Left fielder Nelson Cruz had a huge night for the Baltimore Orioles Saturday against the Boston Red Sox, but one person in particular wasn’t all that interested in showering him with praise after the game.
“I’m not even going to comment on him”, Sox starter John Lackey told reporters after the game according to the Providence Journal. “I’ve got nothing to say about him. There’s things I would like to say, but I’m not going to.”
Lackey was almost certainly referring to the 50 game suspension Cruz received in 2013 related to PED’s and his association to Biogenesis.
Cruz was apparently not asked about Lackey’s comments after Saturday night’s game.
The former Texas Ranger had an incredible night, going 5-5 for the Birds in their 7-4 win in Game 2 of a doubleheader. Cruz had two doubles, getting thrown out at third base on the second trying to stretch the play into a triple that would have allowed him to hit for the cycle for the first time in his career.
Cruz’s home run Saturday was his 27th of the season, leaving him tied with Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox for the major league lead. He is expected to be announced as an All-Star starter at Designated Hitter for the American League when the teams are announced Sunday night.
Lackey was roughed up by the Birds, allowing five earned runs over just 5.1 innings pitched. Baltimore touched up the Sox starter for 10 hits and a walk in earning the doubleheader split.
NOTES: Teams have until 1pm Sunday to place a waiver claim on OF Nolan Reimold, who the Orioles designated for assignment earlier in the week after activating him from the 60 day disabled list…Reliever Preston Guilmet was returned to the AAA Norfolk Tides following Saturday night’s game. The Orioles had taken advantage of the MLB rule that allows teams to use a 26th man for the second game of a doubleheader in order to bring Guilmet up…Third baseman Manny Machado returned to the team Saturday night after serving a five game suspension. Machado went 2-5 with a double and a run scored in his return; the O’s were 4-1 in the five games without him…Manager Buck Showalter told reporters in Boston that pitcher Bud Norris’ simulated game “went well” Saturday (the starter threw between games of the doubleheader) and he will start Tuesday or Wednesday for the Birds against the Washington Nationals after being activated from the 15 day DL…Kevin Gausman will be called up Sunday to start in the series finale, reliever Ramon Ramirez is considered the most likely candidate to be sent down to make room for the former first round pick on the 25 man roster
Multiple Appearances by World Series Champion Red Sox, NL Champion Cardinals, Dodgers, Yankees & Orioles
Stars in Action: Miguel Cabrera, Yasiel Puig, Derek Jeter, David Ortiz, Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen
Dan Shulman, the voice of Sunday Nights, leads new team with John Kruk, Curt Schilling & Buster Olney
ESPN’s historic 25th season of Sunday Night Baseballpresented by Taco Bell – Major League Baseball’s exclusive, national game of the week – will showcase baseball’s most exciting teams, best rivalries and brightest stars throughout 2014. The season will begin with an exclusive presentation of MLB’s Opening Night on ESPN presented by Scotts – Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres – on March 30 at 8 p.m. ET. Baseball Tonight will precede the telecast with a special 90-minute pre-game show at 6:30 p.m. hosted by Karl Ravech.
The early season schedule will include three appearances each by the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles. In addition, the game’s brightest stars, including Miguel Cabrera, Yasiel Puig, Derek Jeter, David Ortiz, Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen and more will take center stage on Sunday Night Baseball.
Dan Shulman, in his fourth season as the voice of Sunday Night Baseball, will lead a new team, with new analyst Curt Schilling, returning analyst John Kruk and reporter Buster Olney. Sunday Night Baseball airs every week at 8 p.m. and is available on ESPN, ESPN Radio (with Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton), ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio and via WatchESPN.
ESPN’s 25th Sunday Night Baseball Season
Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres telecast presented by Scotts
San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers telecast presented by Taco Bell (ESPN2)
Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees telecast presented by Taco Bell
Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Soxtelecast presented by Taco Bell (7 p.m.)
