– MLB – Recap – Orioles at Braves

The Braves jumped out to a big lead, and held on from there. They led 7-1 after three innings but didn’t score again, and when the Orioles caught up with Davies it got close.

After allowing a run in the first (it could have been worse, but he got a double play) Davies was okay through two out in the fourth. But then the homer bug bit him, allowing a three-run job, followed by a solo shot in the fifth. Bobby stuck with him, and he retired the last five men he faced.

The Orioles sent rookie Hayden Penn, not Chen as I’d been led to believe, to pitch; he’d been doing well, but no longer. Marcus was the prime hitting hero, with a two-run homer in the first and a run-scoring single in the second. Andruw followed the homer with a solo shot, his 22nd, and officially is feared by the Orioles, who walked him intentionally to face Estrada with two out in the second. Kelly Johnson kept his streak going with an RBI double. Langerhans and Davies also had RBIs as all the starters but Furcal had hits, and he had two walks.

Boyer pitched the seventh, allowing a two-out double but retiring Tejada to end it. Brower is apparently the top setup man now. After getting two outs (one on a fly ball to the track by Sosa) he gave up a single and gave way to Reitsma. He in turn mowed the Orioles down, ending the inning on a strikeout and getting three groundouts for the save.

The Natspos won but the Phillies lost, so the Braves move into second place, and (for what it’s worth at this stage of the season) the wildcard lead. There’s a good chance that the wildcard winner will come out of the NL East; right now, nobody but the first place teams in the other divisions is above .500. Chen will pitch tomorrow against, all reports still say, Roman Colon. No word on who the roster deletion will be but I still expect Vasquez. Kolb or Bernero would be far more desirable.