A recap of the Orioles' 2-1 loss to the Nationals yesterday:
Perhaps the Orioles need to come up with a different routine for their Sunday afternoon games. They are 1-6 on Sundays with six straight losses. The common denominator in those games has been a lack of offense. Yesterday, Nationals rookie left-hander John Lannan held them to one run on four hits over 7 1/3 innings. The previous Sunday, they were shut out by the Kansas City Royals' combination of Brian Bannister and Joakim Soria. In seven Sunday games, they have scored a total of 13 runs, and five of them came in a 6-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on May 4.
Insurance run key
Asked before the game about setup man Chad Bradford, Orioles manager Dave Trembley attributed the veteran's struggles the previous night to rust. Bradford had been used in just two of the Orioles' previous nine games, pitching only an inning during that span. Well, Bradford got in a second consecutive game yesterday and gave up a run in the eighth inning that turned out to be the game-winner for the Nationals. Ryan Zimmerman's one-out double scored Felipe Lopez and gave the Nats a 2-0 lead.
Making him work
Jeremy Guthrie got out of the first inning unscathed, though it certainly didn't come easy. The first two Nationals he faced connected for singles. After Zimmerman hit into a double play, Dmitri Young worked the Orioles right-hander for a 12-pitch walk. Young fouled off eight pitches during the at-bat. The next hitter, Aaron Boone, then hacked at Guthrie's first pitch, flying out to center and ending the inning. Guthrie turned in a strong outing, allowing one earned run over seven innings. However, he again was a victim of a lack of run support and fell to 2-4.
The Orioles will board a train this afternoon bound for New York, where they will start a three-game series against the Yankees tomorrow night at 7:05. In the first game of the series, Daniel Cabrera (4-1, 3.58) will oppose Yankees veteran right-hander Mike Mussina (6-3, 3.99). Mussina, who is 10-6 with a 4.51 ERA in 23 starts against his former team, has won five straight starts. Cabrera beat the Yankees in mid-April and is 4-6 with a 4.81 ERA against them in 14 career outings.