GIVING IT UP
The Orioles felt pretty good about themselves after the top of the second when Ramon Hernandez's double gave them a 2-0 lead. But Steve Trachsel gave the runs and the lead back immediately, allowing three second-inning runs on three hits and three walks. The Angels were just getting started. They scored two more in the third on catcher Mike Napoli's long home run. Trachsel's night ended after the third inning, as he gave up five earned runs on five hits and four walks.
Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis made one of the catches of the year in the third inning last night, robbing Angels second baseman Erick Aybar of a two-run home run. Markakis ran the ball down, slammed into the wall and had half his body over it to make the catch. He threw the ball back to the infield to try to double up Casey Kotchman before falling to the ground. Head trainer Richie Bancells and manager Sam Perlozzo rushed out to Markakis, who stayed in the game.
When the Orioles arrived here, a lot of the talk in the other clubhouse revolved around the Angels' third base controversy. Chone Figgins was hitting just .133 and was benched for two days by manager Mike Scioscia. But with his fifth-inning RBI single last night, Figgins went 8-for-11 in the series with four runs and three stolen bases. He also made two strong defensive plays at third base last night, on one of them snaring a Melvin Mora's line drive in the third that would have tied the game at three.
In this afternoon's series finale, Orioles right-hander Jeremy Guthrie (3-1, 3.02) will face Angels right-hander Ervin Santana (4-6, 5.48). Guthrie has gone at least seven innings in four straight starts, while not giving up more than three earned runs in any of those outings. Santana has had an uneven season, but he has been very good at home. He is 4-1 with a 2.12 ERA in five starts at Angel Stadium this season, compared to 0-5 with a 9.30 ERA on the road.