The Orioles didn't place high expectations on journeyman starter Victor Zambrano, just hoping that he would pitch five innings and keep his team in the game. He did more than that last night, holding the Texas Rangers to just one run and three hits over five innings. A lack of run support prevented him from getting a victory, but Zambrano's effort was nonetheless appreciated by a team that had gotten accustomed to watching its starting pitcher erase any hope for a victory.
Despite scoring five runs in the 10th inning to secure the win, the Orioles have made a habit of hitting into double plays at the worst possible times. In the first inning last night, they thought they had something going as Tike Redman and Luis Hernandez reached. But Nick Markakis, the team's top run producer, bounced into a double play, allowing Texas starter Brandon McCarthy to get out of the inning unscathed. The Orioles had two men on in three of McCarthy's four innings but couldn't score.
Orioles manager Dave Trembley again said he was not sending messages to anyone last night when he benched second baseman Brian Roberts, shortstop Miguel Tejada and catcher Ramon Hernandez. He simply felt that Brandon Fahey, Hernandez and J.R. House deserved the opportunity to play. When he made the move a week earlier, the Orioles responded with a crisp 3-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels. Trembley said before the game that Hernandez will likely get two starts in the series.
Right-hander Victor Santos (0-1, 11.57) will make his third start for the Orioles against Rangers right-hander Luis Mendoza (0-0, 2.08). Santos, who was acquired earlier this month from the Cincinnati Reds organization, has allowed nine earned runs, 14 hits and three walks in his two starts spanning seven innings. Mendoza, 23, has made three appearances for the Rangers this season, including one start. He has allowed one earned run and five hits in 4 1/3 innings this season.