Baltimore Orioles Squander Another Opportunity Against Florida Marlins

By Jeff Zrebiec
Baltimore Sun
Thursday, June 25, 2009

MIAMI, June 24 -- There was FĂ©lix Pie's botched stolen-base attempt and Melvin Mora's throwing error in the first inning. There were a slew of ill-advised swings at pitches out of the strike zone and an overall lack of offensive execution, highlighted by Robert Andino's failure to get down a bunt in a one-run game in the top of the seventh.

But the Orioles saved their most egregious error for the bottom of the seventh when they allowed the Florida Marlins' Emilio Bonifacio to steal second and score on Matt Wieters's throw into center field.

After finding ways to win on the first three games of this road trip, the Orioles have reverted to their old ways at Land Shark Stadium. A night after a base running gaffe by Ty Wigginton contributed to a 12th-inning loss, the Orioles played a sloppy game and were beaten, 5-2, by the Florida Marlins before an announced 12,469 on Wednesday night.

The Orioles (32-39), who will try to avoid the three-game sweep, are now just 5-15 overall against the Marlins and 1-10 at what was formerly known as Dolphin Stadium.

Despite playing poorly and getting only a five-inning outing by rookie starter Jason Berken, the Orioles trailed only 3-2 when the bottom of the seventh began. Matt Albers got two quick outs before Bonifacio reached on an infield single. Though replays showed that Brian Roberts's throw had beaten Bonifacio by a step, what happened next was inexcusable.

Bonifacio, one of the fastest guys in the league, broke for second and got such a good jump that Wieters probably shouldn't have thrown the ball. He did and it ended up in center field. Bonifacio scurried to third and when he saw Pie hold the ball in center field, he raced home and just beat Andino's relay throw.

The Orioles' offense again struggled to get anything going against a Florida starter. Following Pie's first-inning hit, Ricky Nolasco retired eight straight Orioles until Pie led off the fourth with a single.

Nolasco had little trouble getting out of that inning, fanning Nick Markakis and getting Aubrey Huff to hit into a double play. Mora led off the fifth with a single, but Nolasco retired Luke Scott on a flyout and struck out Wieters and Andino.

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