Izturis for the lead (w-updates)

Izturis for the lead (w-updates)
Number nine hitter Cesar Izturis made sure the Orioles did not blow a bases loaded chance in the top of the second at Texas. Tejada, Scott and Jones all singled. Up came Garrett Atkins with one out and the sacks full. He took a called third strike that might have been a ball outside, but he was punched out. With two outs up came Cesar. batting .206 on the year and with just four hits over his last 41 at bats. But he came up with a looping, clutch, two-out, two-run single to center for a...
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In the minors tonight

In the minors tonight
Chris Tillman pitches for Triple-A Norfolk when it hosts Pawtucket. Tillman is 3-4, 3.83 on the year. But over his last five starts, he is 3-1, 2.57 and has walked just five and fanned 26 over 35 innings. Norfolk is 16-24 after getting blanked 6-0 by the Pawsox last night. The Tides have lost six of seven. Michael Aubrey is batting .441 (15 for 34) over his last 11 games with two homers and 5 RBI. Josh Bell has 21 RBI his last 28 games. Nolan Reimold is 2 for 17 with a homer since...
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O's vs. Rangers - a preview

O's vs. Rangers - a preview
The Orioles (13-27) begin a two-game series and five-game road trip at Texas (22-18) tonight. The Rangers won the last two games vs. Los Angeles after losing three in a row. They are in first in the AL West, with a two-game lead over Oakland. The Rangers, who are 15-7 in home games, have won eight of their last 12 and 14 of 21 games. They were 11-12 in April and are 11-6 in May. They have a decent offense that has produced much better at home. Rangers offense, 2010 season: Home: .286...
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Wieters clocked at 1.69 - that's fast!

Wieters clocked at 1.69 - that's fast!
It looked like just another routine out in a baseball game. But it wasn't. It was the top of the fifth inning of Monday night's game at Camden Yards. Kansas City was batting with one out and a man on first. The runner, Mike Aviles, broke for second. O's catcher Matt Wieters threw a strike to second to record the out as Cesar Izturis applied the tag. What made the play remarkable was how fast it happened. A veteran scout in the press box timed the play from the moment the ball hit...
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Post-game notes: O's top KC in ten

Post-game notes:  O's top KC in ten
The Orioles 4-3 win in 10 innings over the Royals on Tuesday gave them a split of the two-game series and they went 4-4 on the eight-game homestand. Wins and losses: The O's improve to 13-27 on the season and are 11-11 since starting the year 2-16. They are 8-12 at home, 4-1 in extra-innings games and 7-7 in one-run contests. The Royals are now 15-25 on the year and 3-2 in extra innings. Nick the stick: Nick Markakis' RBI single in the tenth ended the game for a walk-off win. It was...
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O's end homestand with walk-off win

O's end homestand with walk-off win
Nick Markakis' RBI single to deep center with the bases loaded in the last of the tenth, gave the Orioles a 4-3, comeback win over KC on Tuesday night. The O's ended the homestand going 4-4. With one out in the tenth, Julio Lugo singled and Corey Patterson walked. Cesar Izturis then reached on an error charged to pitcher Brian Bullington, that loaded the bases. Markakis, who began today with just three RBI over his last 15 games, then drove a pitch to deep center for a game-winning...
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Does first to score win?

Does first to score win?
With Kevin Millwood facing Zack Greinke tonight, we could have a night where not a lot of runs are scored. Of course, usually when you think that the final will be 10-9. MLB - ERA leaders since start of 2009: 2.27 - Zack Greinke 2.33 - Tim Lincecum 2.42 - Cris Carpenter 2.54 - Roy Halladay 2.60 - Adam Wainwright Here is a stunning stat. Coming into tonight, Millwood and Greinke have combined to make 16 starts with just one win. Greinke is 1-4 and Millwood 0-4. It's the deepest into a...
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Wieters and Jones talk about the RISP stat

Wieters and Jones talk about the RISP stat
The stat that keeps rearing its ugly head did again for the Orioles last night. They went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position and today a couple of players talked about the lack of hitting in those key situations. "Is it tougher? (hitting in those spots)," Adam Jones repeated the question. "You've just go to be more selective. It's baseball, the opposition is trying to get you out and they're succeeding now. "We have so much scouting today and technology to keep people in...
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Updating the RISP stats (Cooney promoted)

Updating the RISP stats (Cooney promoted)
Since the Orioles have struggled all year when batting with runners in scoring position, here is a closer look at that stat. Lowest average, AL, with RISP: .217 - CWS .221 - Orioles .233 - Oakland .234 - Seattle Fewest at bats AL with RISP: 277 - CWS 303 - Orioles & Cleveland 310 - Toronto Most at bats AL with RISP: 372 - Detroit 366 - NYY 358 - Texas O's hitters with RISP: Atkins: .240 (6 for 25) Izturis: .238 (5 for 21) Jones: .200 (5 for 25) Lugo: .125 (2 for 16) Markakis: .276 (8...
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Player versatility in the O's minors

Player versatility in the O's minors
There is a subtle change coming to the O's minor leagues. It might even be one a lot of fans won't notice. There are indications the Orioles will begin to use some of their prospects and maybe others as well at multiple positions. It's worth seeing if a player can play multiple positions and it just makes sense. It's the minors, that's where you should be learning about your players and experimenting. This may not apply to every player, but it's expected to begin to be something they...
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O's fall by one run to KC (with Bergesen video)

