Showalter suffers first loss as O's manager

August 08, 2010

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Buck Showalter's unbeaten run with the Baltimore Orioles is over, and the veteran manager found no consolation watching his last-place team put up a good fight against the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox.

Gavin Floyd allowed two runs in seven innings and Carlos Quentin homered in Chicago's 4-2 victory Saturday night.

The Orioles had won four straight since Showalter made his debut on Tuesday, matching the longest winning streak of the season of the team with the worst record in the majors. Baltimore bolted to an early 2-0 lead in a bid to make it five in a row, but the margin failed to stand up.

It was Showalter's first loss since Oct. 1, 2006, with the Texas Rangers.

"I don't like losing. I ain't real happy," Showalter said. "The great thing about our game is that the positives and negatives don't last long. We've got another chance right around the corner. Can you imagine sitting on tough losses for seven days like football coaches do?


"No, it's not one of deep, reflective moments. I want to figure out what went wrong and try to fix it tomorrow. Tonight," he said.

After Quentin's 22nd homer in the fourth inning, Chicago added single runs in the seventh and eighth against reliever Jason Berken (3-3) before scoring an unearned run in the ninth.

"You can see why Chicago's in first place. They run quality pitching out there night after night, and they make runs matter at the end of the game," Showalter said. "They've got a lot of ways to make leads matter, and getting quality starting pitching. That's where we hope to be one day."

Floyd (8-8) gave up six hits, walked two and struck out five to win his third straight start. The right-hander is 6-1 with a 1.17 ERA in his last nine outings.

Matt Thornton worked the eighth, his 21st consecutive scoreless appearance, and J.J. Putz got three outs for his third save. Putz was used by manager Ozzie Guillen instead of his usual closer, Bobby Jenks, who is 0-2 with a 10.56 ERA since the All-Star break.

"Bobby's got a bad back," Guillen said. "The way Bobby's been throwing, we've got options out there. We have to wait to put Bobby back in the closer rotation."

Said Putz: "I think everybody knows we're a better team with (Jenks) at the back end. It allows everybody else to slide up, mix and match with lefties and righties, and he can come in and slam the door."

Baltimore was held hitless after Felix Pie singled with no outs in the fourth inning -- the fifth straight hit off Floyd.

"I was very worried early. Very worried," Guillen said.

Chicago went up 3-2 in the eighth when Juan Pierre hit a leadoff single, took second on sacrifice bunt and scored when Alex Rios snapped a 4-for-37 skid with a single.

Before the game, Guillen offered this explanation of why Rios didn't play on Friday night: "He's got a sore everything. The thing that was sore was his bat."

Baltimore starter Kevin Millwood allowed four hits in six innings and left with a 2-1 lead. He had yielded five runs in each of his previous five appearances and hadn't given up only one run in any start since April 11.

Berken promptly gave up the advantage, however, in the seventh. After Alexei Ramirez drew a two-out walk, A.J. Pierzynski followed with an RBI double.

Pierzynski hurt his left ankle on third base while advancing on the throw to the plate.

"I'll be fine. It's just a sprained ankle," he said. "I could have stayed in the game, but they wanted me to get out and put ice on it."

Baltimore went up 1-0 when Adam Jones led off the second inning with his 16th home run, the first allowed by Floyd in 12 starts since June 2.

The Orioles added a run in the third, but a baserunning error cost them a chance for more. After Nick Markakis hit a two-out double and scored on a single by Ty Wigginton, Luke Scott followed with a single. Wigginton headed for third, second-guessed his decision, went anyway and was thrown out to end the inning.

Millwood pitched a scoreless first, no small feat considering he allowed at least two first-inning runs in 11 of his previous 12 starts.

"It was definitely nice to get out of the first. That's been haunting me for a while," Millwood said. "Then after that, when I wanted to go in, I got the ball in. When I missed, I missed off the plate instead of over the middle for the most part."

The exception occurred in the fourth, when Quentin hit a solo shot to center on a 3-1 pitch. It was the AL-high 24th homer allowed by Millwood.

NOTES: Pierre has hit in 14 straight games. ... Orioles C Matt Wieters has thrown out three would-be stealers in the last two games. ... Baltimore's Cesar Izturis was 0 for 3. His next hit will be his 1,000th.

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