Tejada plays on with sore knee

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

He leaves in sixth, struggling afield

DH possible

3 others ailing

April 30, 2006|By CHILDS WALKER AND JEFF ZREBIEC | CHILDS WALKER AND JEFF ZREBIEC,SUN REPORTERS

Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada started his 943rd consecutive game yesterday but was several steps slow in the field and on the bases because of a knee injury Friday.

Tejada hyperextended his left knee chasing a pop fly.

He appeared uncomfortable on his first play in the field, when Ichiro Suzuki grounded a ball to his right. He played it cleanly but bounced the throw to first after he failed to plant his leg fully. He also appeared unable to run at full speed when he hit a dribbler in the second.

He hobbled around the bases after singling to right in the fourth to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. He left the game after singling in Brian Roberts in the sixth. Manager Sam Perlozzo said his shortstop had told a coach he was in too much pain to play the field.

Tejada said the injury bothered him most at shortstop.

"I think I worry about defense," he said. "The hitting don't bother me so much. ... I don't want to keep going in there and try to go after the ball and get it worse."

Trainer Richie Bancells said Tejada received a magnetic resonance imaging test that showed no damage.

But Tejada said he might not try to play defense today.

"I think I might be a DH or something tomorrow to help it get better," he said.

Injuries galore

Tejada wasn't the only wounded Oriole yesterday.

Designated hitter Javy Lopez was pulled from the line-up shortly before the game after suffering back spasms.

First baseman Kevin Millar left with a bruised right hand after being hit by a Felix Hernandez pitch.

"It's sore as hell," he said. "He smoked me right in the wrist area."

Roberts joined the injury parade in the sixth when he left with an aggravated groin and hip after scoring. He hurt himself while stealing third.

The injuries left the Orioles with a bizarre infield in which outfielder Jeff Conine played third, third baseman Melvin Mora played second and catcher Ramon Hernandez played first.

Mora waits on contract

A three-year contract extension for Mora is on hold, as it awaits approval from Orioles principal owner Peter Angelos, according to sources close to negotiations.

The two sides have agreed to the general framework, which if finalized, will pay the All-Star third baseman $24 million over three seasons with a $1 million buyout for a fourth option year, sources said. The deal will also likely include some no-trade protection for Mora, who has made clear his desire to remain in Baltimore.

If Angelos approves the deal, the Orioles will still have to go over certain parts of the contract with Mora's agent, Lon Babby, and Mora will need to pass a physical for insurance purposes.

Williams activated

The Orioles activated middle reliever Todd Williams and optioned reliever Chris Britton to Double-A Bowie.

Williams, who was among the few reliable arms in the club's bullpen last season, spent the spring recovering from shoulder and calf soreness.

"Today, tomorrow, the next day, whatever," Williams said. "I feel like I'm ready to go."

He pitched a perfect seventh inning yesterday.

Britton, who dominated Single-A hitters last season, had a 5.79 ERA in 4 2/3 innings for the Orioles.

"He certainly didn't do anything to embarrass himself," Perlozzo said.

childs.walker@baltsun.com jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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