In Moss, O's will get look at familiar face

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Former Oriole gets start tonight for Devil Rays

`I'm happy where I am'

Notebook

April 22, 2004|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays will conclude their series against the Orioles tonight by sending out a pitcher who's pretty familiar with Camden Yards.

Forgive Damian Moss for not getting all misty over the reunion.

Moss went 1-5 with a 6.22 ERA in 10 games after the Orioles acquired him from the San Francisco Giants in the Sidney Ponson trade last year. They didn't tender him a contract, and he signed with the Devil Rays.

"I've got nothing to prove to them," he said. "They're the opposition, and I want to beat them."

Conceding he was overweight after joining the Orioles, Moss lost 40 pounds this winter.

"I was supposed to come here and show them that I was in shape and that didn't happen," he said. "They decided to go a different route. That's the way baseball is. I'm happy where I am. It's a good situation."

Moss, whose wife is expecting twin girls, has made three relief appearances this season, allowing four runs in four innings. Manager Lou Piniella added him to the rotation before Tuesday's game.

Perhaps Moss will be throwing to another former Oriole. Brook Fordyce is the Devil Rays' backup catcher after spending parts of four seasons in Baltimore.

The Orioles declined to exercise Fordyce's $4 million option, but he still wanted to remain with them as a reserve - knowing they would pursue Javy Lopez or Ivan Rodriguez to be the starter.

"After the season was over and I didn't hear much from them, I kind of figured they were going to get a front-liner. After that I was like, `Well, I've got to go find a job,' " said Fordyce, who is 2-for-11 this season.

"I like Baltimore, but I understood their priorities. If they needed a backup at that point, I would have been interested, but I ended up being here. And it's been nothing but great."

Palmeiro's milestones

Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro made it through last night's game without eclipsing any more legends.

Palmeiro moved past Cal Ripken for 17th place on baseball's all-time RBI list with 1,698 in Tuesday's 9-1 victory over the Devil Rays. He also reached 5,002 total bases during his milestone night.

Asked about the first achievement, Palmeiro said, "It's a big deal because it's Cal Ripken. He's done a lot of great things in his career. Just having my name next to his is a great honor."

A run-scoring single in the third inning Tuesday gave Palmeiro 5,000 total bases, and he added two more singles later in the night.

"It just means I've been doing it for a long time," he said.

Palmeiro has a team-leading 11 RBIs but only one home run, giving him 529 for his career.

"The bottom line is scoring runs and driving in runs, being productive. That's all I care about," he said. "I know the home runs will come."

West Wing extras

Orioles fans will have the opportunity to play extras in a season-ending episode of The WestWing before tomorrow night's game against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Filming for the show will take place during the afternoon and pre-game ceremonies at Camden Yards. Martin Sheen's character, President Josiah Bartlet, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch, and fans will have a chance to be in the background.

Around the horn

Jay Gibbons and David Segui returned to the lineup after missing Tuesday's game. Gibbons had stiffness in his lower back, and Segui's knees were sore after running on the artificial surface at SkyDome in Toronto. ... Erik Bedard still is scheduled to pitch Saturday against Toronto. The Orioles will recall him from Triple-A Ottawa and most likely send down outfielder Tim Raines Jr.

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