O's P Bergesen allows 1 run in major league debut

BY foxsports • April 22, 2009

Brad Bergesen spent much of his life striving to pitch in the major leagues, then had his debut stalled by a rain delay of 1 hour, 38 minutes.

It was all worth the wait.

Bergesen allowed one earned run before leaving in the sixth inning, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox 10-3 on Tuesday night to end a five-game losing streak.

Recalled from Triple-A Norfolk before the game, Bergesen (1-0) gave up three runs and four hits in 5 2-3 innings. The right-hander struck out five, walked two and hit a batter.

"It was surreal," Bergesen said. "Getting up there and getting that first pitch out of the way, it was everything that I thought it was going to be. I couldn't believe it."

Bergesen is one of several young pitching prospects the Orioles are counting on to help them end a run of consecutive losing seasons that now stands at 11. The 23-year-old played in only two games above the Double-A level - both this year - before being promoted to the big leagues.

"This is the first step in that youth movement," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "There's more coming. They're not here yet. They won't get here for a while."

Bergesen outpitched veteran Jose Contreras (0-3), who yielded six runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings. Contreras, 37, has lost each of his three starts this season.

"He's got to figure it out," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "It was a pretty bad game, walking people, not getting guys out. He walked the leadoff guy in like three different innings."

Guillen said he has not decided whether Contreras will remain part of the rotation.

"I felt fine," Contreras said through an interpreter. "The last three innings, I left the ball up and they took advantage. That's when the runs came."

Baltimore's Aubrey Huff homered and drove in four runs, Nick Markakis went 4-for-4 with a walk, and Luke Scott went 3-for-4 with a walk.

Chicago's Carlos Quentin, who leads the majors with seven home runs, was 0-for-3 in his bid to homer in a fourth straight game.

Baltimore trailed 3-2 before taking the lead for good in the fifth. Brian Roberts walked and scored on a double by Markakis, who came home on a two-out single by Scott.

In the sixth, Bergesen retired Jim Thome on a flyball and struck out Jermaine Dye before leaving to a standing ovation.

"That was unbelievable," he said of the appreciative crowd. "It was something that I've always dreamed about. To get that after the first start was something special."

Bergesen, Baltimore's 2008 minor league pitcher of the year, filled the void in the rotation left by an elbow injury to Alfredo Simon. If he pitches as he did against Chicago, Bergesen could be around for a while.

"I felt relieved to finally get out of there and get the first one out of the way," he said. "It was just an absolute blast tonight."

An RBI double by newcomer Luis Montanez and a run-scoring single by Markakis made it 6-3 in the sixth, Cesar Izturis added a two-run double in the seventh and Huff hit a two-run homer in eighth to spoil Jack Egbert's major league debut.

Following a steady rain that delayed the start of the game, Bergesen capped a 1-2-3 first inning by striking out Quentin to end a 12-pitch duel.

Bergesen issued a walk in the second inning, then retired the side in order in the third.

Baltimore went ahead 2-0 in the bottom half when Markakis hit a two-out single and Huff drove a 2-0 pitch over the 25-foot scoreboard in right field, the 49th homer in the 18-year history of Camden Yards to land on Eutaw Street.

Chicago pulled even with two unearned runs in the fourth. After a walk and an error by third baseman Ty Wigginton put runners at the corners with one out, Bergesen blew a third strike past Thome. But Dye and Paul Konerko followed with RBI singles.

The White Sox used an RBI double by Alexei Ramirez and a run-scoring grounder by Brian Anderson to go up 3-2 in the fifth.

Notes: Markakis' four hits tied a career high. ... Chicago designated RHP Mike MacDougal for assignment and recalled Egbert from Triple-A Charlotte. ... Baltimore placed OF Ryan Freel (head trauma) on the 15-day DL and recalled Montanez from Triple-A Norfolk. After Adam Jones (hamstring) was a late scratch, Montanez started in LF. ... Baltimore's Gregg Zaun had four hits this season, all of them doubles, before getting a single in the seventh.