Baltimore Sun

What I liked and didn't like on Opening Day

Three up:

1. Adam Jones was patient at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a single, a double and a home run in the 4-3 loss to the Rays. That second-inning at-bat where he went deep stood out, and not just because of the end result. Jones fouled a few back while battling Rays starter James Shield in a 10-pitch at-bat before hammering the last one to right center. If Jones can maintain that kind of discipline for the next 161 games, he's going to have a monster season.


2. Kevin Millwood got himself in a few jams during his first real start as an Oriole, but managed to work his way out of them with minimal damage. He allowed two runs in five innings, and it could have been a lot worse, but Millwood always seemed to come up with the right pitch for each situation. My favorite Millwood moment was in the first inning when the Rays had a runner on second and Evan Longoria at the plate. Millwood got behind in the count 3-0 before battling back for the strikeout. Hopefully the Orioles young pitchers were taking notes.

3. The Orioles' bullpen -- Matt Albers, Will Ohman and Jim Johnson -- pitched three scoreless innings to put closer Mike Gonzalez in a save situation. We'll get to how that went in a second.


Three down:

1. The trio of homers from Jones, Luke Scott and Matt Wieters were nice, but the Orioles allowed the Rays to hang in the game by living by the long ball. The Orioles scored all of their runs on solo shots, going 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and leaving 10 runners on base.

2. Orioles corner infielders/stopgaps Miguel Tejada and Garrett Atkins combined to go 1-for-9. Is it too early to bring Josh Bell up? Just kidding. Let's give them some time to get comfortable.

3. Gonzalez choked away a win with an erratic ninth inning. He got the first out on a nasty strikeout, but proceeded to load the bases up and allow Carl Crawford to hit a game-winning two-run single. Not a good start for the Orioles' new closer.