Setup men Chad Bradford and John Parrish combined to blow the Orioles' one-run eighth-inning lead last night. Bradford got two quick outs before surrendering consecutive singles that put runners on first and third with two outs. Parrish came in and allowed a single up the middle to Jose Vidro to tie the game at 4. Parrish then gave up consecutive RBI doubles to Ichiro Suzuki, who broke the tie, and Jose Lopez, who gave the Mariners the three-run lead.
The Orioles and Mariners had their aces on the mound in last night's series opener. But neither Erik Bedard nor Felix Hernandez pitched like he deserved that designation, and both struggled from the outset. Bedard allowed a home run to Suzuki on his first pitch. Brian Roberts, the first batter Hernandez faced, just missed a home run and settled for a double. Hernandez allowed four earned runs on 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings. Bedard surrendered three runs and eight hits in six innings.
He still can hit
Roberts' sore right hamstring has prevented him from stealing bases, but it hasn't affected his ability to turn on a fastball. Roberts was 3-for-4 with three doubles last night, improving his average to a team-high .327. Each double was off Hernandez and hammered into the right-center-field gap. The second baseman has 17 hits in his past 37 at-bats. He entered the night tied for sixth in the American League with 70 hits. Not bad for a player whose average was .245 on May 1.
Left-hander Brian Burres (3-2, 3.08) will start tonight for the Orioles against Seattle right-hander Cha Seung Baek (3-2, 4.93). Burres, who has won two straight starts and given up more than two earned runs just once in five starts, has never faced the Mariners. Baek, a South Korean who has made 19 career starts over three major league seasons, has won two straight starts and gone at least 6 1/3 innings in five straight.