The Baltimore Orioles maligned bullpen pitched 8.2 strong innings of relief, and Adam Jones hit a 10th inning 2 run homer to defeat the Rangers- securing their third consecutive series victory to open the 2009 season (for the first time since 1998).
Starter Alfredo Simon allowed three homers in 1.1 innings before leaving with a sore elbow. Dennis Sarfate, Chris Ray, Jamie Walker and Jim Johnson (W,1) combined for 7.1 scoreless innings against a very dangerous Rangers offense in an even more dangerous park. Fortunately Brian Bass probably wasn’t available after resurrecting the Rays offense on Easter. George Sherrill pitched the 10th, in a non-save situation, and as usual did what he’s best at. Pulling out the win while simultaneously scaring the hell out of everyone that’s rooting for him.
On the offensive side, the top of the O’s lineup continued to dominate opposing pitching with Roberts, Jones, Markakis and Huff going a combined 7-18 with 5 runs, 4 RBI’s, 2 BB and 2 HR. Luke Scott helped the effort with a solo shot in the 4th and a 2 run double in the 10th that extended a two run lead that wouldn’t have held up in Sherrill’s 10th.
*Recently demoted Matt Albers is getting called back up to replace Melvin Mora, who was put on the 15 Day DL with a sore hamstring.
*It’s looking like Simon will get put on the DL as well, leaving a spot open in the rotation. I was hoping that we might see Brad Bergesen, who was a realistic candidate for the rotation this spring, but Roch Kubatko is reporting that we’re about to get another dose of Radhames Liz. Liz has pitched well so far in Norfolk, but he’s been pitching out of the bullpen. If I had to guess I’d say that Liz gets Simon’s next turn in the rotation, unless Trembley decides to give Danys Baez a shot at the rotation. Albers would be an interesting option, but I doubt the club wants stretch his workload, seeing as he’s pitching through a torn labrum.
*The Albers and (presumably) Liz call-ups leave the O’s with a 13 man staff. This is probably a necessity with a rotation that’s not sure to give the club 5 innings a start (and that’s not even an assuredly decent 5 innings), but it will be interesting to see what happens when Mora comes back. The Orioles will probably still need 13 pitchers, but won’t have an obvious position player to send down, unless they think they can get Robert Andino through waivers.
Tomorrow the Orioles try to complete their first sweep in three tries with Mark Hendrickson facing our old friend, Kris Benson.
Tags: Adam Jones Alfredo Simon Aubrey Huff Baltimore Orioles Brad Bergesen Brian Bass Brian Roberts Chris Ray Danys Baez Dave Trembley Dennis Sarfate George Sherrill Jamie Walker Jim Johnson Kris Benson Luke Scott Mark Hendrickson Matt Albers Melvin Mora Nick Markakis Radhames Liz Robert Andino Roch Kubatko Tampa Bay Rays Texas Rangers