Play It Again

July 29, 2008|By JEFF ZREBIEC


In a matchup of former first-round picks from Stanford, Orioles right-hander Jeremy Guthrie got the better of Mike Mussina, and it wasn't even close. Mussina, the former Orioles ace, allowed a season-high six earned runs on eight hits, including two homers, and a walk over five innings. Guthrie, the Orioles' current ace, surrendered one run on three hits, two walks and two hit batters over 6 1/3 innings. Guthrie retired the first nine Yankees he faced and saw his shutout bid thwarted with one out in the sixth.


Juan Castro's single in the sixth inning meant every Oriole had a hit. They had 17 hits in a game that featured back-to-back homers for the fourth time this season and plenty of personal milestones. Ramon Hernandez's second-inning homer was the 1,000th hit of his career. Brian Roberts' fifth-inning double was the 250th of his career. Adam Jones' sixth-inning grand slam was the first of his career. It also gave him a career-high five RBIs.


The Orioles missed out on a big opportunity in the first inning as Roberts was thrown out at the plate trying to score on Nick Markakis' double and Aubrey Huff struck out looking with a man on third. But their disappointment certainly didn't linger. Melvin Mora and Luke Scott started the second inning with singles, and Kevin Millar slammed Mussina's first pitch into the left-field seats. It was Millar's 15th home run and his third in the past four games. Hernandez followed with a solo homer to right-center, giving the Orioles a 4-0 lead.


The series continues tonight (7:05) with the Orioles' Daniel Cabrera (6-6, 4.86) opposing New York's Darrell Rasner (5-7, 4.83). Both right-handers are struggling. Cabrera has one win in his past 12 starts and has given up four earned runs or more in eight of those outings. He is 5-6 with a 4.62 ERA in 15 career starts against the Yankees. Rasner has just two wins in his past 10 starts and hasn't pitched six innings or more in seven straight outings. Rasner is 1-3 with a 5.03 ERA in four career starts against the Orioles.

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