Orioles Host Late-Inning Party

Entering the weekend, the Orioles had lost 11 straight series to the Red Sox. But this weekend, the O’s staged two late-inning rallies (and put a scare in Boston during their only loss) to capture two of three from the Red Sox — who felt right at home with the legions of red-clad fans.

“I don’t know why so many Red Sox fans want to be here and Oriole fans don’t. You look around and you realize that you’re swamped in red. It gets really old,” Roberts said in the Baltimore Sun. “You’d just like to have the support of our fans. We have a pretty darn good team. When we win, I know people will come out. But it would nice if they came out to support us when we’re in the process of developing a winning team.”

Yesterday’s magic came from Miguel Tejada, who hit a game-tying homer in the eighth, and former “idiot” Kevin Millar — who launched a three-run bomb in the 10th to send the Birds home happy.

But the game would not have been close if not for the Birds’ defense. Melvin Mora made two amazing plays at third (and several other great ones), while Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis joined the catch parade as well. It’s no wonder Baltimore has the best defense in the league.

Meanwhile, Steve Trachsel labored through 6 1/3 innings, allowing 10 hits and walking three. But he only allowed three runs and got out of jam after jam. Trachsel only had one three-up, three-down inning and looked uncomfortable throughout. From there, Jim Hoey, Danys Baez, Jamie Walker, and Chad Bradford (who got the win) allowed exactly one hit — while the O’s mounted a huge rally.

On Friday night, the O’s scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth and one more in the ninth to shock the Red Sox, 6-5. Even though the bullpen ruined another stellar start by Erik Bedard (7 2/3 IP, 4 hits, three runs, two walks, seven strikeouts), Nick Markakis joined Aubrey Huff and Melvin Mora in tying the game and then won it in the bottom of the ninth with a sac fly after B-Rob led off the inning with a double.

The good news about Saturday’s 6-2 loss is that the O’s remained the only team to not have been shut out this season. The Birds now head to Yankee Stadium for a three-game set starting tonight.

Although the Yankees have won 11 of their last 13, they’ve lost six of nine of the Birds this season. Baltimore, in fact, has a chance to win a season series with the Evil Empire for the first time since 1997 (when the O’s took the season series, 8-4, and went 5-1 at Yankee Stadium).

Here are your pitching match-ups (Yanks pitchers subject to change, it seems):

Tonight (7:05, MASN): Jeremy Guthrie (7-4, 3.22) vs. Chien-Ming Wang (13-6, 3.94)

Tomorrow (7:05, MASN): Daniel Cabrera (8-12, 5.14) vs. Jeff Karstens (0-2, 10.13)

Wednesday (1:05, MASN): Erik Bedard (12-4, 3.11) vs. Phil Hughes (2-1, 4.64)

The other big storyline over the next three days are the Matt Wieters negotiations. Wednesday is the deadline to sign the O’s first-round draft pick — and expect it to go down the wire. But I’m remaining optimistic on this one, even if Scott Boras is involved.

co-published at Random Reality Thoughts

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