The most impressive thing about today is that the Orioles scored eight runs on just eight hits. Pretty goshdarn efficient! And they scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth to turn an embarrassing 14-4 loss into a less embarrassing 14-8 loss. Leading up to the ninth inning, the Orioles had managed just four hits and two walks off of the fearsome Astros pitching staff. They were shut down by pitching greats such as #62 Aneury Rodriguez, #70 Jordan Lyles, #60 Lance Pendleton, and #66 Enerio Del Rosario.
Leading the offensive charge was Jake Fox (or, as I sometimes refer to him in the middle of a discussion in which I'm annoyed that Craig Tatum isn't getting his due respect, my boyfriend's boyfriend) with a home run, a walk, and two runs scored. The HR was his fifth, which leads the team this spring. His BB was his first (and probably last). Brandon Snyder and Luke Scott each had a double, and Brendan Harris had an RBI single. The O's also scored a run each on a Felix Pie ground out and a Josh Bell sacrifice fly.
It looked like that'd be all the Orioles would get, but they put together an exciting bottom of the 9th for those remaining at Ed Smith Stadium. Rhyne Hughes, pinch hitting for Vladimir Guerrero, walked to lead things off. I believe this is the first we've seen of Baby Rhyno this spring. That set the table for Robert Andino, who hit a two-run homer. Nolan Reimold, pinch hitting, belted a double in his only at-bat and scored on a double by Michel Hernandez. Ryan Adams singled in Hernandez, but that'd be all the Orioles would get.
Eight runs isn't bad at all, but not nearly good enough to account for the O's pitching. Brad Bergesen had another tough outing, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks in three innings. That wasn't the worst pitching performance of that day, though. Not even close. Kevin Gregg had his second consecutive poor outing (he blamed it on an adjustment that pitching coach Mark "Goose" Connor had him make, but I have it on good authority that that the only thing Goose said to him was, "I feel the need, the need for speed! OW!!"), giving up five runs in just one-third of an inning. One of those runs were unearned thanks to a Josh Bell error, but there was no denying the grand slam he allowed to Brett Wallace. Rough day for Gregg. Wynn Pelzer also allowed a run, and Ryan Drese allowed five more in his three innings of work. It wasn't pretty, no sir. The only pitcher to keep the Astros off the board was Chris George, and I barely know who that is.
Ah, well. It's just ST after all.