O's at loss to explain run of Sunday futility

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Week starts with loss for 10th straight time

June 16, 2008|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN REPORTER

Once again, Sunday became a day of unrest for the Orioles.

They rallied to force extra innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday but lost in the 10th when Adam LaRoche poked a run-scoring single off Orioles left-hander George Sherrill. Adam Jones struck out for the third time to end the game - and continue a strange and inexplicable trend.

The Orioles have lost 10 straight Sunday games after winning their first one in April. And once again, the loss prevented them from completing a sweep.

"People have brought that to my attention," manager Dave Trembley said. "I have no rhyme or reason for it."

By scoring four runs yesterday, the Orioles have pushed their Sunday total to 29, an average of 2.6 in 11 games. They average 4.8 runs in their other games.

"We should just quit playing on Sundays and we'll be in first place," Jay Payton said. "It's just one of those stats. Maybe we need to cut the head off a monkey or something to switch it up. I think it's usually a chicken, but I'm thinking maybe a monkey would work. But that's animal cruelty. I wouldn't do that."

Jones prefers to skip over Sundays and look at the bigger picture.

"We won the series," Jones said. "If you win every series, you'll be fine. You can't be mad at that."

Father's Day for Sarfate

The Orioles were short one reliever in their bullpen yesterday, and for all the right reasons.

Dennis Sarfate and his wife, Jada, became the parents of a girl, Kinsley, who was born at 7:48 a.m. yesterday at University of Maryland Medical Center. Kinsley, who arrived a week late, weighed 7 pounds, 13 1/2 ounces and was 21 1/4 inches long. No word yet on the miles per hour on her fastball.

"He would have come to the park if I wanted him to," Trembley said. "He was up all night, so I told him, `Stay in the hospital with your wife. Your wife will get discharged tomorrow. I'll see you [tomorrow] at 3 o'clock.' That was my call."

Teammates stacked gifts on the chair in front of Sarfate's locker. The Orioles released a statement from Sarfate that read: "This is the best Father's Day gift you could ever imagine."

Mora sits with sore knee

Melvin Mora was scratched from the lineup because of lingering soreness in his left knee. Aubrey Huff, who was supposed to take the day off, started at third base and atoned for an error in the fourth inning by homering in the sixth.

Mora tried hitting off a tee earlier in the day before heading to the trainer's room. He still has some swelling from the foul ball that slammed into the side of his knee in the first inning of Saturday night's game, and he didn't believe he had enough mobility to play third base.

He pinch hit in the seventh inning yesterday with runners at first and second and no outs. He flied out to center field.

No second guess on Albers

Though Trembley expressed some frustration with Matt Albers' pitch selection last week, he didn't second-guess the reliever's decision to throw a curveball to former Oriole Jose Bautista on Saturday night. Bautista, a notorious fastball hitter, launched a three-run homer that gave the Pirates a 5-4 lead.

Albers also failed to hold a lead in his previous outing in Toronto, which included a home run by Vernon Wells.

Trembley has implored Albers to rely more on his sinking fastball, but not necessarily against Bautista.

Said Albers: "I made one bad pitch and that hurt me. The first curveball to Bautista was a pretty good one, and I was trying to make a better one and it backed up on me. It was just execution."

roch.kubatko@baltsun.com

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