The suspense ended two batters into the game. Erik Bedard struck out Jason Bartlett on a 1-2 curveball to break Mike Mussina's team single-season strikeout record of 218. Fans gave him a standing ovation and waved orange signs with his first name printed in black, the "K" enlarged to signify a strikeout. One side of the card had the letter backward, in case the batter was caught looking. Bedard didn't acknowledge the ovation, remaining on the mound as Torii Hunter stepped into the batter's box.
The Twins took a 2-0 lead against Bedard in the first inning, but the blame didn't rest entirely on his shoulders. Hunter broke for second after singling with one out, and catcher Paul Bako's throw sailed wide of shortstop Freddie Bynum and scooted into center field, allowing Alexi Casilla to score. Brian Roberts, backing up on the play, failed to backhand the ball and prevent it from escaping the infield. Hunter raced to third and scored on Justin Morneau's sacrifice fly.
Trouble with Twins
Maybe it's the opponent, or just a coincidence, but Bedard doesn't have much luck against the Twins. He's 0-5 in seven career starts against them, with two of the losses coming this season. He allowed six runs on Opening Night in Minnesota and six more yesterday, leaving the game after six innings. Bedard lost for the first time since June 10 against the Colorado Rockies, breaking a streak of nine straight winning decisions. He hadn't lost in 13 starts.
The Orioles don't play until tomorrow night, when they kick off a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Camden Yards. Daniel Cabrera takes the mound for the Orioles against right-hander Jason Hammel. Hammel's only win came in relief June 18. In his past four appearances, he has allowed 20 runs and 30 hits in 16 innings. The Orioles get James Shields and Scott Kazmir the next two nights.