Orioles 7, Diamondbacks 1
PHOENIX (AP)—The Baltimore Orioles are a different team since manager Sam Perlozzo was fired and they set out on a swing through NL West ballparks.
It was the third straight win for the Orioles, who took the last two games of a three-game series in San Diego this week.
“I think they’re starting to weather the storm a little bit better, and I think they’re starting to feel pretty good about themselves,” said Dave Trembley, who is 3-1 as interim manager. “That’s one of the things that we’re trying to do is get them to feel good about themselves, let them know they’re major league baseball players. There’s no reason in the world why they can’t start playing up to their capabilities.”
Friday’s result was all the more surprising because the Diamondbacks swept the Orioles last weekend in Baltimore. Arizona entered .002 percentage points behind San Diego in the NL West, while the Orioles were last in the AL East, 15 1/2 games off the pace.
And the Orioles were without shortstop Miguel Tejada, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a non-displaced fracture of his left wrist. Tejada’s streak of consecutive games played ended at 1,152, the fifth-longest in big league history.
But on the 104-degree night in the desert, the Orioles looked like contenders while Arizona bumbled.
Cabrera (6-8) held the Diamondbacks hitless until Eric Byrnes led off the sixth with a double to left.
“I think we have a great team,” Cabrera said. “The thing is, we don’t pull everything together.”
They did Friday night—with a lot of help from the Diamondbacks, who committed three errors in a ghastly second inning, tying a franchise record.
“It was just one of those nights,” said Arizona’s Brandon Webb (7-5), who went five innings, matching his shortest outing. “Nothing was going right.”
Meanwhile, Webb allowed seven runs—three earned—and six hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out seven.
Webb may have fared better if it weren’t for the second inning, when the Diamondbacks handled the ball as if it were greased.
“We just had an ugly second inning,” manager Bob Melvin said. “The way we kicked it around a little bit, we didn’t give (Webb) much of a chance.”
The Diamondbacks’ trouble began after Aubrey Huff doubled with one out.
Moments later, Payton was picked off by Webb. But Webb dropped the ball as he tried to tag Payton in the ensuing rundown. Payton was safe at third and Webb was charged with an error.
Gomez was credited with a sacrifice and an RBI. Tracy drew his second throwing error in three batters—he had three errors in his first 41 games.
“I rushed the throw on one and overthrew him,” Tracy said. “And then tried to make an aggressive play at home on the bunt and didn’t make a good throw there either. So try to forget about it and come back out tomorrow.”
Webb struck out Cabrera for the second out, but Roberts tripled to make it 4-0.
“That was an inning where we probably shouldn’t have scored any runs,” Payton said. “We took advantage of a couple of misplays by them and were able to put up a four-spot. It turned out to be kind of a difference in the game early on.”
Jay Gibbons’ two-run double in the third boosted the lead to six runs, and Roberts hit Webb’s first delivery of the fourth inning over the right-field wall for a 7-0 lead.
Arizona scored in the sixth on consecutive doubles by Byrnes and Tracy. That was the only run allowed by Cabrera, who gave up two hits, walked three and struck out six in six innings.
Gomez made his first start at shortstop Friday night, replacing Tejada. Gomez has started at every infield position. … Arizona has committed an error in five straight games. The team record is eight, set by the 2004 team that lost 111 games.