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at New York Yankees telecast presented by Taco Bell
St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates telecast presented by Taco Bell
Detroit Tigers at Boston Red Sox telecast presented by Taco Bell
St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds telecast presented by Taco Bell
New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles telecast presented by Taco Bell
Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals telecast presented by Taco Bell
** Special 7 p.m. start time
The Sunday Night Baseball game selection for May 4 will be determined and announced in the next few weeks. Additionally, selections for June games and for July 6 and July 27 will be made three weeks in advance, while selections for August and September games will be made two weeks in advance.
More Sunday Night Baseball highlights:
The Boston Red Sox will host the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park for a special telecast the night before Patriot’s Day – a Massachusetts state holiday one year removed from the Boston Marathon tragedy in 2013;
The Pittsburgh Pirates return to Sunday Night Baseball for the first time since May 19, 2002 against the Houston Astros;
The schedule includes several rivalry games: San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers (April 6), Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees (April 13), St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds (May 25);
Sunday Night Baseball background:
Dan Shulman is entering his fourth season as the voice of Sunday Night Baseball. He debuted in 2011;
John Kruk is celebrating his 10-year anniversary at ESPN and his second season in the Sunday Night booth (he joined ESPN in 2004);
Curt Schilling, who has served as a Baseball Tonight analyst since 2010, makes his Sunday Night Baseball debut;
Buster Olney is entering his 12th season as an ESPN MLB Insider. He joined ESPN in 2003 and has served as Sunday Night reporter since 2011;
John Kruk and Curt Schilling re-unite as a “team” two decades after being teammates on the early-1990’s Philadelphia Phillies, who won the National League pennant in 1993.
Sunday Night Baseball history
ESPN’s inaugural Sunday Night Baseball telecastaired April 15, 1990. That night, the Montreal Expos defeated the New York Mets 3-1 at Olympic Stadium. Expos catcher Nelson Santovenia hit a home run off of Mets pitcher Ron Darling and Tim Raines drove in a run to lead the Expos to victory. John Miller and analyst Joe Morgan provided commentary.
Baseball Tonight’s 25th Season
In its 25th season, Baseball Tonight – ESPN’s baseball news and highlights studio show – will preview Sunday Night Baseball each week with one-hour telecasts at 7 p.m. Karl Ravech will serve as host with analysts from ESPN’s deep roster of MLB commentators, let by Hall of Famer Barry Larkin.
Sunday Night Baseballon ESPN Radio
ESPN Radio – in its 17th MLB season – will continue its coverage as the exclusive, national radio home of Sunday Night Baseball. Play-by-play commentator Jon Sciambi and analyst Chris Singleton will return for their fourth season together calling Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN Radio. ESPN Radio’s weekly coverage starts at 7 p.m. and is also available on ESPNRadio.com and via the ESPNRadio app.
ESPN Deportes’ 11thSeason ofSunday Night Baseball
ESPN Deportes will enter its 11th season as the Spanish-language home to Sunday Night Baseball.Commentators Ernesto Jerez and Luis Alfredo Alvarez will provide commentary throughout the season.
ESPN International coverage ofSunday Night Baseball
Sunday Night Baseball is available across Latin America, Caribbean and the Pacific Rim.
ESPN’s Five-Game Opening Day Schedule Highlighted by World Series Champion Red Sox at Orioles, NL Champion Cardinals at Reds & Robinson Cano’s Mariners Debut
ESPN will begin its historic 25th Major League Baseball season with an exclusive presentation of MLB’sOpening Night on ESPN presented by Scotts – Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres – on Sunday Night Baseball, March 30, at 8 p.m. ET. The new Sunday Night Baseballteam of Dan Shulman, analysts John Kruk and Curt Schilling and reporter Buster Olney will make their regular-season debut to call the action. Opening Night will be available across ESPN platforms, including ESPN, ESPN Radio (with Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton), ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio and via WatchESPN.
