MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Aubrey Huff felt like the first three innings took two hours. They did.
After that, Baltimore's bullpen made sure everything got back on track.Huff went 4-for-5 with two homers and the bullpen pitched seven scoreless innings in an 8-5 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night."It was dragging, wasn't it?" said Brewers manager Ned Yost, whose team had a four-game winning streak snapped. "I was hoping we'd have it finished by the time tomorrow's game started."Lance Cormier, Dennis Sarfate, Jamie Walker, Chad Bradford pitched six scoreless innings before turning the game over to George Sherrill, who nearly struggled but eventually nailed down his 25th save."Our bullpen has been unbelievable, I mean it's totally reversed from last year," Huff said.Huff has been hot himself, with a .476 average in his last 42 at-bats."Timing, man," said Huff, the Orioles' designated hitter who is forced to play first or third base at NL parks in interleague play. "It comes and goes, I'm just trying to ride it out as long as I can because tomorrow it can go away just like that and that's the way baseball is. You never know."Huff, who has five homers in the past five games and 14 this season, hit solo shots in the fourth and eighth innings to give Baltimore a three-run advantage and the Orioles started a long NL road trip by winning their fourth in a row."I haven't changed my routine. I do the same thing every day," he said. "Sometimes you get a couple of hits, you start getting going and you get a little bit more confidence and maybe that attributes to it."It got close in the ninth after Sherrill allowed a single to Ryan Braun and walked two to load the bases with no outs.Sherrill got Bill Hall to chase a high fastball for a strikeout and then forced Gabe Kapler into a game-ending double play."I don't get nervous or anything out there," Sherrill said. "I was able to buckle down and make some pitches and let the defense work."Cormier (1-2) pitched two scoreless innings in relief of the ineffective Radhames Liz. Baltimore's bullpen gave up seven walks, but allowed just three hits and no runs."That was big," Sherrill said. "We were like into our fourth pitcher in the fifth inning."In the sixth, lefty Jamie Walker also forced Prince Fielder to ground out with the bases loaded.The Orioles helped build an early 6-2 lead by jumping on Jeff Suppan, who had been brilliant in his past four starts with a 1.98 ERA.Against Baltimore, he had his shortest start in more than 10 years, giving up six runs -- three earned -- on seven hits and two walks in the first 1 2/3 innings.After beating the Brewers in Milwaukee's final AL game in County Stadium on Sept. 28, 1997, the Orioles picked up right where they left off by scoring four in the first inning off Suppan, who hurt himself with a throwing error that allowed Nick Markakis to score and resulted in three unearned runs in the first following Melvin Mora's RBI single.It took Suppan (4-5) 33 pitches to get out of the first after allowing a sacrifice fly to Luke Scott and an RBI single to Adam Jones following the error. It was 6-2 after RBI singles by Huff and Ramon Hernandez in the second."I didn't give the team a chance to win and put the team in a hole early on," Suppan said. "My job is to stay in the game longer than I did, and keep it close for us to have a chance. And tonight, I didn't do that."Liz wasn't much better to start Baltimore's nine-game road swing.The 24-year-old righty allowed four hits and four walks that resulted in five runs, including two-run homers to J.J. Hardy in the first and Fielder with no outs in the third that chased Liz from the game that was already nearly two hours old.But the rest of the Orioles bullpen quickly got everything under control, and Sherrill came through when it counted."He's a tough nut, he won't crack," Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said. "He's the perfect guy that knows what brought him to the dance and he stays with it."
The game finished in 3:27 after the first three innings took about two hours. ... Orioles 2B Brian Roberts had three hits and is five from 1,000. ... Suppan went 1 1/3 innings at Philadelphia on May 10, 1998. ... Brewers supplemental draft pick RHP Jake Odorizzi signed Friday. Odorizzi (14-0, 0.08 ERA, one earned run in 89 2-3 innings) received a $1,060,000 signing bonus for being the 32nd selection overall. ... It was Fielder's second homer in two days.