Play It Again

July 31, 2008|By DAN CONNOLLY

A recap of the Orioles' 13-3 loss to the Yankees yesterday:

Rough start

Orioles right-hander Dennis Sarfate, who lived in Brooklyn until he was 10, made his first major league start, and it just happened to be at Yankee Stadium, where he once cheered. The first inning went well - for a batter. He struck out leadoff hitter Johnny Damon on five pitches. He then issued consecutive four-pitch walks to Derek Jeter and Bobby Abreu before Alex Rodriguez singled to right field. Jeter scored, and Abreu followed on a wild throw by Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis. Rodriguez then came home on a passed ball, giving the Yankees a 3-1 lead. Sarfate allowed a two-run homer to Abreu in the third and was pulled after throwing 68 pitches through four innings. Overall, he allowed two hits, three walks and five runs (three earned) and struck out five.

Great slide

Baseball highlights are usually reserved for towering homers or flashy defensive plays. But Abreu deserves serious TV face time for his slide in the first. Attempting to score on the overthrow of home by Markakis, Abreu reached the plate about the same time as Sarfate's throw to catcher Guillermo Quiroz. But Abreu slid around the pivoting Quiroz, eluded the tag and then put his right hand on the plate a split-second before Quiroz tagged him. It gave the Yankees their first lead.

Bad bullpen day

Because of pitch-count limitations, Sarfate lasted only four innings, and Orioles relievers couldn't keep the Yankees off the scoreboard. Left-hander Brian Burres allowed four runs in just 1 1/3 innings. He pitched a perfect fifth but retired just one batter in the next inning. In a five-batter span, he surrendered two doubles and a single. He left with runners on second and third base - and Fernando Cabrera allowed both to score. Cabrera was charged with three earned runs in two-thirds of an inning. He gave up back-to-back homers to Abreu and Rodriguez in the seventh.

On deck

The Orioles get a day off today, and some players will be waiting to hear if they are still with the team. The nonwaiver trade deadline is at 4 p.m. The Orioles then play a three-game series in Seattle against the Mariners, starting tomorrow night at 10:10.

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