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Orioles at Tigers 06/03/05-06/05/05

Game 1 (3-5, Tigers win)

Jason Johnson gets the call, once again facing his old mates (not the Indians, oops) and hoping to continue his winning streak. I am really enjoying his hot streak thus far in the season and hope he is able to keep it up all year long. His opponent, Bruce Chen, gave the Tigers a tough outing last time but the relief ended up losing the game for him. I like to call this foreshadowing.

The top and bottom of the first went 1-2-3 before the bats made some contact in the second. Johnson allowed a two out BJ Surhoff double and Chen allowed a two out Craig Monroe triple before escaping the inning. The leadoff man in the third, Chris Gomez, beat out an infield single before being erased on Geronimo Gil’s double play. David Newhan hit a single after a long at bat and went all the way to third on Johnson’s errant pickoff attempt. He scored on Mora’s bunt and Johnson struck out Tejada to end the inning (1-0).

The scoring picked up again in the bottom of the fifth with Rodriguez’s leadoff homerun (1-1). (I’ve typed leadoff homerun a lot more than I have any other home run related phrase in these updates.) Chen continued to be effective until the seventh when the Tigers broke the tie. Rondell White’s one out single was the go ahead run on Rodriguez’s double, his second extra base hit of the game (1-2). Chen was pulled in favor of Williams, who went on the give up a big inning. Monroe made out number two, Chris Shelton hit an RBI single and made second on the throw, Tony Giarratano added an RBI single, Logan walked, and Inge hit the third RBI single of the inning (1-5). James Baldwin came in to face Infante and retired him easily.

While the line says eight innings, Johnson went into the ninth. He walked Mora on a full count and Tejada hit a single before Farnsworth replaced Johnson on the mound. Pursuing a similar vein as Billfer, I’d like to mention Johnson only took 101 pitches to reach the top of the ninth, a remarkable improvement in pitching efficiency for him from the past. The next man up, Sammy Sosa, reached safely on Giarratano’s throwing error. Facing Rafael Palmeiro, Farnsworth allowed a deep fly that scored Mora (2-5). He got his second out at second when Surhoff dribbled a ball back to him but Tejada made third. Jay Gibbons singled Tejada home and Gomez struck out as the winning run (3-5). Sounds like a heck of a game to have attended.

Game 2 (14-7, Orioles win)

Wilfredo “Doghouse” Ledezma tried to continue the Detroit dominance of the Orioles, facing Rodrigo Lopez, who’s gotten excellent run support in all four of his victories. Thus it comes as no surprise that he surrendered three first inning runs with a little help from his friends. Ramon Martinez reached on one of my favorite plays in baseball: The wild pitch called third strike. Carlos Guillen earned (using the term loosely, it was a gift) a four pitch walk to give Rondell White a promising at bat. His three-run home run gave Ledezma a big early lead and hopefully a feeling of confidence (0-3).

Well, he was too confident to start the second. The leadoff man, Sosa, scored with one out after his leadoff double, Palmeiro’s groundout, and Surhoff’s single (1-3). Gomez walked in four pitches and Gibbons gifted Ledezma with out number two. Geronimo Gil proved to be troublesome when he hit a ball that Giarratano misplayed for a two run error (3-3).

The Tigers offense provided a pick-me-up with its three runs with two outs in the second. Logan singled, stole second, and Inge joined him on base with a walk. Martinez plated Logan with his single and scored with Inge on Guillen’s double (3-6). White’s groundout completed the Tigers’ second three run inning. Ledezma responded by retiring the Baltimore third, allowing only a single.

In the bottom half, the Tigers again looked very strong. Rodriguez led off with a single and was chased to third on Young’s double. Monroe brought Rodriguez home with a sac fly, the first of three consecutive fly ball outs (3-7). Giarratano and Logan disappointed since both fouled out to third with Young in scoring position. Ledezma responded with another quiet inning, only allowing another single.

