The decision (w/Morrow & Guthrie updates)

Cesar Izturis led off the bottom of the seventh with a double to left-center field, making him Mr. 1,001.

Manager Buck Showalter could have ordered rookie Josh Bell to bunt, which seemed like the obvious call. He could have sent up Julio Lugo to bunt, also a valid option.

Bell swung away and lined to right. Izturis was a few steps off the bag and couldn’t get back to tag, though the ball wasn’t hit deep enough for him to advance.

Why wasn’t Bell bunting?

I wonder if Showalter gave Bell the same instructions that he passed along to Corey Patterson a few nights ago - “Do what you have to do” - and Bell assumed that he meant, “Swing as hard as you can.”

The Orioles scored anyway, with Izturis moving up on a passed ball and racing home on Brian Roberts’ infield hit.

Roberts won the eight-pitch battle with Mark Buehrle after falling behind in the count. A quality at-bat.

Update: Evan Longoria singled with two outs in the ninth inning to ruin Brandon Morrow’s no-hit bid. Morrow recorded his 17th strikeout to complete a 1-0 victory over the Rays.

Update II: Guthrie is done after eight innings and 116 pitches. He held the White Sox to one run and six hits, giving the Orioles six consecutive quality starts from their rotation. He walked one and struck out four.

We were just debating in the press box whether your team MVP can have a 6-11 record - Guthrie’s mark if Alfredo Simon gets the save.

In his last five starts, Guthrie has allowed seven earned runs in 35 1/3 innings.

The starters have posted a 1.94 ERA on this homestand.

Today’s attendance: 18,283.

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