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Orioles laments: Berken's leadoff walk; Markakis' weak throw

Several things could have gone differently tonight, and the Orioles may not have had to absorb a 6-5 loss to the Kansas City Royals in 10 innings in the series opener.

Brad Bergesen could have not put the team into a three-run hole and could have managed his pitch count better to get through more than five innings. Cesar Izturis, playing second base in place of Brian Roberts, could have come up with Chris Getz's routine grounder in the fifth, leading to an unearned run. Jeremy Accardo could have not fallen behind 3-1 to Jeff Francoeur and then thrown a pitch that was lined over the left-field wall to tie the score in the sixth. And the Orioles' offense certainly could have done more after Matt Wieters' sacrifice fly in the sixth inning gave the visitors a 5-4 lead. Instead, they were held to just four singles over the next four innings by the Royals' bullpen.

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But the two biggest laments came from reliever Jason Berken, who issued a leadoff, four-pitch walk to Alex Gordon in a tie game in the 10th inning, and outfielder Nick Markakis who made a poor throw home as Gordon tagged up on Francoeur's fly ball and scored the winning run.

"That's the difference," Berken said. "In that situation, in that part of the lineup, that's just something you can't have. You got their three, four and five hitters coming up, and you walk their leadoff guy to get to [Billy] Butler. Just a tough situation to put yourself in. That was the difference tonight."

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The leadoff walk was followed by Butler's single up the middle on an 0-2 pitch, putting runners on the corners with no outs and bringing Francoeur to the plate. It would have been tough to get Gordon at the plate regardless on Francoeur's fly ball, but Markakis didn't give the Orioles a chance as his throw essentially rolled into the infield as the Royals celebrated their fourth consecutive win and their fifth walk-off victory this year.

"I rushed it, and I didn't have the best grip on it," said Markakis, who also went 0-for-5 at the plate and is now hitting .207. "I had to let it go, and it kind of went right into the ground. I'd like to think I make that throw nine times out of 10, but I didn't that one time."

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