The ghost of Sammy Sosa inhabited Nick Markakis' body in the fifth inning. Markakis crushed a pitch from Colorado Rockies starter Jeff Francis and hopped out of the batter's box, knowing the ball was headed for the flag court above the out-of-town scoreboard in right field for a two-run homer. Estimated distance: 330 feet. That's the home run, not the hop. Markakis also singled in the first inning and has hit safely in eight of his past nine games, batting .375 with 11 RBIs.
Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo received his first ejection of the season, with first base umpire Larry Vanover doing the honors. Perlozzo stormed after Vanover, who called a balk on pitcher Steve Trachsel in the sixth inning that allowed a run to score and reduced the Orioles' lead to 4-2. Perlozzo didn't uproot any bases or crawl on his belly to the rosin bag, but he did a lot of yelling. Trachsel waved off Vanover with his glove after the inning and voiced his displeasure from the dugout. Dave Trembley served as acting manager.
Another quality start
Trachsel was gone after the sixth, but not because of an ejection. He gave up two runs and seven hits, walked one and struck out five. One of the runs came on catcher Yorvit Torrealba's homer in the fifth. Trachsel has allowed two or fewer earned runs in eight of his 13 starts this season. He's allowed three earned runs in three starts. Teams looking for a back-of-the-rotation starter at the non-waiver deadline are certain to contact the Orioles. And they're certain to at least listen.
Former Oriole Rodrigo Lopez makes his return to Camden Yards, where he hopes not to be booed. Lopez was the Orioles' Opening Day starter three times in four seasons. But he also lost 18 games in 2006, never bonded with pitching coach Leo Mazzone and felt like the Orioles gave up on him. He'll oppose Jeremy Guthrie, who should have more than three wins to accompany his 2.76 ERA. Guthrie will get some early consideration for Rookie of the Year.