BALTIMORE (AP) -- Adding a changeup to his repertoire has enabled
Erik Bedard to become nearly unhittable.
Erik Bedard earned the victory over the streaking Marlins after snapping an eight-game winning streak by the Mets in his previous start. Bedard is the first pitcher to win consecutive starts against teams that were on winning streaks of at least eight games since 1918, when Pittsburgh's Earl Hamilton did it against the Giants and Cubs. Both of those teams had won nine in a row before losing to Hamilton.• For more Elias Says, Click here.
Just ask the Florida Marlins.Bedard took a one-hitter into the eighth inning, and the
Baltimore Orioles snapped the Marlins' nine-game winning streak
with a 4-0 victory Wednesday night.Bedard (7-6) allowed two hits over eight innings and matched his
career high with 12 strikeouts, including Miguel Cabrera and Reggie
Abercrombie three times each."It was just tremendous performance against a hot team that had
won nine straight," Orioles pitching coach Leo Mazzone said. "I
give all the credit to Bedard. He had the courage to go to a new
changeup in the middle of a major league championship season. This
was his third time out with it, and tonight he really threw it
exceptionally well."The only Florida batter to reach base over the first seven
innings was Alfredo Amezaga, who lined a clean single to center
with one out in the fourth.Bedard retired 21 of 22 batters before Wes Helms led off the
eighth with an infield hit and Jeremy Hermida was hit by a pitch.
Bedard then struck out Miguel Olivo, Chris Aguila and Abercrombie.The left-hander had thrown 105 pitches to that point, one reason
why he didn't get the opportunity to work the ninth and earn his
first career complete game."I didn't see any reason why he needed to go out and get in any
trouble, and I had a closer that hadn't pitched in three days,"
Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said.Chris Ray gave up a single to Amezaga in the ninth.On Friday night, Bedard ended the New York Mets' eight-game
winning streak, allowing three runs in six innings in Baltimore's
6-3 victory.He was even better against the Marlins, who had outscored the
opposition 43-18 during their nine-game run and were seeking to set
a franchise record with a 10th straight win."He located in such a way that there was really no way you
could hit it," Perlozzo said. "That changeup he's been working
on, I think that was a big part of his game tonight. When you have
to look for three pitches instead of two, it makes a difference."Bedard was sharp from the outset -- and never let up."I was just throwing strikes early. I got my fastball,
curveball, changeup for strikes pretty much whenever I wanted it,"
he said. "If I keep doing what I'm doing, hopefully I do good the
rest of the year."The Marlins are thankful they won't see him again."Let the rest of the American League face him," said Florida
manager Joe Girardi, who was particularly impressed with how Bedard
got ahead in the count."It was strike one. You can be patient when it's ball one, ball
two. But when he's not ball one, ball two, it's hard to be
patient," Girardi said. "The pitch that made it real difficult on
us was his changeup."Javy Lopez homered, and Brian Roberts and Corey Patterson each
had three hits for the Orioles, who improved to 5-12 against
Florida since the start of interleague play in 1997.In the Baltimore fourth, Melvin Mora hit a leadoff double off
Ricky Nolasco (5-4) and scored on a two-out single by Patterson,
who stole his league-leading 29th base on a pitchout but was
stranded.Mora became the center of controversy in the sixth after being
struck on the back by a pitch from Nolasco. It was the second time
in two games that Mora was hit by a pitch, and as he walked to
first base he said something to Nolasco.Nolasco responded that it was an 0-2 pitch, and Mora veered
toward the mound. Both benches emptied, but order was quickly
restored."He wasn't very happy," Nolasco said. "But come on, a 1-0
game, an 0-2 count -- that's something on my to-do list?"Baltimore pulled away with a three-run seventh. Lopez hit a
leadoff homer, Patterson singled and scored when Abercrombie
misplayed Kevin Millar's single to center, and Roberts added an RBI
single."We ran into a guy with a career night tonight," Nolasco said.
"I battled, but not as good as him."
After the game, Florida optioned Aguila to Triple-A
Albuquerque and activated C Josh Willingham from the 15-day DL. ...
The Marlins played without rookie 2B Dan Uggla, who left Tuesday's
game with a tight hamstring. He's day-to-day. ... Orioles C Ramon
Hernandez was dropped to eighth in the order and went 0-for-3,
extending his current skid to 0-for-23.