04 May 2011

Game Wrap and Morning Links: May 4, 2011

Baltimore 5, Kansas City 6

Box Score / Play-By-Play / AP Recap

Jeff Francoeur knotted the game at 5-5 in the bottom of sixth with his seventh homerun of the year. Four innings later he broke that tie with a sacrifice fly to medium right field, plating the winning run in the form of Alex Gordon. The loss was Baltimore's second in as many days, dropping their record to 2-2 on this brief Midwest road trip. Jason Berken took the loss and looked pedestrian for the fourth straight appearance. Over that span, Berken's line is a not-so-pretty 3.1 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 4 BB and 2 SO. The positive? Matt Wieters continues to look more and more comfortable at the plate, with his timing issues from earlier this season appearing to drift further and further into his rearview mirror. He also threw out another baserunner attempting to swipe second -- at some point you have to think teams will simply stop trying, yeah? Adam Jones put together a couple of solid at bats and notch three singles and a walk in five plate appearances.

Stat of the game

KC Pen: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 SO

After starter Jeff Francis spotted Baltimore five runs over five and two-thirds innings, the Royals pen dropped the hammer. After losing the lead in the bottom of the sixth, the Orioles never threatened again, with all four hits thereafter singles and none of those runners reaching second. Owner of the top farm system in the game by a wide margin, the Royals have a nice little pen taking shape on the Big Club. The Royals will be in an interesting position later this summer as they will have to decide whether to hold onto shut-down closer Joakim Soria (club options through 2014 in the aggregate of $22.75 million) or move him for a sizable package of prospects. While the Royals have plenty of payroll room in 2012 and beyond, the ability to add one or two potential impact, cost controlled talents while shifting one of their high-ceiling prospect arms (Aaron Crow or Jeremy Jeffress) to work the 9th may be too tempting to pass-up.

Average age of the Royals relievers used last night: 23y9m.

Orioles Game ball

Luke Scott (2-5, HR (6), 3 RBI)

MiLB game balls

Norfolk (Box) - Michael Ballard, lhp (7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 SO, W (2))
Bowie (Box) - Steve Johnson, rhp (6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 SO, ND)
Frederick (Box) - Ollie Drake, rhp (8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 SO, W (2))
Delmarva (Box) - Jonathan Schoop, 2b/3b (2-4)

Three Morning Links

Roch Kubatko talks Derek Lee and Jake Arrieta in his latest School of Roch entry.

Peter Schmuck explores the dilemma facing a weary fan base -- do we buy into Buck's Birds in 2011 or is this summer just more of the same?

The Eutaw Street Hooligans bring us a look at Mark Reynolds and his propensity to K in part 1 of a 2 part series, courtesy of Jjaks Clayton.

Game two of the series will pit young power arm Jake Arrieta (4.20 xFIP, 82 ERA+) against Kansas City's Kyle Davies (4.34 xFIP, 51 ERA+). 8:10 pm Eastern start.

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