Play It Again

July 14, 2008|By ROCH KUBATKO

A recap of the Orioles' 2-1 loss to the Red Sox yesterday:

Can't cash in

It's not as if the Orioles couldn't put runners on base against Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka. They just couldn't push them across the plate. They got a single and a walk in the first inning. They got a walk and stolen base in the second. They got two singles and a walk in the third. They loaded the bases in the fifth on two walks and a hit batter. And they were down 2-0 going into the bottom of the fifth. The rally in the third inning took a hit when catcher Jason Varitek threw out Adam Jones trying to steal second base. Nick Markakis followed with a walk and Aubrey Huff singled.

Starters still scuffling

Daniel Cabrera didn't make it out of the fifth inning, leaving with one out, two runners on base and his pitch count at 105. Why should he be different than anyone else? He was charged with only two runs (one earned), but he put at least two men on base each inning. He allowed six hits, walked six, threw a wild pitch and hit a batter. Only 56 of his pitches were strikes.

Glad to see him

The Orioles had to be relieved when left-hander Hideki Okajima entered the game in the seventh. Though he had a 2.87 ERA going into the game, he was 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA in five games against the Orioles, allowing eight earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. He surrendered a grand slam to Jay Payton on May 14 to give the Orioles a 6-3 lead, a three-run double to Jones on June 2 that broke a tie at 3 and a two-run single by Huff on June 10 that erased a 6-4 lead. He walked two of the four batters he faced in the seventh yesterday, but Manny Delcarmen stranded them.

On deck

There's nothing for the next three days. The Orioles are off because of the All-Star break, except for closer George Sherrill, who was chosen for the American League team. They'll return Thursday for their longest homestand of the season - 11 games in 11 days. The first four are against the Detroit Tigers, and left-hander Garrett Olson starts the 7:05 p.m. opener for the Orioles against left-hander Kenny Rogers. Olson is due for a good outing. He has allowed 12 earned runs in his past two starts covering nine innings. He has not faced the Tigers.

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