A recap of the Orioles' 3-1 loss to the White Sox last...

April 17, 2008|By ROCH KUBATKO

A recap of the Orioles' 3-1 loss to the White Sox last night:

Slow out of the gate

The Orioles could use a quick, uneventful first inning, but they didn't get it last night. Adam Loewen threw 27 pitches in the inning, including an 89-mph, belt-high fastball to Jim Thome on a 1-2 count that the White Sox' designated hitter turned into a three-run homer. At that point, Loewen still hadn't recorded an out. He blanked the White Sox over the next five innings before a high pitch count prevented him from going further. Unable to keep the ball down, Loewen was up to 83 pitches after the fourth and 99 after the fifth, but he wasn't done yet. He finished at 109, issuing five walks along the way, but keeping the Orioles in the game.

Fast on his feet

Aubrey Huff isn't known for his speed, his game being built more on power, but he tried to manufacture a run for the Orioles in the fourth inning. Huff poked a ground ball up the third base line, forcing Joe Crede into foul territory after making the backhanded stop. Crede's off-balance throw over umpire Randy Marsh bounced past first baseman, and Huff was credited with an infield hit and an RBI while Kevin Millar took third on the error. Huff broke for second as Luke Scott struck out swinging and picked up his second stolen base of the season -- six under his career high set in 2005 with Tampa Bay.

Running on empty

The Orioles' offense couldn't do much with White Sox starter Jose Contreras besides pile up outs. Contreras, who is believed to be 35, allowed only one run over seven innings. He held the Orioles to four hits, didn't walk a batter and struck out six. Manager Ozzie Guillen pulled him after 91 pitches, and the White Sox' bullpen preserved the win. Contreras retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced before the Orioles strung together three straight singles in the fourth. He retired the last 11 batters, striking out four.

On deck

Another two-game series draws to a close tonight. The White Sox barely had time to unpack their bags. It'll be a homecoming of sorts for Chicago right-hander Gavin Floyd, who grew up in Severna Park and lived a stone's throw from Mark Teixeira's house. They both attended Mount St. Joseph. Floyd took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning in Saturday's start against the Detroit Tigers before shortstop Edgar Renteria singled with one out. Both of his starts have come against the Tigers, and he's 2-0. Opening Day starter Jeremy Guthrie is still looking for his first win.

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