- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 9, 2007

BALTIMORE — Sam Perlozzo was having a great day. His son had been drafted by the team he manages, and his Baltimore Orioles appeared headed toward a victory over the Colorado Rockies.

Then Perlozzo came out to argue a balk call and was ejected by first base umpire Larry Vanover. So he watched the final three innings of Baltimore’s 4-2 win last night in the Orioles clubhouse.

Not that it mattered, because the Orioles picked second baseman Eric Perlozzo of Shippensburg University in the 35th round of the amateur draft.

“It’s been kind of tough to knock the smile off my face,” the proud father said. “I kind of thought about that all game, saying, ‘Lord please make this a really nice day,’ and the guys came through for me.”

Colorado manager Clint Hurdle wasn’t around for the conclusion, either. He got tossed by Vanover in the eighth inning after arguing a check-swing strike. Unfortunately for Hurdle, he didn’t have a son who had just been drafted, nor did he have a victory to celebrate.

So he was left steaming after being thumbed under circumstances he thought were beyond his control.

“[Vanover] said he was warning me from where he was standing. During that argument, 150 feet away, he said he warned me,” Hurdle explained. “I said, ‘Do you think I can hear you in the dugout?’…”

Nick Markakis hit a two-run homer and scored twice for the Orioles, who have won two straight after a five-game skid.

Steve Trachsel (5-4) allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings for the Orioles, who have won two straight following a five-game skid. Trachsel walked one and had a season-high five strikeouts.

But he was angered over the balk call that forced in a run and got the Rockies to 4-2 in the sixth.

“Same thing I’ve been doing for 14 years. There was nothing on the replay,” Trachsel said. “I can’t imagine I was deceiving Todd Helton from attempting to steal home. I don’t know. Whatever I was doing, it was the same delivery.”

Chris Ray, the fourth Baltimore reliever, got four outs for his 13th save in 17 tries. With the score 4-2 in the eighth, Ray walked Troy Tulowitzki to load the bases before striking out Ryan Spilborghs — moments after Hurdle’s ejection.

Markakis singled and scored in the first inning, then hit his ninth home run in the fifth to put Baltimore up 4-1. He’s 12-for-32 (.375) with 11 RBI in his last nine games.

Jeff Francis (5-5) gave up four runs and seven hits in seven innings for Colorado. It was the first time since May 2 that the left-hander allowed as many as four runs in a game.

That was also the last time he lost a decision.

Francis had won his last three starts and was 4-0 in his previous five. Before Markakis connected, Francis had yielded only one home run in 55 innings of interleague play — to Baltimore’s Miguel Tejada on June 19, 2005.

“Bad pitch selection, more of a mental error than a physical error,” Francis said. “That’s what’s frustrating about losing a game like that. That’s the difference, and that’s a stupid mistake.”

Yorvit Torrealba homered for the Rockies, who had won four of five and 11 of 15.

The Orioles took a 2-0 lead in the first. After Jay Payton walked and Markakis singled, Kevin Millar and Aubrey Huff delivered two-out RBI singles.

Held to three hits over the first four innings, the Rockies got a run in the fifth and were left wanting more. After Torrealba homered with two outs, Colorado put runners on second and third before Trachsel retired Matt Holliday on a fly to center.

Baltimore went up 4-1 in the bottom half. Payton reached on a fielder’s choice and Markakis drove a 2-1 pitch over the right-field scoreboard.

Helton hit a leadoff double in the sixth and scored on Trachsel’s balk.