Orioles-Marlins: Orioles Battle, Lose a Tough One in Miami

Allen PopelsCorrespondent IJune 23, 2009

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 13:  Pitcher Danys Baez #28 of the Baltimore Orioles during play against the Texas Rangers on April 13, 2009 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

MIAMI - The Baltimore Orioles received a quality start from Koji Uehara, fell behind on a bad outing by Danys Baez, and responded by scoring three runs in the ninth before eventually falling in the 12th, 7-6.

Koji Uehara pitched six innings, giving up one run on seven hits while striking out two and walking none.  He pitched out of a bases loaded, one-out jam in the fifth by getting Emilio Bonifacio to ground into an inning ending double play.  Then he got out of the six inning after surrendering a lead-off double to Hanley Ramirez. 

Despite his struggle through the fifth, he seemed to rebound well in the sixth, which makes you wonder why Dave Trembley decided to pull him after he had thrown only 76 pitches.

Trembley has been known to pull pitchers too early in the past and perhaps that was the case again Tuesday night.  If 76 pitches in 73 degree weather is all Uehara has to offer as a starter, then perhaps the Orioles should think hard about just using him out of the bullpen and bringing up another of their young guns from the minor leagues.

In place of Uehara, Trembley turned to Baez who's been one of the team's pleasant surprises in the Orioles bullpen this season.  However, Baez's earned run average ballooned from 3.22 to 4.42 after giving up five runs in just a third of an inning.  He allowed a grand slam home run to Hanley Ramirez and retired only one batter on a failed sacrifice bunt.

The Orioles offense responded though, fighting back to tie the game and force extra innings.  What can you say about the performance of Oscar Salazar this season?  All he does is hit, despite the infrequency of his at bats. 

Pinch hitting in the eighth inning, Salazar extended a rally with a single that allowed the Orioles to pull within three.  Then in the ninth, the Orioles put together five straight hits with two outs including Salazar's single that brought home the tying run. 

He's now batting .467 in 15 games for the big club after batting .372 with 10 home runs and 43 RBI in 50 games for Triple-A Norfolk.  Dave Trembley will have his work full in order to find him some more at bats.

Despite putting runners on in each of the extra frames, the Orioles failed to capitalize on their chances.  The Marlins finally won the game in the 12th after Brian Bass walked Bonifacio leading off the inning, Jorge Cantu drove him in sending the light crowd of 10,222 at Land Shark Stadium home victorious.

Orioles Notes: Matt Wieters went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI as he continues to look more comfortable at the plate... Adam Jones was 0-for-6 with two strikeouts...Chris Ray made his return to the team pitching an inning and two-thirds of scoreless relief, striking out one...With the loss the Orioles are now 3-2 in extra innings on the season.