WP: Rodrigo Lopez (10-6)
LP: Ervin Santana (6-5)
S: B.J. Ryan (23)
BAL: 52-56 (4th in AL East, 10.5 behind Boston)
The Orioles combined stellar pitching with timely hitting to end their eight game losing streak on Thursday.
Rodrigo Lopez went five innings, giving up one run on two hits to get the win, and Sammy Sosa went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer.
Sosa's homer came in the fourth inning and gave the Orioles a 4-0 lead.
The O's got their first two runs in the third inning after the Orioles got runners on second and third with none out. After Luis Matos flied out too shalow to score the runner from third and Brian Roberts struck out, Eric Byrnes turned around the O's misfortunes with runners in scoring position by hitting a pop-up into very shallow left field that bounced off of shortstop Orlando Cabrera's glove and skittered away for what was ruled a triple.
Vladimir Guerrero kept torturing the Orioles, knocking in the only Angels run in the fourth.
Todd Williams, Tim Byrdak, Jorge Julio and B.J. Ryan combined for four shutout innings to hold the 4-1 lead.
The O's travel to Texas to start a three game series with the Rangers tomorrow at 8:05 p.m. Bruce Chen (7-6, 4.31 ERA, throws left) which make his first start since his pair of emergency relief appearances for the Orioles. He will face C.J. Wilson (0-3, 7.91 ERA, throws left), who has had a rough go of it in four starts since joining the rotation on June 19. He is 0-3, averaging just over four innings per start and posting an ERA of over 10.
After the firing of Lee Mazzilli, this game was huge. Don't get me wrong, it was big already, but the O's needed to prove that they still had a spark, and they did.
It was great to see Perlozzo up on the railing in the dugout during the game. That was one thing that I noticed that really irked me about Mazzilli, and I didn't know why until the series against the White Sox. Every shot ChiSox manager Ozzie Guillen was in, he was up on the railing, as if he was studying what was going on and was more interested than anyone else in the stadium in every pitch. Meanwhile, Mazzilli sat there, slouching, with his hands in his pockets (something he learned from Joe Torre, no doubt).
I've got to think that, as a player, you want to harder when your manager looks really into the game, not when he looks like he is completely bored.
Is Perlozzo the answer? I don't know. Maybe he should have gotten the job in the first place. You can bet, though, that if the team turns it around -- even if it's just enough to finish over .500 -- that Perlozzo will start at the top of the running to become the more-than-interim manager.