Orioles get best of Pettitte
Baltimore finally figures out veteran left-hander
BALTIMORE -- The visitor's clubhouse at Camden Yards is usually a place for celebration for Houston left-hander Andy Pettitte. The 10-year veteran was 12-2 in Baltimore and 20-4 overall against the Orioles as a member of the Yankees.But his first trip to Charm City as a member of the Astros was not as pleasant. Pettitte paced quietly through a nearly silent clubhouse on Tuesday night after allowing six runs in 7 2/3 innings in a 6-1 loss to the O's. While the numbers don't indicate a sterling performance, Pettitte was hardly off his game the night before turning 33 years old. The Orioles, who had lost to the southpaw more times than any other club, simply found a way to get to him. "They've got a good lineup," Pettitte said. "They're tough to go through. I felt good, but I couldn't get it done. Obviously, they've got some different players, but they've got a lot of guys that have been here before." In the sixth inning, the Orioles broke a scoreless tie when Melvin Mora slapped a low changeup to center field to drive in Larry Bigbie. Pettitte said he hit his location, but Mora still was able to find open space in front of Willy Taveras. Against the next batter, Miguel Tejada, Pettitte missed his spot. He tried to bust the slugger in with a fastball, but the pitch stayed low and over the plate, and Tejada lined the ball into the left-field seats to give the O's a 3-0 advantage. Despite breaking through in the sixth, Tejada maintained that Pettitte was pitching well. "He was really tough today," Tejada said. "We just got lucky to finally see one good pitch. We just keep battling. I think that was the key. It was good to get some runs, because we knew it would be tough to score against Pettitte." Trying to keep his team in the game in the eighth, Pettitte was knocked out by Rafael Palmeiro -- who entered the game hitting .321 (18-for-56) against him. With the Astros using as shift that positioned four players on the right side of the infield, Palmeiro hit a sharp grounder that found the outfield and drove in two runs for a 6-1 O's lead. "I wanted him to have a chance to win the ballgame, and it was a good pitch," Astros manager Phil Garner said of Pettitte's 117th and final offering. "We got 30 million guys over there, and [Palmeiro] happened to hit it in the one one-millionth of a spot where the [darn] ball couldn't be caught. So what are you going to do?"
|Rafael Palmeiro / 1B|
Weight: 190 lbs
Bats: L / Throws: L
David Selig is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.