Orioles beat Mets, 5-1

March 29, 2009 4:03:21 PM PDT
Koji Uehara joked that he threw a perfect game on Sunday. Too bad the final four innings came in a covered bullpen. The Baltimore Orioles right-hander struck out two New York Mets and induced a ground ball during a nine-pitch first inning Sunday before heavy rain forced him out of the game. After the delay, the Orioles paraded six relievers to the mound in a 5-1 victory.

Luke Scott hit a long home run off Mets reliever Sean Green in the fourth inning, and Robby Hammock connected off lefty Casey Fossum in the sixth. Fossum also gave up a run in the fifth when Adam Jones singled, Aubrey Huff doubled with two outs and Melvin Mora grounded a single into left field.

Uehara already had showered and dressed before Scott came to the plate. He threw seven of his nine pitches for strikes in preparation for his April 8 start against the New York Yankees at Camden Yards.

Because he hadn't reached his pitch count in the game, Uehara jogged to the back fields as the rain fell so he could continue throwing.

"To be honest," he said through a translator, "I wish I could have pitched more in a game situation."

Uehara asked U.S. reporters whether he's allowed to keep a rosin bag in his back pocket, as he did in Japan. He was told to check with team officials.

Mets starter Mike Pelfrey was charged with a first-inning run more than an hour after he left the game.

Pelfrey faced two batters in the bottom of the first before umpires halted play. New York reliever Brian Stokes inherited a runner, Jones, who scored after Nick Markakis doubled and Huff hit a sacrifice fly.

Despite the abbreviated performance, Pelfrey appears on course to be a key member of the Mets' rotation this season.

"He's tremendous. I'm very comfortable with him," manager Jerry Manuel said. "He has some of the best stuff. He can be a lot like (Marlins pitcher) Josh Johnson. He can be dominant at any time. I feel very good about him."

Chris Ray, Jamie Walker, George Sherrill and Danys Baez each tossed a scoreless inning for the Orioles after Uehara left. Radhames Liz allowed a run in the sixth when Ryan Church singled with two outs to score Marlon Anderson and reduce the lead to 3-1. Liz stranded a runner in a scoreless seventh before Alberto Castillo finished.