First-half Highs And Lows

The Orioles Had A Frustrating First Half, Filled With Some Uplifting Victories And Even More Deflating Losses. Here's A Look At Some Of The Highs And Lows Before The Second Half Begins Tonight In Chicago.

July 17, 2009|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

Best wins

Orioles 10, Yankees 5 (April 6): : With a sellout Opening Day crowd of 48,607 booing Mark Teixeira's every move, the Orioles pounded New York's new $161 million ace CC Sabathia for six earned runs and 13 base runners over just 4 1/3 innings. In his first game as an Oriole, Cesar Izturis connected for a two-run homer and Jeremy Guthrie turned in a quality start to out-duel Sabathia, his former Cleveland Indians teammate.

Orioles 12, Blue Jays 10, 11 innings (May 27): : After being controlled for seven innings by Toronto ace Roy Halladay, the Orioles erased an 8-3 deficit by scoring five times in the eighth. With the Orioles trailing 10-8 after the top of the 11th, Nolan Reimold hit a game-ending three-run homer, completing a series sweep and highlighting an encouraging first half for the rookie left fielder.

Orioles 5, Mets 4 (June 18): : A day after belting a game-deciding home run off Pedro Feliciano, Aubrey Huff settled for a game-ending single as the Orioles scored once in the eighth and twice in the ninth off All-Star closer Francisco Rodriguez. The ninth-inning comeback included a leadoff double by rookie Matt Wieters and great hustle by pinch runner Felix Pie to get to third on Brian Roberts' bunt.

Orioles 6, Phillies 5 (June 20): : Just two innings after slugger Ryan Howard came out of the hospital and off the Phillies' bench to slam a three-run homer, the Orioles scored three times in the ninth inning with Brian Roberts hitting a two-out, two-strike, two-run homer off Ryan Madson. It was part of a satisfying three-game sweep of the defending World Series champions on their home field.

Orioles 11, Red Sox 10 (June 30): : The Orioles trailed 10-1 after the top of the seventh inning before scoring five times in the bottom of the seventh inning and five more in the bottom of the eighth. George Sherrill then pitched a scoreless ninth to end the biggest comeback in franchise history. Nick Markakis drove in the winning runs with a two-run double off All-Star closer Jonathan Papelbon.

Worst losses

Red Sox 10, Orioles 8 (April 17): : With a 7-0 lead after the top of the second and their ace, Jeremy Guthrie, on the mound, the Orioles looked like they would coast to a win in their first game against the Red Sox this season. However, Guthrie imploded, Boston took the lead by the sixth and outscored the Orioles' 30-14 in a four-game sweep at Fenway Park.

Rangers 5, Orioles 4 (April 24):: The Orioles squandered a late lead and a strong start by Koji Uehara when closer George Sherrill allowed a two-run, go-ahead homer to Michael Young with two outs in the ninth inning at Camden Yards. The loss dropped the Orioles to 8-9, and they haven't been back at the .500 mark since.

Yankees 5, Orioles 3 (May 10): : This one might be remembered as the "Fist Pump Game," as Aubrey Huff mocked excitable Yankees starter Joba Chamberlain after his first-inning homer. But it was the Yankees who had the last laugh, overcoming a 3-1 seventh-inning deficit on Johnny Damon's homer off Jim Johnson. That started a four-game New York winning streak over the Orioles.

Athletics 3, Orioles 0 (June 7):: It started with a disastrous pitching performance by the enigmatic Rich Hill, who got only two outs while surrendering three first-inning runs. It ended with a feeble offensive effort against Oakland rookie Vin Mazzaro. The Orioles lost a game in which they allowed just two singles, capping a brutal three-game sweep by the A's.

Red Sox 6, Orioles 5, 11 innings (July 1): : Less than 24 hours after they erased a nine-run seventh-inning deficit and pulled off the biggest comeback in franchise history, the Orioles squandered a four-run ninth-inning lead and a brilliant pitching performance by rookie Brad Bergesen. Jim Johnson and George Sherrill, who both had strong first halves, were the culprits and then Danys Baez gave up a run in the top of the 11th.

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