CALL IT A COMEBACK
It's becoming almost routine for these Orioles - fall behind early and appear hopelessly out of the game before mounting a frantic comeback. The Orioles cut the Indians' lead to 5-3 on Nick Markakis' fifth-inning sacrifice fly. They then scored twice in the seventh to tie the score. Brian Roberts and Markakis did the damage with run-scoring singles. However, the Orioles lost again when the Indians got to reliever Jim Johnson for two eighth-inning runs.
If the Orioles' pitchers want to get deeper into games while giving their team a chance to win, the first inning would be a good place to start. Garrett Olson continued a disturbing trend last night, surrendering four runs in the first inning after the Orioles had given him a 2-0 lead. It was the third game in which the Orioles have allowed four runs in the first inning. Overall, the Orioles have been outscored 99-67 in first innings this season. Entering last night, they hadn't given up more than 77 runs in any other inning.
NOT AGAIN, PART II
Third baseman Melvin Mora's suspect positioning on a rundown and his failure to turn a double play figured prominently Monday night in Cleveland's decisive three-run seventh inning. Last night, he failed to come up with Franklin Gutierrez's hard grounder, the play resulting in an RBI single. Then with a man on second and one out in the fourth, Mora flubbed Jamey Carroll's ground ball and then made an ill-advised throw that wound up in the right-field seats, giving the Indians their fifth run. Mora was assessed two errors on the play and now has a team-high 11 on the season.
Orioles right-hander Jeremy Guthrie (9-8, 3.26) will start for the first time against his old team in the third game of the series tonight at 7:05. He'll be matched up against Anthony Reyes (3-1, 3.86), a right-hander whom the Indians acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals last month. Reyes beat Toronto in his only start as an Indian, holding the Blue Jays to one run over 6 1/3 innings. Guthrie, a first-round pick by Cleveland in 2002, pitched twice in relief last season against his former team, allowing six earned runs in 1 1/3 innings. Guthrie, who's won six of his past seven decisions for the Orioles this year, admitted that nerves got the best of him in his outing against the Indians last season. He'll try to prevent that from happening again tonight.