Play It Again

May 24, 2008|By Roch Kubatko

A recap of the Orioles' 2-0 loss to the Rays last night:

Running on empty

Shut out again last night, the Orioles have scored only one run in their past 28 innings. They mounted threats in the second, fifth and sixth innings last night against Rays starter Matt Garza but weren't able to break through. In the process, they wasted a quality start from Jeremy Guthrie, who held the Rays to one run and four hits over 6 2/3 innings. The only run off Guthrie came in the fifth on Carl Crawford's two-out single that scored Eric Hinske, who singled and stole second after catcher Ramon Hernandez bounced a throw that Brian Roberts couldn't backhand.

Not-so-special K's

Nick Markakis began last night with 15 strikeouts in his past 10 games. It was more of the same through three innings last night, when Markakis struck out twice against Garza. At that point, Markakis had struck out 10 times in his previous 16 at-bats. He ended the first and third innings against Garza, whose only other strikeouts came against Kevin Millar and Adam Jones.

A wasted opportunity

The Orioles got a leadoff triple from Aubrey Huff in the second, which usually is a pretty good sign that the offense has come to life. It's not as if Huff has made a career out of legging out triples. But the Orioles failed to score, even after the next batter, Millar, drew a walk off Garza. Luke Scott popped up and Hernandez's bat shattered on a slow roller to first baseman Carlos Pena, who threw out Huff at the plate. Jones walked, but Freddie Bynum grounded out.

On deck

It's Game 2 of the series at Tropicana Field, and it comes with the unusual starting time of 6:10 p.m., a tradition of sorts with the Rays. Steve Trachsel makes his first start for the Orioles since Eisenhower was in office. Actually, he hasn't pitched since May 9 in Kansas City, where he picked up his first victory in more than a month. Trachsel hadn't lasted more than three innings in three of his previous four starts before allowing two runs in 5 1/3 innings against the Royals. He's 0-3 with a 5.93 ERA in five career starts against the Rays, who are batting .303 against him. Tampa Bay counters with right-hander Edwin Jackson, who has permitted only one earned run in his past three starts covering 20 1/3 innings. But Jackson has allowed seven runs and 10 hits in seven career innings against the Orioles, who have hit .385 against him.

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