Orioles rally from 6-1, third-inning deficit for victory
Orioles 9, Pirates 6
June 14, 2008 8:00 AM
Gail Burton/Associated Press
Jason Michaels is congratulated by Ryan Doumit after Michaels' 3-run homer gave the Pirates a 6-1 lead.
By Paul Meyer Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
BALTIMORE -- A team that builds a large early lead can nail down a victory in one of two ways.
It can keep adding on runs or it can shut down the opponent's offense.
The Pirates did neither last night and allowed a 6-1, third-inning lead to become a 9-6 loss to Baltimore in front of a fireworks night crowd of 47,305 that included a noticeably noisy contingent of Pirates fans.
Starter Phil Dumatrait allowed five hits, five walks and five runs in his five innings.
"Obviously, I didn't do my job," the left-hander said. "You can't go out and walk guys like I did with a big lead. I've just got to attack hitters. I didn't do that."
The loss meant that for the fifth time since May 1 the Pirates failed to reach .500.
The Orioles, just as Washington did Thursday at PNC Park, pecked away at their deficit and finally took the lead with two runs in the sixth against struggling Franquelis Osoria. The right-hander, who worked 12/3 spotty innings Thursday, wasn't much help last night.
He yielded a walk and three singles with the hits by Brian Roberts and Melvin Mora driving in the runs.
In his past eight appearances, Osoria has been scored upon in six while yielding a total of nine earned runs in 12 innings.
Game: Pirates vs. Baltimore Orioles, 7:05 p.m., Orioles Park at Camden Yards.
TV, Radio: FSN Pittsburgh, WPGB-FM (104.7).
Pitching: LHP Zach Duke (4-4, 4.10) vs. RHP Radhames Liz (1-0, 3.48).
Key matchup: Patience vs. Liz, who has walked 27 in 35 innings. Liz was especially generous last season, walking 23 in 242/3 innings.
Of note: Duke has allowed only 19 earned runs in 501/3 innings in his past eight starts and has worked at least six innings in eight of his past nine starts.
Sean Burnett, who also faltered Thursday, boosted Baltimore's lead to 8-6 in the seventh by throwing a home run ball to Luke Scott.
The final run scored in the eighth when Marino Salas threw a two-out wild pitch on an 0-2 count to pinch-hitter Jay Payton.
"We've got to pitch better," manager John Russell said. "We didn't pitch very well. We gave them a chance to get back into the game. We got behind on the count and put them in hitters' counts."
The Pirates' offense also went poof after Jason Bay's one-out double in the fourth. Baltimore pitching set down the final 17 Pirates batters.
The Pirates' offense, which failed to capitalize fully on a bundle of good scoring opportunities in the Washington series, squeezed two runs out of a chance in the second.
With one out, Xavier Nady lined a single into right field. Nady, bothered recently by groin and ankle issues, was Russell's choice as the designated hitter.
"He'd been feeling pretty good the last few days, but his ankle's been a little fired up," Russell said. "And it gives us a chance to get [Jason] Michaels in there a little bit. We'll see how the week goes, but we might be able to give some of our [other] outfielders a day [as the DH]."
Doug Mientkiewicz, spelling Adam LaRoche again at first base, walked on a 3-2 pitch. Michaels singled to center, but there was no chance for the gimpy Nady to score and he was held at third base.
Jose Bautista popped to short right field on a 3-2 pitch, and it appeared this scoring chance would evaporate, especially when left-hander Brian Burres zipped ahead of Jack Wilson 0-2.
Wilson, however, lined the next pitch into left field for a two-run single.
The damage could have been worse. Freddy Sanchez walked on another 3-2 pitch, but Nate McLouth rolled to shortstop.
They did better in the third after Bay opened with a single deep into the hole at shortstop.
Ryan Doumit walked. After Nady flied to center, Mientkiewicz lined a 1-2 pitch into center, bringing home Bay. Michaels drove the next pitch into the left-field seats, and it was 6-1 thanks in large part to players who usually are on the Pirates' bench.
"In the past, [interleague play has] always been a tough go for us," Russell said. "But this year I feel confident our bench depth can help us out in the DH role. I'm looking forward to it."
Michaels has done yeoman service off the bench since his acquisition from Cleveland May 8. With runners in scoring position, he is 10 for 20 with three home runs and 18 RBIs.
That Michaels and the Pirates did that damage against Burres was not surprising.
He didn't get through the fifth in his previous three starts. Against the New York Yankees, Boston and Toronto, he pitched a total of 12 innings and yielded 27 hits and 18 runs.
He got through six last night and gained his first win since May 17.
Dumatrait offered an indication in a 28-pitch first that he would have an inconsistent evening.
The Orioles quickly loaded the bases with no outs on a double by Roberts, a walk to Nick Markakis and a single by Mora.
Dumatrait went 3-2 on Aubrey Huff before making the pitch of the inning. He got Huff to bounce into a double play started by Wilson. Roberts scored, but the inning was defused.
Dumatrait eased through the next two innings, setting down six consecutive batters.
He surrendered a run in the fourth on a double off the right-field wall by Ramon Hernandez and allowed three more in the fifth.
Two walks in the inning did not help Dumatrait, who yielded a run-scoring ground ball to Huff and a two-run single to Kevin Millar.
"In the fifth, everything fell apart," Dumatrait said.