Play It Again

June 30, 2008|By DAN CONNOLLY

A recap of the Orioles' 3-2 loss to the Nationals yesterday:

A PAINFUL END

The Orioles lost on Sunday for the 12th straight time and did it in dramatic fashion, on Ronnie Belliard's, two-run, two-out homer in the bottom of the 12th inning. It was Orioles closer George Sherrill's fourth blown save. Sherrill thought Belliard had struck out on the previous pitch, but plate umpire Ron Kulpa called it a ball. The Nationals improved to 4-3 in extra-inning games; the Orioles dropped to 3-5.

GUTHRIE'S FIRSTS

Orioles pitcher Jeremy Guthrie picked up his first major league hit in the fifth inning, a double to center field. He then followed it with another first: He was picked off second base by Nationals catcher Wil Nieves. Nieves noticed Guthrie had wandered a little too far, so he threw a strike to shortstop Cristian Guzman, who applied the tag. Guthrie also gave up Nationals outfielder Roger Bernadina's first major league hit in the first inning.

HUFF'S HOPS, LEATHER

Aubrey Huff, who has spent the majority of the season as the team's designated hitter, started at third base for the 11th time yesterday. And in the third inning, he made a highlight-reel catch. Bernadina hit a liner that Huff jumped for and snagged, showing solid leaping ability. He also turned two 5-3 double plays, including a key one in the eighth inning.

ON DECK

The Orioles host the Kansas City Royals for a four-game series starting tonight (7:05). It's the only time the Royals will be in town this season. Brian Burres (6-5, 5.29) will pitch against Kansas City's Zack Greinke (7-4, 3.40). Burres has faced the Royals twice before, including one start. He is 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA in those games. Greinke, 24, is one of the better young pitchers in the American League, but he has had his trouble against the Orioles. He is 0-2 with a 10.64 ERA in four games (two starts) versus the Orioles. That is his highest ERA against any team.

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