Wednesday, July 20, 2005

MLB: Minnesota Twins 3, Orioles 2 (July 20)

WP: Joe Nathan (2-3)
LP: Jason Grimsley (0-1)

BAL: 50-44 (3rd in AL East, 2 behind Boston, 1 behind New York)
MIN: 51-42 (2nd in AL Central, 11.5 behind Chicago)

The Orioles have started the second half on the wrong foot.

Trade talks continue with no resolution and the Orioles have suffered multiple heartbreaking defeats at the hands of the Mariners and Twins.

Today, the Orioles got a two run lead in the fourth on a Rafael Palmeiro two-run homer but couldn't add any insurance, eventually losing in the ninth inning on a Jacque Jones walkoff homer.

The loss is just another in a series of missed opportunities, and with the A.J. Burnett deal seemingly pushing closer and closer to a stalemate (which, according to The Washington Post, is the doing of Peter Angelos), the biggest one may be yet to come.

While the focus of the trade talks has been pitching, it has been the Orioles bats that have let them down since the All-Star break. The O's have only scored 12 runs in their last five games (an average of 2.4 per game), and they have lost four of those.

They are now two games behind Boston because the Red Sox trampled the Devil Rays this afternoon, 9-4.

The O's now get a day off before facing lowly Tampa Bay for a three game set to end this road trip. The opener is at 7:15 p.m. on Friday, with Bruce Chen (7-5, 3.76 ERA, throws left) set to face Seth McClung (0-5, 7.05 ERA, throws right), but that could potentially change if Orioles management decides to pull the trigger on this trade. Facing McClung, hopefully, will resurrect the Oriole bats.

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