Orioles manager Juan Samuel walks back to the dugout after removing… (Baltimore Sun photo by Karl…)
SAN DIEGO — It was shaping up to be a typical Kevin Millwood start.
The Orioles made a ghastly Orioles' defensive error on a botched rundown in the first inning. Millwood compounded the gaffe by allowing three runs as his first-inning struggles continued. By the time the middle innings rolled around at PETCO Park, the game was tied and Millwood's pitch count was rising.
But finally, the Orioles reversed the script for their hard luck veteran starter, erasing a two-run deficit before barely hanging on to a 5-4 victory over the San Diego Padres in front of an announced 28,138.
Alfredo Simon, reappointed as the Orioles' closer earlier in the day by interim manager Juan Samuel, struck out Chase Headley with the tying run on third in the ninth inning. The Padres had men on second and third and no outs in the frame, but managed just the one run on Oscar Salazar's groundout. It was Simon's seventh save in eight chances.
Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, playing in the city that he grew up in, broke a 3-3 sixth-inning tie by bashing a two-run homer off Clayton Richard. Nick Markakis also drove in two runs for the Orioles, who won for just the fourth time in 22 games. With the victory, the Orioles (19-49) gave themselves an opportunity today to win their first road series of the season behind rookie Jake Arrieta.
Millwood finished his outing with five consecutive scoreless innings to win for the first time in 15 starts this season. His last win came on Oct. 1 last year as a member of the Texas Rangers. He allowed the three runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out five over six innings.