– MLB – Recap – Orioles at Braves

Andruw never comes through in the clutch. Leading off the ninth inning in a game which had seen another bullpen meltdown tie a game they’d led 4-0, Andruw hit his 23rd homer of the season to win the game. Ho-hum.

Roman Colon sparkled as a starter; I guess that the Braves knew what they were doing. Fancy that. Colon went six, struck out four, allowed four hits and walked only one, throwing 59 strikes in 85 pitches. I’m just speculating here, but maybe he was overthrowing as a reliever and when he dialed it back as you have to as a starter his control and movement returned. It was only after he left the game that there was trouble.

Meanwhile, the Braves couldn’t do anything against Chen, nor against this Ray kid who replaced him after he hurt his toe and made everyone look bad. But Jorge Julio they could hit. Betemit doubled leading off the seventh, and was driven in by a pinch-hitting LaRoche. Julio threw two straight wild pitches to score Orr (who ran for Adam) and Andruw and Julio singled in a run apiece. 4-0, and the Braves had the game in hand, right?

Wrong. Blaine Boyer had gotten in trouble in the seventh but Foster pitched out of it. Brower loaded the bases in the eighth and Reitsma then walked in a run before getting out of the inning. And then Reitsma had nothing at all in the ninth. By the time he left the game, three more runs had scored to tie it and there was only one out. Jorge Vasquez walked Sosa to load them up but got a double play to end it. The walk was actually key, as it forced the Orioles to pinch-hit for their closer BJ Ryan. His replacement allowed Andruw’s homer, and rather than going to Richmond, Vasquez picked up his first major league win.

Andruw had three hits in all, and Julio two (both of the infield variety). Betemit also had two. Johnson kept his streak going with another 1-4, and Marcus walked three times.

And now the Braves have Smoltz pitching tomorrow to try for the sweep, facing Rodrigo Lopez, who is 7-2 on the season. The game is on TBS. The Phillies lost again, and the Natspos play tonight.