BURRES GETS BURNED
When left-hander Brian Burres took the mound in the fifth inning, he hadn't given up a hit. When he walked off 30 pitches later, the inning still wasn't over and he had surrendered five hits and six earned runs. It was a quick collapse for Burres, whose problems started with a leadoff walk to rookie Evan Longoria. Justin Ruggiano and Mike DiFelice followed with singles, loading the bases with none out. Akinori Iwamura hit an RBI single and Carl Crawford drove in two runs with a single. After Carlos Pena struck out looking, B.J. Upton landed the big blow with a two-out, three-run homer to left, ending Burres' day.
ROOK OFF THE HOOK
A recap of the Orioles' 6-2 loss to the Rays yesterday:
The Orioles had Jeff Niemann, a 2004 first-round pick who was making his major league debut yesterday, right where they wanted him in the first inning. The bases were loaded with one out and Niemann was having trouble finding the plate. But the Orioles couldn't make him pay for his early control problems. Aubrey Huff fouled out for the second out and Luke Scott flied out to right, ending the inning. Niemann settled down and allowed one run in six innings. The Orioles loaded the bases again in the seventh inning, this time with none out. But they managed only one run, missing an opportunity to get back into the game.
NOT A GOOD DAY
After they acquired Adam Jones in the Erik Bedard trade with the Seattle Mariners, Orioles officials worked to temper expectations about the center fielder. He was, after all, only 22 and had 139 major league at-bats heading into the season. They expected Jones to have days like yesterday. Jones went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts and finished the series 0-for-8. After his third strikeout yesterday, Jones flung his bat and helmet toward the Orioles' dugout. His average fell to .211.
The Orioles return home for the start of a seven-game homestand beginning tonight against the Toronto Blue Jays. Matt Albers (1-0, 0.00) will get the spot start, his first of the season after three scoreless relief appearances. The Blue Jays will start talented right-hander Dustin McGowan (0-0, 3.27). McGowan is 0-2 with a 7.52 ERA in six career appearances (including three starts) against the Orioles.