Cordova's return fills out lineup card

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Outfielder, Segui team up for 1st time in Game 7

P. Martinez looms again

Notebook

April 09, 2003|By Joe Christensen | Joe Christensen,SUN STAFF

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - With Marty Cordova's back feeling better, Orioles manager Mike Hargrove finally had his lineup at full strength last night.

Cordova hit a two-run homer on Opening Day but missed the final five games of the homestand with a herniated disc in his lower back. After receiving a cortisone shot on Thursday, Cordova was instructed not to swing a bat for 48 hours.

Before batting practice yesterday, he said, "It feels good. Hopefully, it'll continue to feel that way."

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays started left-handed pitcher Jim Parque, so Hargrove moved switch-hitting David Segui from seventh to third in the lineup. The right-handed-hitting Cordova batted seventh and went 1-for-1 with three walks.

Segui, who went 2-for-5 last night with two RBIs, missed the first four games with a broken right thumb. Hargrove didn't have many chances to put both Cordova and Segui in the same lineup last year. Cordova opened the year on the disabled list with a strained right quadriceps, missing the first eight games, and Segui played in just 26 games before going on the DL with a torn wrist tendon.

Having them both healthy not only helped the lineup, it strengthened the bench. Hargrove had the left-handed-hitting B.J. Surhoff and right-handed-hitting Melvin Mora available, if necessary.

Mora sits without complaint

Mora has been outspoken in the past when he's not in the starting lineup, but yesterday was the fourth time in the first seven games he didn't start, and he was not upset.

"It doesn't matter to me," said Mora, who has one hit in his first 10 at-bats. "There's nothing you can do about it. I know I'm going to get my at-bats. It's more important to me to get wins. As soon as we get the wins, everybody's going to be happy."

Roberts tests shoulder

Orioles reliever Willis Roberts threw in the bullpen before batting practice yesterday, testing his right shoulder. Hargrove said that would not preclude Roberts from throwing in last night's game, though he wasn't one of the five relievers used.

Roberts last pitched in a game on Thursday, against Cleveland. He has thrown 2 1/3 innings without allowing an earned run.

Attendance update

On their first homestand, the Orioles drew 191,508 fans for three games against the Cleveland Indians and three games against the Boston Red Sox.

They drew 213,546 for their first six games last year, but those included three against the New York Yankees and three against the Red Sox.

The Yankees don't come to Camden Yards until July 1.

Last night's announced crowd of 9,723 was Tampa Bay's smallest since 2001.

Down on the farm

At Triple-A Ottawa, Jack Cust had seven walks and one home run in the first four games. Larry Bigbie was batting .313, and Brian Roberts, .368.

Eric DuBose allowed one earned run over five innings in his first start, and Travis Driskill pitched five scoreless innings in his first start.

Looking ahead

The Orioles will face Pedro Martinez again Friday afternoon, in the Red Sox' home opener. Jason Johnson is scheduled to pitch for the Orioles.

When those two locked horns Saturday - in a 2-1 Orioles victory - Johnson outpitched Martinez, allowing one hit in 6 1/3 scoreless innings.

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