Play It Again

April 11, 2008|By JEFF ZREBIEC

A recap of the Orioles' 3-1 and 5-4 losses to the Rangers yesterday:

A COSTLY DECISION

With the score tied at 1 in the seventh inning of Game 1, the Rangers had Michael Young at the plate with a man on second and one out against Orioles starter Steve Trachsel. Orioles left-hander Jamie Walker was warming up in the bullpen with the left-handed-hitting Josh Hamilton on deck for the Rangers. Orioles manager Dave Trembley had the option of walking Young, who has amassed five consecutive 200-hit seasons, and bringing in Walker to face Hamilton. However, he allowed Trachsel to face Young, who hit an RBI single to break the tie.

A TALE OF TWO

The Orioles were mostly pleased with Trachsel's outing in the first game as he allowed three runs (two earned) over 6 1/3 innings. But Adam Loewen put his team in a hole in the nightcap, surrendering four runs and lasting just five innings. Loewen allowed three of those runs in a rocky third inning that featured three walks, a two-run double to Milton Bradley and an RBI single by David Murphy. The Orioles rallied to tie the game and take Loewen off the hook, but they were beaten on Ian Kinsler's tie-breaking single in the eighth inning off Chad Bradford.

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES

A big part of the Orioles' fast start can be attributed to timely hitting, but that abandoned them in both games of the doubleheader, specifically in the third inning of Game 1. Adam Jones started that inning with a double to right-center field. Kevin Millwood issued a one-out walk to Nick Markakis and then a throwing error by Hank Blalock loaded the bases with one out. The Orioles' two hottest hitters were coming to the plate, but Aubrey Huff lined out to Blalock and then Millwood struck out Luke Scott on three pitches. The Orioles left eight men on base in Game 1 and six more in Game 2.

ON DECK

The first game of a three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field will feature a rematch of the Opening Day matchup between Orioles right-hander Jeremy Guthrie (0-1, 5.11) and Rays right-hander James Shields (1-1, 3.00). That game at Camden Yards was won by the Rays, 6-2, behind a solid outing from Shields, who allowed two earned runs in seven innings. Shields is 2-1 with a 3.54 ERA in eight career starts against the Orioles. Guthrie is 2-2 with a 5.40 ERA in six career appearances versus Tampa Bay.

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