Johnson Serves a Crticial Ninth Inning Homer; O’s Lose to Tribe, Callups…

Jim Johnson has been suitable in relief this season; however, his 2009 campaign is lacking some of the brilliance from last season, and once again – last night – he served up a homer in a relief outing.

This time around, it made the difference in a razor thin ballgame. Baltimore was within one out of grabbing a win against Cleveland – a team that has played well in the second half despite offloading Cliff Lee – but after giving up a single to Matt LaPorta, Andy Marte golfed a two-run homer that barely got over the left field wall to give them a 5-4 lead.

Watching on TV, the ball hit by Marte actually looked catchable, as it didn’t have much lift over the wall (which is only 7 feet high) – assuming Reimold was in the vicinity of where it was hit. Reimold – to the best of ability – rushed over track the ball; however, it was to the left of him.

Baltimore rallied and got two men on base – Felix Pie beat out an infield single, and he ended up on third after a Reimold base hit—however, closer Kerry Wood struck out Nick Markakis with a breaking ball close to the dirt and ended the game.

Yet another one-run loss.

Kerry got his 17th save on the year, while Rafael Perez – who pitched in relief – got the victory for the Indians. Johnson, gave up the game-winning homer – took the loss.

If anyone struck around after the game to see the post-game conference on MASN, it was very short, terse and direct; therefore, one has to assume that Trembley had to have been dismayed by the circumstances and for simply losing a very close contest.

Melvin Mora had three hits, including a solo home run in the second inning, to tie the game at one. Matt Wieters hit his fifth home run – a solo shot and his 5th of the year – that gave Baltimore a 4-2 lead at the time. They also added a run in the fifth inning thanks to a Cesar Izturis groundout and another in the sixth off a Luke Scott RBI double.

Cleveland’s first run came in the first inning as Grady Sizemore hit a solo shot – his 18th. Their second came came in the fifth inning that gave them a 2-1 lead off a Sizemore groundout. Shin-Soo Choo had an RBI-double to drive in a run in the eighth inning.

At this point, with the month of August coming to a close, and the Orioles struggling to keep their heads above water, I’d be curious to see who the team brings up? Do we see Josh Bell, Brandon Synder, Jake Arrieta, or anyone else?