Kevin Millar had three hits in his past 26 at-bats after a 7-for-18 start to the season. He was hitless in seven at-bats in Thursday's doubleheader. But he handled a heavy offensive load last night, driving in the first three Orioles runs from his usual cleanup spot. Millar singled in the first inning to score Brian Roberts, and his two-run homer off Toronto starter Dustin McGowan in the fifth broke a 1-1 tie. Millar, whose average had fallen to .227, raised his RBI total to seven.
Slump busting II
The embarrassment that Adam Jones felt after striking out four times in Sunday's loss in St. Petersburg, Fla., slowly dissipated into the cold Camden Yards air last night. Jones singled in the second to halt an 0-for-10 skid, and singled again in the fourth and sixth to tie his career high for hits. Jones hustled to third base on McGowan's errant pickoff throw in the fourth but was stranded. Jones entered the game batting .211, but manager Dave Trembley figured it was best to keep him in the lineup and deflect attention away from the four strikeouts. It was a wise decision.
Couldn't break glass
The Blue Jays scored a run off Orioles starter Matt Albers in the first without hitting the ball hard. They strung together three straight singles after Albers retired David Eckstein to begin the game. Matt Stairs and Aaron Hill grounded singles up the middle, and Vernon Wells followed with a fly ball that dropped in left-center field to score Stairs for a 1-0 lead. Albers made good pitches; he just couldn't get outs with them. The last of his 21 offerings in the inning resulted in the hardest-hit ball, a sharp grounder by Frank Thomas along the third base line that Melvin Mora snared to begin a double play.
The two-game series concludes tonight with Steve Trachsel, who's 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA, facing Shaun Marcum (1-0, 2.57 ERA). Trachsel, who counts the Blue Jays among his former teams, has never lost to Toronto in seven career games. He went 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA against them in three starts last season, allowing six earned runs and 17 hits in 18 innings. He's 6-0 with a 3.12 ERA lifetime against Toronto, which gave him 11 starts in 2000 after acquiring him from Tampa Bay at the non-waiver deadline. Boston is the only other team in the major leagues that hasn't beaten Trachsel, who's 1-0 against the Red Sox in four appearances.