Orioles: The hangover

Give Juan Samuel credit. It took the Orioles 18 innings to get him his first runs as manager, and he took it as a good sign when they scored twice in the ninth inning to avert a shutout last night.

"One thing I noticed, we didn't chase in situations where the pitcher was in trouble,'' Samuel said. "We did some good stuff tonight. We're trying to stay positive."


Good luck with that. The two runs in the ninth off a pair of Red Sox middle relievers were the first since the Orioles scored in the seventh inning of Thursday's game at Yankee Stadium -- in what would turn out to be the final hour of Dave Trembley's tenure as manager.

"We have to dig ourselves out of this,'' Samuel said. "We have to keep fighting. It's going to change."

Jeremy Guthrie certainly put up a fight, trading zeros with Red Sox starter Jon Lester, trying to keep him from improving his career record to 11-0 against the Orioles. He located his fastball well and carried a shutout into the seventh before giving up solo home run to Kevin Youkilis.

He ended up giving up two earned runs on five hits over 7 1/3 innings -- his ninth quality start in 12 tries -- but ended up taking the loss and falling to 3-6 with a 3.71 ERA. If he felt any extra pressure facing Lester, it didn't show.

"There's always pressure to throw zeros because I'm a major league pitcher,'' Guthrie said. "That's self-imposed pressure as a baseball player. I know Jon is a great pitcher, but that doesn't affect what I do."

Associated Press photo