Tonight marks the first “ESPN Sunday Night Baseball” game at Camden Yards since July 31, 2005.
It seems like only yesterday. A week, tops.
Maybe what happened to the Orioles explains why the network stayed away for so long.
Rodrigo Lopez lasted only 1 1/3 innings, allowing eight runs and seven hits, walking three batters and hitting one. The Orioles lost to the White Sox 9-4.
Who started for the White Sox? Well, that would be Freddy Garcia, who gave up four runs and 10 hits over seven innings.
The Orioles went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 runners. Eric Byrnes doubled and homered. Miguel Tejada had three hits. David Newhan started in center field and batted ninth.
Todd Williams, Bruce Chen and Tim Byrdak also pitched for the Orioles. Lee Mazzilli still managed the team - for four more days.
Brian Roberts led off and played second base. He’s probably going to play second base tonight, though he’s more likely to bat ninth, as he did for the first three games of the season.
Roberts has never faced Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda. However, he’s 6-for-17 with two doubles against closer Mariano Rivera. Keep that in mind.
Nate McLouth is 5-for-26 against Kuroda. Does he bat leadoff? That’s his usual role against a right-hander, no matter the numbers. Nick Markakis is 5-for-13 with a home run.
J.J. Hardy is 2-for-18. Chris Davis, who can hit anyone these days, is 4-for-14 with a double, home run, four RBIs and six strikeouts.
Ryan Flaherty is 1-for-6 with a home run. Does he remain on the roster despite Roberts’ return?
That’s the assumption. Jair Jurrjens, who worked 2 1/3 innings last night, is expected to be optioned. We’ll see.
Flaherty may benefit from playing every day in Triple-A, but how do you send down a hot bat? He’s 14-for-29 with four homers and nine RBIs during a career-high eight-game hitting streak.
“I’ve been getting into better counts and I’ve been positioning myself to have some more success,” he said. “I’ve been laying off some pitches that I might have been swinging at before. It’s just trying to slow the game down. Once you do that, the recipe for success is more in your favor.
“Really, it’s just looking for a pitch that’s hittable and not swing at anything down in the dirt. That’s been my main approach since coming back, is putting myself in better hitting counts, and that’s been a recipe for success.”
The Orioles have nine home runs from the No. 9 hitter in their lineup, tying Tampa Bay for the second-most from that spot. The Indians have 11.
It’s what you know ...
Update: I failed to include that Rafael Palmeiro started at first base that night, and was suspended for a failed steroid test the following morning.