Baseball Tonightpresented by Scotts will begin Opening Night festivities with a special 90-minute pre-game show at 6:30 p.m. Karl Ravech will host the telecast with Baseball Hall of Famer and analyst Barry Larkin, Kruk and Schilling.
Five Opening Day Games on ESPN, ESPN2
MLBOpening Day on ESPN presented by Scotts will include a five-game schedule, spanning more than 12 hours of live game action, on Monday, March 31. The schedule will begin at 1 p.m. when Starlin Castro and the Chicago Cubs visit Andrew McCutchen and the Pittsburgh Pirates on ESPN. The schedule continues as David Ortiz and the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox visit Chris Davis and the division-rival Baltimore Orioles at 3 p.m. on ESPN2. Additionally, Matt Holliday and the NL Champion St. Louis Cardinals will visit Joey Votto and the division-rival Cincinnati Reds at 4 p.m. on ESPN.
Opening Day will continue in prime time on ESPN2, beginning at 7 p.m. when Troy Tulowitzki and the Colorado Rockies visit Giancarlo Stanton and the Miami Marlins. At 10 p.m., Robinson Cano will make his Seattle Mariners debut when his new club visits Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
ESPN’s Opening Night and Opening Day schedule
Sun., Mar. 30
Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres telecast presented by Scotts
Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV).
“I am more than happy the Red Sox were able to hold off the Tigers and get into the World Series since they are the team that would provide us with the biggest win possible out of any team that made the playoffs in our World Series Odds. Boston is a small 5/7 favorite against St. Louis paying out at 6/5 and 60% of the early money is on the Cards making our need for Boston to win even bigger.”
-Kevin Bradley, Sports Book Manager, Bovada.lv
Odds to win 2013 World Series
St. Louis Cardinals (Series Prices) 6/5 (+120)
Boston Red Sox (Series Prices) 5/7 (-140)
Odds to win the 2013 World Series MVP
David Ortiz (BOS) 15/2
Dustin Pedroia (BOS) 8/1
Carlos Beltran (STL) 9/1
Matt Holliday (STL) 10/1
Yadier Molina (STL) 12/1
Allen Craig (STL) 12/1
Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS) 12/1
Jon Lester (BOS) 12/1
Adam Wainwright (STL) 14/1
Michael Wacha (STL) 15/1
Matt Carpenter (STL) 15/1
Mike Napoli (BOS) 15/1
Clay Buchholz (BOS) 15/1
Koji Uehara (BOS) 15/1
Xander Bogaerts (BOS) 16/1
David Freese (STL) 18/1
Trevor Rosenthal (STL) 18/1
Matt Adams (STL) 20/1
Shane Victorino (BOS) 20/1
Stephen Drew (BOS) 25/1
Exact Series Result
St. Louis Cardinals 4-0 12/1
St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 6/1
St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 5/1
St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 5/1
Boston Red Sox 4-0 10/1
Boston Red Sox 4-1 6/1
Boston Red Sox 4-2 7/2
Boston Red Sox 4-3 4/1
Total Games in Series
MLB WORLD SERIES SPECIAL – Which team will hit more Home Runs in the Series?
St. Louis Cardinals +150 (3/2)
Boston Red Sox -200 (1/2)
MLB WORLD SERIES SPECIAL – Which team will record more errors in the Series?
St. Louis Cardinals -110
Boston Red Sox -110
MLB WORLD SERIES SPECIAL – How many times will Shane Victorino be Hit by Pitch in the Series?
Over 1 (EVEN, 1/1)
Under 1 (-140, 5/7)
MLB WORLD SERIES SPECIAL – Will any player or manager be ejected during a game in the Series?
Yes +150 (3/2)
No -200 (1/2)
MLB WORLD SERIES SPECIAL – Will any team pitch a shutout in the Series?
Yes EVEN (1/1)
No -140 (5/7)
MLB WORLD SERIES SPECIAL – Will there be a Grand Slam in the Series?
