Wednesday, July 27, 2005

MLB: Orioles 5, Texas Rangers 4 (July 26)

WP: Jason Grimsley (1-1)
LP: James Baldwin (0-1)
S: B.J. Ryan (22)

BAL: 51-48 (3rd in AL East, 3.5 behind Boston, 2.5 behind New York, 1 ahead of Toronto)

Javy Lopez apparently decided to push his welcome back celebration back a day, because after going 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his first game back, he went 3-for-4 with the game-winning homer in his second, helping the Orioles snap a six game losing streak.

After the bullpen let a two-run lead slip away, Javy Lopez came up in the bottom of the eighth and smoked a pitch over a leaping Gary Matthews Jr. to score the winning run.

The O's got the lead in the first off when Rafael Palmeiro continued his hot hitting with a single that scored Miguel Tejada. They made it 2-0 with a Luis Matos homer in the second inning, and 4-1 with a Sammy Sosa two-run homer in the sixth.

Sosa's homer was his 586th, which ties him with Frank Robinson for fifth place all time.

In the seventh, Orioles starter Rodrigo Lopez got into some trouble when he gave up an RBI ground rule double to Matthews, who already had a home run in the game. With the lead 4-2 and Matthews on second, Chris Ray came in and David Dellucci hit an RBI single to cut the lead to 4-3.

Rodrigo Lopez didn't get the win for his efforts, but did net a quality start, going 6.1 innings and giving up three runs on six hits.

The Oriole bullpen continued their recent inability to find the strike zone -- or anywhere within five feet of the catcher, for that matter -- when Jason Grimsley bounced a wild pitch that scored Mark Teixeira (the run was charged to Steve Kline) and tied the game at four in the eighth.

In the bottom of the inning, though, Javy Lopez stepped up with the heroics and ended the O's losing streak.

Game three of the four game set is tonight at 7:05 at Camden Yards. And it's Sammy Sosa bobblehead night, so hopefully he'll knock a few more out of the park to celebrate.

Bruce Chen (7-6, 4.09 ERA, throws left) will pitch for the Orioles against Chris Young (8-6, 4.30 ERA, throws right).

Young was dominant for Texas until mid-June. He was posting a 2.78 ERA and was 6-3 before his June 20 start against the Angels. Since then, in seven starts he has pitched 33.1 innings and given up 29 runs, which amounts to an ERA of 7.89. He has also given up eight homers in those seven games, which should make O's hitters salivate since they hit three last night alone.

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