OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Orioles took advantage of the September roster expansion to recall starting pitcher Bob Milacki, reliever Jim Poole and catcher Mark Parent from the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings yesterday.
None of the call-ups were unexpected. Milacki had arrived here Monday to prepare for last night's start against the Oakland Athletics. Parent had been promised that he would be back when he was optioned to make room for the return of Chris Hoiles. Poole has been working his way back since his shoulder began hurting last winter.
Manager Johnny Oates confirmed that at least one more player would be added to the roster. Outfielder Luis Mercedes, who had to be sent back out when the Orioles acquired Craig Lefferts on Monday night, will rejoin the club today.
The roster expansion could end there, but Oates left open the possibility of further call-ups when the season ends for the club's various farm teams. The Double-A Hagerstown Suns completed play last night, freeing Mercedes to return. The Red Wings end their regular season Monday, but still have a chance to make the International League playoffs.
There has been no decision on the status of right-hander Anthony Telford, who was sent down when the Orioles originally called up Mercedes on Monday. He went home to nearby San Jose, so he could be back quickly if a need arose while the club was still on the West Coast.
Right fielder Joe Orsulak was taken off the 15-day disabled list yesterday, but he was not in the starting lineup. Chito Martinez has started in right field in 14 of the past 15 games, but Orsulak figures to be back soon.
He has been out of action since he sprained his left thumb attempting a diving catch on the artificial turf at Royals Stadium.
Downs' wild night
Oakland starter Kelly Downs walked nine batters in Monday night's 4-0 loss to the Orioles, but his performance was lost in the flurry of trading that took place during the game.
"If there is going to be a game where you walk nine guys," Downs said, "I certainly picked the right night to do it."
The arrival of Parent makes life a little easier on Oates, who has a lot more flexibility in the late innings now that he has three catchers.
"It means that I can pinch run for a catcher in the late innings without having to worry that I might need to send Tim Hulett in as an emergency catcher if something happens," Oates said.
"It also means that I can catch someone other than Chris [Hoiles] and I can pinch hit for him."
Appalachian League crown
The Bluefield Orioles defeated the Elizabethtown Twins, 3-1, Monday night to win the championship in the Appalachian League, a rookie league. It was the first Appalachian League title for Bluefield since 1982.