Sox Dig Deep To Beat Orioles

Trembley Blames Self For Leaving In Guthrie, Who Yields 3 Homers

August 01, 2009|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,

Questioned at times this season for not allowing his starters to go deeper in games, Orioles manager Dave Trembley decided to stay with Jeremy Guthrie for one more batter. The result was Kevin Youkilis' go-ahead, two-run homer and the Orioles manager shouldering the blame for his team's 6-5 loss.

"We busted our butts to win the game tonight and I left Guthrie in the game one hitter too long," Trembley said. "I'll take that. I really believed that he was going to get him out."

On a night in which five homers flew out of Camden Yards and one more would have had Boston Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury not reached over the center-field wall in spectacular fashion to rob Luke Scott of a solo shot in the sixth inning, it was Youkilis' blast in the top of the seventh that proved the decisive swing and sent the Orioles to their ninth loss against Boston in 11 tries this year.

Before an announced 44,091 on Friday night, Guthrie gave up three homers, which accounted for all but one of the Red Sox's runs, in 6 2/3 innings. He has surrendered 26 homers this season, the most in the American League.

"I don't have the explanation, I don't have the solution, obviously, or I would [have] hopefully corrected it by now," said Guthrie, who has given up home runs in five straight starts and a total of nine during that span. "I would take any suggestion; I have taken suggestions."

The Orioles (44-58) were able to come back from David Ortiz's two-run homer in the third inning that gave the Red Sox a 3-0 lead. Nolan Reimold answered with a two-run shot off John Smoltz in the bottom of the inning that was ultimately reviewed and upheld to tie the game.

They were able to survive Ellsbury's go-ahead solo shot off Guthrie in the fifth as Aubrey Huff hit a two-run homer in the sixth, the 200th of his career, and his first since July 3.

"It sure was nice," Huff said. "I'm just glad it landed near the bullpen so a Red Sox fan couldn't get it."

But after Ellsbury robbed Scott of a solo shot and denied the Orioles a two-run lead to end the sixth, Guthrie (7-10) allowed a one-out single to Ellsbury. He then fanned Dustin Pedroia for the second time. Guthrie's pitch count was at 107 and Matt Albers was ready in the bullpen when Youkilis stepped to the plate.

"He's supposed to be your best guy," Trembley said of Guthrie. "He's your No. 1 guy. He wants the opportunity. You feel confident he's going to get the guy out. He deserves the opportunity to be there. It's that simple.

"If he gets the guy out, it's a different story. He doesn't. He said he wanted the pitch back, but I'm the guy who left him out there, so I'm the guy responsible for it."

Guthrie hung a 2-1 off-speed pitch that Youkilis belted over the left-field wall for his 18th homer. As soon as the ball landed in the seats, Guthrie bent down, put his hands at his knees and started screaming toward the ground.

"I appreciate the opportunity to go back out there," Guthrie said. "We get a big home run from Aubrey to put us back ahead, and I got out there and had a lot of confidence I could get through that seventh inning. You can never complain as a player for letting your manager let you go out there and compete and show that confidence. Unfortunately, I couldn't reward him and, more importantly, the team with that one big out."

Asked about his problems giving up the long ball, Guthrie said: "The only thing I can think of is I just don't have great movement on my pitches. I've always been a pitcher that's been around the zone like I have this year, but when you don't have that little bit of extra, when you don't have that movement, which I haven't had hardly at all this entire season, that's the only real reason I can come up with."

The Orioles had men on first and second with one out in both the seventh and eighth innings and couldn't score. Ramon Ramirez got out of the jam in the seventh, and Hideki Okajima did the same in the eight, thanks to his stab of a liner by Matt Wieters that had appeared destined for center field and a game-tying RBI single.

Boston's All-Star closer, Jonathan Papelbon, pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his 27th save, striking out Reimold to end it.

"We had a real nice opportunity to get a win, and it didn't happen because of my pitches," Guthrie said.

Baseball inside

Bergesen on DL: : Orioles starting pitcher Brad Bergesen, who was hit in the left leg by a line drive Thursday, is placed on the disabled list. Relievers Chris Ray and Kam Mickolio are recalled. PG 3

No deal for O's: : Andy MacPhail describes the Orioles' nonwaiver trade deadline day as "uneventful." PG 3

Peavy to White Sox: : Padres pitcher Jake Peavy approves a trade to Chicago, and catcher-first baseman Victor Martinez is sent from the Indians to the Red Sox. PG 4

Box score

for Friday's game PG 4


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