Orioles 4, Marlins 0

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BALTIMORE (AP)—Adding a changeup to his repertoire has enabled Erik Bedard to become nearly unhittable.

Just ask the Florida Marlins.

Bedard took a one-hitter into the eighth inning, and the Baltimore Orioles snapped the Marlins’ nine-game winning streak with a 4-0 victory Wednesday night.

Bedard (7-6) allowed two hits over eight innings and matched his career high with 12 strikeouts, including Miguel Cabrera and Reggie Abercrombie three times each.

“It was just tremendous performance against a hot team that had won nine straight,” Orioles pitching coach Leo Mazzone said. “I give all the credit to Bedard. He had the courage to go to a new changeup in the middle of a major league championship season. This was his third time out with it, and tonight he really threw it exceptionally well.”

The only Florida batter to reach base over the first seven innings was Alfredo Amezaga, who lined a clean single to center with one out in the fourth.

Bedard retired 21 of 22 batters before Wes Helms led off the eighth with an infield hit and Jeremy Hermida was hit by a pitch. Bedard then struck out Miguel Olivo, Chris Aguila and Abercrombie.

The left-hander had thrown 105 pitches to that point, one reason why he didn’t get the opportunity to work the ninth and earn his first career complete game.

“I didn’t see any reason why he needed to go out and get in any trouble, and I had a closer that hadn’t pitched in three days,” Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said.

Chris Ray gave up a single to Amezaga in the ninth.

On Friday night, Bedard ended the New York Mets’ eight-game winning streak, allowing three runs in six innings in Baltimore’s 6-3 victory.

He was even better against the Marlins, who had outscored the opposition 43-18 during their nine-game run and were seeking to set a franchise record with a 10th straight win.

“He located in such a way that there was really no way you could hit it,” Perlozzo said. “That changeup he’s been working on, I think that was a big part of his game tonight. When you have to look for three pitches instead of two, it makes a difference.”

Bedard was sharp from the outset—and never let up.

“I was just throwing strikes early. I got my fastball, curveball, changeup for strikes pretty much whenever I wanted it,” he said. “If I keep doing what I’m doing, hopefully I do good the rest of the year.”

The Marlins are thankful they won’t see him again.

“Let the rest of the American League face him,” said Florida manager Joe Girardi, who was particularly impressed with how Bedard got ahead in the count.

“It was strike one. You can be patient when it’s ball one, ball two. But when he’s not ball one, ball two, it’s hard to be patient,” Girardi said. “The pitch that made it real difficult on us was his changeup.”

Javy Lopez homered, and Brian Roberts and Corey Patterson each had three hits for the Orioles, who improved to 5-12 against Florida since the start of interleague play in 1997.

In the Baltimore fourth, Melvin Mora hit a leadoff double off Ricky Nolasco (5-4) and scored on a two-out single by Patterson, who stole his league-leading 29th base on a pitchout but was stranded.

Mora became the center of controversy in the sixth after being struck on the back by a pitch from Nolasco. It was the second time in two games that Mora was hit by a pitch, and as he walked to first base he said something to Nolasco.

Nolasco responded that it was an 0-2 pitch, and Mora veered toward the mound. Both benches emptied, but order was quickly restored.

“He wasn’t very happy,” Nolasco said. “But come on, a 1-0 game, an 0-2 count—that’s something on my to-do list?”

Baltimore pulled away with a three-run seventh. Lopez hit a leadoff homer, Patterson singled and scored when Abercrombie misplayed Kevin Millar’s single to center, and Roberts added an RBI single.

“We ran into a guy with a career night tonight,” Nolasco said. “I battled, but not as good as him.”


After the game, Florida optioned Aguila to Triple-A Albuquerque and activated C Josh Willingham from the 15-day DL. … The Marlins played without rookie 2B Dan Uggla, who left Tuesday’s game with a tight hamstring. He’s day-to-day. … Orioles C Ramon Hernandez was dropped to eighth in the order and went 0-for-3, extending his current skid to 0-for-23.

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