Play It Again -- Athletics 4, Orioles...

The Baltimore Sun

Play It Again -- Athletics 4, Orioles 3

NOT SO GOOD RETURN

Making his first start since June 29 after a stint on the disabled list, Steve Trachsel allowed four runs on nine hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings. It was a typical Trachsel outing as there were many base runners. He did a decent job of damage control. But he got into trouble by allowing a leadoff hit in four of the six innings that he started. It certainly wasn't a performance that would open the eyes of teams looking for starting pitching before the trade deadline.

GOOD START

Dan Haren, the American League starter in the All-Star Game and the league leader in ERA , had a rough start as the Orioles got two hits and two runs in the first inning. Kevin Millar got the big hit, sending a 3-1 high fastball to the base of the wall in left-center field for a two-run double. It gave the Orioles a 2-0 advantage, but by the bottom of the inning, the lead was gone. Haren went 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks.

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES

Because of pitcher Erik Bedard's dominance, the Orioles' opportunistic offense - they scored five of their six runs on two-out hits - was a side note in Friday's series-opening win. Last night, the Orioles got a runner in scoring position four times after Millar's two-run double and couldn't drive in any of them until Corey Patterson's two-out single scored Jay Gibbons in the seventh and cut the A's lead to 4-3. The Orioles stranded eight runners.

On deck

In a rematch of an April 24 game won by the A's, Orioles rookie right- hander Jeremy Guthrie (5-3, 3.06) will oppose Oakland rookie left- hander Dallas Braden (1-4, 6.07) in today's series finale. In the April game, Braden allowed just one run and three hits in six innings to get his first major league victory. He hasn't won in four starts since. Guthrie allowed one earned run and four hits in five innings. It was Guthrie's first start of the season.

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