Play it again -- Orioles 2, Athletics 0

The Baltimore Sun

GUTHRIE SHINES AGAIN

Being more aggressive with his fastball, rookie starter Jeremy Guthrie held the A's to two hits in seven shutout innings. He struck out six, walked three and didn't allow an Oakland runner to reach second base. In 13 road games this season, Guthrie is 5-0 with a 2.51 ERA. He's also 1-1 with an ERA of 0.75 in two starts against Oakland in his career. It was his second straight victory, the first time he has won back-to-back starts this season.

BEATING BRADEN

The rest of the league has had few problems with A's rookie left-hander Dallas Braden, but the Orioles struggled for the second time against him. Overall, Braden is 1-5 with a 5.15 ERA. Against the Orioles, he is 1-1 with a 1.38 ERA, allowing just two earned runs in 13 innings. Kevin Millar drove in the only run off him with a two-out single in the sixth. Braden, who pitched a career-high seven innings, has lost five straight decisions, becoming the first A's pitcher to do that since Joe Kennedy in 2005.

NO RAY, NO PROBLEM

Closer Chris Ray told Dave Trembley he was having trouble getting loose while playing catch before the game, so the Orioles' interim manager gave him the day off. Trembley turned a two-run game over to left-hander Jamie Walker, who pitched a perfect ninth inning, converting his first save chance since July 21, 2004, with the Detroit Tigers. Ray's status will be evaluated tomorrow when the club begins a homestand, though he said he didn't think the problem is serious.

ON DECK

The Orioles are off today after ending their six-game West Coast trip. They'll return home for the start of a six-day homestand tomorrow with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in town. Orioles right-hander Daniel Cabrera (6-10, 5.30 ERA) will oppose Tampa Bay ace left-hander Scott Kazmir (7-6, 4.02). Kazmir is 2-2 with a 5.01 ERA in eight career starts against the Orioles; Cabrera is 4-0 with a 3.56 ERA in eight starts against the Devil Rays.

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