Yes, again. The Orioles' bullpen couldn't hold another lead last night, with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays stringing together two walks and a game-tying, run-scoring single by Brendan Harris after reliever Danys Baez got the first two outs in the ninth inning. Chad Bradford allowed two unearned runs in the eighth as the Orioles' lead was cut to 4-3, but Baez appeared to have the game under control before his own control became an issue.
Brian Roberts delivered the Orioles' first run and tied the game with a triple in the third inning that scored Jay Payton. He later scored the go-ahead run on Corey Patterson's single. It was a painful sprint home for Roberts, who appeared to tweak his left ankle while making an awkward slide into third on the triple. But Roberts stayed in the game, and the Orioles avoided a costly injury to their leadoff hitter and second baseman.
Say what you will about Steve Trachsel, but he hasn't allowed more than three runs in a start since July 26. Last night, he held Tampa Bay to one run over six innings and departed with a 4-1 lead. It marked the second consecutive start that he has surrendered only one earned run. He also struck out three batters - equaling his total over his four previous starts. Playoff rosters must be set by tomorrow, and more scouts were in attendance to watch Trachsel.
The Orioles and Devil Rays end their series tonight with Jeremy Guthrie opposing left-hander Scott Kazmir. But these teams will meet again next week in St. Petersburg, Fla. Kazmir lost his first two starts against the Orioles this season before holding them to one run and striking out nine over seven innings earlier this month. For his career, he's 3-3 with a 4.42 ERA against them. Kazmir struck out 13 in his last start against Oakland.