A 4-4 homestand should have been a 6-2 homestand, but I won’t ruin your buzz.
Julio Lugo scored the winning run on Nick Markakis’ long bases-loaded single in the 10th, making Alfredo Simon a winner after his blown save ruined Saturday night’s game and started another losing streak.
“The game can get away from you in a hurry,” manager Dave Trembley said. “It got away from us (Saturday) with a win that was just waiting for us to take and Simon gave it up. Then we had an opportunity to do it last night and you just can’t let it continue to go in that direction because you won’t be able to catch up.
“It is a nice way to end a week where we could have won a couple more ballgames and we didn’t.”
The flight to Texas just got a little more comfortable.
Simon came up big, shutting down the Royals over 1 2/3 innings and striking out Jose Guillen in a nine-pitch battle to strand two runners in the 10th.
“He didn’t give in,” Trembley said. “When Simon comes in the game, I wish they’d shut the radar reading off because he seems sometimes to want to overthrow and that gets him in trouble. But he didn’t give in.
“I thought he had (Guillen) set up for the split, which he threw and (Guillen) fouled it off, but then he went back pitching away. Before he came in the game, I told (Matt) Wieters, ‘These guys are all going to be cheating off him because they know he’s going to be amped up. Get the ball away from them. Get the ball away from all of them.’”
Trembley had no intention of removing Kevin Millwood with two on and two outs in the eighth. That mound visit wasn’t about letting Millwood change Trembley’s mind.
“You give a guy like that who’s worked so hard for us the opportunity to try to win the game,” Trembley said. “He deserved it, he earned it, and like I said, he didn’t get it in the book, but I think in everybody else’s eyes, he’s the reason we won the game, or one of the reasons why we won the game, because he doesn’t fold. And the other guys are looking at you. You’ve got to back up your guy and you’ve got to send a message, and I think we’ve done that with Millwood and we’ll continue to do that because he’s here for a reason.”
Millwood was the first player to greet Corey Patterson on the top step of the dugout after the left fielder homered to tie the game in the eighth.
Trembley had an interesting observation about Patterson.
“Corey’s doing some things that maybe in retrospect he could have been doing earlier in his career,” Trembley said. “He’s become a lot more, in a short period of time, he’s become more patient. He’s bunting for hits. At least he’s showing it. And then he’s still got enough sock where he can hit one. Goodness, he’s been a real nice addition for us.”