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Saturday, April 15, 2006



Meet your second place Orioles(They were tied for last 2 days ago). Another close win today, and more great pitching. Here goes nothing..

Just like last night, the Angels got off to an early lead. The speedster, Chone Figgins, poked a seeing eye double past Conine at first base. He was advanced by a ground out to third. Next came Garret Anderson, and he drove the ball to center, but Nick Markakis, who was shading to the other side of the field, had the ball glance off his glove and it became an RBI double. That was all they could get that inning, though.

The Angels kept the offensive attack going in the next inning, as Tim Salmon got a lead-off triple to start the inning. Yes, Tim Salmon got a triple. Bedard, then, displayed his dominiance that would be on display all day with a ground out to the mound, a pop out to shallow center, and a clutch strike out.

All was quiet until the 5th inning, when the Angels struck again. After back to back singles, Chone Figgins was sent up to bunt. He was unsuccessful in that attempt, and then promptly grounded into a double play, giving the O's a chance to get out unblemished. They couldn't, though, as Cabrera double to left-center to make the score 2-0.

The cy-young winner Colon had a gem going, until the fifth inning, when things started to unravel. Hernandez led off the inning with a single up the middle, and after a Millar fly out, Conine(yes, Jeff Conine) drove a double to left-center scoring Hernandez, cutting the Angels lead in half. Markakis retired, but after that it started to get interesting. B-Rob drove a liner to 2nd base which was knocked down by Chone Figgins, and Treb gave the windmill to Conine. He probably would have been thrown out, but the ball popped out of Molina's glove, and Conine scored. More clutch hitting, and it didn't end there. Newhan got a bunt single advancing B-Rob to second, and Melvin cracked a single into left field scoring Brian Roberts and giving the O's a one run league. 3-2 O's after 5.

Both starting pitchers, Colon and Bedard, pitched great games. The former Cy Young winner, Colon, pitched a solid game, and he had great movement on his fastball. He was around the plate all game, and that probably helped by him some calls. Here's his line:
7 IP, 1 ER, 3 runs, 8 hits, 1 BB, 4 K's.
Bedard was great again today, and the Mazzone effect showed on him. He pitched MUCH faster than in past season's, as the game was only 2 hours and 24 minutes long. Here is his fantastic line(I've been saying this alot lately):
8 IP, 2 ER, 8 hits, 4 K's. Similar lines for the 2 of them.

Once again, in the top of the 9th inning, Chris Ray was lights out. He struck out 2/4 batters he faced, and the only one who got a hit had a seeing eye single that glanced off Miguel's glove. BJ who?

Another encouraging, close, 1-run win.

Game notes:Before his double today, Jeff Conine was 0-16 in his last 16 and 1-20 on the season. His average was at .050...The attendance was less than yesterday, and I was shocked to hear this because it looked much bigger. 24,497...Ramon had 3 more hits today, his 5th 3-hit game of the year, and his 6th multi-hit game. This increased his batting average to .526...Chris Ray got the save again today, his fouth of the year. He has yet to give up a run....Erik Bedard got the win today, and he is 3-0. 17 to go....2 hit streaks were broken today, Gibby's 10-gamer, and Newhan's 5-gamer...Javy sat again today(due to minor injuries), but tomorrow Ramon is sitting and Javy is catching. That didn't stop Javy from complaining...Today the Red Sox, Yankees and Blue Jays lost(Note:the Devil Rays were the only other team in the division to win), making the O's pass the Jays and get within a half-game of the Sox. Hopefully tomorrow I can introduce you to the first place Orioles:-)....

AL East notes:The Yankees picked up Carlos Pena today, and he is expected to go to triple-A Columbus...The Red Sox placed David Wells on the DL today, don't be shocked to see Papelbon switch the the rotation.

Tomorrow-1:35-Benson vs. Lackey-Go O's! Take the division from the Sox(I know it's early).

Thoughts, Orioles nation? Has the hot start affected your prediction on where the O's will finish?

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