Roberts on DL

Fahey recalled

With Tejada limited to DH, moves needed so O's infield is covered

May 01, 2006|By CHILDS WALKER | CHILDS WALKER,SUN REPORTER

The Orioles continued to reel yesterday from a spate of injuries that has played havoc with their regular lineup.

Injuries suffered Friday and Saturday sent second baseman Brian Roberts to the disabled list, left regulars Javy Lopez and Kevin Millar unable to play and relegated shortstop Miguel Tejada to designated hitter duty.

The club had to recall Brandon Fahey from Triple-A Ottawa just to have a complete infield for its series finale with the Seattle Mariners.

"That was weird," Lopez said of the injuries. "I call it black Saturday."

Roberts went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained groin. He had been suffering from a hip flexor and aggravated the injury when he stole third in the sixth inning of Saturday's game. Manager Sam Perlozzo said there was no sense in letting him play through the injury, because Roberts is at least 10 days away.

"If we wait and he's not close to 100 percent, then we're playing with a chance he'll do something to really cost us a chunk of time," Perlozzo said. "And we can't afford that with him."

Roberts grimaced whenever he was forced to take a step in the clubhouse.

The second baseman spent the offseason and the first four weeks of spring training recovering from elbow surgery. He surprised many by appearing in the Opening Day lineup and jumping to a strong start with a .330 average, 13 runs, 13 RBIs and nine steals.

"Injuries are frustrating," Roberts said. "They're no fun. ... You want to be out there helping the team, but there's still a long season to go and you don't want to do anything stupid at this point."

His double-play partner, Tejada, started at designated hitter rather than subject his hyperextended left knee to the lateral stops and starts required on defense. He suffered the injury Friday while chasing a pop fly. He tested his knee in the field the next day but couldn't cover his usual ground.

"He's obviously not 100 percent by any means," Perlozzo said. "He felt his main problem was in the field, so we'll probably have to give him a couple of days DH-ing and see if that doesn't help him out a little bit. Keep him off his feet out in the field, keep him from moving side to side."

Fahey replaced Tejada at shortstop. He said he was stepping into the batter's box in Ottawa Saturday night when his manager pulled him. He woke at 2:45 a.m. to make sure he wouldn't miss his 6 a.m. flight to Baltimore yesterday.

His mom, dad, brother and girlfriend actually beat him from Dallas to watch his first game.

"I still can't believe it," Fahey said of the experience. "I don't think it's hit me yet."

The infielder impressed team officials with his defense and ability to make contact during spring training. He had a .402 on-base percentage through 20 games in Ottawa.

"It was funny, because I didn't feel like I was swinging the bat good," he said. "But I was walking a bunch and getting on base and, I don't know, it was crazy. I really can't think right now to be honest with you."

He lined a single to left in his first major league at-bat and scored on a sacrifice fly yesterday. He also made a terrific lunging catch on an Ichiro Suzuki line drive and blooped a second single to left.

"I surprised myself," he said of his first hit off Mariners starter Jamie Moyer. "He threw a fastball, I think, a fastball away, and I just slapped it the other way and luckily, nobody caught it."

Perlozzo said Fahey could play either shortstop or second base while with the team.

Lopez missed his second straight game after suffering back spasms Saturday but said he was feeling better.

"I start feeling like a tightness in my upper back taking batting practice," he said. "I thought I was going to be out for a while but after a couple of treatments, I wake up like nothing happened."

Lopez said he had suffered back spasms only once before in his career.

Millar said his right hand and wrist were still swollen after he was hit by a Felix Hernandez fastball Saturday. He said he might not be available for another day or two.

childs.walker@baltsun.com

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