I predicted that Max Scherzer would strike out over ten tonight, and he only struck out six. So...victory? Scherzer was perfect through the first three innings, striking out five of the first nine batters. The Orioles managed one base runner in the fourth (an infield hit by Nick Markakis), one base runner in the fifth (a Felix Pie triple), and two base runners in the sixth (Cesar Izturis single, Markakis walk), but couldn't get on the board.
Scherzer entered the 7th inning with just 81 pitches and touched 98 mph in the inning, so he probably wasn't tired, but he did finally have trouble. Adam Jones doubled down the left field line to lead off (he tripped between first and second, but LF Brennan Boesch did him a favor by dropping the ball and allowing him to get to second) and Matt Wieters singled up the middle to knock in Jones and finally put the O's on the board. Just when it looked like something might happen, Felix Pie grounded into a double play. Oh, man. The double play hurt even more when Josh Bell singled and Izzy walked. B2B grounded out to end the inning and despite three hits and a walk, the O's scored only once.
Adam Jones and Matt Wieters struck again in the 9th as Jones tripled into the right field corner and Wieters brought him home with a sacrifice fly. But it was too little too late.
Brad Bergesen didn't have a great start, but he kept his team in the game for the duration. It wasn't pretty as he gave up four runs on ten hits and three walks in his six innings (including a home run to rookie Danny Worth, the first of his big league career). He had only one 1-2-3 inning and left the game down 4-1. Not great, not terrible. He's a fifth starter. His ground ball was working, at least, as he had eleven ground ball outs to just three fly ball outs. Matt Albers pitched the final two innings and was uncharacteristically good, allowing just a walk.
The O's head to Texas for four games to close out the first half before sending Ty Wigginton off to the All-Star game on Tuesday. Don't mess with Texas!