Friday, July 29, 2005

MLB: Texas Rangers 2, Orioles 1 (July 28)

WP: Kameron Loe (5-3)
LP: Chris Ray (0-2)
S: Francisco Cordero (24)

BAL: 51-50 (4th in AL East, 5 behind Boston, 3.5 behind New York, 1 behind Toronto)

And the Orioles are in fourth place.

After what seemed like it could be a rejuvenating win on Tuesday, the Orioles turned around and took two more heartbreaking losses in the next two days. Now, the team is only one game over .500 and has fallen into fourth place in the AL East, where it has finished in six of the last seven seasons.

Last night, Orioles starter Sidney Ponson was thought to be making his last start in an Orioles uniform, but in the third inning of a scoreless game he attempted to barehand a comebacker and it hit him in the thumb, knocking him out of the game and maybe out of the trade talks. Ponson is supposedly not seriously injured, but initial reports were that his thumbnail was partially torn off, and only later were the reports altered to say that it was just bruised.

Tim Byrdak was clutch, coming in and shutting out Texas for 2.2 innings of emergency relief, and leaving with a 1-0 lead that the O's obtained on an RBI single by Melvin Mora that scored David Newhan.

But the Orioles bats, as they have been all too often recently, were quiet for the rest of the game, and Texas took advantage, hitting a pair of solo homers to take the lead and win the game.

The first was hit by Alfonso Soriano off of Jason Grimsley in the sixth inning to tie it at one, and the second came in the top of the ninth, when David Dellucci homered off of Chris Ray.

In the bottom of the eighth, when the game was still 1-1, the Orioles had runners on second and third with no outs and failed to score.

The lone positive was Sammy Sosa continuing to improve, going 2-for-4 with a double.

The Orioles open a huge four game set with the Chicago White Sox tonight at 7:35 at Camden Yards. This series could decide the fate of the Orioles this season, as another series loss would put them below .500 and further back in the standings.

Also, there is some speculation that with the recent skid, the O's may shift from being buyers to sellers in this non-waiver trade deadline weekend, with names like B.J. Ryan being mentioned as possible trade bait. Because of that, the games tonight and tomorrow are especially important in shaping management's decisions on where this team is headed this season.

The Orioles will send their best starter, Erik Bedard (5-2, 2.11 ERA, throws left), to the mound against El Duque, Orlando Hernandez (7-3, 4.78 ERA, throws right).

No comments: