The losing streak is over. O’s win, O’s win.
Birds 8 – Rays 4
Think Tampa fans are frustrated (all 12,658 who showed up, that is)? The Rays looked to be getting back on track by winning three of four against Boston, but a loss in the opener to the O’s puts them just a half-game out of last place.
Not to overlook the contributions of should-be-All-Star Nick Markakis (3-for-5, HR, 3 RBI, SB) or the revitalized Brian Roberts (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, SB), but Monday night belonged to the most beleaguered Birds.
George Sherrill – no longer guaranteed the closer’s job – shuts the door after nearly turning the ninth inning into a save situation and forcing the awkwardness of Trembley pulling him for Chris Ray.
Felix Pie – whose “days are numbered” – makes a diving grab in left to end things.
And the much discussed bottom third of the lineup (note: Luke Scott played most of the game for Pie) goes 4-for-12 , including Gregg Zaun’s 2-for-4 night and a key eighth-inning sequence that set up Roberts to provide some insurance runs.
The Birds have lost 10 straight games decided by two runs or fewer, but Monday’s win over Tampa demonstrated that smaller contributions can help contribute to big wins.