BALTIMORE—The Baltimore Orioles received another solid outing from Brad Bergesen (AP Photo) as they ended the first half of their season with a 4-2 win over the Blue Jays in front of 21,621 on a Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards.
The rookie cruised through the game's first six innings, scattering three hits and striking out two while holding Toronto scoreless. His performance in the game and the season to date left the Orioles manager beaming after the game.
"Bergesen sure had a great first half for us," Dave Trembley said. "I think he has established himself as a real nice story in the American League this year as a starting pitcher. I think it just goes to show you that if you command the strike zone and you have movement and you pitch down, you can be successful here. He's been able to do that more times than not.
"He just repeats his delivery, he repeats his pitches. And the big thing he had to do was improve the changeup and be able to repeat the slider. He's done it. The guys love playing behind him."
Brian Roberts paced the Orioles attack, doubling home Cesar Izturis in the third inning. Then stealing third base before coming home on a Nick Markakis single to right. He also drove Izturis home in the seventh inning, recording two of Baltimore's four RBI on the day.
Oscar Salazar continued to make his case for more playing time with another solid performance. He got the start at designated hitter, batting cleanup and was 2-3 on the afternoon with his second home run of the season. He's now batting .419 in his limited at bats.
The game got interesting for home plate umpire Ron Kulpa in the bottom of the second inning. He took a foul ball off the bat of Ty Wigginton squarely off his mask. Kulpa was in obvious pain and attempted to shake it off, but ended up leaving the game in the next inning with a slight concussion.
Bergesen ran into some trouble in the seventh inning. He gave up a pair of doubles to Lyle Overbay and David Dellucci that got the Blue Jays on the board. Later in the inning, a sacrifice fly by Marco Scutaro pulled Toronto within one and ended the rookie's day.
The Orioles skipper knows that pitching late into games and adjusting as batters get to know him better is something that Bergesen will have to work on as the season progresses.
"Today, there was a lot of first-ball swinging," said Trembley. "You saw against Boston, he pitched a good game, but you saw it after the sixth inning, they started taking pitches and working it and fouling it off. I think that'll be the challenge for him, to see if he can still get quick outs and not get worked to death."
It was another quality start for the budding Orioles ace, his seventh in his last nine starts. The win improved his record to 6-3 on the season.
Bergesen also continued his dominance at Camden Yards as the team improved to 8-2 overall in his home starts.
George Sherrill, Baltimore's lone representative in the All-Star game last season, came on in the ninth and retired the Blue Jays in order to record his 20th save of the season.
The Orioles head into the break having won four out of their last five games and as a result, have pulled within eight games of .500 with a record of 40-48.
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