Penn to make 1st start Sunday

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Perlozzo will use six starters temporarily, then re-evaluate

September 01, 2006|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN REPORTER

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Orioles top pitching prospect Hayden Penn will be called up tomorrow with the expectation that he will make his first major league start of 2006 on Sunday against the Oakland Athletics.

"I want Hayden to come up and pitch well," Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said. "I don't want for him to come up just so I can see him pitch. I've seen him pitch. It's like I said before, we're still in the business of winning some ballgames. It sounds like he's ready. If he's ready and pitching good, then he should be able to hold his own up here."

Penn was called up in late May, but he had an appendectomy the night before his first start and was sent to the disabled list. He is 7-4 with a 2.26 ERA in 14 starts for Triple-A Ottawa.

With Penn joining the club, the Orioles will go with a six-man rotation with Rodrigo Lopez's start being pushed back to Monday. Perlozzo said the rotation will be re-evaluated after Thursday's day off.

"We're going to have to make a decision," Perlozzo said. "We're going to be going four or five days [where guys will be throwing] with seven days' rest. I don't particularly like it. We're already on this nine-day road trip and Erik Bedard is going to pitch one time. It's not something I'd plan."

With rosters expanding today, the Orioles also will call up left-handed hitting outfielder Jeff Fiorentino and right-handed relievers Winston Abreu and Julio Manon. Chris Britton is expected to join the team Monday in Anaheim, Calif.

Ardoin's odyssey

New Orioles catcher Danny Ardoin, who was designated for assignment by the Colorado Rockies and became a free agent Saturday, drove 18 hours from Denver to his Louisiana home, arriving in the early hours of Wednesday.

On Wednesday at noon, he got a call from an Orioles official, telling him the team had claimed him and wanted him in Texas that night. The last plane out of Lafayette was leaving at 4 p.m. and Ardoin was an hour's drive from the airport.

Ardoin said he arrived at Ameriquest Field about 20 minutes before the first pitch. When Ramon Hernandez couldn't go anymore as a result of a strained muscle in his right side, Ardoin needed to go into a tie game and catch.

"It's been a crazy last 36 hours or so," said Ardoin, who also added an RBI single Wednesday and made his first start as an Oriole last night. "We have a month left in the season. I just want to come in here and contribute in any way possible."

Injury update

Center fielder Corey Patterson missed his second straight game after spraining a joint at the top of his right shoulder making a catch against the wall in the second inning Tuesday. Perlozzo said he is likely out until at least Monday.

Perlozzo said Hernandez will probably be out "a couple of more days." Hernandez had told Perlozzo he would be available in an emergency situation last night. Backup catcher Chris Widger (pinched nerve in shoulder) was also available. Neither played.

Perlozzo second-guesses himself

Rookie Nick Markakis has been the Orioles' hottest hitter, but when Melvin Mora led off the 10th with a single against left-hander Ron Mahay on Wednesday, Perlozzo chose to have Markakis try to bunt Mora to second.

The first attempt by Markakis, who has three sacrifice bunts this season, went well foul and his second was caught in foul territory by Rangers third baseman Hank Blalock. Perlozzo said he spent some time after the game second-guessing his decision and might do things differently if the situation arose again.

"There is always a couple of ways to think about everything," said Perlozzo, who acknowledged that he planned to take the bunt off if Mahay's second pitch to Markakis was a ball.

"If I say, `OK, let's let him swing and he hits a ground-ball double play, then someone is going to say, `How come you didn't bunt?'" It's just a manager's choice.

"I figured [if Markakis bunted Mora over], they'd probably walk [Miguel] Tejada and I had the matchup sheet where [Jay Gibbons] was 2-for-2 with two homers against the lefty. And if he doesn't hit in the double play, I still got [Kevin] Millar."

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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