Play It Again

July 22, 2008|By ROCH KUBATKO

A recap of the Orioles' 8-3 victory over the Blue Jays last night:

Mora surging

The All-Star break certainly did Orioles veteran third baseman Melvin Mora some good. Since play resumed Thursday, Mora is 8-for-19 with three home runs, nine RBIs, five runs and two walks in five games. He got the big hit last night, breaking a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the fifth inning with a two-out, two-run single with the bases loaded. He finished 2-for-4 and has raised his average 10 points to .243 since the break.

Damage control

The second inning could have turned ugly for Orioles starter Radhames Liz, who allowed three of the first four batters to reach, beginning with Lyle Overbay's leadoff walk. Rod Barajas followed with a single, putting runners on the corners with no outs. Matt Stairs flied out to shallow right, but Scott Rolen grounded an RBI single into center field. Liz steadied himself and struck out Adam Lind on a changeup and induced a fly ball from David Eckstein. Surrendering one run in the inning was a victory in itself for Liz, who won for the first time since July 1.

Just clear the fence

Adam Jones hit his sixth home run, a two-run shot in the third inning that broke a 1-1 tie. Then he hit the fence in right-center field in the fifth inning and fell to the ground. Jones' name didn't appear in the lineup yesterday until after he ran to test his right ankle, which swelled Sunday morning and forced him to miss the game. His opposite-field homer last night showed that he was healthy, but he collapsed on the warning track after his back slammed into the fence while chasing Alex Rios' RBI double in the fifth. He stayed in the game, and the Blue Jays tied the score on Rod Barajas' sacrifice fly.

On deck

The Orioles continue their four-game series with the Blue Jays tonight (7:05), and left-hander Garrett Olson will attempt to reverse his luck against them. Olson has lost both career starts against Toronto, allowing 12 runs and 13 hits, with eight walks, in 6 1/3 innings. The Blue Jays are batting .419 against him. Two weeks ago, Olson gave up seven runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings at Rogers Centre. In Olson's past two starts, including Thursday's game against the Detroit Tigers, he has permitted 12 runs and 14 hits, with eight walks, in 9 2/3 innings. Shaun Marcum, who starts tonight for the Blue Jays, held the Orioles to one run in seven innings June 6.

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