Saturday, August 7, 2010

O's drop White Sox in 10 as win streak hits four

The Orioles haven't had much to get excited about this season, but their recent four-game win streak has been one of those times. Brad Bergesen (7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 5 K, 1 BB) matched the outing by the more-accomplished John Danks (7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 5 K, 0 BB) and gave the O's their fourth strong starting pitching performance in a row (and, more importantly, the chance for an eventual 2-1 win). In those four games, O's starters (Jeremy Guthrie, Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta, and Bergesen) pitched a combined 27.2 innings and allowed just seven runs. Timely hitting has also been a factor, but getting starting pitching like that has been a relief.

Back to the game: Danks may have pitched seven innings, but the O's made him work (he threw 120 pitches). The O's only drew two walks -- none off of Danks -- but every Oriole who started the game saw more than 14 pitches at the plate. Only three White Sox hitters saw more than 13.

Still, that didn't lead to many runs. The O's had 10 hits, but they were all singles. Just about all of the damage in this game was done by the top of the lineup. Brian Roberts went 2-4 with a walk, Nick Markakis had four hits in 5 at-bats, and Luke Scott had two hits and a walk. Ty Wigginton accounted for the first O's run with an RBI single in the first inning, and Adam Jones knocked in Markakis in the 10th with a game-winning single. That gives the O's two wins in a row on walk-off singles (Cesar Izturis had the game-winning hit on Thursday).

After subpar outings the last two nights, the bullpen was much better. Koji Uehara pitched the eighth inning and looked fantastic, striking out two batters and needing just 13 pitches. When Uehara's healthy and not looking exhausted on the mound, there's no denying that he's a solid option in the bullpen. Alfredo Simon relieved Uehara and pitched two scoreless innings, also striking out two.

Other notes:
  • This current win streak is the team's third four-game win streak of the season. The first came on June 24-27 when the O's beat the Marlins and then swept a three-game series against the Nationals. The second came in that shocking four-game sweep in Texas against the Rangers right before the All-Star break.
  • On the other hand, the O's have four(-plus)-game losing streaks six times, including stretches of nine losses, five losses, 10 losses, and five losses. I like winning better too.
  • In the last three games, the O's have faced three pretty good starting pitchers (Ervin Santana, Dan Haren, and John Danks) and still won. And today, the O's face off against Gavin Floyd, who hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in an outing since June 2. His amazing run has lowered his ERA from 6.64 to 3.54. The O's will counter with Kevin Millwood. Yeah, something has to give tonight.

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