Orioles pitcher Steve Trachsel, who was expected to be one of the weaker links of the rotation, has been one of the club's most reliable starters. Yesterday, he allowed three earned runs in seven solid innings but got the loss anyway, as Craig Monroe broke a sixth-inning tie with a bases-empty home run. Trachsel became the first Orioles starter to pitch seven innings since he did it April 12, which was 18 games ago. Orioles starters have gone seven innings or more five times, and Trachsel has two of them.
Let sleeping dogs lie
When the series started, Tigers designated hitter Gary Sheffield was hitting .193 and had just one home run and six RBIs. But after nearly coming to blows with Daniel Cabrera in the bench-clearing fracas in Monday's series opener, Sheffield appeared to wake up. In the series, he went 5-for-10 with two home runs, four RBIs, three walks, four runs and two steals. Yesterday, he was 4-for-4 with a bases-empty home run and an RBI single, raising his average to .226.
Juggling doesn't end struggling
Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo pulled out all the stops yesterday in an attempt to spark his slumping offense. He moved Melvin Mora from second to fifth, Nick Markakis from third to seventh and Miguel Tejada from fourth to third. Ramon Hernandez batted cleanup and Jay Payton hit second. It looked like a brilliant move when the Orioles scored two runs off nemesis Nate Robertson in the third and had the bases loaded, but Kevin Millar bounced into a double play.
After a much-needed day off today, the Orioles will start a four-game series against the American League Central-leading Cleveland Indians tomorrow at Camden Yards. Left-hander Erik Bedard (3-2, 6.09) will start the opener against veteran right-hander Paul Byrd (2-1, 3.50). Bedard got a no-decision against Cleveland last week, allowing four earned runs while striking out 11 in six innings.