Penn gets start, maybe more


Perlozzo is open to call-up earning spot in rotation

Roberts still sore


WASHINGTON -- In need of a starting pitcher for tomorrow night's game in Seattle, the Orioles will hand the ball to Hayden Penn and hope his grip is tight enough to keep it for a while.

Maybe the rest of the season.

Penn will take Daniel Cabrera's turn while the right-hander remains on the disabled list with a sore shoulder. He was 2-2 with a 1.48 ERA in five games at Triple-A Ottawa, with 11 walks and 29 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings.

In his last start, Penn threw seven scoreless innings for the Lynx.

"He's really the guy we thought would fit into our rotation at some point in time," manager Sam Perlozzo said. "The fact that he's doing well solidified his case, and we'll give him another shot up here."

How long Penn lasts in the rotation could depend on the results. "I certainly would hope that he pitches well enough to stay in there," Perlozzo said.

Regarded as one of the top prospects in the organization, Penn was 3-2 with a 6.34 ERA in eight starts with the Orioles last season after they twice summoned him from Double-A Bowie. He became the 29th player in team history to make his debut before the age of 21.

"I didn't think he was overmatched," Perlozzo said. "I thought he was a little overanxious and didn't maximize his pitch count. He'd get into the fifth inning with 100 pitches. ... His first time up in the big leagues, he was trying to do a little too much. This time I'd hope he would be a little better."

To make room for Penn, the Orioles optioned reliever Julio Manon to Ottawa.

Names and numbers

Brian Roberts remained on the disabled list yesterday because of some lingering soreness from Saturday's drills, giving the Orioles more time to decide how they'll make room for him on the 25-man roster.

The Orioles could decide between infielders Brandon Fahey and Ed Rogers, or they could decide two catchers are enough and remove backup Raul Chavez.

Fahey and Rogers boarded the team charter for Seattle after yesterday's game, and Perlozzo said going with two catchers is a possibility.

"I don't know it's going to happen," he said. "I'm not sure I'm totally comfortable with that, either."

Fahey batted leadoff again yesterday and singled in the fifth.

"They've both done a very nice job for us," Perlozzo said. "Both have played well defensively. ... And they both put the ball in play. They battle at the plate. They have a lot of good qualities."

A perfect thief

Corey Patterson didn't attempt a stolen base yesterday, leaving him 13-for-13 this season. He singled twice and was awarded second base in the sixth inning after colliding with Washington's Matt LeCroy, who was called for obstruction.

Patterson has the green light to steal most of the time.

"I have confidence that he knows what he's doing," Perlozzo said. "There will be certain times that I hold him, but not very many."

"You've just got to be smart," Patterson said. "Depending on the game and the situation, it will dictate what I do if I get on, how things go.

"Every team needs a couple guys who can steal bases. You can't win playing station-to-station baseball. All the good teams that win, they have one or two guys who can get in scoring position. You want to have a good mix. You can't have all speed guys. You can't have all sluggers."

Patterson is less likely to run if the Orioles are trailing late in the game and the pitcher is quick to home plate.

"If I can get a jump, I've got to make sure I'm going to be safe," he said.

He has been every time so far.

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