O's Chen finds relief in 'pen

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Battered starter regains control, changes speeds

Beato shows arm

June 22, 2006|By CHILDS WALKER | CHILDS WALKER,SUN REPORTER

Since being pushed to the Orioles' bullpen, Bruce Chen has righted his season, allowing just two earned runs and eight runners in eight innings.

The left-hander lost his spot in the rotation at the end of May when he had a 7.71 ERA and led American League starters in home runs allowed per inning. But since moving to relief, Chen has regained some of the control and ability to change speeds that allowed him to be effective last season.

"I work real hard to get my pitches down," Chen said. "Everyone goes through rough periods of time. I feel real good how I'm throwing the ball. I feel like I'm throwing the ball the way I'm supposed to, and I don't want to think about it too much."

Chen pitched three scoreless innings in Tuesday's loss to the Florida Marlins.

"I thought he threw all his pitches for strikes and changed speeds quite well," said manager Sam Perlozzo. "Just the same kind of thing we said he needed to do."

Chen hopes to pitch his way back to the rotation but said he's trying not to think about it.

"I have to take everything positive," he said. "I like the way I'm pitching right now."

Draftee Beato signs

Orioles supplemental first-round pick Pedro Beato signed for a $1 million bonus this week and attended yesterday's game at Camden Yards..

Beato, 6 feet 5, played catch on the field and flashed the powerful right arm that produced 96-mph fastballs for St. Petersburg Junior College.

The Mets drafted Beato in 2005 out of a New York high school and tried to sign him before this year's draft. But he went back into the draft, knowing he would be a higher pick and make more money. Many draft observers thought he was a steal for the Orioles.

Beato described himself as a power pitcher and said he has modeled himself after Roger Clemens. He said he's entirely recovered from Tommy John surgery, which he had during his junior season in high school.

"I have all my strength back," he said. "I'm throwing 4 mph more than what I did before I got the surgery."

The Orioles remain close to signing first-round pick Bill Rowell, a high school infielder from New Jersey. "I do believe it gets done, and I think it gets done sooner rather than later," said director of scouting Joe Jordan.

He was not as optimistic about second-round pick Ryan Adams, a high school infielder from Louisiana.

"We've got some work to do," he said. "The best way to put it is we've got a difference of opinion on the value of that pick, but we like the player and expect to sign him."

Minor league all-stars

Two Frederick Keys, outfielder Nolan Reimold and pitcher Radhames Liz, have been named to the eighth annual XM Satellite Futures Game, which will be played the Sunday before this year's big league All-Star Game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

Also named to the Futures Game, an All-Star showcase that includes players from all minor league levels, is Silver Spring's Nick Adenhart, a pitcher in the Los Angeles Angels' farm system. The seven-inning game will be played at 4 p.m. July 9 and will be televised on ESPN2.

Mora, Willis mend fences

There were no hard feelings between Melvin Mora and Marlins starter Dontrelle Willis, who hit the Orioles third baseman in the knee Tuesday. During warm-ups, Mora rolled a ball to Willis and grabbed his knee in a joking fashion. The two later hugged.

Around the horn

Perlozzo said rookie Adam Loewen will make his fifth start on Saturday. ... Reliever John Halama cleared waivers and refused reassignment, so he's a free agent. He had a 6.14 ERA in 29 1/3 innings for the Orioles.

childs.walker@baltsun.com

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