Tuesday, May 12, 2009

O's-Rays, Big Day For Mr. Jones

Rich Hill pitched six shutout innings in Triple-A a couple days ago, with 7 K's, 2 hits and 3 walks. That's pretty encouraging, and Hill may be up to the big club very soon - possibly even for his next start.

In completely unrelated news, Mark Hendrickson brings his 5.13 ERA and awful 6.81 tRA (which is worst in the starting rotation and almost a full 1.5 runs worse than Adam Eaton's still bad 5.37 mark - which is, incidentally, the second best tRA in the rotation, after Koji's 3.60) to the mound for Baltimore as they host Andy Sonnastine and the Tampa Bay Rays.

With the injury to Dennis Sarfate, the best course of action to me seems to be Bob McCrory or Brian Bass demoted to the minors with Hendrickson moving to his originally anticipated role as swing-man and Hill taking his spot in the rotation.

Top 1:
  • BJ Upton hits a long flyball to left, but Felix Pie is able to make a running catch at the track.
  • Nice job by Adam Jones to cut off a Carl Crawford hits into the right-center gap, but it's not enough to keep him from getting into second with a double.
  • Evan Longoria flies out to pretty deep center-field.
  • Carlos Pena grounds to Brian Roberts, who's camped out in short right-field as part of that elaborate shift.
Bottom 1:
  • Roberts starts the O's first with a groundout to first.
  • Adam Jones goes out and hooks a breaking-ball, sending into the stands in left for his team leading seventh HR of the year.
  • Nick Markakis flies out to short left-field.
  • Aubrey Huff strikes out looking on a 3-2 fastball that paints the black on the outside corner.
Top 2:
  • Willy Aybar inside-outs a pitch into right-field for a lead-off single.
  • Ben Zobrist flies out to center.
  • Jason Bartlett pulls a double down the third-base line.
  • Gabe Kapler flies out to deep left, bringing in the runner from third.
  • Dionar Navarro lines a single to center to give the Rays a 2-1 lead.
  • Bossman Junior draws a walk.
  • Pie dives for a Crawford fliner (flyball/liner) in left but can't come up with it. Two more runs score, and CC has his second double of the day. Brian Bass is already warming up in the pen.
  • Longoria with an RBI line-drive single off the scoreboard in right. Hendrickson's not fooling anybody.
  • Pena flies out to right to finally end the inning. 5-1, Rays. Yikes.
Bottom 2:
  • Melvin Mora breaks his bat, but gets enough wood on the ball to drive it into center for a single.
  • Luis Montanez - DH'ing with Luke Scott injured - doubles into right-center. Mora comes all the way around to score, cutting the deficit to three.
  • Gregg Zaun, who's raised his average almost 100 points in his last nine games up to .210 (and a .343 OBP), brings it up further with a single to right. They send Montanez, and he's out by a mile at home.
  • Pie falls behind in the count, but is able to work a walk.
  • Izturis hits a groundball towards second, but it goes under Zobrist's glove and the bases are loaded for the top of the line-up.
  • Roberts hits a pop-up into short center. The ball drops in, but Upton is able to barely get the force at second. Zaun scores though, to make it 5-3.
  • Adam Jones is just having a fantastic season. Gets ahead in the count 3-1 and gets an 88 mph fastball right down the middle... and he doesn't miss. The line-drive rockets into the left-field stands for his second home run of the day, and the O's have taken the lead.
  • Markakis tries for one of his own, but Kapler makes the catch right in front of the wall.
Top 3:
  • Bass takes the mound for the O's to start the third.
  • Aybar greets him with a single through the right side.
  • Zobrist grounds back to Bass, who makes a nice throw to second for the force. Izturis drops the ball getting it out of his glove though, and they can't turn two.
  • Bartlett hits a line-drive towards right-field, but Huff makes the leaping catch and steps on first to double off Zobrist.
Bottom 3:
  • Huff pulls a double into the right-field corner.
  • Mora hits a hard groundball towards short. Huff may have blocked off Bartlett's view, because the shortstop couldn't handle it and the ball went into left-field. They actually wave Huff around, and he's able to score with a nice slide.
  • Montanez lines a single into left-field.
  • That'll be the end of the line for Sonnastine, who's given up 9 hits in his two innings of work. Grant Balfour, who's living up to his name with 10 walks in 11.1 IP, is the new pitcher.
  • Zaun flies out to the track in center, with Mora advancing to third.
  • Pie strikes out looking.
  • Izturis flies out to center to leave a couple stranded.
Top 4:
  • Ty Wigginton is going out to play left-field; sounds like Pie has some sort of stomach pain. He went to the hospital, but no word yet as to what's wrong.
  • Bass sets the Rays down in order.
Bottom 4:
  • O's go down 1-2-3 themselves. Quiet fourth inning.
... Fast forward four innings as nothing of much consequence occurs...

Top 9:
  • Geroge Sherrill is in for the save, and gets Crawford to ground out to third.
  • Longoria works a walk to bring the potential tying run to the plate.
  • Sherrill gets Pena looking with a fastball right down the middle.
  • Aybar with a flyball to center, but Jones tracks it down.
Mark Hendrickson was knocked around, but Brian Bass pitched 4 scoreless innings in relief, Danys Baez and Jim Johnson did their set-up thing, and Sherrill pitched a somewhat tense but effective ninth. Adam Jones provided most of the fire-power on offense, hitting a pair of home runs and driving in four. O's win 7-5, and move to just a half game behind the Rays in the standings.

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