'Pen scripts win

Brewers scoreless in final 6 innings

Huff hits 2 HRs

Orioles 8 Brewers 5

June 21, 2008|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,Sun reporter

MILWAUKEE -- The Orioles accomplished exactly what they wanted to in their series opener against the Milwaukee Brewers last night. They jumped out in front, got to the Brewers' bullpen early and then presented their own bullpen with a lead. Surviving some scares along the way was just a part of it.

Aubrey Huff had two home runs and three RBIs, and the Orioles survived a troubling outing by Radhames Liz to post an 8-5 victory over the Brewers before an announced 36,526 at Miller Park.

It was the fourth straight win for the Orioles (38-34), who moved to four games over .500 for the first time since May 20. They also improved to 8-2 in interleague play after entering the season with the worst record in the American League in such games.

The Brewers, who had won four straight, lost for just the 13th time in 36 home games this season.

The Orioles pounded Brewers starter Jeff Suppan (4-5) for six runs, knocking him out in the second inning and taking a 6-2 lead.

But Liz lasted only two-plus innings, surrendering five earned runs.

Oriole relievers held the Brewers scoreless over the final six innings, consistently working out of trouble.

Orioles closer George Sherrill loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth inning but struck out pinch hitter Bill Hall and retired Gabe Kapler on a game-ending double play to record his 25th save.

The Orioles dodged big trouble in the bottom of the sixth inning when Dennis Sarfate walked the bases loaded. Orioles manager Dave Trembley brought in left-hander Jamie Walker to face Brewers slugger Prince Fielder. It was Fielder who chased Liz from the game with a third-inning, two-run homer that cut the Orioles' lead to 6-5.

However, Walker, who has given up five homers to left-handed hitters this season, retired Fielder on a groundout to end the inning.

"I think Prince got himself out on that pitch," Walker said. "I just wanted to keep him in the ballpark to be honest with you."

Said Trembley: "I think when you come into an arena like this, you play on the road, you have to have guys that have had experience, that have been there before. Both Walker and [Chad] Bradford showed that."

Walker then pitched a scoreless seventh before Huff gave the Orioles some insurance with his second solo home run in the eighth inning.

"This is the best I've felt," Huff said. "It seems my timing is very good right now. It comes and goes. I'm just going to try to ride it out as long as I can."

The first meeting between the two teams since 2003 got off to a loud start as they combined for six runs and 56 pitches in the first inning.

The Orioles jumped on Suppan with four runs in the top of the first inning, three of them unearned as a result of the pitcher's throwing error.

But the Orioles' 4-0 lead was in danger immediately. Liz issued a leadoff walk and then a two-run homer to J.J. Hardy.

"I thought he [Liz] got caught up in the environment of the game," Trembley said. "There's something to be said for experience. Radhames got a real good lesson tonight. He'll be better for it."

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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