for this game

Hernandez's first hit of the season lifts Orioles

Apr 6, 2008 - 9:45 PM By Sean Burns PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BALTIMORE (Ticker) - Luis Hernandez picked a pretty opportune time to get his first hit of the season.

With two outs in the ninth inning, the Baltimore shortstop ripped a single to center field to score Jay Payton from second base and cap a three-run rally for the Orioles, who walked off with a 3-2 win over Seattle.

"I was thinking (in the on-deck circle) that it would be a good time for my first hit," said Hernandez, who was 0-for-6 this season before the game-winner. "I was just thinking of what I had to do, and I got an inside fastball and had a good chance to hit it."

The win was the fourth straight for Baltimore, which goes for the series sweep Monday.

Felix Hernandez, who had his start moved up a day due to Erik Bedard's hip injury, was lifted after eight innings and 97 pitches with a 2-0 lead. Once he departed, Baltimore responded with three runs off relievers Eric O'Flaherty and Mark Lowe (0-1).

With All-Star closer J.J. Putz on the disabled list with a rib-cage injury and the Mariners experimenting with a "closer by committee" scenario in his absence, the lefthanded O'Flaherty was called upon to start the ninth against the lefthanded-hitting Nick Markakis.

The right fielder started things with a leadoff double,advancing to third and scoring on groundouts by Kevin Millar and Aubrey Huff. Luke Scott chased O'Flaherty with a single, but Lowe fared no better, allowing a single to Payton that moved pinch runner Adam Jones to third.

A wild pitch on ball four to pinch hitter Ramon Hernandez scored Jones to tie the game at 2-2, and Luis Hernandez capped the rally with the hit to center, sending the crowd of 19,215 home happy.

"It was nice to see the old ballpark come alive there at the end," Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said. "It was good for our team and real good for our fans. This is a case and point of never giving up and never giving in by making all of your at-bats count and believing you can do it right to the end."

Dennis Sarfate (1-0) worked a scoreless ninth for the win. The Baltimore bullpen worked two scoreless innings in relief of starter Jeremy Guthrie, lowering its ERA below 1.00 on the season.

"We're confident out there because of how we're playing," Sarfate said. "We kept the game close enough for them to have a chance to win it in the ninth and we knew it."

Guthrie did a good job of keeping the Orioles within striking distance, throwing seven innings and leaving with his team down 2-0. He allowed two runs and six hits while walking two and striking out a pair.

"(Guthrie) comes right at you with his fastball, and I thought that was a big improvement from the first day when he started against Tampa Bay," Trembley said.

The late heroics ruined a gem from Felix Hernandez, who gave up five hits and struck out six in eight innings. The talented righthander, who turns 22 next week, has not allowed a run in 15 innings this season, but has yet to pick up a decision in his two starts.

"I was getting a lot of quick outs, lots of ground balls, everything was going good today," Hernandez said. "I was a little bit tired (after the eighth), and I had left a couple pitches up in the zone. (Pulling me) was the right thing to do, with all the lefties coming up."

Seattle built its lead on Richie Sexson's RBI double in the third and Raul Ibanez's solo homer in the sixth.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SEATTLE 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 7 0
    BALTIMORE 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 9 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: SEA - FELIX HERNANDEZ, ERIC O'FLAHERTY (9TH), MARK LOWE (9TH) AND
    JAMIE BURKE
    BAL - JEREMY GUTHRIE, RANDOR BIERD (8TH), DENNIS
    SARFATE (9TH) AND GUILLERMO QUIROZ,

    Apr 6 4:00 PM


  • AL
    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY LUIS HERNANDEZ SCORED JAY PAYTON.
    FINAL SCORE: BALTIMORE 3, SEATTLE 2

    Mariners 2, Orioles 3  Bot 9, 0 OutsApr 6 4:00 PM


  • AL
    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY MARK LOWE ALLOWED ADAM JONES TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R HERNANDEZ ON FIRST, J PAYTON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 2
    BALTIMORE 2 BOTTOM, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR BALTIMORE: L HERNANDEZ (.000, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Mariners 2, Orioles 2  Bot 9, 0 OutsApr 6 3:57 PM
  • 72
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 37 roots (Close Finish)

    Mariners 2, Orioles 2  Bot 9, 0 OutsApr 6 3:57 PM


  • AL
    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY AUBREY HUFF SCORED NICK MARKAKIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 2
    BALTIMORE 1 BOTTOM, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR BALTIMORE: L SCOTT (.500, 2-FOR-3)

    Mariners 2, Orioles 1  Bot 9, 0 OutsApr 6 3:49 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Mariners 2, Orioles 1  Bot 9, 0 OutsApr 6 3:49 PM


  • AL
    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY RAUL IBANEZ (1) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    6TH OFF JEREMY GUTHRIE.
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 2, BALTIMORE 0
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: R SEXSON (.211, 1-FOR-1, BB, RBI)

    Mariners 2, Orioles 0  Top 6, 0 OutsApr 6 2:49 PM


  • AL
    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RICHIE SEXSON SCORED ICHIRO SUZUKI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R SEXSON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 1
    BALTIMORE 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: A BELTRE (.333, 0-FOR-1)

    Mariners 1, Orioles 0  Top 3, 0 OutsApr 6 2:20 PM