The O's went out and blew a 4-0 lead today, falling to 9-11 on the season in a 6-4 loss to the Texas Rangers.
Jeremy Guthrie struggled a bit, going five innings and allowing three earned. He threw 101 pitches, including just a hair under 40 in a long first inning that resulted in no runs but surely contributed to his early exit. He handed the game over to Matt Albers, who promptly got hammered for three earned on three hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning. Dennis Sarfate (2.1 IP, 1 H) and Chris Ray (1 IP) kept it close, but the Birds just couldn't get their bats in gear.
Matt Harrison (1-2) got the win for the Rangers. Their new "no pitch counts" philosophy is in its infant stages, but today it caused Harrison to pitch himself out of a jam and give them seven innings with four earned.
The only guy on the team that got more than one hit was Robby Andino, who went 2-for-4 but also struck out swinging to end the game with men on the corners after going up 3-0 against Frank Francisco.
In that ninth inning, the first two batters (Ty Wigginton and Luke Scott) went down to start the inning. Lou Montanez was hit on the hand with a pitch, and then Gregg Zaun ripped one down the right field line to send Montanez over to third. Felix Pie pinch-ran for Zaun, but Andino couldn't get anyone home.
I think they might have a problem with Matt Albers, whose ERA went to 7.71 for the season. Maybe it's his arm strength, maybe it's not. But he's just not effective out there and hasn't looked good this season. They might have to think about sending him down to see where his arm is or at least work some stuff out in Norfolk.
The O's now await the arrival of the Angels for a two-game set. Adam Eaton faces Joe Saunders tomorrow, and then Koji Uehara goes up against Matt Palmer on Wednesday.