Play It Again

August 17, 2008|By JEFF ZREBIEC

A recap of the Orioles' 5-3 loss to the Tigers last night:

HIS LAST START?

Dennis Sarfate's days as a starter appeared to be numbered last week, so it probably wouldn't be prudent to promise that he won't make another start. But it is hard to foresee Orioles manager Dave Trembley giving him another opportunity. He was a little better last night but not good enough, allowing four runs in 4 2/3 innings, his longest outing of the year. Sarfate allowed six hits, including two fourth-inning solo homers, walked three and threw two wild pitches. In four starts, Sarfate is 0-2 with a 10.34 ERA and has allowed 35 base runners in 15 2/3 innings.

JUST-IN TIME

Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander, 25, entered last night's start having given up five earned runs or more in four straight starts for the first time in his career. Perhaps all it took was a matchup with the Orioles to get him back on track. Verlander allowed only two unearned runs, four hits and three walks over six innings to beat the Orioles for the second time in less than a month and the third time in his career. In four career starts against the Orioles, Verlander is 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA. Aubrey Huff and Brian Roberts are a combined 0-for-19 against Verlander in their careers.

HE GIVES AND HE TAKES

The Orioles needed a big two-out hit from Mr. Clutch, Melvin Mora, to get on the scoreboard. They didn't get it, but they were plenty happy with the end result. With men on second and third and two outs, Mora hit a bouncer that was fielded by Tigers third baseman Carlos Guillen, whose throw went over the head of first baseman Miguel Cabrera. The error allowed two runners to score. Guillen made amends in the fourth inning, hitting a solo homer to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead.

ON DECK

The three-game series at Comerica Park and the Orioles' seven-game road trip will end this afternoon (1:05) as rookie left-hander Garrett Olson (8-6, 6.06) will start opposite Tigers right-hander Zach Miner (6-4, 3.41). Olson lost his only career start against Detroit last month, allowing five earned runs on seven hits and four walks over six innings. Miner has faced the Orioles twice in his career, both outings coming in relief, and has allowed one earned run over three innings. Since joining the Tigers' rotation, Miner is 3-1 and has allowed two earned runs or fewer in four of five starts.

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