Riley, in his third stint with the Orioles this season, allowed
two hits over six shutout innings, leading Baltimore to a 3-0
victory over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday.
Injury and ineffectiveness have kept the rookie moving back and
forth between Triple-A Ottawa and the Orioles after starting the
season in Baltimore's starting rotation.
"It takes time to pitch up here, you don't just come up here
and start dominating," said Riley, who struck out four and walked
three in his first win since April 16.
"This is the top level right here, it takes time to get
comfortable and make pitches up here," he said. "I feel like I'm
starting to turn that page, taking steps forward instead of steps
back like I have in the past."
Riley (2-4) didn't allow a hit for the first 4 2/3 innings
before Carlos Pena singled to start Detroit's best scoring threat.
Riley walked both Marcus Thames and Ryan Raburn to load the bases,
but struck out Omar Infante to end the inning.
"From the beginning to the end, when you see progress like
that, that's encouraging," manager Lee Mazzilli said. "He's got a
good arm, our kids did what they needed to do."
Riley also got plenty of help from his defense as Melvin Mora
and Tejada each made solid plays in the first inning to help their
rookie pitcher get settled into the game.
"I'm just glad to be able to go out there and have these guys
working behind me," Riley said. "My team was playing great
defense and when that happens, I've got to let them put the ball in
Jeremy Bonderman (10-13) allowed just five hits in seven
innings, but was undone by the two-run first inning.
David Newhan drew a one-out walk, Mora singled to center and
Tejada followed with an RBI groundout to short. Palmeiro then
singled to center to make it 2-0.
From there, Bonderman allowed three hits and retired 10 of 11
hitters during one stretch.
"For a month now, he's pitched big baseball," Detroit manager
Alan Trammell said. "Games like that, that's what you're looking
for. He gives you a chance."
Bonderman, who lost 19 games last season, entered Saturday
having won three of his last four starts.
The Orioles padded their lead in the seventh when Jay Gibbons
singled to center with Larry Bigbie breaking for second, putting
runners at first and third and one out. Brian Roberts' perfectly
placed bunt single scored Bigbie and gave Baltimore a 3-0 lead.
Ryan struck out Thames and pinch-hitter Chris Shelton to
preserve the victory, handing Detroit its fourth shutout this
season and its fourth straight loss.
Tejada doubled in the eighth to extend his hitting streak
to 12. ... Infante's strikeout with the bases loaded made him
1-for-10 in that situation, with five strikeouts. ... Roberts has
reached safely in 27 of his last 35 games.