Matt Albers got the job done in a spot start and George Sherrill picked up a shaky sixth save on the season as the Birds remained in first place with a 4-3 win over Toronto.
The O's are now 6-1 at Camden Yards this season, quite a turnaround from last year's dismal 35-46 home record. Trembley went bullpen crazy as usual, giving Jim Johnson two and a third before calling in Jamie Walker and Chad Bradford to get one out apiece. With a 4-1 lead, Sherrill came in to pitch the ninth and allowed a two-run, pinch-hit home run to Alex Rios, but he survived the brush with crap and got us out of there with one more in the win column.
Pretty good game at the plate, too. Kevin Millar was 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs, and Brian Roberts, Melvin Mora and Luke Scott all had two hits apiece. Adam Jones was 3-for-3 with a walk, and looked really good at the plate, even though his first hit was sort of an off-balance hack at a breaking ball. After that, he appeared to be dialed in. And this after Dave Trembley went around telling everyone he could find that he really thought about pulling the struggling Jones today.
I still wonder what purpose that serves. Is it motivation? Doesn't it seem like that would make the kid press even harder? And if he had pulled him, then why is he on the team anyway? He's here to learn on the Major League level.
The other O's RBI came from a Ramon Hernandez sac fly. He was 0-for-3 to push his average down to a sparkling .179.
With 13 hits, the O's should have scored more runs, which is a pretty familiar feeling. They grounded into three double plays and made two outs at the plate. The first was Luis Hernandez hesitating to run anywhere on a Nick Markakis chopper where he absolutely should have scored or at least not run at all, but them's the breaks. The second came in the eighth, when Juan Samuel sent Jay Payton on a medium-depth fly ball to left field with one out and Brian Roberts coming up with two men in scoring position.
Let's think about this. Payton runs fine, but he's not fast. Shannon Stewart can't throw, but he wasn't throwing very far. There is another out to go and the insurance run(s) would certainly help. So Samuel sends him?
You're on notice, Juan. You're Trebelhorn II.
But a win is a win is a win. I'm also worried about the fact that in eight wins, Sherrill has six saves. We're not exactly whomping on the competition, and close games can turn against you very fast. But a win is a win is a win. This is Birdland.