Tejada asks to DH for day

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Perlozzo happy to rest shortstop in game 1,003 in row

who's in right?

Notebook

July 05, 2006|By JEFF ZREBIEC | JEFF ZREBIEC,SUN REPORTER

CHICAGO -- In the past, shortstop Miguel Tejada has scoffed at the idea of being the Orioles' designated hitter from time to time to rest his legs. But before yesterday's second game of the series with the Chicago White Sox, Tejada approached manager Sam Perlozzo and asked if he could serve as the team's DH.

Perlozzo, who hadn't heard the request before from his All-Star shortstop, was happy to grant Tejada his wish.

"There is nothing wrong with that," said Perlozzo, who inserted Brandon Fahey at shortstop. "I think he could use a rest, to stay off his feet a little. If he would be willing to do it more often, as long as we have someone to play there, we're fine."

Playing in his 1,003rd straight game, Tejada went 0-for-4 with a strikeout yesterday. It was seventh time this season that he was in the Orioles' lineup at DH. When he was slowed by knee and hamstring soreness in late April and early May, Tejada was the Orioles' DH for five games, going 4-for-21 with two home runs in that span.

He was used there again last Wednesday in the nightcap of the doubleheader sweep over Philadelphia and went 4-for-5 with two RBIs.

"I think one of the things that happened is baseball players are superstitious," Perlozzo said. "The time period where he hurt his knee and was [the DH] he was hitting. He didn't remember that. I had to remind him. ... Now, he's a little more receptive. But that could change after one day."

Patterson ignores boos

When his name was introduced before Monday's series opener and every time he came to the plate during the game, Orioles center fielder Corey Patterson was greeted by a chorus of boos.

Patterson, who played on the north side of Chicago with the Cubs for six seasons, wasn't surprised by the reception. He was a frequent target of the fans in Chicago last season when he hit .215 with 13 home runs and 34 RBIs.

"I don't think about it that much," Patterson said. "I've been here. I've seen how things kind of operate - whatever. It was just go play and block it out."

Patterson said that he took no extra satisfaction in his performance on Monday. He went 2-for-4 with a home run, a stolen base and one diving catch in shallow center.

"Players always like to play well against their ex-team," said Patterson, who was 0-for-4 yesterday. "[Kris] Benson pitched a good game against the New York Mets and hit that home run. But I didn't play for the White Sox. ... Bottom line is you just have to let it go."

Tough decision on deck

While Jay Gibbons continues to rehab in Los Angeles hoping to return to the Orioles' lineup after the All-Star break, Perlozzo acknowledged that he could have a tough decision on his hands when the outfielder returns.

Gibbons had been the Orioles' starting right fielder, but when he was injured, rookie Nick Markakis moved over from left field to take his spot. Markakis, who struggled at times defensively in left field, has looked far more comfortable in right field, making several diving plays in recent weeks. Asked what would happen in the outfield when Gibbons is activated from the disabled list, Perlozzo said that he wasn't sure.

"We are probably going to sit down and talk about it as an organization," Perlozzo said. "I guess a lot of it is going to depend on how well Jay is. I don't know how healthy he is going to be when he comes back. Ideally, you'd like to see Jay DH for a little while to see if he is OK, but a lot of things could happen by then. Somebody could go down. The questions usually resolve themselves."

Hernandez plans return

Catcher Ramon Hernandez, who was removed from Monday's game after getting hit in the right knee with a foul tip, expects to return to the lineup tonight. Rodrigo and Javy Lopez again paired up yesterday.

"It's nothing serious," Hernandez said. "It's like a muscle bruise, that's all. It's sore when you have to squat. If I just had to stand up, I'd be fine."

In other injury news, top pitching prospect Hayden Penn threw a 50-pitch simulated game on Monday in Aberdeen. He's expected to make a rehab start in about a week. Relief pitcher Tim Byrdak was scheduled to throw a 50-pitch simulated game yesterday in Aberdeen.

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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