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Blue Jays defeat Orioles despite Raffy's new earplugs

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- Earplugs didn't help Rafael Palmeiro stop his slump.

Palmeiro inserted earplugs after he was loudly booed during his first at-bat in the Baltimore Orioles' 7-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night.

He went 0-for-4, leaving him with two hits in 26 at-bats, an .077 average, since a 10-day suspension for testing positive for steroids.

Palmeiro expressed disbelief when Orioles spokesman Kevin Behan told him the first few questions to interim manager Sam Perlozzo were about his earplugs. Palmeiro declined to talk to reporters, saying through Behan that he'll speak Wednesday.

"You want to be accepted by people," teammate Brian Roberts said. "For 99 percent of his career he has been and for that to completely change now, I think is something I don't know if any of us can comprehend what he's going through. By his expressions you can tell that it is definitely beating him up."

Palmeiro struck out swinging in the first inning, popped out weakly to the pitcher in the fourth, lined out to first base in the sixth and took a called third strike in the eighth. His batting average has dropped from .280 at the time of his suspension to .266.

He added what appeared to be tape to one earplug, apparently to further drown out the boos.

Fans have jeered him and made disparaging remarks since his return. He is the most prominent major league player punished for taking banned drugs, and said when the suspension was announced that he never intentionally took steroids.

"It's a situation that you wouldn't put your worst enemy in," Roberts said. "Obviously, none of us will ever know what the truth is, but I believe him. And for him to have to go through this, it's something that we can't really comprehend."

Palmeiro was Baltimore's designated hitter, a day after Perlozzo suggested he has lost his job as the regular first baseman.

Perlozzo didn't notice the earplugs until his last at-bat.

"You'll have to ask Raffy if it bothers him, but we're out there rooting for him," Perlozzo said.

Baltimore lost its fifth straight game and for the 10th time in 11 games. Rodrigo Lopez (13-8) gave up seven runs and 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Shea Hillenbrand tripled during a four-run second inning, and hit an RBI double in a three-run fifth.

David Bush (4-7) allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings, struck out seven and walked none for the Blue Jays, who lost eight of their previous 10 games. Every Toronto started had at least one hit.

Toronto manager John Gibbons said he never wore earplugs.

"I wasn't good enough to need them," Gibbons said.

Roberts led off the first with a homer, the fourth time he's done it this season and the second time against Bush. He also homered off Bush on April 23.

Toronto took a 4-1 lead in the second after Hillenbrand led off with a triple past the glove of diving right fielder David Newhan. Gregg Zaun hit an RBI single, Orlando Hudson had a two-run double and Frank Catalanotto added an RBI double.

Melvin Mora cut it to 4-2 with an RBI single in the fifth, but the Blue Jays scored three runs in the bottom half on Hillenbrand's RBI double, Eric Hinske's run-scoring single and Reed Johnson's RBI grounder.

Notes

  • Roberts has led off the first with a homer five times in his career.
  • Toronto SS Russ Adams turned 25.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Rafael Palmeiro sports earplugs after being greeted by a loud chorus of boos in the Orioles loss. (AP)
Rafael Palmeiro sports earplugs after being greeted by a loud chorus of boos in the Orioles loss. (AP)

Players of the Game
Toronto

G. Zaun
AB 3
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Toronto

S. Hillenbrand
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B3221100 .313
Melvin Mora, 3B4021021 .283
Miguel Tejada, SS4020002 .312
Rafael Palmeiro, DH4000023 .266
Javy Lopez, C4020013 .294
Jay Gibbons, 1B4000022 .257
B.J. Surhoff, LF4000001 .258
Luis Matos, CF4000010 .290
David Newhan, RF3000020 .205
Totals3428211012 
Batting
2B - Brian Roberts (36, Bush), Miguel Tejada (43, Bush)
HR - Brian Roberts (18, Bush)
RBI - Brian Roberts (63), Melvin Mora (63)
2-OUT RBI - Melvin Mora (33)
Team LOB - 6
Baltimore Orioles
Rodrigo Lopez (L,13-8) 4.21177140 4.85
Eric DuBose 3.1100100 7.31
WP - Rodrigo Lopez (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Rodrigo Lopez 106-66, Eric DuBose 43-24
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rodrigo Lopez 6-4, Eric DuBose 8-2
Batters Faced - Rodrigo Lopez 26, Eric DuBose 12
Toronto Blue Jays
Russ Adams, SS4010101 .271
Frank Catalanotto, LF3011013 .291
    Alex Rios, RF2000000 .267
Vernon Wells, CF4010012 .276
Corey Koskie, 3B4110012 .249
Shea Hillenbrand, 1B4221000 .291
Eric Hinske, DH4111001 .260
Gregg Zaun, C3131100 .264
Reed Johnson, RF-LF4111012 .274
Orlando Hudson, 2B4112002 .276
Totals3671272413 
Batting
2B - Frank Catalanotto (22, Lopez), Corey Koskie (12, Lopez), Shea Hillenbrand (31, Lopez), Gregg Zaun (17, Lopez), Orlando Hudson (24, Lopez)
3B - Shea Hillenbrand (2, Lopez)
RBI - Frank Catalanotto (41), Shea Hillenbrand (72), Eric Hinske (55), Gregg Zaun (51), Reed Johnson (50), Orlando Hudson 2 (60)
2-OUT RBI - Frank Catalanotto (15)
SB - Russ Adams (8, 2nd base off Lopez/Lopez)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Hudson-R. Adams-Hillenbrand
Toronto Blue Jays
Dave Bush (W,4-7) 7722071 4.31
Jason Frasor 1100120 3.90
Justin Speier 1000010 2.72
Pitches-Strikes - Dave Bush 96-67, Jason Frasor 20-12, Justin Speier 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dave Bush 8-5, Jason Frasor 1-0, Justin Speier 1-1
Batters Faced - Dave Bush 27, Jason Frasor 5, Justin Speier 3
Game Information
Attendance - 25311
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Larry Poncino, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Gary Darling