Surhoff joins Roberts on sidelines

Orioles notebook

Strained groin slows vet

Julio, Riley feeling better

March 11, 2005|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Though the Orioles have avoided being hit with a significant injury in spring training, the little ones are beginning to pile up.

Slated to be the designated hitter yesterday, B.J. Surhoff was a late scratch from the lineup because of a strained groin muscle.

Jay Gibbons wasn't supposed to be in the starting lineup against the New York Mets, but he replaced Surhoff and batted eighth. Gibbons went 4-for-4 with a double, home run, two RBIs and two runs scored.

Surhoff worked out in the morning and took batting practice, but he was flexing his leg in discomfort after leaving the cage.

"It just felt tight and I didn't want to take any chances," manager Lee Mazzilli said after the Orioles' 8-2 win.

Trying to reclaim a starting job in the outfield, Surhoff is 1-for-4 in two games.

While Mazzilli waits for Surhoff to become available, he continues to find alternatives to Brian Roberts at second base.

Chris Gomez started yesterday for Roberts, who hasn't played since Saturday because of a strained right shoulder. Roberts said he's feeling better, but the Orioles aren't sure when he'll return.

"He's getting closer," Mazzilli said. "The doctor didn't think an MRI [magnetic resonance imaging] was necessary, so that's a good sign."

Julio improves

Reliever Jorge Julio, who's been confined to a throwing program because of a strained forearm, said he might be ready to work off a mound this weekend.

Julio expects to throw from one of the bullpens tomorrow rather than playing catch on flat ground. He moved from 90 feet to 120 during the program, and recently began tossing from 60 feet to more closely simulate pitching.

"It feels good," said Julio, who had complained of soreness the day after throwing before the Orioles altered his routine this spring. "I'm fine."

Part of Julio's morning is spent soaking his right arm in a whirlpool while his teammates eat breakfast.

Meanwhile, pitcher Matt Riley didn't report any discomfort after throwing Wednesday, and he's scheduled to start today's game against the Florida Marlins in Jupiter, Fla.

Riley took one day off after being hit above the left biceps Monday by a line drive from Florida's Alex Gonzalez. He escaped with only a bruise, and no X-rays were taken.

"I feel real good. Everything's back to normal," he said. "I'm full activity."

Riley threw for about 12 minutes on Wednesday.

Blinded by the light

One day after rain ruined the Orioles' travel plans, a bright sun tormented both teams' center fielders.

New York's Carlos Beltran, who signed a seven-year, $119 million contract as a free agent this winter, twice lost track of the ball and failed to make catches during the Orioles' six-run fourth inning.

On one occasion, he dropped to his knees and couldn't hold onto Gibbons' sinking liner, giving the Orioles' designated hitter a gift double. Gibbons initially was ruled out before umpires reversed the call.

Beltran faded back for a fly ball from David Newhan and again lost sight of it, allowing two runs to score. Newhan was credited with a triple, and Mets fans showered Beltran with boos after the last out.

Newhan could feel his pain. He reached up for a ball from Mike Piazza in the fifth and missed it. "At least I wasn't the only one," Newhan said. "I figured Piazza need to work on his base running."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.