Game 1 lineups

Game 1 lineups
Orioles: 2B Lugo CF Jones RF Markakis 3B Tejada DH Wigginton C Wieters 1B Atkins LF Reimold SS Izturis RHP Guthrie Twins: CF Span 2B Hudson 1B Morneau DH Thome RF Cuddyer LF Kubel C Ramos SS Harris 3B Punto LHP Liriano
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Checking on two prospects

Checking on two prospects
Josh Bell hit a walk-off home run last night for Triple-A Norfolk, belting a 1-1 offering from Toledo reliever Jay Sborz over the right-center field wall in the bottom of the 12th inning to give the Tides their third straight win. Sborz hadn't allowed an earned run in 10 games before last night. His eight saves are tied for the International League lead. Bell went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two walks. He's homered in three straight games, giving him six on the year to go with 18 RBIs, and...
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A good or bad thing?

A good or bad thing?
Does a postponement and day/night doubleheader help or hurt the Orioles? Does it even matter? Maybe it means nothing, but the timing seems pretty rotten for a team coming off its crispest game of the season. So much for riding a wave tonight - though snowboarding might be a possibility. I know momentum in baseball is the next day's starting pitcher. Doesn't matter how many games you've won in a row if the opposing hurler brings his best stuff, which Francisco Liriano has been doing this...
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Friday's game postponed: Twinbill set for Saturday

Friday's game postponed: Twinbill set for Saturday
Tonight's game in Minnesota has been postponed because of inclement weather - it's really supposed to snow later - and will be made up tomorrow as part of a doubleheader. Game 1 is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. EST on MASN2, with Game 2 to follow at 8:10 p.m. on MASN. The rotation remains the same. Kevin Millwood and Jeremy Guthrie will make the starts, though the Orioles will wait until tomorrow to announce which right-hander goes first. Remember everything I wrote about Millwood today? It also...
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A few facts about Millwood

A few facts about Millwood
Kevin Millwood has faced 30 teams in his 14-year career. He's never beaten the Twins (0-7 in 12 starts), Braves (0-6 in six starts) and Rangers (0-1 in two starts). Maybe he can cross a team off that list tonight if the city isn't blanketed with three feet of snow. No roof on the new stadium? Not even a retractable one? Brilliant. Somewhere, Bud Grant is smiling. If the game is played, Millwood will become the 18th active pitcher to throw in 40 different ballparks, joining Jamie Moyer...
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Looking back and ahead

Looking back and ahead
No wonder I had trouble falling asleep last night. I find it unsettling when the Orioles protect a slim lead in the ninth inning by retiring three straight batters - and not after three straight reach base. Way too routine for my taste. Alfredo Simon left the drama in his locker while recording the save. Now that he knows it's that easy, maybe he'll do it more often. You can see the difference Koji Uehara will make in this bullpen if he stays healthy. And that's a big "if." Huge. We're...
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That's more like it (w/minors added)

That's more like it (w/minors added)
I don't know about you, but I'm feeling a little better about Brad Bergesen. Coming off an uninspiring win, Bergesen shut down the Twins for 6 2/3 innings tonight. He allowed seven hits, walked two and struck out none. Manager Dave Trembley removed him after 97 pitches with the tying runs on base. Will Ohman replaced him and walked Justin Morneau to load the bases before striking out Jim Thome. Bergesen would have completed the seventh if first baseman Rhyne Hughes had fielded Orlando...
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Fit to be Ty

Fit to be Ty
Ty Wigginton dropped about 15 pounds over the winter, which second baseman Brian Roberts noted during tonight's O's Xtra pre-game show. A smaller Wigginton keeps coming up big. Wigginton belted his 10th home run tonight, a two-run shot in the second inning that gave the Orioles a 2-0 lead against Twins right-hander Carl Pavano. It was another monstrous blast similar to the one he hit yesterday at Yankee Stadium. And it's only the third homer Pavano has surrendered this season. MIguel...
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Roberts still in holding pattern

Roberts still in holding pattern
Second baseman Brian Roberts didn't make a grand announcement on O's Xtra about his return to the lineup. Though encouraged by how his back is feeling, he still isn't sure when he'll get back on the field. "I don't know. Unfortunately, that's kind of the million dollar question that I've been asked a lot, certainly recently," he said. "The doctors have got me on a great physical therapy program. We are working and making progress. Unfortunately, I just don't have a final date...
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What Brian's doing tonight

What Brian's doing tonight
Injured second baseman Brian Roberts is keeping busy. Besides updating his video blog on MASNsports.com, Roberts will be in studio tonight for the entire O's Xtra pre-game show on MASN2 that begins at 7:30 p.m. I'm told that Roberts will provide an update on his injured back, perhaps giving us a better idea when he might resume baseball activities. He'll also break down the top second basemen and leadoff hitters in the game. Brian Roberts breaks down the AL East's second basemen He used...
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Tonight's lineups (w/note added)

