A night recap before bed

A night recap before bed
Ty Wigginton has 10 career two-homer games. A four-homer game would have worked a little better tonight. Manager Dave Trembley spoke for about three minutes following an 8-6 loss to the Rays. Dave Trembley discusses the O's 8-6 10-inning loss with the media "(Brian) Matusz pitched about as good a game as you're going to get," he said. "Had location, had a feel for all his pitches, worked ahead, worked quick, pitched down. Tremendous game. "Tonight was similar to what we've been...
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A change in your program

A change in your program
Playing the part of Jamie Walker tonight, right-handed reliever Matt Albers. It only makes sense if you know that Walker imploded a few times against Carlos Pena last season. Forgive me. I'm cold, tired and really sick of this homestand. Matt Albers faced three batters tonight and retired no one. Two walks and Pena's three-run blast have given the Rays an 8-5 lead in the 10th inning. Albers has issued five walks in five appearances covering 4 1/3 innings. He's also allowed six hits and...
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Great Scott

Great Scott
Luke Scott just tied the game in the eighth with the Orioles' first pinch-hit home run since Ty Wigginton took James Shields deep on Sept. 30, 2009 at The Trop. Scott, batting for Cesar Izturis, lined a 1-0 pitch from Randy Choate onto the flag court in right. Scott slapped his hands together as he reached first base. He tapped his chest and pointed to the heavens as he touched home plate, then delivered a high-five to Garrett Atkins that might have drawn blood. He's pumped up - or just...
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You had to see it coming (updated twice)

You had to see it coming (updated twice)
The Rays start stringing together singles and you know the Orioles are going to cough up the lead. As one observer noted in the press box, there was too much time left on the clock. Evan Longoria's two-run single off Jim Johnson with two outs in the top of the eighth inning has tied the game, 3-3, and denied left-hander Brian Matusz a much-deserved victory. Life just isn't fair sometimes. Matusz gave up four straight singles after striking out Willy Aybar to open the eighth. Manager Dave...
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An unwritten rule? (updated)

An unwritten rule? (updated)
So is it wrong to break up a no-hitter by laying down a bunt in the fourth inning? Too soon? Ben Zobrist is guilty of doing it, and that's the only hit for the Rays through the sixth. Brian Matusz is dealing tonight. It's cold, it's damp, it's far from perfect baseball weather, and he either hasn't noticed or is just ignoring it. Matusz struck out the first two batters in the fifth on changeups. Dioner Navarro swung at a slider and hit a weak bouncer to the mound. Everything is...
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Because You Asked - The Wrath of Khan

Because You Asked - The Wrath of Khan
Everybody loves a good sequel. If only there was more than a small handful. The Godfather Part II. Rocky II. Kill Bill Vol. 2. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The Empire Strikes Back. Aliens. And every single "Because You Asked..." They should have done Cast Away II, where the plane's going down and Tom Hanks is thinking, "Really? Again? Oh come on!" And how could they resist squeezing out one more Police Academy? There were still so many unanswered questions. Speaking of...
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Quick non-AFL check

Quick non-AFL check
Players from the Orioles' organization are spread out beyond Arizona. Lou Montanez has played two games in Puerto Rico, going 3-for-7 with a double, home run, RBI and walk. He's also been hit by a pitch. Busy man. Luis Lebron, added to the 40-man roster yesterday, has pitched in four games in the Dominican. He's tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out two. Radhames Liz has made two starts in the Dominican, allowing one run and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings....
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Lincecum goes back-to-back

Lincecum goes back-to-back
San Francisco Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum won another NL Cy Young today, but he also became only the second pitcher to receive fewer first-place votes than another candidate. Lincecum received 11 first-place votes, 12 second-place and nine third. Runner-up Chris Carpenter received nine votes for first, 14 for second and seven for third. St. Louis teammate Adam Wainwright received 12 votes for first, five for second and 15 for third. Javier Vazquez finished fourth, and Dan Haren...
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Revisiting the Steve Johnson roster decision (plus AFL update)

Revisiting the Steve Johnson roster decision (plus AFL update)
Andy MacPhail, president of baseball operations, said it's "understandable" that so many fans are obsessing over Steve Johnson's exclusion from the 40-man roster. But he also noted during our brief conversation earlier today that Johnson spent the majority of the 2009 season pitching at the Single-A level. The Orioles are counting on other teams passing on the chance to select him in the Rule 5 draft. It might be a different story if Johnson had finished the season at Triple-A Norfolk and...
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Yo, Adrian

Yo, Adrian
If you woke up feeling a little different today, perhaps a little more energized, it's because free agency has officially started. It's not too late to rush out and buy a cake. You should have gone to sleep earlier so today would arrive faster. Sort of like Christmas. I'm not quite as pumped about it. The rumor mill spins out of control and the Orioles will be linked to just about every player on the market. I find it more annoying than anything else, and I'm not alone. The Orioles'...
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No runs, no hits...one Erik?

