Sorry for another wait. I was at work. Here's a quick summary of the weekend in Orioles baseball (Sunday's recap includess previews and standings information)...
Orioles 10, Texas Rangers 5
WP: Bruce Chen (8-6)
LP: C.J. Wilson (0-4)
The score doesn't even show how lopsided this game was. The O's jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first four innings thanks in part to a huge third inning that included a three-run homer by Jay Gibbons and a two-run bomb by Brian Roberts. Bruce Chen pitched six solid innings, giving up two runs on five hits before yielding to the bullpen. Jason Grimsley and Steve Kline then made it look closer than it was, giving up three runs in three innings.
Texas Rangers 10, Orioles 3
WP: John Wasdin (1-1)
LP: Daniel Cabrera (8-10)
S: Kameron Loe (1)
The Rangers returned the favor to the O's on Saturday, scoring 10 runs of their own in a 10-3 rout while handing Baltimore their first loss of the Sam Perlozzo era (three games deep at that point). Daniel Cabrera was all over the place, giving up eight runs on five hits and five walks in 3.2 innings. He did strike out seven batters, though. Steve Kline actually pitched three innings of shutout ball to knock his ERA down to 5.04, but it was already too late, as the score was 10-1 when he came in.
Texas Rangers 9, Orioles 3
WP: Chris Young (9-7)
LP: Sidney Ponson (7-11)
BAL: 53-58 (4th in AL East, 10.5 behind Boston)
The Rangers injured Sidney Ponson again. Two starts before Sunday, Ponson went 2.1 innings before a comebacker bruised the thumb on his pitching hand. Sunday, he again went just 2.1 innings before straining his calf while covering first base. He gave up three runs on five hits before leaving the game. The bullpen didn't do any better, and the Orioles lost the series to the Rangers after starting it so promising.
The O's now have Monday off before returning to Baltimore to face the Devil Rays, who swept them just over two weeks ago. Tuesday's game starts at 7:05 p.m., with an interesting matchup of a pair of young and talented left-handed pitchers. Erik Bedard (5-4, 2.96 ERA) will look to bounce back from a shaky outing against the Angels in his last start when he gave up seven runs in 4.1 innings. He goes against Scott Kazmir (6-7, 4.22 ERA), who shut down the Orioles, only allowing four hits and one run in seven innings on July 23.
The Orioles are in a strange situation. The Sam Perlozzo managerial experience started off so well, then fell into a tailspin just like the rest of the Orioles season. However, the O's pitching isn't so good and they aren't going to win an offensive throwdown against the Texas Rangers, especially when they're sending Sidney Ponson to the mound. Hopefully his last outing gets through to Perlozzo what never reached Lee Mazzilli: It's time to send Ponson to the 'pen and bring someone up from Triple-A. Anyone. Hell, I'll go out there and get shelled for three innings if it means I don't have to see Sidney's fat legs struggling to cover first base again.
The O's now look to redeem themselves in their own park against Tampa Bay, and hopefully they will give them some payback for the embarrassment that the D-Rays caused the team in Tampa. Erik Bedard, Rodrigo Lopez and Bruce Chen will be the starters for the Birds, so maybe the chips are stacked somewhat in the O's favor.