O's fall to Padres in Trembley's debut

O's fall to Padres in Trembley's debut

SAN DIEGO -- New manager, same result. The Orioles couldn't summon a winning performance Tuesday in interim manager Dave Trembley's debut. Baltimore fell behind early and staggered in the late innings of a 12-6 loss to the Padres, a game that extended the road team's losing skid to nine straight and 14 of the last 16 games.

"We did just enough to lose again," said first baseman Aubrey Huff, who went 1-for-5. "It seems like we scored some runs, but we just didn't get it done pitching. And there's nights where we go out there and deal and just can't score a thing. If it's not one thing, it's another. It's the [darndest] stretch I've ever been on."

Trembley, who took over for Sam Perlozzo, made his presence felt immediately Tuesday. The veteran Minor League manager made his team take infield practice after batting practice, which hadn't happened much this season. He also executed a double-switch early in the game, when he replaced starter Steve Trachsel.

Baltimore (29-41) didn't really respond, though, and didn't score in the game's first five innings. San Diego (41-28) battered Trachsel around for five runs in the first five innings, and despite a late comeback, the Orioles never got closer than a two-run deficit. Eight of San Diego's nine starters reached base, and six of them drove in runs.

"I was real focused on letting the guys play," Trembley said of his first game as a big-league manager, which came after nearly 2,800 games in the Minors. "We had a nice meeting before the game. I thought our pregame work was real good. I was just concentrating on letting them play the game and doing what we can do to get a win."

San Diego's leadoff hitter, second baseman Marcus Giles, hit a three-run home run to break a scoreless tie in the second inning, and shortstop Khalil Greene hit another homer in the fourth. Baltimore made it a 6-3 game with three runs in the top of the sixth inning, but San Diego broke the game open with six runs in the bottom half.

"I thought in the first inning that things were going to go our way," said Trembley, speaking of a key double-play ball from Trachsel. "Certainly, in this ballpark -- and playing on the road -- you have to stay away from the big inning. We didn't do that. It was really obvious what happened. We didn't get three outs in the sixth inning."

Trachsel (5-5), who struggled with his breaking ball, was long gone by that point. The veteran right-hander allowed six hits and five earned runs, and when he left, Baltimore trailed by four runs.

"I really couldn't feel the grip," he said of his breaking ball. "But I didn't give up any hits with it. I got a little behind in the first inning, but I got out of that. After that, I felt fine. The hits I gave up were on pretty good pitches."

San Diego countered with Jake Peavy, who was at the top of his game for the first five innings. Peavy allowed just three hits over that span, and only one Oriole reached scoring position. He ran into trouble in the sixth, though, and allowed shortstop Miguel Tejada to hit a bases-loaded single. One hit and an error later, it was a 5-3 game.

Pinch-hitter Jay Gibbons walked in a key spot in the sixth, but catcher Paul Bako struck out with the bases loaded. Peavy (9-1) came out at that point, but his teammates scored six more runs to make it one-sided.

"If it would've been later in the game, I would've done that," Trembley said of pinch-hitting for Bako. "I thought it was still a little bit too early in the game, and if I would've done that, you've only got [Alberto] Castillo left. You could've done it. Our one shot, really, was Gibbons coming up there. It looked like they basically pitched around him."

"I'm going to go ahead and give him the toughest pitcher award so far this season -- at least for me, anyway," Huff said of Peavy. "For me, when I play nine innings, I usually see four or five pitches I can hit for singles and maybe a pitch I can hit out. Tonight, I didn't get either one of those -- I didn't even get a pitch I could get a hit on."

Relievers Scott Williamson and John Parrish both allowed three hits and three runs in the six-run sixth. Baltimore scored three runs in the seventh, but that just succeeded in making the game look like less of a blowout. It wasn't exactly a high-impact debut for Trembley, who said that he wouldn't take a souvenir from this game.

"No, 'cause we lost," he said. "I'm going to wait until we win. When we win, I'll get one."

The Orioles interviewed former Florida manager Joe Girardi on Tuesday and may be close to offering him the job, which could make Trembley's run as interim manager awfully short. For at least one night, though, he was calling the shots -- and taking the lumps for the team's tepid performance.

"It doesn't matter who's managing, we still have to play baseball," said Huff. "They're talking about Joe Girardi -- you could've brought him in here and it would've been the same game. Jake Peavy's going to go out there and [dominate], and we're going to give up a couple runs. That's the way it's going to be, no matter who's managing.

"I think managers get way too much credit when they win and way too much blame when they lose."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.