No runs, no hits...one Erik?
ESPN's Keith Law posted his top 50 free agents, which you can read by clicking here (you need to be an insider). The top three shouldn't surprise you: Matt Holiday, Jason Bay and John Lackey. Law ranks third baseman Adrian Beltre at No. 27, with the following comment: The last time Beltre entered his walk year, he had a career season, with 48 home runs and a .388 OBP in 2004, levels he had never seen before and wouldn't see during the course of his five-year contract with Seattle. This...
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Roster move

Roster move
The Orioles have claimed catcher Craig Tatum off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds and designated pitcher Chris Waters for assignment. Tatum, 26, batted .239 with three homers and 21 RBIs in 64 games at Triple-A Louisville. He appeared in 26 games with the Reds and went 11-for-68 (.162) with one homer and six RBIs. Tatum is a former third-round pick who will compete for a backup spot in spring training. Baseball America rated him as the best defensive catcher in the Reds' system in...
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Born to blog, and to update Bergy

Born to blog, and to update Bergy
My ears are still ringing from the Springsteen concert last night, so I'm having trouble hearing this blog. At least I still have my voice, though I tried my hardest to destroy it during Thunder Road. There's nothing like a 3 ½-hour show from The Boss to leave you exhilarated and drained at the same time. I could have sprinted all the way back to my car, but I would have collapsed on the hood and slept for days. (And the only redemption I can offer is beneath this dirty...
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Rough day for Perrault

Rough day for Perrault
Orioles farmhand Josh Perrault served up a two-run homer to White Sox prospect C.J. Retherford in the bottom of the eighth inning, giving Peoria Javelinas a 5-4 win over the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the AFL championship game. The Desert Dogs had won five straight titles before today. Perrault was charged with two runs and three hits. He also struck out two. Matt Angle, leading off and playing center field, was 2-for-4 with a triple and run scored. Third baseman Josh Bell, batting sixth, went...
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The Wieters strategy (w/interesting Matusz stat)

The Wieters strategy (w/interesting Matusz stat)
The Rays keep playing that exaggerated infield shift with Matt Wieters at the plate. Second baseman Sean Rodriguez drops into shallow right field, shortstop Jason Bartlett swings around to second and third baseman Evan Longoria occupies the shortstop position. It's an interesting perception of Wieters, considering that one of the most common questions posed to him last year was, "When are you going to pull a ball for a home run?" He kept going to the opposite field. Wieters flied to...
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Gonzo's baby girl (updated)

Gonzo's baby girl (updated)
It looks like we'll start on time tonight. The tarp's off the field, players are warming up and the lineups are being introduced over the PA system. Closer Mike Gonzalez is the proud father of a baby girl, Arianna Marie Gonzalez. She's 6 pounds, 14 ounces, and she's 19 1/2 inches long. Gonzalez claims that she's "gorgeous." Aren't they all? Manager Dave Trembley commented on Monday's record-low crowd at Camden Yards. "I think it's always nice to have a lot of people, but you...
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What's going on with Gonzo?

What's going on with Gonzo?
Is Mike Gonzalez the closer tonight? Not if his mechanics still need to be ironed out. I wouldn't count on Gonzalez getting the ball in the ninth inning unless the Orioles have a comfortable lead, but you decide. "I'm not sure when I would use him, whether that be the seventh inning or eighth inning or ninth inning," manager Dave Trembley said. "He came here to be the closer. Like I said before he left to attend the birth of his child, I thought it was in his best interest and in the...
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Welcome Matt to the cleanup spot

Welcome Matt to the cleanup spot
This might comes as a total shock to many of you, but the lineup was the primary topic in manager Dave Trembley's pre-game media session. No lie. "Let's do what we can to get the offense started and score some runs," he said. "Changing it up is a good idea. Change the routine a little bit." Trembley won't commit to batting Miguel Tejada second, Matt Wieters fourth and Adam Jones fifth for an extended period. He's taking it on a game-by-game basis. In fact, you can expect Craig Tatum...
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Tejada second, Wieters fourth

Tejada second, Wieters fourth
Here's the Orioles lineup: Felix Pie LF Miguel Tejada 3B Nick Markakis RF Matt Wieters C Adam Jones CF Nolan Reimold DH Garrett Atkins 1B Ty Wigginton 2B Cesar Izturis SS Brian Matusz LHP Koji Uehara was scheduled to throw another bullpen session today in Sarasota. He was expected to throw 25 pitches, duplicating Sunday's count. Here's the Rays lineup: Bartlett SS Rodriguez 2B Zobrist RF Longoria 3B Pena 1B Upton CF Aybar DH Navarro C Kapler LF Niemann RHP
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Roberts: "Whether that means 15 days or 25 days, I don't know."

Roberts: "Whether that means 15 days or 25 days, I don't know."
The strained abdominal muscle that forced Brian Roberts out of Friday's home opener has improved enough that it's no longer a concern for him. His lower back, however, continues to disrupt the first month of his season and leave a gaping hole atop the order. Roberts received another epidural yesterday to ease the discomfort in his lower back. He's been told to rest before being re-examined by a specialist in three days. "Initially, I came out of the game because of my stomach, but the...
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