Monday, July 18, 2005

MLB: Seattle Mariners 8, Orioles 2 (July 17)

WP: Gil Meche (10-6)
LP: Sidney Ponson (7-8)

BAL: 49-42 (3rd in AL East, 1 behind Boston, 0.5 behind New York, 4.5 ahead of Toronto)
SEA: 41-50 (4th in AL East, 13.5 behind Los Angeles)

After taking the first two games of the four game set against the Mariners, the Orioles only earned a series split.

Sidney Ponson looked excellent for the Orioles for five innings before imploding and giving up five runs in the sixth. The Mariners then piled on for two more runs (both unearned) on Todd Williams in the seventh and another run on Steve Kline in the eighth.

A night after leaving seven men in scoring position in a 3-2 loss, the Orioles left five men in scoring position.

Rafael Palmeiro gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead in the second by leading off the inning with a homerun, but the Orioles wouldn't add any more runs until the ninth inning.

Ponson has now lost four straight decisions (over five starts), and hasn't given up fewer than four runs during that span, totaling 26 runs in 25.2 innings.

The loss, combined with the Yankees beating the Red Sox 5-3, knocked the Orioles to third place in the AL East, a game behind Boston for first and 0.5 behind New York for second. The loss also knocked the Orioles to third in the Wild Card race, a half game behind Minnesota, who the Orioles open a three game series with tonight, and New York.

The O's continue their 10 game road trip when they head to Minnesota tonight for an 8:05 game. Erik Bedard (5-1, 2.08 ERA, throws left) is back for the Orioles after a two month absence, which should be good news for the Orioles (look at those numbers!). Bedard had been the Orioles' best pitcher and won five straight decisions before straining his MCL in late May. He faces Carlos Silva (7-3, 3.53 ERA, throws right), who has won four straight decisions.

Bedard's return is a big step for the Orioles toward getting healthy. Javy Lopez is now the only major player on the team on the disabled list. Stats, Inc. reported that Lopez, who broke his hand in late May, is still at least a week away from returning.

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