WP: Erik Bedard (6-4)
LP: Scott Kazmir (6-8)
S: B.J. Ryan (24)
BAL: 54-58 (4th in AL East, 11 behhind Boston)
After a shaky second inning in which he gave up two runs, Erik Bedard settled down and and threw the next five innings without giving up any.
The O's came back to tie the game at two on an Eric Byrnes two-run homer in the fifth inning, then took the lead in a big seventh when they got three consecutive run-scoring singles to make it 5-2. Chris Gomez started the inning with a single, Brian Roberts sacrifice-bunted him to second, and Eric Byrnes walked before Melvin Mora, Miguel Tejada and Javy Lopez each hit RBI base knocks.
Jason Grimsley and Tim Byrdak combined to pitch a scoreless eighth inning for the O's, and B.J. Ryan shut it down in the ninth with three strike outs.
The second game of this three game set at Camden Yards is tonight at 7:05. The O's will send their 10-game winner, Rodrigo Lopez (10-6, 4.74 ERA, throws right) to face left-hander Casey Fossum (6-8, 3.89 ERA, throws left).
Lopez is coming off a fantastic start against the Angels in which he gave up two hits and one run in five innings to get the win against the Angels.
I'm not going to fool myself into thinking that this one win against the Devil Rays is the beginning of a big run, but there were signs that things are starting to turn around.
It was great Erik Bedard pitch well after struglling in his last couple starts. He hadn't won a game since May (he was out all of June and most of July), and would have fallen to 5-5 if he had taken a loss. If he is pitching well, the Orioles are a much better team. Now they need to get Daniel Cabrera back on track.
Also, the coaching moves were much-needed. Tom Trebelhorn, a.k.a. "The Windmill," and his eager arm were sent to the bench, and Rick Dempsey was moved from coaching first base to third. Dave Cash was called up from Triple-A Ottawa to coach first base.
The Orioles also made some needed roster moves, bringing up first baseman/designated htter Alejandro Freire, starting pitcher Eric DuBose and reliever Aaron Rakers, while placing B.J. Surhoff and Sidney Ponson on the disabled list and sending reliever Chris Ray back to Bowie.
Freire showed potential in his Major League debut, missing a homer in his first at bat by about three feet (it was caught at the wall by Carl Crawford). Even though he went 0-for-4, he hit the ball hard a couple of times.
DuBose will, mercifully, replace Ponson in the rotation, and Rakers had been dominant in Ottawa.