PUTTING UP ZEROS
Left-hander Brian Burres, who was a productive member of the Orioles' rotation earlier this season, made his first start since Aug. 4. He had given up runs in seven straight relief appearances. But Burres did the unexpected last night, holding Toronto's high-powered offense scoreless through seven innings. Toronto had two men on in the third through fifth innings, but Burres got out of it each time. He allowed eight hits, walked none and struck out four for his first win since July 28.
NOT THIS TIME
It was quite a feel-good story when rookie right-hander Jesse Litsch, a former Tampa Bay Devil Rays batboy, came within one out of a complete-game victory over the Orioles in his major league debut May 15 at Rogers Centre. Litsch barely could get nine outs last night before he was removed after allowing four runs in three innings. Litsch surrendered seven hits, including a bases-empty home run to Brian Roberts, walked a batter and hit one.
RESPONDING TO CHALLENGE
Orioles manager Dave Trembley acknowledged that he hoped his veterans, many of whom were out of the lineup in Thursday's victory over the Los Angeles Angels, noticed how much energy the team played with while many of them were on the bench. The players appeared to get the message. Roberts, one of those players who had taken a seat, had two hits, including the home run, and a stolen base. Ramon Hernandez, who also had been benched, had an RBI single.
In Game 2 of the series, Orioles second-year left-hander Kurt Birkins (1-1, 7.27) will make his second career start against Toronto ace right-hander Roy Halladay (14-7, 3.91). Birkins hasn't given up an earned run in four relief appearances against the Blue Jays. In his only other start earlier this month, Birkins allowed four earned runs in four innings in a no-decision against Tampa Bay. In 24 career appearances against the Orioles, Halladay is 14-4 with a 2.87 ERA.