- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 9, 2009

SEATTLE (AP) | The Baltimore Orioles wasted a big opportunity in the seventh inning. Not in the ninth.

The Orioles took advantage of two errors by second baseman Jose Lopez and rallied for five runs in the ninth to beat the Seattle Mariners 5-3 on Wednesday.

“This was probably one of our better team wins we’ve had all season, playing all 27 outs,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. “Guys were really calm in their approach after the seventh. It would have been easy to let the air out, but they wouldn’t let it happen. They kept attacking.”

After being frustrated in the seventh when they couldn’t score with the bases loaded and no outs, the Orioles found themselves in the same situation in the ninth.

Entering the ninth with a 3-0 lead, closer David Aardsma (2-3) blew just his second save in 19 chances. Melvin Mora doubled, Gregg Zaun walked and Oscar Salazar singled to load the bases. Felix Pie ran for Salazar.

Adam Jones beat out a slow infield single to third to score Mora. Nick Markakis then hit a potential double-play ball to Lopez, who dropped it. Zaun scored. Ty Wigginton followed with a two-run single to center for a 4-3 lead.

Lopez also had a throwing error to first later in the inning, allowing Markakis to score.

Aardsma’s only other blown save was May 31 at the Los Angeles Angels.

“We took advantage of our opportunities,” Trembley said. “You could feel the game turning in a hurry, and it was turning in our favor.

The Orioles had been 2-43 when trailing after eight innings.

“Today we put ourselves in position to win,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. “Today was one of those games where the momentum got away from [Aardsma]. This bullpen has done an awful lot for us. You go through stretches where you struggle a bit. Now is the time to regroup a little bit.”

Brian Bass (5-2) worked two innings for the victory. George Sherrill earned his 19th save in 22 opportunities.

“You’re always hoping, but kind of the way we were going with getting guys on and not getting them over or in, it was looking pretty bleak,” said Sherrill, who didn’t expect to pitch in the ninth. “But we hung in there and got some runs off a pretty good closer.”

Notes - Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts missed his second straight start with an upper respiratory infection but pinch hit in the ninth. …

Shortstop Cesar Izturis (appendicitis), rehabbing with Class AA Bowie, is expected to be activated Friday.

“It’ll be just good to have him back on the club because he’s so good at what he does,” Trembley said. “He does a lot more than just play shortstop. I think he’s one of the leaders on the team.” …

Right-hander Dennis Sarfate (circulatory condition) threw a two-inning simulated game and will be sent out on a rehab assignment. Mariners shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt (hamstring) began his rehab with Class AAA Tacoma. He is expected to play at least three games, two at second base. The Mariners are considering playing him at second and moving Lopez to third.

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