Play It Again

July 23, 2008|By ROCH KUBATKO

A recap of the Orioles' 10-8 loss to the Blue Jays last night:

Strike a pose

Nick Markakis took a few seconds to admire his fly ball in the first inning. It was worth watching, too. Markakis almost bounced one off Eutaw Street. Instead, it slammed into the back of the flag court above the out-of-town scoreboard, giving the Orioles a 2-0 lead against Blue Jays starter Shaun Marcum. Adam Jones reached with one out when Marcum hit him in the kidney area. Markakis followed with his 15th home run, on a 1-1 pitch. The ball traveled 380 feet. It made Markakis 8-for-16 with five homers lifetime against Marcum.

Tale of two leads

The Orioles sent eight batters to the plate against Marcum in the third inning, scoring two runs to take a 4-0 lead. Jones reached on an error with one out, Markakis walked and Aubrey Huff singled to load the bases. Melvin Mora, batting .353 with runners in scoring position, followed with a two-run double, the ball smacking off the out-of-town scoreboard. Mora tied Huff for the team lead in RBIs with 61 when he hit a two-run homer in the fifth that tied the score at 6. Ramon Hernandez put the Orioles ahead 7-6 with his fourth homer in seven games.

Losing last lead

Orioles manager Dave Trembley brought in left-hander Alberto Castillo to face the left-handed-hitting Adam Lind with two on and two outs in the sixth. Lind made a mockery of the percentages, lining the second pitch from Castillo onto the flag court for a three-run homer that gave Toronto a 9-7 lead. Lind drew within a triple of the cycle and expanded the Orioles' pitching woes. Starter Garrett Olson allowed six runs in 4 2/3 innings, and Fernando Cabrera was charged with two runs in one inning.

On deck

The third game of this four-game series takes place at 7:05 tonight. It also gives Jeremy Guthrie a chance to reach .500 for the first time this season. He has won four of his past five decisions and held Toronto to one earned run in seven innings on July 10, but he didn't get the decision in the Orioles' 6-5 loss. The Blue Jays have totaled two earned runs in 14 innings against Guthrie this season. A.J. Burnett is 6-1 with a 5.26 ERA against the Orioles. He has given up 15 runs and 17 hits in two starts this season covering 9 2/3 innings.

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