In suffering the blown save in the last of the 9th in Tampa’s 4-3 win over the Orioles Tuesday, four of the five batters he faced reached vs. Mike Gonzalez. He threw 15 pitches, seven for strikes and gave up two runs in 1/3 of an inning.
Up until the 9th, the O’s pen worked three scoreless innings and Tampa was 1 for 9 vs. the pen.
The Orioles fall to 35-22 all-time in openers. They lost on Opening Day for just the 3rd time in the last 11 games. They are 8-9 when opening on the road, now 2-2 when playing Tampa in game one.
Before this game, the Orioles had played 26 of their last 29 Opening Day games at home.
Steve’s analysis: On a night when the O’s did a lot right, they still lost vs. Tampa. Mike Gonzalez let it get away with the blown save, even though he faced the bottom of the order. That can’t happen.
On the plus side, Kevin Millwood was gutsy, Adam Jones and Matt Wieters hit bombs and Luke Scott hit a bomb and a half. Miguel Tejada played solid defense, Markakis cut a runner down at the plate and TB was 1 for 9 vs. the O’s pen until the 9th.
I don’t think the Orioles see this as a moral victory. Those days are over.
Needed a clutch hit: The Birds went just 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base, seven in scoring position. They did have 11 hits, seven for extra-bases.
The Orioles three solo homers was one of their top Opening Day homer outbursts ever, top only by the four they hit vs. KC in 1982 and four vs. Tampa in 2006.
Luke Scott’s solo HR in the 4th traveled 456 feet and was the longest of his career.
Adam Jones had a homer among his three hits. In the last two openers he is 6 for 8 with a 2B, 3B and HR along with four runs and 3 RBI.
Cesar Izturis had two hits and is now 4 for 8 in two Orioles opener. He is a career .387 hitter (12 for 31) on Opening Day. After going 5 for 6 in the last two openers, Brian Roberts went 0 for 5 Tuesday.
Starter Kevin Millwood allowed two runs over five innings. He is now 2-4, 3.38 in eight career Opening Day starting assignments.
Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. it’s the Birds at Tampa with Jeremy Guthrie vs. Matt Garza. Guthrie’s career mark vs. the Rays is 3-5, 4.75 while Garza is 6-1, 2.92 vs. Baltimore. In a unique twist, both pitchers have career records of 27 and 34.
Minor note: The Orioles Triple-A team in Norfolk, beat Norfolk State 6-0 Tuesday in an exhibition in front of 8,509 fans at Harbor Park.
Brandon Snyder had four hits, all singles. Josh Bell had a single and RBI triple and Joey Gathright stole two bases. Seven Tides pitchers combined on a two-hitter.
Norfolk’s opener is Thursday at home at 7:15 p.m. vs. defending IL champ Durham. Chris Tillman is the Opening Night starter and will face Jeremy Hellickson.