A recap of the Orioles' 7-4 loss to the Cubs last night:
The Orioles learned that they would be without Brian Burres about three hours before the game when a stomach ailment forced the left-hander to miss his scheduled start. Then, the Orioles lost emergency starter Matt Albers after he got just one out in the bottom of the first inning. Pitching coach Rick Kranitz jogged to the mound after Albers walked Jim Edmonds on four pitchers to load the bases. Albers told Kranitz that he was experiencing some shoulder discomfort, and the Orioles immediately went to the bullpen. Albers will be re-evaluated today.
A BAD START
When you have allowed 17 batters to come to the plate in the first two innings, chances are that you have dug a nice hole for yourself. That's how it played out last night for the Orioles, who watched the Cubs score four times and send nine batters to the plate in the first inning, and tally twice more and send up eight batters in the second. Lance Cormier entered the game in relief of Albers in the first inning and allowed nine of the 17 batters he faced to reach base.
Wanting to keep Luke Scott in the lineup against left-handed starter Ted Lilly, Orioles manager Dave Trembley gave Jay Payton the start in center field, and the veteran responded. He hit a two-run shot to left center-field in the second inning and a two-run blast to right field in the fourth inning. Both homers, which give him six for the season, cut Chicago's lead to two runs. Payton finished the game 3-for-4 against Lilly and is now 10-for-20 with three homers against the veteran lefty for his career.
The Orioles' first trip to Wrigley Field will conclude this afternoon in the series finale at 2:20 p.m. Rookie right-hander Radhames Liz (1-0, 6.27) will get the start for the Orioles, looking for redemption after pitching only two-plus innings in his last outing against the Milwaukee Brewers. He'll oppose Jason Marquis (6-3, 4.43), a veteran right-hander who has won five straight decisions, going six innings or more in all but one of them.