Thursday, April 7, 2011

At a loss

It was painful: The Orioles allowed four home runs in a 7-3 loss to the Tigers, the O's first loss of the season.

Well, the Orioles couldn't have gone undefeated all season, could they?

The Birds lost 7-3 loss to Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers in a game where Verlander got an early lead and coasted to a victory with 9 K's over 8 innings.

Brad Bergesen, who was making a start in place of Jeremy Guthrie, who is recovering from pneumonia, allowed a 3-run home run to Tigers catcher, Alex Avila in the second inning after Brian Roberts dropped a weak fly ball into right field and Bergesen made a throwing error himself. And in the 4th inning, Bergesen did the same, allowing another HR to Aviles. Both bombs came with 2 outs in the inning. Bergesen didn't last long, going only 3.2 IP, allowing 5 hits, 2 walks and striking out two.

The Orioles did manage to pull within 2 runs with a Derrek Lee home run in the bottom of the 4th, but then reliever Josh Rupe promptly allowed two more home runs (Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez) to put the O's back down by 4 runs. Rupe threw mostly fastballs in his appearance and his pitches seemed to have decent life and movement, topping out at 95 MPH, but his mistakes were costly, and the sluggers make him pay. The bullpen troubles continued as Michael Gonzalez made a shaky appearance, allowing a run in his 1.1 innings pitched and Kevin Gregg allowed 2 hits in his inning of work.

But if the Orioles are going to lose they might as well get all of that shakiness out all at once, especially when facing another team's ace pitcher while throwing up a replacement pitcher of their own.

Tonight, the Orioles look to take their second series in a row to start the season as Chris Tillman takes the mound against the Tigers' Brad Penny. Tillman pitched six hitless innings in Tampa last weekend and looks to build off of that encouraging start against Penny, who is coming off a brutal, 4.1 IP, 8 ER performance against the Yankees.

The O's better get their wins in quick, because the slugging Texas Rangers come into town tomorrow, before heading to New York to take on the Yankees next week.

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