O's walk away with loss

The Baltimore Sun

Seattle -- Orioles interim manager Dave Trembley's plan in the eighth inning last night was for Danys Baez, who had already pitched 1 1/3 innings, to get one more out and then hand the ball over to left-handed specialist Jamie Walker to face Ichiro Suzuki with nobody on base.

But that backfired when Yuniesky Betancourt smacked Baez's first pitch to the wall in left field for a leadoff double, leaving the Orioles' bullpen with a mess that it couldn't clean up.

They were one pitch away before Chad Bradford issued a bases-loaded, two-out walk to Adrian Beltre to score the winning run in the Orioles' 6-5 loss to the Seattle Mariners before an announced 28,550 at Safeco Field.

The Orioles (42-52) came back from a four-run deficit to tie the game with a three-run seventh inning. But after dodging trouble when Baez (0-5) stranded two runners in the seventh, they couldn't do the same in the next inning.

Bradford came in with men on first and third in the eighth after Walker got Ichiro on a long flyout to right and issued an intentional walk to Jose Vidro. Bradford hit Jose Guillen to load the bases, but then got Raul Ibanez to hit a ground ball that Kevin Millar fielded and threw home to get the lead runner for the second out.

With a full count, Bradford then threw a pitch that was far outside, allowing Beltre to trot to first base and Vidro to score. All-Star closer J.J. Putz pitched a perfect ninth to secure his 28th save and the series win for Seattle (53-39).

Whether Orioles officials will consider the circumstances and look past the latest troubling outing for Daniel Cabrera remains to be seen.

Cabrera was starting on three days' rest after staff ace Erik Bedard came down with a stiff neck and needed to push his start back two days. Cabrera admirably accepted the challenge and gave the Orioles five innings just four days after throwing 115 pitches.

But he also continued to struggle to keep the Orioles in games. Cabrera allowed five earned runs on eight hits and three walks. He also threw a wild pitch that scored one Seattle run and allowed a long home run to Ben Broussard in the fifth inning.

Broussard's 427-foot shot extended the Mariners' lead to 5-1, but the Orioles took Cabrera off the hook with a rally.

Trailing 5-2 in the seventh, the Orioles put runners on second and third with no outs on a single by Aubrey Huff and a double by Jay Payton. Jon Knott hit a sacrifice fly and then Chris Gomez hit an RBI single off Jarrod Washburn to cut the Mariners' lead to 5-4.

Left-hander George Sherrill relieved Washburn and walked Brian Roberts before the Orioles got a good break. Corey Patterson blooped a ball to shallow left field. Mariners shortstop Betancourt rushed back, but appeared to pull off the ball with left fielder Broussard coming forward. The ball hit off Betancourt's glove and dropped for a single, loading the bases with one out.

Nick Markakis then tied the game with a sacrifice fly to left. It stayed that way through the bottom of the seventh as Baez got out of a two-on, one-out jam by striking out Kenji Johjima and getting Jose Lopez on a flyout to center.

Trembley told both Cabrera and Bedard of his decision to rest Bedard after Tuesday night's game. Today's off day allowed the Orioles the luxury of moving Bedard back to tomorrow night's series opener against the Oakland Athletics.

It was the second time this season the 26-year-old Cabrera has pitched on three days' rest. The first came June 16 when Cabrera went eight innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks, allowing five earned runs on six hits and a walk in an 8-4 loss.

Trembley said Cabrera's size - he's 6 feet 9, 269 pounds - makes it a little easier to bring him back on less rest.

"I think he'll be fine. He's up for it. He's had some good preparation and I'm anxious to get him out there," Trembley said before the game. "The guy is big and strong and seems to rebound as well as anybody we have on this staff."

In his most recent start, Cabrera threw 115 pitches - his third highest total on the season - in six innings in getting a no-decision against the Chicago White Sox. He allowed five earned runs - all in the first three innings - on eight hits and four walks, righting himself after a tough beginning.

He got off to another shaky start last night. Two Seattle batters in the first inning reached base before Cabrera got out of the jam with a strikeout of Adrian Beltre.

The Orioles then gave him a 1-0 lead in the second inning when left fielder Jay Payton pounded Jarrod Washburn's 1-2 pitch over the wall in left-center field for his fourth home run.

But Cabrera, who struggled to get his curveball over the plate, had zero control in the bottom of the second and quickly gave up the lead. He issued walks to Richie Sexson and Johjima, and each moved up a base on Jose Lopez's sacrifice bunt. Betancourt then blooped a single over shortstop Gomez in shallow left-center field, tying the game at 1.

Ichiro followed with a single to the right side to score Johjima and give Seattle a 2-1 edge.

Cabrera's wildness cost the Orioles another run in the third, when he threw a wild pitch that easily scored Broussard for a 3-1 Seattle lead.jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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