My love for Leonardo DiCaprio and a set of trailers that were incredibly artistic lead me to choose to see Baz Luhrmann’s take on “The Great Gatsby” earlier this summer.
As I should have realized considering what he did to “Romeo & Juliet” that he was destined to make the special effects in the movie more interesting than the story itself. It wasn’t worth the 10 bucks. It’s probably not even worth a dollar in the Redbox machine. If for some reason you’re not familiar with the story, go get F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book from the library (there are still libraries, right?) instead.
The only saving grace of going to see the flick was the reminder of one of my favorite lines in all of literature. The line is better if you read it through a monocle while sipping a spot of tea.
“‘They’re a rotten lot,’ I shouted, across the lawn. ‘You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.’”
The line was shouted by Nick Carraway to the title character, Jay Gatsby. It came after an ugly scene involving the other characters in the story, all of whom were terribly flawed in many ways.
I was reminded of the famous line upon learning what had happened between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees Sunday night (and to a much lesser degree knowing what has gone on between the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals recently). The entire group in Beantown was an absolutely rotten lot.
Actually, that’s not fair enough. The entire group in Beantown was a cowardly lot. A gutless lot.
You’re almost certainly familiar with what happened at Fenway Park Sunday night, as Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was plunked by Ryan Dempster in his first at-bat. Dempster made it evident that he intended to hit A-Rod, throwing behind him on the first pitch and hitting him on a 3-0 count after throwing two more pitches inside.
Inexplicably, home plate umpire Brian O’Nora allowed Dempster to stay in the game (and ultimately ejected Yankees manager Joe Girardi for arguing that decision). Boston fans suddenly forgot that intentionally hitting another human being with a baseball is a disgusting act that should be considered criminal and gave Dempster a standing ovation. Rodriguez would later hit a home run off Dempster, forcing those of us with brains in this country to feel the need to take a shower after actually feeling good for the man facing a 211 game suspension for (allegedly) being a lying, fraudulent performance enhancing drug user.
They’re a gutless, cowardly, rotten lot.
For what it’s worth, Rodriguez isn’t absolved of being described with similar adjectives. If guilty of the crimes accused by Major League Baseball, the man whose numbers would otherwise be Hall of Fame worthy deserves to be described the exact same way Nick Carraway described Tom & Daisy Buchanan and company.
But it provides absolutely no excuse for the actions of Dempster, O’Nora, the Red Sox fans and anyone else involved with the activities at Fenway Park Sunday night. Rodriguez’s punishment will be determined in arbitration, a right the MLBPA (which represents Dempster among others) fought for in Collective Bargaining. Dempster himself is the worst perpetrator, and the term “chicken sh*t” is perhaps even more fitting than gutless, cowardly or rotten.
It has certainly been a “storybook” season for the Baltimore Orioles in 2012. No matter how their postseason run ends, there will be memories that will last for a lifetime.
I had an itch this week to compile a list of the top ten storylines for the season. It wasn’t an easy task, but here goes.
10. The ultimate reclamation
It isn’t SO crazy to think a team would have given OF Nate McLouth another chance in 2012. The former Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star was at least playing Major League Baseball, even if he hadn’t had a particularly good season since 2009.
Lew Ford was another story altogether. Ford went a full five years between Major League at-bats before being called up to Baltimore after ripping the cover off the ball at AAA Norfolk.
McLouth has been a significant contributor since being called up in August, taking over the every day LF spot and batting leadoff since Nick Markakis got hurt. Ford hasn’t contributed quite as much, but has come up with three big home runs when inserted into the lineup against lefties.
It has also lead to Tweets like this throughout the season…
9. “Why Not Again?”
Perhaps not the most significant story of the year, the story of Steve Johnson has likely been the most heart warming for Charm City in 2012.
I pulled this picture from Steve’s Facebook page…it’s probably three or four years old. I’d be willing to bet that at this point in his life, he’s probably embarrassed by things like this.
