Orioles' third straight loss is an ugly one

Royals 4, Orioles 3

Patterson scores 3 runs, but team struggles in every facet of game

May 17, 2010|By Dan Connolly, The Baltimore Sun

On a miserable, rainy, windy evening at Camden Yards, the Orioles' all-around performance in a 4-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals was befitting of the nasty weather and the apathy emanating from the soaked, near-record-low crowd.

The Orioles (12-27) made base-running blunders and defensive miscues, failed to get big hits and mixed in a run-scoring balk for good measure.

And still they had a legitimate chance to win in the bottom of the ninth, by loading the bases against Kansas City's All-Star closer, Joakim Soria, on a walk, a bunt single and an intentional walk.

But Soria picked up his 10th save by striking out Ty Wigginton and getting Miguel Tejada to hit a one-hop grounder to second for the Orioles' third straight loss.

"Obviously, it's not something that's real pleasant to come in here and talk about after, but we did the very best we could with the right guys who've done a very good job for us up to this point," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "They've really come through with some big hits. Wigginton has been a real reliable guy knocking in runs and having a big season, as everybody knows, and that didn't happen."

Said Wigginton: "We definitely had the opportunities. Garrett [Atkins] had a great at-bat to start that ninth inning, [Cesar Izturis] gets down the bunt, Corey [Patterson] does his job, they walk Nick [Markakis] and it's up to me next. I didn't come through.

"At the end of the day, all that matters is if you get an 'L' or a 'W.' Unfortunately we were on the wrong side of that. We got the 'L.'"

The frustration boiled over to the point that, after grounding into an inning-ending double play in the eighth, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones whipped his batting helmet about 50 feet down the right-field line.

"It is frustrating," Jones said. "I have had so many damn opportunities this year and haven't done a [damned] thing."

Asked whether this is as frustrated as he has ever been, Jones said: "I would say it is up there. It's frustrating because you are missing good pitches to hit. Overall, it is not clicking right now. I just have to take a step back and start all over tomorrow."

"Just more head-scratching for a team that can't beat the good clubs or the struggling ones.

"We should beat all these dudes," Jones said. "We can play with the Yankees, all them [teams]. We can play with all of them. It's frustrating that we are not. But we can. I know we can."

Heading into Monday night, the Orioles were 25-10 (.714 winning percentage) against the Kansas City Royals since 2005. No team has a better winning percentage against the Royals in that span.

So Kansas City (15-24) might have needed a little help Monday, and its hosts obliged before an announced crowd of 9,299 -- second lowest in Camden Yards history -- that realistically looked to be about a third of that.

The ugliness started early when each team's leadoff hitter reached base, stole second and scored in the first inning.

In the top half against Orioles starter Brad Bergesen, Kansas City's Scott Podsednik walked and then stole his 14th base of the season. Orioles catcher Matt Wieters made a perfect throw to nab Podsednik, but Wigginton didn't get the tag down in time for the out. Billy Butler followed with a single to right to give the Royals a 1-0 lead.

The Orioles came back in the first with their own version of small ball. Patterson led off with a single, stole second, moved to third on a flyout and scored on Tejada's infield single to tie it at 1.

It was Patterson's first of three runs scored Monday, tying a career high. It also was the Orioles' lone hit with runners in scoring position in 12 attempts.

The Royals picked up a second run in the second when plate umpire Bob Davidson called a balk on Bergesen with a runner on third. The run, set up by an error by Wigginton, was unearned.

"It was a balk. He balked," Trembley said. "You can look at it on the replay. It was very clearly a balk."

The Royals' third run might have been avoided as well, but third baseman Tejada double-clutched and could get only one out on a potential inning-ending double play in the sixth.

Butler, who ended Bergesen's season last year by hitting a liner off the pitcher's leg, had a RBI double in the seventh to give Kansas City a 4-2 lead.

Bergesen (3-3) allowed four runs (three earned) on 10 hits and two walks in 62/3 innings to end his personal three-game winning streak.

The score remained 2-1 until Patterson again used his speed to tie it in the fifth -- though this time it took him a little longer than it should have.

He walked, stole second and advanced to third when Royals catcher Jason Kendall's throw soared into the outfield.

Markakis followed with a sinking liner against Kyle Davies (3-2) to right that David DeJesus caught while diving headfirst into the grass. Patterson read the catch too late, and by the time he broke toward home, DeJesus had uncorked a circus throw to the plate that prevented Patterson from tagging.

Patterson scored when Wigginton grounded out to second. Patterson scored the third run on another groundout from Wigginton in the seventh.

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

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