O's light up Braves' Lowe to get win
The Baltimore Orioles' offense is suddenly on a major roll.
After scoring 19 runs in their previous 11 games, Baltimore has scored as many in the past two. On Sunday, Ty Wigginton hit two home runs, Robert Andino drove in three runs and stole home and Brad Bergesen pitched his first complete game to lead the Orioles to an 11-2 win over the Atlanta Braves.
On Saturday, Baltimore scored six runs in the seventh inning, and on Sunday, scored 11 runs in the first five.
"Today everybody came to the ballpark with a carry-over, a lot of confidence," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.
The offensive revival came from some unlikely sources. Andino, who is replacing Cesar Izturis due to his recent appendectomy, had three RBIs in his first 70 at-bats. He had a bases-loaded walk in the third, and a two-run double in the fourth.
Andino also pulled off Baltimore's first steal of home since May 23, 2007. In the second inning, with the Orioles ahead 4-0, Brian Roberts was caught off first. Atlanta's shortstop, Yunel Escobar was about to tag Roberts, but belatedly he saw Andino dash for home. Andino easily beat the throw.
Trembley wouldn't confirm if the play was planned, but Andino said it wasn't.
"That just happened. It made it look like a play. Secret play," Andino said.
That play incensed Atlanta manager Bobby Cox. Escobar's lethargic play on the pickoff and the failure to turn a first inning double play led Cox to yank Escobar after two innings.
"We pride ourselves on doing things right, being in the game and (we) don't do things lackadaisically," Cox said.
Not only did Cox have a shortstop off his game, but Derek Lowe didn't have it, either.
The Orioles quickly pounded Lowe (7-4) for three runs in the first. Aubrey Huff's infield out scored the first run, and Wigginton's two-run home run, his fourth, scored the next two.
Roberts' single drove in the fourth run in the fifth, and Andino's steal of home, made it 5-0.
In the third, Andino's walk forced home the sixth run, and Lowe was done after 2 1-3 innings - his shortest start since Oct. 3, 2004 - coincidentally his last start against the Orioles.
Roberts' sacrifice fly made it 7-0. Lowe was charged with seven runs - the most this season. In his previous five starts, he had allowed three or fewer runs.
"I stunk. It's a wrap," Lowe said.
Lowe has won 133 games. His counterpart, Bergesen has won four.
Bergesen (4-2) allowed five hits and two runs - both on home runs to David Ross - in the seventh and ninth.
Ross' first home run broke Bergesen's 18-inning scoreless streak. In his previous start, he held Seattle scoreless in eight innings.
"To get an early lead off a guy like that, he's such a great pitcher," Bergesen said. "To get multiple innings with runs scored early on was huge for us today."
In the fourth inning, Felix Pie singled to drive in a run, and Andino had a two-run double.
Wigginton homered off Kris Medlin in the fifth - his fifth. Wigginton scored four runs - equaling a career high.
Atlanta's Chipper Jones was 0 for 3. He's hitless in his past 21 at-bats, and is approaching the longest drought of his career. From Aug. 3-9, 2000, he was 0 for 23.
Baltimore CF Adam Jones was scratched due to a bruised left shin he hurt in Saturday's game. He expects to play Tuesday against the Mets. ... Atlanta manager Bobby Cox expects 1B Casey Kotchman, who's been on the 15-day disabled list since June 1 with a strained right calf to be ready to play on Tuesday. Kotchman has been on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Gwinnett. ... The Orioles improved to 2-8 on Sundays and 4-17 in series finales. ... Baltimore scored in the first five innings - the first time they've scored in five straight innings since Aug. 27, 2008.