play

The Mariners tied the game at 3 in the fourth inning when Adrian Beltre scored from second base on a ground ball. Unconventional, to say the least. Beltre advanced to third when Millar fielded Jose Vidro's grounder and fired to second base for the force. Luis Hernandez tried to turn the double play but threw late to Cabrera covering first base. While Cabrera disputed the call with umpire Paul Nauert, Beltre broke for home and scored standing up. Cabrera didn't know what was going on until Millar yelled to him and pointed toward the plate.

On deck

It took until the seventh game, but left-hander Brian Burres finally will make his first start of the season as the fifth guy in the rotation. And it comes in the Orioles' first road game, against the Texas Rangers. Burres has faced the Rangers once in his career, during the infamous 30-3 game last season, and was charged with eight earned runs in two-thirds of an inning. The 108.00 ERA weighed him down the rest of the season. Texas right-hander Jason Jennings will make his second career start against the Orioles. He shut them out over seven innings three years ago while pitching for the Colorado Rockies.

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