Play It Again

April 12, 2009|By DAN CONNOLLY

Mora's slam

The big blow of the Orioles' five-run first inning against Tampa Bay Rays' right-hander Jeff Niemann was Melvin Mora's 400-foot homer to center field. It was Mora's first homer of the season and third grand slam of his career. His previous slam came June 4, 2005, against the Detroit Tigers.

Walker escapes

Left-hander Jamie Walker entered with two on and two outs in the seventh and struck out Akinori Iwamura for the hold. He stayed in the eighth and allowed a leadoff single before getting a double play and then a fly out. After struggling much of last year, Walker has retired six of eight batters in 2009. He bailed out Matt Albers, who gave up a single and a walk in two-thirds of an inning.

On deck

The Orioles wrap up their first homestand with at 1:35 p.m. Sunday against Tampa Bay. Adam Eaton, who is 68-63 with a 4.80 ERA in a nine-season career, will make his Orioles debut. He'll face Rays right-hander James Shields (0-1, 9.64 ERA), who got beat up in his first start of the season against the Boston Red Sox.

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