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News » Baltimore Orioles Inside Pitch 2009-04-09

Baltimore Orioles Inside Pitch 2009-04-09

Baltimore Orioles Inside Pitch 2009-04-09
The Orioles have been fighting for a decade to reach the Yankees' status in nearly every aspect. They've caught them in at least one.

Baltimore's outfield of Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and the left field platoon of Luke Scott and Felix Pie is widely considered a stronger unit than the Yankees threesome of Johnny Damon, Brett Gardner and Xavier Nady.

Markakis is in his fourth season in the majors, and through two games is batting .714. He hit his first home run of the season Wednesday on a 3-for-3 night that including three RBIs.

Jones had hits in his first four at-bats before he was retired in his second at-bat Wednesday. His 1-for-3 night brought his average down to .667.

Pie made his first start as an Oriole, and he put a jolt into the first pitch he saw, flying out to the warning track in center field. Scott, who served as the designated hitter, was 1-for-4.

The Orioles outfield is young and generally improving. Markakis is locked up on a long-term contract, and Jones could follow. Pie has a shot at a long-term future in Baltimore, though minor-leaguers Lou Montanez and Nolan Reimold provide much-needed right-handed bats as fall-back options.

Very few would predict the Orioles to finish ahead of the Yankees in the American League East race in 2009, but Baltimore's stable, improving outfield gives reason to believe president Andy MacPhail and company have closed the gap.

ORIOLES 7, YANKEES 5: Koji Uehara scattered five hits and allowed one run in five innings to earn a victory in his major league debut. Every Oriole had a hit, a run or an RBI in sending the Yankees to 0-2.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 9, 2009

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