A Kingsville native, former St. Paul’s star and son of a former Orioles pitcher (and current broadcast analyst) made some of the more significant starts of the 2012 season. It’s Hollywood quality stuff. Even more amazingly, Johnson picked up his first big league win on August 8, 23 years removed from the exact date his father picked up HIS first victory during the Birds’ incredible 1989 campaign.
The Johnson & Johnson connection wasn’t the only inevitable comparison between the ’89 and ’12 O’s, as the cartoon birds, no name players and general disbelief of the respective campaigns was impossible to ignore. It even had me singing along…
8. What a dumb great trade.
SB Nation compiled reactions to GM Dan Duquette’s decision to deal SP Jeremy Guthrie to Colorado for SP Jason Hammel & RP Matt Lindstrom before the season. Here are a sampling…
This from Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal was perhaps worse…
For what it’s worth, most of us would probably be forced to admit that we didn’t think much of the deal at the time. Guthrie had been the organization’s only quality pitcher for years and was very popular thanks to also being a stand up individual. How were we to know that Hammel was going to put together an All-Star season (when healthy) and Lindstrom would be a reliable option in the back of the bullpen before helping to land veteran Joe Saunders in a trade? And how were we to know that on the other end of the deal, Guthrie would implode in Denver before being sent to Kansas City?
Certainly the deal has turned out to be quite the feather in Duquette’s cap, as has the signing of SP Wei-Yin Chen-who has pitched to a 4.02 ERA and 1.261 WHIP over 32 starts? The only real question mark for Duquette has been Tsuyoshi Wada, who needed Tommy John surgery before he could make a pitch. The way things are going for this organization, you almost assume he’ll be Stephen Strasburg in 2013. (Okay…not really.)
7. I’m not so sure about this.
“Nick Markakis batting leadoff when he returns? I don’t know…”
I probably don’t need to show you August. Ah hell, I’ll show you August.
Markakis’ effort (before being sidelined in September) was especially crucial following the loss of OF Nolan Reimold, who hit .313 in 16 games to start the season in the role. Without Reimold, the Birds attempted to use a group of players including OF Endy Chavez and even briefly a return of 2B Brian Roberts, but none could hold down the role until Markakis. The Orioles are now hoping Markakis can somehow get back before the season ends.
6. These guys…of course!
While Hammel and Chen were obviously “hits” for the Orioles’ rotation, the other 60% didn’t pan out so well. Opening Day starter Jake Arrieta, former #1 overall pick Brian Matusz and veteran Tommy Hunter struggled mightily over the season’s first few months before ultimately finding their way back to the minors for seasoning (all have since returned and offered solid efforts out of the bullpen).
In their place, the Birds turned not only to the aforementioned Johnson, but more importantly gave the ball to two pitchers have provided a level of stability that could have been expected by absolutely no one, perhaps even themselves.
Chris Tillman was at least viewed recently as a significant prospect in the Orioles’ organization. After being acquired from the Seattle Mariners as part of the Birds’ haul (along with Adam Jones and George Sherrill) for Erik Bedard, there was a thought Tillman would ultimately prove to be part of the “cavalry” of young Orioles pitchers former VP of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail regularly spoke of.
But after 2009 (5.40 ERA 1.554 WHIP in 12 starts), 2010 (5.87 ERA 1.528 WHIP in 11 starts) and 2011 (5.52 ERA 1.645 WHIP in 13 starts), it appeared as though Tillman was all but done in Baltimore.
And then this happened.
Of course it did.
Perhaps even more improbable was Miguel Gonzalez, who was all but abandoned by the Boston Red Sox following 2009 Tommy John surgery. Executive Director of International Recruiting Fred Ferreira signed off on Gonzalez to the Birds after seeing him throw just nine pitches (according to SI’s Albert Chen). Perhaps we should have expected the man who discovered Vladimir Guerrero knew what he was doing.
