Bedard pitches two-hit gem, blanks RangersJul 8, 2007 - 4:54 AM ARLINGTON, Texas (Ticker) -- Eric Bedard would not allow the Baltimore Orioles to lose a third straight time.
Bedard faced the minimum to record his first career shutout and Jay Gibbons homered to lead the Orioles to a 3-0 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday.
Bedard (7-4) yielded just two singles without a walk and tied a franchise record with 15 strikeouts. The Baltimore ace brought his major league-leading strikeout total to 149.
"The guy dominated one through nine innings," Baltimore interim manager Dave Trembley said. "He used all his pitches, tremendous poise. The guys made some plays behind him."
Mike Mussina is the only other Oriole to strike out 15 batters in a game.
Both times Bedard surrendered a hit, the lefthander induced the next batter to ground into a double play.
"Never seen anything like that," Trembley said. "It was just one strikeout right after another. And he didn't walk anybody. I don't know how many three-ball counts he had, maybe one. Obviously, (after) about the fifth inning, you felt like one run was going to be enough."
After Desi Relaford singled in the first inning, the 28-year-old Bedard disposed of the next 19 hitters before Sammy Sosa led off the eighth with a base hit.
"I just battled out there and threw some good pitches at good times," Bedard said. "I felt fine the whole game."
"You have to tip your hat to him," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Sometimes you have a guy pitching so well, it doesn't matter how well you can hit."
Bedard, who gave up six runs in 5 2/3 frames in his last start, threw 109 pitches en route to the first complete game of his career.
"It's as good a night as I've ever seen any pitcher throw in my seven years here," Gibbons said. "I have never seen so many bad swings in my life. Guys just didn't have a chance tonight. It was quite impressive."
"I looked up at the board and he was throwing 97 (miles per hour) in the ninth," Trembley said. "He still had command of his breaking ball and used his two-seamer away from people. I wasn't going to let him throw more than 115 pitches."
Center fielder Jerry Hairston Jr. was the only Ranger that was not a strikeout victim of Bedard.
"He threw very well," Washington said. "It was a combination of a big strike zone and he had nasty stuff. He may have gotten help from the umpire, but he pitched a very good game."
"He's a proven pitcher, he pounces on you," said Rangers left fielder Marlon Byrd, who struck out twice. "He's a power pitcher who pounds the strike zone. You try to scrape some runs and hits off him. He was just that good tonight. When's he's on like that, you have no chance."
Gibbons gave Bedard all the support he needed with a solo home run in the second inning, opening a 1-0 lead for Baltimore. Gibbons launched a 3-2 pitch from Rangers starter Brandon McCarthy (4-6) into Texas' bullpen in right-center field for his fifth blast of the season.
"It was a fastball down and away, I think," said Gibbons, who also hit singles in the seventh and ninth. "I was just happy to put the ball in play. We got (Bedard) an early lead, and gosh, he didn't need much."
The homer also snapped Gibbons' 3-for-25 slump that spanned eight games.
"We like to say that we've got one guy each night that we pick out of the lineup that's our secret weapon, and obviously, Jay was that tonight," Trembley said. "He came up big for us, used the whole field, ran the bases hard, and I think it's important when we haven't scored a lot of runs."
Aubrey Huff scored on a throwing error by catcher Gerald Laird in the fourth and Brandon Fahey had an RBI single in the ninth to account for the Orioles' other runs.
Bedard's outstanding effort overshadowed an impressive performance by McCarthy, who lost his second straight start since returning from a month-long stay on the disabled list.
McCarthy gave up just two runs - one earned - and four hits in six innings, matching his longest outing of the season.
"Overall, I had a pretty good outing," McCarthy said. "I almost have to be perfect on a night like tonight. I tried to limit them as much as possible. I found some consistency. On the whole, it was a good one to end (the first half) on."
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
BALTIMORE 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 9 0
TEXAS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: BAL - ERIK BEDARD AND RAMON HERNANDEZ
TEX - BRANDON MCCARTHY, WILLIE EYRE (7TH) AND GERALD
HOME RUNS: BAL - JAY GIBBONS (5) OFF BRANDON MCCARTHY IN THE 2ND,
Jul 7 11:06 PM
AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
SINGLE BY BRANDON FAHEY SCORED JAY PAYTON.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, 1 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 3
TEXAS 0 END TOP, 9TH
Orioles vs. RangersJul 7 10:59 PM
AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
ERROR BY GERALD LAIRD ALLOWED AUBREY HUFF TO SCORE.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J PAYTON ON SECOND, 1 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 2
TEXAS 0 TOP, 4TH
DUE UP FOR BALTIMORE: J GIBBONS (.206, 1-FOR-1, HR, RBI)
Orioles vs. RangersJul 7 9:32 PM
AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
SOLO HOME RUN BY JAY GIBBONS (5) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
2ND OFF BRANDON MCCARTHY.
CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 1, TEXAS 0
DUE UP FOR BALTIMORE: C PATTERSON (.237, 2 HR, 21 RBI)
Orioles vs. RangersJul 7 8:58 PM
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