Orioles get only 2 hits, fall to Blue Jays, 4-1

Rare error by Markakis hurts Berken's outing

March 18, 2010|By Peter Schmuck

SARASOTA, Fla. — — The Orioles trotted out most of their projected regular-season lineup Wednesday, but they could not build on their three-game Grapefruit League winning streak.

In fact, they barely could get out of the batter's box against a parade of effective Toronto Blue Jays pitchers, who combined to give up just two hits in a 4-1 victory over the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium.

The Jays didn't have a big day at the plate either, but they scored three runs in the third inning off Orioles starter Jason Berken, more than enough to carry the day. Cesar Izturis led off the bottom of the first inning with a single, and the Orioles did not get another hit until there were two outs in the ninth inning.

Berken probably deserved better. He pitched a pair of scoreless innings before the Jays took advantage of a couple of soft hits and a rare error by Nick Markakis in right field.

"My stuff today was [the] best it has been in a long time, including last year," Berken said. "I think my fastball had good action to it. My slider was much better than I've probably ever thrown it.

"Numbers-wise, it wasn't the greatest, but I feel like, stuff-wise ... it was really good," he said. "There were a couple hitters I'd like to take back, but aside from that I was happy with the way it went."

On deck
The Orioles will play the second half of the home-and-home series against the Toronto Blue Jays this afternoon at 1:05 in Dunedin with Jeremy Guthrie getting the start. Matt Albers and Alberto Castillo are also scheduled to pitch for the Orioles. Left-hander Ricky Romero will start for the Blue Jays.

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