Bergesen stymies Mariners in win

Orioles 5, Mariners 2

Starter allows just 1 run on 5 hits, 2 walks in 7 2/3 innings

May 12, 2010|By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun

The Orioles promoted outfielder Corey Patterson from Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday because they were hoping his speed would jump-start a lineup that has been sputtering for weeks.

With all due respect to Patterson, what the Orioles need even more is some of their lineup mainstays to start producing as they have in the past.

Two of those players -- Adam Jones and Luke Scott -- had big nights offensively and starter Brad Bergesen continued to turn around his season as the Orioles broke a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners before an announced 11,448 who braved a persistent rain at Camden Yards. It was the Orioles' first win over the Mariners in five tries this season.

Jones went 3-for-4 with an RBI, and Luke Scott went 2-for-4 with a solo homer. Miguel Tejada also drove in two runs with a third-inning double, and Cesar Izturis drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Patterson went 1-for-5 in his return to the club as the Orioles scored more than three runs for just the third time in their past 10 games.

The Orioles (10-24) knocked out Mariners left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith after just three innings, the shortest start for an opposing starter in a non-injury situation this year. Tampa Bay Rays starter Jeff Niemann left after just 1 1/3 innings in the Orioles' third game of the season, but that was because he was hit by a come-backer off the bat of Tejada.

All the run support was appreciated by Bergesen, who has now won three straight starts and lowered his ERA from 12.19 to 5.76 in the process.

It was a terrible outing against this same Mariners team -- he allowed seven runs (four earned) on six hits and three walks over 2 2/3 innings April 19 -- that got Bergesen demoted to Norfolk to regain both his confidence and command.

In three starts since returning to the Orioles' rotation, Bergesen is 3-0 with a 2.33 ERA and has allowed 18 hits and walked four in 19 1/3 innings.

Bergesen allowed just one run on five hits and two walks while striking out three over 7 2/3 innings Wednesday, his longest outing of the season. Chone Figgins broke up Bergesen's shutout bid with two outs in the eighth inning on a bloop single to left field that scored Ichiro Suzuki, who reached when second baseman and defensive replacement Julio Lugo couldn't handle a ground ball to his left.

Figgins' single stopped Bergesen's scoreless streak at 15 1/3 innings.

After Will Ohman allowed a double to Casey Kotchman to put runners on the corners, Koji Uehara retired Jose Lopez on a flyout to the left-field wall.

Given an opportunity to close the game in the ninth, Uehara issued a leadoff walk to Matt Tuiasosopo and a single to Ryan Langerhans, putting runners on the corners with no outs. Closer Alfredo Simon entered and struck out Josh Wilson for the first out. Pinch hitter Ken Griffey Jr. hit a sacrifice fly to right to pull the Mariners within 5-2, but Michael Saunders flied out to end the game and leave Suzuki in the on-deck circle. It was Simon's fourth save in four opportunities.

Bergesen was coming off the best start of his season, throwing 6 2/3 shutout innings against the Minnesota Twins last Thursday. He allowed six hits and two walks, leading Orioles manager Dave Trembley to say, "I'll tell you this, that's the best I've ever seen him pitch."

Bergesen, whose first pitch was delayed 24 minutes by rain, continued to put up zeroes Wednesday night. He got into a little trouble in the second when Tejada booted Tuiasosopo's grounder and Langerhans followed with a single, the Mariners' first hit. But Bergesen got Wilson to hit into an inning-ending double play.

He stranded Suzuki at second after his two-out double in the third inning, and then he again escaped trouble in the fourth with the help of a double-play ball.

Bergesen walked Kotchman to begin the fourth and then allowed a single to Lopez. Tuiasosopo dropped down a sacrifice bunt, putting runners on second and third with just one out. Bergesen issued an intentional walk to Langerhans after falling behind 3-0.

Wilson again had a chance to drive in Seattle's first runs, but he bounced a ball to Tejada, who stepped on third for the one out and then fired across the diamond to complete the double play. His throw pulled Garrett Atkins off the bag, but the Orioles first baseman tagged Wilson on the back to end the inning.

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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