Friday, July 15, 2005

MLB: Orioles 5, Seattle Mariners 3 (July 14)

WP: Daniel Cabrera (8-7)
LP: Aaron Sele (6-9)
S: B.J. Ryan (20)

BAL: 48-40 (2nd in AL East, 1 behind Boston, 0.5 ahead of New York)
SEA: 39-49 (4th in AL West, 13.5 behind Los Angeles)

For those of you who didn't stay up late last night in hope of seeing Rafael Palmeiro's 3,000th hit, you'll have another chance tonight.

Palmeiro only got one of the two hits he needed, and he now stands at 2,999 career hits.

Despite the flurry of flashbulbs popping around Palmeiro during every at bat, the story last night was Daniel Cabrera, who threw eight innings of two-hit ball to get his third win in a row.

Cabrera was beat up a little bit early in the game, as Seattle scored three runs to go up 3-0 in the third inning. With men on first and second, Willie Bloomquist dumped a single in front of Jay Gibbons, who picked the ball up and fired an errant throw to third that got by Melvin Mora. Instead of having men on first and third and one run in, another run scored and Bloomquist moved all the way to third. In the next at bat, Cabrera threw a pitch that appeared to be fouled straight back by Mariners 2B Jose Lopez, but umpire Eric Cooper ruled that it was not touched by Lopez and Bloomquist scored from third.

After the disastrous inning, Cabrera composed himself and never faced more than three batters in an inning the rest of the game. The only other baserunner he allowed was Randy Winn on a walk, and Cabrera got Richie Sexson to ground into a double play to erase him.

The Orioles, on the other hand, came back with home run power, beginning with a two-run shot that Gibbons smashed in the top of the fourth right after Palmeiro collected his 2,999th hit. Sal Fasano then tied it in the fifth with a leadoff solo homer.

In the sixth, the Orioles got going when Gibbons singled to center and Luis Matos walked with one out. A wild pitch by Aaron Sele moved the runners to second and third, and Larry Bigbie gave the O's the lead with a sacrifice fly to left field that probably would have been a homer in Camden Yards.

Sammy Sosa, who was batting second in the lineup for Lee Mazzilli and had struck out three times already in the game, added an insurance run in the ninth with a sacrifice fly.

The O's brought in B.J. Ryan in the ninth to close things out, and he did so by striking out the side. In a twist of irony, Ryan struck out Sexton on a ball that appeared to be tipped (much like Cabrera's "wild pitch" in the third), but that the ump ruled a swing and a miss. The game ended when Fasano picked up the baseball and tagged Sexson out.

The O's and M's play game two of the four game set tonight at 10:05. Rodrigo Lopez (8-5, 4.47 ERA, throws right) looks for his second straight win after getting slammed for 10 runs (five earned) in three innings against the Yankees on July 5. Lopez turned it around and pitched eight innings of three-hit ball, giving up only one run, to beat the Red Sox on July 10.

Lopez will face Joel Pineiro (3-4, 5.44 ERA, throws right).

Palmeiro batted fifth last night but may get moved to fourth if Sosa is moved down in the order. That means there's a good chance he'll bat in the top of the first inning, so have your dessert ready and be prepared to watch the game from the very start.

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