Gonzalez Strikes Again; O’s Lose 7-6

W – Casey Janssen (1-0)     L – Mike Gonzalez (0-2)     SV – Kevin Gregg (1)

This is getting old. The Orioles entered the 9th inning with a one run lead and again came away with a loss. Mike Gonzalez blew another save and lost his second game of the year already. He walked the lead off batter, who advanced to second on a wild pitch that probably should’ve been blocked. The next batter doubled tying the game. A sacrifice bunt moved the runner to third and a sacrifice fly scored him to give them the lead which they wouldn’t relinquish. I know Gonzalez isn’t this bad but this can’t go on for much longer. He left to a chorus of fans booing, showing their frustration with the new closer. Maybe the should ease him in, let him pitch some games in non pressure situations before letting him try to save another game. Before all that, Brad Bergesen started and was hit around a bit. He went 4.2 innings, giving up 5 runs on 8 hits, a walk, and 2 strikeouts. Mark Hendrickson relieved him in the 5th and did a great job not giving up any more runs. He went 2.1 innings handing the ball off to Jim Johnson in the 8th who was outstanding. He struck out two batters in a perfect inning. Cla Meredith cleaned up Gonzalez’ mess, getting the last out in the 9th.

The hitting was better than it has been so far. We took advantage of the young starters wildness and took seven walks as a team. We scored three runs in the first when Brian Roberts walked then stole second, Adam Jones was hit by a pitch, Nick Markakis walked, Miguel Tejada lined a single up the middle for two runs, and Nolan Reimold eventually walked with the bases loaded to bring in another. The bad news from this inning was that Roberts apparently strained his oblique when he dove into second base on his steal. The man cannot buy a break so far this year. If hes out for any extended period of time we could be in trouble. Hes listed as day to day at this time. In the 5th we tied the game up again when Markakis doubled, then Tejada crushed a 2 run homer. Hes been hitting the ball so hard in the first four games and doesn’t have much to show for it to this point. He later blooped in a single so maybe his luck is changing. We took a brief lead in the bottom of the 8th when Wieters walked for his second time. Felix Pie pinch ran for him and scored from first on a Cesar Izturis single. I didn’t think they should’ve sent him home but John McDonald made a bad throw and he made it in safely. I wasn’t a fan of pinch running for Wieters in the first place. It was a tie game in the 8th, I didn’t want to lose his bat in case his spot came up again. We also lost his defense and Craig Tatum couldn’t block the Mike Gonzalez slider that was ruled a wild pitch in the 9th. It probably wouldn’t of mattered but that could’ve made a difference.

Player of the game: Miguel Tejada (3-5, R, 4 RBI, HR (1) (.235 AVG))

The Orioles need to get their act together before the schedule gets really tough in the coming weeks. David Hernandez (0-0, -.–) gets his first start of the season tomorrow night. Toronto counters with Dana Eveland (0-0, -.–).

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