A recap of the Orioles' 11-10 loss to the Rangers yesterday:
One run short
Trailing 11-5 in the eighth inning, the Orioles certainly didn't go quietly, getting a three-run homer from Nick Markakis. Kevin Millar, who went 4-for-4, and pinch hitter Melvin Mora hit solo homers in the ninth to pull the Orioles within a run, but Rangers closer C.J. Wilson struck out Brian Roberts for the game's final out. There were several defensive miscues and poor pitching performances to lament. However, no statistic was more glaring after the team's 13th straight Sunday loss than the Orioles' performance with runners in scoring position. They went 2-for-19 in those situations and stranded nine base runners overall.
Liz loses control
Filling up a box score usually isn't a good thing for a starting pitcher. In 3 2/3 innings yesterday, Orioles rookie right-hander Radhames Liz allowed six runs (four earned) on seven hits, including a home run, and five walks. He also struck out four, threw two wild pitches and made a key error. Liz needed 103 pitches (61 strikes) to get just 11 outs. With a beat-up bullpen, Orioles manager Dave Trembley tried to push the rookie as far as he could, but he had no other choice than to yank him after Liz surrendered a three-run homer to David Murphy in the fourth and then walked Brandon Boggs on five pitches.
He is human
Jim Johnson entered yesterday having allowed two earned runs in 24 2/3 innings at Camden Yards, good for a 0.73 ERA. However, he was given the ball in the eighth inning yesterday and allowed three hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning. All-Star George Sherrill came in and allowed two of Johnson's runners to score, giving Johnson a total of four earned runs for the game. That's two fewer than he had allowed all season in a span of 47 1/3 innings.
The Orioles are off today before beginning a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays tomorrow night (7:07) at Rogers Centre. In Game 1 of the series, Orioles right-hander Daniel Cabrera (6-4, 4.34) will oppose Blue Jays right-hander Dustin McGowan (6-7, 4.36). Cabrera is 4-7 with a 4.39 ERA in 14 career starts against Toronto. He hasn't faced the Jays this season. McGowan has not beaten the Orioles in seven career appearances (four starts), going 0-3 with a 6.84 ERA.