Trying to avoid the sweep

Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez aren't hitting in this series. Mariano Rivera isn't available, and Jorge Posada can be used only in an emergency.

The bottom of the Yankees' lineup last night included Francisco Cervelli and Ramiro Pena.

I'm glad the Orioles caught the Yankees at the right time.

It's the bottom portion that keeps hurting the Orioles - along with starters CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. And they get Andy Pettitte today, another pitcher they can't touch without getting their hands slapped.

Those brooms work both ways.

I'm not sure if it makes me feel better that the Orioles have been in both games, and perhaps one clutch hit away from winning, or if that only makes it worse.

We can play guess-that-lineup again:

Jones CF
Markakis RF
Wieters C
Tejada 3B
Atkins 1B
Wigginton 2B
Reimold DH
Montanez LF
Izturis SS

Let me explain. Wigginton is 2-for-21 lifetime against Pettitte, so I'm lowering him in the order. Unfortunately, you can only go so far. It's not like Reimold and Montanez are on fire these days.

Jones is 5-for-15 with a triple against Pettitte. Markakis is 11-for-32 (.344) with two doubles and two homers.

Call up Corey Patterson. He's 7-for-21 with two doubles and a homer.

Manager Dave Trembley is expected to announce today that the Orioles will activate Koji Uehara from the disabled list for the Minnesota series, perhaps as early as tomorrow. Montanez could be headed back to Norfolk if they decide to keep an extra pitcher. Otherwise, left-hander Alberto Castillo and his 5.40 ERA are beginning to look vulnerable.

Matt Albers continues his resurgence. Cla Meredith tossed a scoreless inning last night to lower his ERA to 2.25. Opponents are batting .214 against him. They're hitting .316 against Castillo.

Jim Johnson tossed a scoreless inning last night for Triple-A Norfolk, allowing one hit and throwing eight of 15 pitches for strikes. He got two fly ball outs and one ground ball.

Billy Rowell went 3-for-3 for Single-A Frederick and is batting .315.

And finally, if you're still fortunate enough to have your grandparents in your lives, please give them a hug or a phone call today. I lost my grandmother this morning, and she was the last one. Another huge chunk of my childhood has crumbled away.

My grandmother was a rabid Steelers fan, but you can't hold that against her. She lived in Ford City, Pa. I think it's the law up there.

I can still hear her screaming at Terry Bradshaw. She loved him, but it was a tough love.

She also made the best cookies and peanut butter fudge on the planet. And her breaded pork chops, mashed potatoes and wilted lettuce were so good, I'd eat the leftovers for breakfast. She'd offer me eggs every single time, then head for the fridge and start pulling out the containers (celery and pickles included). It amused her and grossed her out at the same time.

She was so proud of me and everything I've accomplished in my life, and she absolutely adored her great-grandchildren. That woman had a lot of love in her heart - enough that she forgave Bradshaw for every interception (though I'm not so sure about Neil O'Donnell).

I dedicate this blog entry to her. RIP.

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