And just like that, Chris Tillman and Miguel Gonzalez saved a rotation and very likely a season.
I feel like there’s someone else we should thank…
Of all of the decisions made by Dan Duquette upon arrival, perhaps the decision to make Rick Peterson (a fixture of the “Moneyball” Oakland Athletics) the team’s Director of Pitching Development has immediately paid the most dividends.
Perhaps you’re not familiar with WNST.net MLB analyst Allen McCallum. Allen was once the Ballpark Reporter at WNST, covering the Baltimore Orioles on a daily basis. He’s remained with us in the years since then, appearing once a week in studio (currently with Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”) to talk Major League Baseball and Baltimore Orioles.
Allen is a really good dude, but is decidedly un-American in my book. You see, Allen doesn’t like football. I don’t understand it either, trust me. I have every reason to believe he celebrates the 4th of July and enjoys a good slice of Apple Pie, but he loves baseball and just doesn’t care about our national pastime.
Despite this obvious flaw, I’ve maintained a level of friendship and (as much as is possible for someone who I have to imagine may be a communist) respect for Allen. I don’t dislike him, I just don’t understand how someone like him can exist in this country. You see, football is our beautiful game. It’s a game fathers play in the backyard with sons. Baseball is okay when there aren’t real sports to watch, but is clearly inferior to football in every way.
I’m kidding. Well I’m kidding a LITTLE bit anyway.
The reason my lede is about our resident purveyor of Orange Kool-Aid is because Allen likes to make a point during the course of baseball season that is relevant to both sports. As Birds fans have a tendency to freak out over the results of a couple of games (or one game…or a couple of innings…or a single at-bat), Allen likes to send out a reminder that “this isn’t football. There’s 162 games to be played.”
It hasn’t always been good news in Charm City that the O’s have to play 162 games, but the point he makes is relevant. During Ravens season we tend to overreact to one particular game, but we do that knowing that one game reflects roughly six percent of the season. While a NFL team can certainly recover from a stretch of two or three bad games, a bad streak can quickly spiral into killing a quarter of a football season. At the same time, a bad streak of three or four games during baseball season does not even represent the same six percent of the season that one football game represents.
Let me try to step away from math for a second. A single football game is more significant than a single baseball game. But you already knew that.
Seven days ago (which as I type this would have been June 4), there was reason for great concern amongst Baltimore baseball fans. After getting off to a 27-14 start, the Birds were mired in a streak that saw them drop 10 of 13 games. Sitting at 30-24, the Birds had appeared to already be well into their annual “June swoon” and seemed destined to find themselves on their way to the cellar of the AL East.
But something funny happened in the six games that followed. Instead of continuing their free fall, the Birds stabilized. They won two of three against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, then returned home to take two dramatic extra inning contests against the Philadelphia Phillies at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in front of thousands of stunned supporters who had made their way down I-95 from The City of Brotherly Love.
BOWIE, Md. – The Baysox (22-28) shut out the Altoona Curve (22-27) 4-0 to win their first home series of the year Monday afternoon. It was the team’s third shutout win of the season and third win in a row.
The team was going on all cylinders as the Baysox pitching tied their season best by allowing just three hits and the Baysox offense continued to come through with big hits that helped build the team’s lead. Four of the team’s 10 hits were for extra-bases.
“Everything was in sync today,” said Manager Gary Kendall. “We got some big extra-base hits – they are huge because when we were in those ruts where we were losing five straight, it seemed like if we had six hits they were six singles. It takes away a lot of pressure when you are able to hit a home run, especially with a man on base. Things were falling into place and guys were able to manufacture runs because of that extra base.”
Baltimore Orioles Brian Roberts and Endy Chavez were both in the lineup for the Baysox Monday afternoon on Major League rehab assignments. Roberts finished 1-3 with a double and Chavez finished 1-2 with a walk.
