Orioles Fend Off Rays in Series Opener
"Never a doubt, Georgie." That was the refrain last season from Orioles Manager Dave Trembley as closer George Sherrill often found a way to make things interesting before collecting a save.
That same quote is apropos after Baltimore's 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
The script was familiar for the Orioles. Jump out to an early lead (5-1), chase the opposing team's starting pitcher (Andy Sonnanstine gone in the fifth), get a solid start from your pitcher (Mark Hendrickson) and then watch as your bullpen plays with a book of matches.
The Orioles were able to get to Sonnanstine, touching up the Rays starter for five runs on eight hits. Melvin Mora did most of the damage, driving in three runs.
For the Orioles, Hendrickson gave up one run and six hits in 5 1/3 innings of work to get the win against his former club. Hendrickson's night got off to a rocky start, giving up a home run to Evan Longoria (his first of two) in the first inning but was able to steer clear of danger the rest of the way. After Hendrickson's departure things got interesting.
The rejuvenated Danys Baez pitched a perfect 1 2/3 innings and struck out four. Baez was followed by Jim Johnson who surrendered Longoria's second home run (a two-run shot) to bring the Rays within two in the eighth inning.
Sherrill was called upon to close out the game but gave up a solo home run to catcher Dioner Navarro before striking out the final two batters to end the game.
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