Play It Again

May 26, 2008|By Roch Kubatko

A recap of the Orioles' 5-4 loss to the Rays yesterday:

Kids today

Third baseman Evan Longoria is showing why the Rays made him the third pick in the 2006 draft out of Long Beach State. And why they quickly brought him up after optioning him to the minors in spring training. Longoria homered twice Saturday and drove in six runs, a Tampa Bay rookie record and the second-highest total in franchise history, and he won yesterday's game with a one-out double in the ninth inning off Orioles closer George Sherrill that scored Carlos Pena. It was Longoria's second double of the game.

Could have been worse

Daniel Cabrera failed to win his fourth consecutive start after allowing four runs and nine hits, with six walks, in 5 2/3 innings. The Rays scored four times in the third inning to take a 4-1 lead, after almost reaching that total with one swing in the first. They loaded the bases on Carl Crawford's double, B.J. Upton's single and Pena's walk. Longoria flied to shallow right for the second out. Eric Hinske followed with a drive to left-center field that had grand slam written all over it, but Jay Payton made the catch a few steps from the fence. Cabrera pumped his fist as he walked off the mound.

Pena is mightier

Leaving St. Petersburg, Fla., after the game meant leaving behind Pena, who continues to torture the Orioles. If not for them, he would be considered a bust this season. Pena began the day batting .324 with four homers and 16 RBIs against the Orioles this season. In 38 games against everyone else, he was batting .196 with five homers and 11 RBIs. So, naturally, Pena hit another home run yesterday, a two-run shot in the third that erased the Orioles' 1-0 lead. Pena also walked three times, which is the safest way to pitch him if you're the Orioles.

On deck

The Orioles begin a seven-game homestand with three against the New York Yankees, who are heating up after a horrible start. The teams met in the Bronx last week, with the Orioles losing twice after taking the opener, 12-2. The Yankees haven't lost since that night. They'll get another look at Garrett Olson today (1:35 p.m.) and hope to duplicate the success they had against him Wednesday. Olson allowed six runs and eight hits in 2 2/3 innings, raising his ERA from 3.47 to 5.19. Rasner easily outpitched him, blanking the Orioles on five hits over seven innings.

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