Tonight's lineups (w/note added)
For the Orioles: CF Adam Jones RF Nick Markakis C Matt Wieters 3B Miguel Tejada 2B Ty Wigginton DH Garrett Atkins 1B Rhyne Hughes LF Nolan Reimold SS Cesar Izturis RHP Brad Bergesen For the Twins: CF Denard Span 2B Orlando Hudson 1B Justin Morneau DH Jim Thome RF Michael Cuddyer LF Jason Kubel C Wilson Ramos SS Alexi Casilla 3B Nick Punto RHP Carl Pavano Note: Injured second baseman Brian Roberts will serve as an analyst on tonight's O's Xtra pre-game show on MASN2.
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Murray hitting airwaves tomorrow

Murray hitting airwaves tomorrow
I tapped on my horn earlier today to alert the pickup truck in front of me that the light had changed to green about 30 seconds earlier and he might want to step on the gas. Then I noticed the large sticker on the back of his vehicle that promoted his status as a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association. Luke Scott's still in Minnesota, right? Hall of Famer Eddie Murray makes his MASN broadcast debut tomorrow night, and he'll work the final three games of the Twins series. He'll...
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Bring on the Twins and double your pleasure

Bring on the Twins and double your pleasure
When the Orioles embarked on their road trip, I told a few people that I'd be satisfied with the club taking one of three from the Yankees and splitting with the Twins. I wasn't reaching for the stars. I get dizzy just standing on my toes. The Orioles were swept in the Bronx, so that goal's already been shattered. Now I want three of four in Minnesota. It shouldn't be so hard...except the Twins just swept the Tigers, they've scored two runs in the first inning in six consecutive games...
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Roster move

Roster move
The Orioles have optioned left-hander Alberto Castillo to Triple-A Norfolk. A corresponding move will be announced tomorrow. That would be Koji Uehara. Castillo was 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA in six games. He got off to a fine start and looked like he might stick around for a while, but that Norfolk shuttle always seems to be calling. Uehara is expected to come off the disabled list and join the team in Minnesota. He turned in four scoreless appearances on his injury rehab assignment at Double-A...
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So what's the solution?

So what's the solution?
We know Ty Wigginton won't be going down to Triple-A Norfolk. Wigginton belted his ninth home run of the season in the top of the eighth inning, a two-run shot off Yankees reliever Sergio Mitre that landed in the second deck in left field and cut the deficit to 6-3. Too little, too late? That's my guess, but we'll find out. Instant update: It's now 7-3 in the bottom of the eighth. I'll continue to trust my instincts. Interesting comments today from president of baseball operations...
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Quick update and a note of thanks

Quick update and a note of thanks
Orioles starter David Hernandez has surrendered bases-empty home runs to Nick Johnson and Nick Swisher in the first two innings. Maybe that's a good sign for Nick Markakis. The Yankees tacked on another run in the third, but Lou Montanez cut down Johnson at the plate. I hate having the feeling that this game is already over, but with Andy Pettitte on the mound, I'm not exactly brimming with confidence. Pitching coach Rick Kranitz was tossed from the game for arguing balls and strikes from...
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Jones scratched

Jones scratched
Sorry to be late with this information, but I sent along an entry earlier today that didn't post. Now that I'm back at my laptop, I can take care of it. Adam Jones was a late scratch with a right hip strain. He also dealt with a sore shoulder last night, but that's not the issue today. Jones was removed as a precaution, with Lou Montanez replacing him in center field and Julio Lugo batting leadoff. He's expected to start tomorrow night in Minnesota.
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Today's lineups

Today's lineups
Orioles: CF Adam Jones 2B Ty Wigginton RF Nick Markakis 3B Miguel Tejada 1B Garrett Atkins DH Matt Wieters LF Nolan Reimold C Craig Tatum SS Julio Lugo RHP David Hernandez Yankees: SS Derek Jeter DH Nick Johnson 1B Mark Teixeira 3B Alex Rodriguez 2B Robinson Cano RF Nick Swisher CF Brett Gardner C Francisco Cervelli LF Randy Winn LHP Andy Pettitte
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Trying to avoid the sweep

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...
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The frustration builds (updated)

The frustration builds (updated)
Second and third, none out and a run already across in the third inning. The Orioles could have busted the game wide open, but their only run scored on pitcher A.J. Burnett's throwing error. Three straight batters went down swinging. Leadoff double for Miguel Tejada in the fourth. Tejada moves to third with one out. The Orioles could have snapped a 1-1 tie, but they failed to score. Luke Scott struck out and Garrett Atkins fouled out. Why was the game tied in the top of the fourth?...
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