Already under scrutiny for bunting Monday with the tying run on third base, Melvin Mora booted a potential double-play ground ball in the first inning yesterday that allowed a run to score. He also failed to cover third base while venting about his mistake, allowing Eric Chavez to move up, and a sacrifice fly increased Oakland's lead to 2-0. Mora twice slammed his glove on the dugout floor after the inning, then hit into a double play in his first at-bat.
The Orioles surrendered two more runs in the sixth inning that could have been avoided. With the bases loaded and two outs, Jason Kendall grounded to Brian Roberts, who flipped the ball to Miguel Tejada. Good idea, except Tejada wasn't on the bag. Mark Ellis reached safely, and a run scored. John Parrish walked Danny Putnam to force in another run, complicating the Orioles' attempts to rally in the late innings.
The Orioles appeared to catch a break in the first inning when Nick Swisher rounded third base, pulled up with a strained left hamstring and left the game. Swisher homered twice Monday, from both sides of the plate. He singled yesterday and advanced to second on a wild pitch, then went to third on Chavez's single. Swisher applied the breaks, felt the hamstring pull and had to crawl back to the bag.
The Orioles begin another two-game series, this time against the first-place Boston Red Sox, who swept the New York Yankees in a three-game weekend series. Daniel Cabrera opposes former Oriole Curt Schilling. Daisuke Matsuzaka won't make a start here, but 40 Japanese media will be at Camden Yards representing five television stations and 14 publications.