Well, that was it for both the Tigers offense and Ledezma’s tolerable pitching. In the top of the fifth, two walks and a single turned into four runs when Palmeiro tied the game with his grand slam (7-7). That was it for Ledezma and Spurling replaced him effectively for the rest of the fifth and sixth. In the seventh, Jamie Walker started strong and faded. Gomez hit a two out single and Gibbons sent him home with a double (8-7). German ended the inning and pitched into the eighth. David Newhan, leading off the eighth, scored on Giarratano’s second error of the day after doubling and advancing to third on Mora’s groundout (9-7). German was relieved by Creek after striking out Sosa and watched the inning end quietly.

The Tigers threatened in the bottom with the tying men aboard, two out, and Guillen again at bat. Alas, Inge’s double and Martinez’s single were wasted on Guillen’s pop out. Surhoff’s, Gomez’s, and Sal Fasano’s singles were not wasted because Mora hit Baltimore’s second grand slam, putting the game out of reach (13-7). Tejada completed the come-from-behind beating with his solo shot also into left field (14-7).

Game 3 (Final Score: 6-2, Orioles win)

It is hard to imagine a game that ended worse than yesterday’s, but this one fits the bill. There’s nothing quite like giving up a lead by playing poorly. The first inning lead from Dmitri Young’s two out homer with Guillen on and Maroth’s decent performance were squandered in the fifth. Palmeiro’s leadoff single should have been played cleanly but Shelton slipped and couldn’t recover quickly enough to get him out. The Gomez single and Gibbons double were both clean hits but the following play that tied the game is frustrating. Fasano’s certain groundout became a two bagger on Inge’s throwing error (2-2). Ramon Nivar’s groundout scored the go-ahead run and put the Tigers behind for good (3-2). Fasano scored the final run of the fifth on Mora’s single, putting the Tigers down (4-2).

Logan lead off the sixth with a bunt single, stole second and third base, and watched Guillen strike out of for the third out. Not to be out done the Orioles scored a pair of runs in the top of the seventh frame on Maroth’s wild pitch and Mora’s sac fly (6-2). Young’s wasted lead off double in the seventh was the highlight of matched 1-2-3 innings the rest of the way.

I hate to be so dismal but this game came as a first class disappointment. The Tigers had a great chance to pick up a series against a team that is playing pretty well and they Detroit Lionsed the game away. This was just a very upsetting performance from a team that seemed to finally be matching decent hitting with good enough pitching. I guess this streak was too good to last. Sorry for raining on everyone’s parade and going negative like a political campaign. I’ll find some good things to say when they play the Dodgers.

T Giarratano 7 1 1 1 0 1 0.143 0.143
C Guillen 8 2 4 2 1 5 0.500 0.625
O Infante 8 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
B Inge 12 1 3 1 1 4 0.250 0.333
N Logan 9 1 3 0 1 3 0.333 0.333
R Martinez 5 2 2 1 0 2 0.400 0.400
C Monroe 9 0 2 1 0 4 0.222 0.444
I Rodriguez 9 3 3 2 0 7 0.333 0.778
C Shelton 6 1 1 1 0 1 0.167 0.167
M Thames 3 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
R White 9 2 2 3 0 5 0.222 0.556
V Wilson 3 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
D Young 13 1 4 2 0 8 0.308 0.615









D Creek 1.1 5 5 5 0 1 40.91 4.55
K Farnsworth 1 1 0 0 0 1 0.00 1.00
F German 1 1 1 0 0 1 0.00 1.00
J Johnson 8 6 3 1 1 6 1.13 0.88
W Ledezma 4.1 7 7 5 3 2 10.98 2.44
M Maroth 8 10 6 2 1 1 2.25 1.38
T Percival 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.00 0.00
C Spurling 1.2 1 0 0 1 0 0.00 1.67
J Walker 0.2 2 1 1 0 1 45.00 10.00
Totals 27 33 23 14 6 14 4.67 1.44

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