O's fall by one run to KC (with Bergesen video)
A frustrating night with a frustrating ending for the Orioles. They loaded the bases with one out in the last of the ninth, trailing 4-3, but could not tie it or pull the game out in a 4-3 loss to the Royals in the opener of a two-game series. Joakim Soria struck out Ty Wigginton on a 1-2 pitch and Miguel Tejada grounded out on a 1-2 pitch as the O's left the bases loaded in the final inning. Brad Bergesen talks about his balk in the O's 4-3 loss to the Royals The O's went 1 for 12 with...
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Garrett Atkins on his struggles at the plate

Garrett Atkins on his struggles at the plate
Did Andy MacPhail put Garrett Atkins on the hot seat today? When asked by the Baltimore Sun, how long he would stick with his struggling first baseman he said "it doesn't have to be that way forever." Atkins is hitting just .243-0-6 and was asked today if he feels he's been put on notice. "I'm not too worried about it, it's been 100 at bats. You get five or six more hits, you're hitting .300. Just trying to come in here every day and work to get better and produce a little more out...
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Some notes and a look ahead to the KC series

Some notes and a look ahead to the KC series
The Orioles (12-26) will host the Kansas City Royals (14-24) the next two nights to wrap up a three-team, eight-game homestand. The Orioles took two of three from Seattle, then lost two of three to Cleveland to go 3-3 on the homestand. The O's are 10-10 since the 2-16 start. The pitching recently: *O's starters have an ERA of 2.62 over the last five games. *The O's bullpen has an ERA of 15.00 the last two games. The Orioles, who went 7-0 vs. the Royals in 2007, went 4-4 vs. KC last year....
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Clubhouse quotes after Sunday's loss to Cleveland

Clubhouse quotes after Sunday's loss to Cleveland
Some clubhouse quotes after the Orioles 5-1 loss to Cleveland dropped them to 3-3 on this homestand and 12-26 on the season. The O's scored just three runs in the final two games of the series. Ty Wigginton, was the catch in the first inning by Sizemore that robbed you of extra bases a key play in the game?: "I don't look at any one play in the game that's going to make a difference. It was a nice catch and good for him." Wigginton on Jake Westbrook: "Westbrook had tremendous...
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Punchless O's drop series finale to Tribe

Punchless O's drop series finale to Tribe
The day can change and so can the opponent. The story remains the same. The O's offense continues to be one of the worst in the game. Today, Cleveland beat the punchless O's 5-1, as Jake Westbrook, now 2-2, pitched a complete-game, nine-hitter. Down to their last out, the O's avoided their fourth shutout when Luke Scott homered to left. The O's have scored one run or less 12 times. They are 2-22 when scoring fewer than four runs and now are 1-18 when outhit by their opponent. ...
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The frustration level mounts

The frustration level mounts
So the O's are losing 3-0 and have hit into double plays in the last two innings. How is your day going? It can be maddening as the team kills rallies with double-play grounders. Garrett Atkins hit into a twin killing in the 4th and Adam Jones in the 5th. Atkins has driven in just one run over his last 18 games. That's 18 games. He has knocked in one run since April 17. He is batting 6 for 24 on the year with runners in scoring position, although it feels worse than that. Jones is 5...
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Alberto is back

Alberto is back
Alberto Castillo is back in the O's bullpen. With Mark Hendrickson starting today, we now know why Castillo was summoned when Rhyne Hughes was optioned. Hendrickson starting today meant one less lefty for the pen and the 34-year-old southpaw from Cuba is back. He began the year at Norfolk, was recalled by Baltimore April 20 and went back to Triple-A just 11 days ago. He hopes this will be a longer stay in the Majors, but knows there are no promises. "They never say that. I don't know...
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No second guessing from Wieters (plus AAA news)

No second guessing from Wieters (plus AAA news)
Some may be second guessing why Alfredo Simon threw a split-finger pitch on an 0-2 count to Austin Kearns in the ninth inning last night. Kearns hit the pitch for a three-run homer and 4-2 Cleveland lead. Catcher Matt Wieters, who called for the pitch, won't second guess that decision. "No, once it's over, it's over, you can't take it back. Second guess, you can't do it in this game." Wieters felt the splitter has been a solid pitch for Simon. The count was 0-2 and he called for a...
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A few more notes and quotes from Saturday's loss

A few more notes and quotes from Saturday's loss
Lost a bit in the O's bullpen meltdown Saturday night was that Brian Matusz did not give up a run over seven innings vs. Cleveland. Matusz was coming off his worst start of the year, when he gave up six runs last Sunday vs. Minnesota. But he was not necessarily motivated by that effort on Saturday, he said. But he pitched shutout ball and it was the first time in 16 career Major League starts that he did not allow a single run. "I forgot about the last start. I don't think about that. ...
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My take on "the pitch"

My take on "the pitch"
I don't second guess Alfredo Simon, a pitcher who has recently thrown some nasty split-finger pitches, for going with that pitch on that 0-2 offering to Austin Kearns in the ninth Saturday. To me it was much more about pitch location rather than pitch selection there, although Dave Trembley would not offer an opinion on pitch selection there after the game. But you need to bury that splitter on 0-2 and Simon had been doing that for the most part while going 5 for 5 in save chances. This...
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