Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rays top O's, clinch playoff berth

David Price threw eight innings of shutout ball and led the Rays to a 5-0 victory over the Orioles last night. With the win, the Rays also clinched a playoff berth, though their race with the Yankees to win the AL East is still ongoing. Price was phenomenal, allowing just six hits while striking out eight and walking none.

Brad Bergesen, on the other hand, was not very good. He gave up all five runs in five innings, including solo home runs to Carlos Pena and Carl Crawford. This was Bergesen's worst outing since August 21, when he gave five earned runs in seven innings against the Rangers.

Again, Price was more than dominant, but is it really surprising that a lineup with Julio Lugo leading off and Robert Andino batting second got shut out? Lugo (before he got ejected in the fifth inning) and Andino each had singles, but with on-base percentages of .299 and .255, respectively, neither should ever be hitting that high in the lineup. Then again, Brian Roberts was scratched before the game, so Buck Showalter's hands may have been tied.

For what it's worth, the O's lineup featured five starters with OBPs under .300. In the Rays lineup, the lowest OBP was the No. 9 batter, Sean Rodriguez (.310).

The loss drops the O's to 62-95 with five games remaining: one more today against the Rays, and four in Baltimore against the Tigers. To avoid 100 losses, all the O's need to do is win one more game. One more win isn't much to ask for, right?

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