Baysox right-handed starting pitcher Oliver Drake pitched six shutout innings for the Baysox Monday afternoon. He did not allow a hit through the first four and one-third innings of the game and allowed just one total hit while striking out three batters and walking three in the win.
“My sinker was moving and I was getting some ground balls and I was able to have them put swings on ball in counts that I wanted to,” said Drake. “It was able to throw all of my pitches for strikes today, which was nice. There were a couple times where I got a little erratic and fell behind a couple guys and walked them for the most part I was able to make them hit the ball on the ground.”
“I always used to hear managers say, ‘you get good karma when you get good starting pitching,’ and you aren’t going to get any better than that,” Kendall said. “[Drake] went out there and commanded his pitches. It was a good day.”
The Baysox jumped out to a rare early lead in the bottom of the third inning against Altoona starter Phil Irwin. First baseman Buck Britton hit a lead off double to center field and moved to third base when right fielder Josh Barfield singled to left field. Britton scored when third baseman Zelous Wheeler grounded into a double play to give the Baysox a 1-0 lead.
Bowie added to their lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. Barfield hit a lead off single to center field and scored when Wheeler hit a two-run blast to center field to make the score 3-0.
“We have a runner on second base with now outs and I was just trying to get him over and I hit a home run,” Wheeler said. “It was a nice day to play the game and we had some good at bats today so it was nice to come away with the win.”
The Baysox added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning against Altoona reliever Mike Colla. Hoes hit a lead off double to left-center field and moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt by designated hitter Robbie Widlansky. Shortstop Manny Machado hit another sacrifice fly to plate Hoes and give the Baysox a 4-0 lead.
Right-handed reliever Robert Hinton pitched a scoreless seventh inning, allowing one hit and striking out one batter. Left-handed reliever Cole McCurry pitched a scoreless eighth inning in his first appearance out of the bullpen this season. Right-handed reliever Pat Egan pitched the ninth inning for the Baysox and allowed one hit, while walking one batter.
RHP Tim Bascom (3-2, 4.25) takes the mound for the Baysox tomorrow as they begin a three game road series against the Akron Aeros. He will be opposed by RHP Giovanni Soto (4-2, 4.07). The Baysox depart for Akron for a three game road trip beginning Tuesday, May 29 before returning to Bowie Friday, June 1 for a three game home stand against Reading.
Durham plated two unearned runs in the top of the 10th inning, sending Norfolk to a 3-1 loss Sunday afternoon at Harbor Park.
With the score tied 1-1, Henry Wrigley opened up the 10th frame with a grounder to third base, but Miguel Tejada short-hopped his throw into the dugout, allowing Wrigley to advance to second. One out later, Reid Brignac plated pinch-runner Shawn O’Malley with a single to right off of Jon Link (0-2), giving the Bulls the lead. Former Tide Jeff Salazar later added a single to left-center to plate Brignac, extending Durham’s lead to 3-1.
Norfolk starter Jason Berken was extremely effective, but once again was left searching for his first victory of 2012. Berken, who entered the contest ranked 6th in the IL with a 2.50 ERA, allowed three hits and two walks while striking out five in seven shutout innings, lowering his ERA to 2.12.
Sunday was the third time this season that Berken left a game with a lead, only to see the opponents rally against Norfolk’s bullpen.
The Tides scored their only run of the contest in the seventh inning, as Joe Mahoney led off the frame with a walk and scored on a two-out triple by Blake Davis.
Tejada finished 1-for-3 and was hit by a pitch in the contest, and he’s now hitting .375 in seven games since joining Norfolk.
Hideki Matsui had a single in four plate appearances for the Bulls.
The Tides travel to Pawtucket on Monday to start a four-game set with the Red Sox. Zach Clark will be making his first start for Norfolk since being promoted from Double-A Bowie, and he’ll be opposed by right-hander Doug Mathis (3-2, 4.23). First pitch is slated for 4:05.