The Orioles will have to make a roster move today to accommodate pitcher Eric DuBose. It could involve B.J. Surhoff, whose injury yesterday has put the club's plans on hold.
Surhoff pulled his right hamstring rounding first base in the eighth inning of yesterday's 6-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals. He settled for a double, and Larry Bigbie ran for him.
The Orioles are prepared to put Surhoff on the disabled list today if his condition doesn't improve. They just removed David Segui from it yesterday after he missed 14 games with a strained hamstring.
"We just went through this with Segui," said Jim Beattie, executive vice president of baseball operations. "Part of it, and you hate to say it, is age. Their bodies don't repair as quickly as a young body, but at this point you don't really know. He's still warmed up. A little flick tomorrow could be painful, or it might be nothing. You have to wait until it cools down, and you give it time to shut down, and see how it comes back the next day.
"Grade 1 hamstring pulls, they can be a while."
Surhoff missed most of last season with the Atlanta Braves after having reconstructive surgery on his right knee. He'll try to avoid another trip to the DL.
"It's way too early to tell," he said. "Hopefully I got it before it got real bad. I felt it grab, and that really wasn't the time to push it. We'll re-evaluate it in the morning, and hopefully they won't have to make any rash decisions. The strength's pretty good, and I have full range of motion."
Surhoff had two hits and two RBIs yesterday, raising his batting average to .277.
If Surhoff stays on the roster, the Orioles are expected to return Bigbie to Triple-A Ottawa. Bigbie started in left field in seven of eight games after being recalled April 24 when Segui went on the disabled list.
DuBose will make his first major league start today, with Jason Johnson held back until tomorrow because of a callus on his right middle finger.
It's possible the Orioles will send down DuBose after one appearance and recall Travis Driskill, who's 2-0 with a 2.32 ERA at Ottawa. They would prefer that DuBose remain a starter, and he's needed in their rotation only for today. Pat Hentgen is replacing Rodrigo Lopez in the rotation, which leaves a long-relief slot that Driskill could fill. Lopez went on the disabled list yesterday with a strained oblique muscle on his left side.
Segui back in lineup
Manager Mike Hargrove wasted no time getting Segui into the lineup, batting him third as the designated hitter.
Segui said his strained right hamstring was close to 100 percent, and he would be "slightly cautious" on the basepaths. "But in a game-type situation, instinct usually takes over," he said.
"Hopefully, it's strong enough to withstand what I do to it. I don't think I'll be stealing or anything like that."
Segui was batting .441 before the injury and had a six-game hitting streak. Though he hit safely in nine of the first 10 games - the exception being when he was ejected in the first inning April 9 - Segui said he never felt completely comfortable at the plate from the left side.
It's not as if Segui was scuffling. He was hitting .571 from the right side, .407 from the left.
"I was getting hits," he said before going 0-for-4, "but it wasn't like I was locked in. I never felt that way at all."
Matthews slips to 8th
With his average at .227 despite a recent six-game hitting streak, Gary Matthews moved down to eighth in the order yesterday. He hadn't batted lower than third all season.
"I'm just giving him a little bit of a breather," Hargrove said.
"I hit where they need me to hit," Matthews said.
Before yesterday, Matthews had been struggling more from the left side (.195) than the right (.348). He went 1-for-4 yesterday as a left-handed hitter.
"The good thing is, it's still early," Matthews said. "And the truth is, if I had five more hits that fell through, we probably wouldn't be talking about this."
Matthews obviously did the math. Before yesterday, his average would have jumped to .273 with those five hits.
Carlos Beltran was a late scratch from the Royals' lineup because of a sore right shoulder.
The Royals need to find a way to keep Beltran on the field. He missed the first 14 games with a strained right oblique muscle after leading the team in most offensive categories last season.
Beltran began this season 0-for-16 before building a six-game hit streak that ended Friday.
Opponent:Kansas City Royals
TV/Radio:Ch. 13/WBAL (1090 AM)
Starters:Royals' Chris George (3-2, 4.82) vs. Orioles' Eric DuBose (0-0, 0.00)