Thursday, September 30, 2010

Millwood shuts down Rays

Kevin Millwood pitched seven scoreless innings, and Felix Pie tripled in two runs in the seventh to give the Orioles a 2-0 win over the Rays. With the win and only four games remaining in the season, the O's will avoid 100 losses -- a somewhat impressive achievement considering how bad the team was until Buck Showalter took over as manager.

But back to the game, which was a pitchers' duel between Millwood and Jeff Niemann. Niemann (three strikeouts, one walk) was very good, allowing two runs in seven innings, but Millwood (seven strikeouts, three walks) was better. Millwood also gave up just two hits -- both singles -- and handed the ball off to the O's bullpen, which closed out the game. The win improved Millwood's record to 4-16 and lowered his ERA to 5.10. Still, in his final start with the Orioles, Millwood was extremely effective.

The O's put together six hits and drew just one walk. And not only was Pie's hit the game's deciding factor, but it was also the only extra-base hit for either team.

Jim Johnson, who first relieved Millwood in the eighth, pitched a scoreless inning, as did Koji Uehara, who also struck out two batters en route to his 11th save.


As stated above, the O's will avoid losing 100 games, but at 63-95, they still have something to play for when they return home for four games against the Tigers to close out the season. With two more wins, the O's can improve upon last season's 64-98 record. That may not be particularly noteworthy, but it's worth mentioning that the O's have avoided an even more disastrous season with a very strong showing in the last two-plus months.

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