Three weeks ago in Boston, the finest start of Jeremy Guthrie's career ended with Chris Ray blowing a save and manager Sam Perlozzo on the hot seat after pulling his starter after 91 pitches. The Orioles didn't squander a five-run, ninth-inning lead yesterday, as they did at Fenway Park, but the loss was nearly as painful. Ray came in to protect a one-run lead after Guthrie had thrown 88 pitches in eight innings, and he couldn't get an out. Ray allowed a leadoff single and then a walk-off home run to Vladimir Guerrero.
GUTHRIE GREAT AGAIN
If not for several bullpen meltdowns, Guthrie would be getting more attention as a potential All-Star and Rookie of the Year candidate. Three times this year Guthrie has pitched at least seven innings and allowed one earned run or none, and in those starts he has no-decisions. In seven starts, Guthrie is 2-1 with a 1.68 ERA. Yesterday, he held the Angels to two runs (one earned) on three hits and no walks in eight innings for his sixth straight quality start.
The Orioles scored all three of their runs against Angels starter Ervin Santana on two-out hits. Nick Markakis scored Brian Roberts from first base on a double down the right-field line in the third inning. Melvin Mora ripped Santana's 3-2 pitch over the center-field wall in the fourth. His seventh home run gave the Orioles a 2-1 lead. Jay Payton extended the lead to 3-1 with a two-out single in the sixth inning after Mora kept the inning alive with a walk.
A three-game series with the Seattle Mariners will begin with a battle of staff aces. Orioles left-hander Erik Bedard (4-3, 3.67) will face Mariners right-handed phenom Felix Hernandez (3-3, 4.10). Hernandez, who started the season with 17 scoreless innings but has just one win in his past five starts, is 2-1 with a 5.82 ERA in three career starts against the Orioles. Bedard is 1-3 with a 5.73 ERA in four career starts against Seattle.