O’s Finally Lose, 7-3

W – Justin Verlander (1-0)     L – Brad Bergesen (0-1)

– Well we had to lose at some point. I had a bad feeling going into the game with their best pitcher (Verlander) going against Brad Bergesen who had a rough spring and hadn’t had a chance to build up his arm strength after being hit in the forearm with a line drive. Bergesen predictably wasn’t very sharp. He wasn’t throwing enough strikes and ended up throwing 89 pitches in less than four innings. An error by Brian Roberts extended the second inning and eventually two unearaned runs would score. Bergesen also gave up a two run homer to Alex Avila later in the game. He struck out two batters but gave up five hits and two walk over 3.2 innings.
– Josh Rupe came in and got the last out of the 4th inning but gave up back to back homers to Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez in the 5th. Rupe actually didn’t look that bad and got good downward movement on his fastball at times but he just wasn’t consistent enough and left a couple in the heart of the plate. It looks like hes going to be the Matt Albers of this season.
– The wild men, Mike Gonzalez and Kevin Gregg, continued to pitch ugly. Gregg was able to get through a scoreless 9th even though he gave up two hits. Gonzalez wasn’t so lucky and gave up a run on two hits. Its always going to be nerve wracking when these guys come in with how often they miss the plate.
– The offense only had four hits. Verlander was excellent, striking out 9 orioles over 8 innings. All of our runs came after his only two walks. Nick Markakis walked and Derrek Lee followed it up with his first homerun as an Oriole, a two run shot. Two innings later Brian Roberts walked, stole second base, and came in to score on Vladimir Guerrero’s RBI single. Unfortunately Vlad was called out trying to get to second on the throw home even though it looked like he got under the tag. He had two singles in the game. Felix Pie singled for the only other hit.

Player of the game: Derrek Lee – 1-4, 2 Run HR (1) (.222 AVG)

The Orioles will try to win their second straight series to start the season tomorrow. Chris Tillman (0-0, 0.00) is coming off a great outing. He’ll go up against Brad Penny (0-1, 16.62) and the Tigers.

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