Jones homers, Guthrie lowers ERA in O's 5-2 loss to Marlins

March 23, 2010|By Peter Schmuck | peter.schmuck@baltsun.com | Baltimore Sun reporter

JUPITER, Fla. — Center fielder Adam Jones homered in the first inning on Tuesday, but the Orioles offense was not heard from again until the final throes of a 5-2 loss to the Florida Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium.

Jones' third home run of the Grapefruit League season allowed Jeremy Guthrie to take the mound with a lead, but Guthrie gave up a run in each of his first two innings before settling down to throw 91 pitches in a bounce-back performance after getting knocked around in his previous two starts.

Guthrie entered the game with a 9.28 ERA after allowing 10 earned runs in his previous 6 1/3 innings, but whittled it to 7.47 with a five-inning performance in which he allowed six hits and two walks and hit a batter.

"I thought it was a little better,'' Guthrie said. "I was more consistently down in the zone. When I get in trouble, it's because I make poor pitches in the zone."

The offensive inconsistency remains problematic. The Orioles have scored just 74 runs in 20 games, or an average of just 3.6 runs per game. They appeared to be starting fast, with four hits in the first two innings, but didn't make another dent until the ninth, when they scored a run and loaded the bases to bring the go-ahead run to the plate.

Robert Andino, representing the potential winning run, hit a long drive that was caught at the fence.

Marlins starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco pitched very well, going six innings and allowing a run on six hits. He also reached base in both his plate appearances and drove in the go-ahead run in the second inning.

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