WP: Joaquin Benoit (2-1)
LP: Daniel Cabrera (8-8)
S: Francisco Cordero (23)
BAL: 50-48 (3.5 behind Boston, 2.5 behind New York, 1 ahead of Toronto)
The Baltimore Orioles need to do something about their losing, and fast. With a 4-2 loss to the struggling Rangers last night, the team dropped their sixth game in a row and are on the verge of hitting some points that no one would have thought likely during the dream first half.
The O's hoped to get an offensive boost from the return of catcher Javy Lopez to the lineup after a two month absence as he recovered from a broken hand, but Lopez went 0-for-4 with a strike out. He batted sixth, with Rafael Palmeiro batting cleanup and Sammy Sosa hitting fifth.
The Rangers got out to a 3-0 lead with one run each in the third, fourth and fifth innings, but the O's cut the lead to one in the sixth with a homer from Jay Gibbons and a Larry Bigbie RBI groundout.
The Rangers added an insurance run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth off of Jorge Julio.
Daniel Cabrera pitched five innings, giving up three runs on three hits and seven walks.
Like the Orioles, Texas had lost five straight going into the game.
Despite being only two games over .500 and one game ahead of fourth-place Toronto, the Orioles remain only 3.5 out of first place in the American League East, as Boston and New York struggle as well. Last night, the "lowly" Devil Rays that just swept the Orioles beat the Red Sox, 4-3, while the Yankees had the night off. The BoSox have now lost five of their last nine, and the Yankees have lost four of six.
The O's look to snap their skid tonight with the second game of their four game set with Texas at 7:05 at Camden Yards. Rodrigo Lopez (9-5, 4.37 ERA, throws right) will pitch against camera-throwing lefty Kenny Rogers (11-4, 2.71 ERA).