Game 96: Orioles 3, Twins 2

The Good:

* Jeremy Guthrie was excellent, touching 96 with the fastball (and averaging over 93 mph with it), pounding the strike-zone, and making just the one mistake – hanging a slider to Joe Mauer. Final line; 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HR. It’s his second stellar outing in a row, and the though the effect is probably minor, it’s not a bad time to get on a roll before the trade deadline.

* Seeing Brian Roberts back in uniform. I don’t know that it’s worth the risk to have him playing again this season – if he hurts his back again then his whole contract may be sunk – but it’s still nice to see him in that lead-off spot.

* Luke Scott went 2-4 and hit a long two-run homer. That’s three homers in his last 4 games, and he’s 9-20 since coming off the DL. There have to be teams in need of a power lefty bat out there.

* Craig Tatum picked up a single at the plate, and also made a couple nice plays from out behind it – turning two bunts into outs.

The Bad:

* The offense didn’t bring their working the count hats into this one – partially due to Markakis getting the night off – drawing no walks on the night and seeing just 101 pitches from the Twins.

The Final:

Lackluster offensive performance, but the pitching got the job done. O’s win 3-2, and move to 31-66 on the season – 3.5 games ahead of the Pirates (assuming they lose the game their behind in now).