08/15/07 12:30 AM ET
Orioles cool off Yankees with rout
Huff sets tone with grand slam; Cabrera strong in start
By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com
One night after dropping a one-run game, the Orioles blitzed the Yankees for their largest run differential of the year. Baltimore scored in six of the first seven innings on Tuesday en route to a 12-0 victory, and Aubrey Huff led the way with a grand slam. Seven of the road team's starters scored, and three of them scored at least two runs in the rout.
That was all framed into perfect context by Monday night's 7-6 loss, which saw the Orioles tie the game in top of the ninth inning and lose it in the bottom half. Baltimore had a runner erased at the plate in that fateful final inning, and manager Dave Trembley said his team took the loss to heart and steeled themselves to perform better Tuesday.
"I thought last night's game made us more determined tonight to come out here and get the job done," said Trembley, who improved to 26-23 since taking over for Sam Perlozzo. "I think we know the personality of the club. The personality of the club is we'll compete. It just seems like the more we're pushed up against the wall, the more we'll respond to that. A gentleman last night asked me about [the Yankees being] relentless. I dare say, I think the Orioles were relentless tonight."
New York (67-52) went into the game with the top-ranked offense in virtually every statistical category since the All-Star break, but Baltimore stole the initiative with a run in the first inning. The Orioles (55-63) went on to score 10 runs for the fourth time this season, but it was just the first time they've done it against a team other than Tampa Bay.
The blowout gained steam in the third inning, when Huff drilled a pitch into the third deck in right field. It was Huff's third career slam and the last straw for Jeff Karstens (0-3), who allowed five earned runs in three innings. Baltimore scored once more in both the fourth and fifth innings before batting around for four more runs in the sixth.
"That's probably one of the better balls I've hit this year," Huff said of his slam. "The thing is, I've hit balls like that but I've hooked them. ... That's a good sign when you're hitting balls right down the line and they stay straight."
"He's put together a pretty good string about the last 10 or 11 games," Trembley said of Huff. "We tinkered with his stance a little bit and when we went to Fenway. ... He's letting the ball get a little bit deeper, trusting his hands. He sure did that tonight with that ball they tried to get in on him and he hit a rocket down the right-field line."
Huff and Melvin Mora both delivered run-scoring singles in the sixth, and all of the runs were charged to former Oriole Jim Brower. First baseman Kevin Millar had a big night, reaching base five times and scoring four runs. Millar lined a home run -- his 12th of the season -- over the left-field fence in the seventh to cap Batimore's scoring.
Millar had told reporters he'd hit a homer before the game, and he made reference to that fact afterwards.
"I didn't know what at-bat it was going to happen, but I told you boys I felt a little good today," he said to a small Baltimore media contingent. "We put pressure on them every inning [and] it seemed like we scored every inning.
"With these guys, you have to, because they're a team that can explode at any time."
Baltimore starter Daniel Cabrera worked into the seventh inning and gave up just two hits, yielding to the relief staff with a 12-run lead. Cabrera (9-12) walked six batters and stranded baserunners in scoring position in three different innings.
The last time he'd started in Yankee Stadium, Cabrera took a no-hitter into the ninth inning and wound up with a complete game one-hitter.
"With Daniel -- as we all know -- it's the first couple of innings that he's got to get through," Trembley said. "I thought after he got through the first inning, he was going to have a chance to be successful tonight."
Two of Baltimore's best hitters -- shortstop Miguel Tejada and right fielder Nick Markakis -- got hit by pitches during the course of the rout, and Trembley said he went out of his way to make sure his starter didn't retaliate.
"After Tejada got hit, I motioned down to him," he said. "I didn't want him to do anything. I didn't think that was the place and time for that and he nodded his head back to me. It was a long enough inning as it is and we didn't want to wake them up."
With the win, the Orioles put themselves in decent shape to take their second straight series against the American League East's two best teams. Baltimore will send staff ace Erik Bedard to the mound in Wednesday's series finale, and the southpaw has won eight straight decisions. Bedard took a no-decision in his last start but hasn't lost since June 10.
"We got big hits from a lot of different people, but it's pitching, especially when you're on the road," Trembley said. "You have to stay away from the big inning. You can't let the walks allow them to have a big inning of their own. You have to make big pitches and you can't let down. ...You've just got to keep going at them with the lineup they have."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.