Tonight's lineups

Tonight's lineups
For the Orioles: Felix Pie LF Adam Jones CF Nick Markakis RF Miguel Tejada 3B Matt Wieters C Luke Scott DH Ty Wigginton 2B Garrett Atkins 1B Cesar Izturis SS David Hernandez RHP For the Athletics Rajai Davis CF Daric Barton 1B Ryan Sweeney RF Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B Kurt Suzuki C Eric Chavez DH Adam Rosales 2B Travis Buck LF Cliff Pennington SS Ben Sheets RHP
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Missing the Orioles

Missing the Orioles
Today is the first day that I've been away from the Orioles since I arrived in Sarasota on Feb. 16, and I'm beginning to experience separation anxiety. I just asked my neighbor how his groin is feeling. I chastised the paper boy for his poor arm slot. I stopped by the Eldersburg bowling alley so I could check how the ball was coming out of someone's hand. I popped in a tape of the last New Year's Eve celebration so I could watch another ball drop. I chose a different chair this morning...
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Roster move official (updated)

Roster move official (updated)
The Orioles just announced that they've recalled right-handed reliever Kam Mickolio from Triple-A Norfolk to replace closer Mike Gonzalez on the 25-man roster. He joined the team in Oakland. Mickolio went 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in 9 1/3 innings in spring training, but he also walked seven batters. He allowed one earned run in three innings at Norfolk, but also issued four walks. Once that plate stops moving, he'll be fine. The Orioles view Mickolio as a potential closer down the road once his...
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Opponents 8, Orioles 1

Opponents 8, Orioles 1
You want good news? The Orioles didn't give up a run in the eighth or ninth inning for the first time this season. That's progress. I respect the fans who applauded Luke Scott's one-out walk in the bottom of the ninth inning. I won't question their sanity. Way to stay in the game. Dave Trembley talks with the media after the O's 9-1 loss to the Rays Garrett Atkins followed with a little roller in front of the plate. The catcher picked up the ball and tagged Atkins on the foot for...
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A closer look

A closer look
Manager Dave Trembley confirmed that Jim Johnson would "get that consideration" as Mike Gonzalez's replacement in the ninth inning. It's not a ringing endorsement, but it sounds like Johnson is the frontrunner to close. He brings a little experience, if not a lot of success, to the table. Gonzalez told Trembley that his shoulder has been bothering him the last couple of days. The club is awaiting the results of his MRI.
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A few items of possible interest

A few items of possible interest
Today's attendance: 10,248. Not a record low, but pretty darn low. That's 125,646 tickets sold for this homestand. B.J. Upton has two home runs this season - both of them coming today. He connected off Brad Bergesen in the third inning and took Jason Berken deep in the seventh. Tampa Bay 9, Orioles 1 Did two blown saves in four games really turn things around this dramatically? It's the second multi-homer game of Upton's career, the other coming July 20, 2007 at New York. See, bad...
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What's going on with Sarfate? (updated twice)

What's going on with Sarfate? (updated twice)
Dennis Sarfate entered today's game at Triple-A Norfolk, but he apparently left without throwing a pitch. Anybody else find that strange? The Tides lead Charlotte, 7-0, in the bottom of the seventh. Jake Arrieta tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out five. He threw 79 pitches, 56 for strikes. Update: Sarfate left the game with a strained oblique muscle. He's tossed three scoreless innings for the Tides this season, allowing one hit, walking one and striking...
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From bad to worse

From bad to worse
I wonder if the new reliever can get here right now. Brad Bergesen is getting the pinata treatment today. B.J. Upton just hit a three-run homer in the third inning, the second for the Rays today. Tampa Bay 6, Orioles 0. Bergesen just doesn't have it today. Upton slaughtered an 89 mph fastball, sending it 405 feet into the seats in left-center field. The Rays also collected two doubles in the inning. Four of their five hits have gone for extra-bases, with Upton and Carlos Pena touching...
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Gonzalez to DL

Gonzalez to DL
The Orioles just announced that they've placed reliever Mike Gonzalez on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left shoulder. The move is retroactive to April 10. A corresponding roster move will be announced "at a later time," according to the Orioles' press release. Usually, that means after the game. Kam Mickolio has allowed one run and four hits in three innings, with four walks and five strikeouts, at Triple-A Norfolk. Alberto Castillo has surrendered one run and two hits, with...
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Tatum's turn

Tatum's turn
Backup catcher Craig Tatum, making his first start today for the Orioles, assumed that Brad Bergesen hadn't faced Tampa Bay in the regular season because he couldn't find video of the game. Maybe the Orioles burned it. Bergesen took the loss last year after giving up four runs and nine hits, including a homer, in 5 2/3 innings. Tatum is looking for any advantage as he gets more acquainted with the pitching staff. He caught Bergesen twice in spring training and has set the target in...
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Along came Jones

Along came Jones
Don't expect Adam Jones to be pacing the floor today in anticipation of batting first for the Orioles. He's done it six other times in his career, and he told me earlier today that his placement in the lineup doesn't make "one bit of difference." "Where I hit never changes my approach," he said. So don't look for Jones to lay down a bunt in the first inning. "I just play my normal game," he said. "It's more at-bats and I love hitting, so it gives me an opportunity to get up...
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Gonzalez hurt?

Gonzalez hurt?
Reliever Mike Gonzalez notified manager Dave Trembley last night that he wasn't available to pitch because he couldn't get his shoulder loose in the bullpen. A team physician will examine Gonzalez today. "He told me that he wasn't feeling comfortable getting loose last night," Trembley said. "Obviously, there were a couple situations last night where I would have loved to bring him in." Trembley is waiting to receive an update from head athletic trainer Richie Bancells, but he...
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Jones first, Wigginton second

Jones first, Wigginton second
Adam Jones CF Ty Wigginton 2B Nick Markakis RF Miguel Tejada 3B Nolan Reimold LF Luke Scott DH Garrett Atkins 1B Craig Tatum C Cesar Izturis SS Brad Bergesen RHP
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The Matusz decision: To hope or hook

The Matusz decision: To hope or hook
The clubhouse opens at 10:05 a.m. today, and it will provide some warmth on this cold morning. Forget chilly. I just stepped outside and the "chilly" ship has sailed. It's cold. We're getting up to 64 degrees today, according to the Fox 45 weather forecast. Or it's going to be 45 according to the Fox 64 forecast. I'm a little tired and wasn't paying close attention. Before we turn the page on last night's game, which is sure to leave a paper cut considering the way this season is...
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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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