Tejada is game for role as DH

Orioles Notebook

Day off from field allows streak to continue

Hoey is settling down

September 04, 2006|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,Sun Reporter

OAKLAND, CALIF. -- Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada said around this time last year that he thought it was time for his consecutive-games streak to end. But entering yesterday, the streak, which has reached 1,054 games, is still alive and showing no signs of stopping.

Wanting to give his star shortstop a rest, Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo put Tejada into the lineup at designated hitter yesterday. It was the 10th time this season Tejada has been the DH, an idea that the 30-year-old at least appears to be warming up to.

"I don't like it, but I've got to do it," said Tejada, who before this season had been the DH twice in his career. "I've got to rest myself, rest my body. Then somebody else gets a chance to play shortstop - like [Chris] Gomez or [Brandon] Fahey. They need to play, too."

Perlozzo said that he'd be open to giving the shortstop a full day off, if that is what Tejada wanted. "We'll give him a blow. Everyone else gets one, [and] he's played more than anyone," Perlozzo said.

Tejada has said in the past that he would like to have a day off, but then reconsidered. His streak is the seventh-longest in major league history. If Tejada would play in the Orioles' final 26 games and then all 162 next year, he would have the fourth-longest, trailing only Cal Ripken (2,632), Lou Gehrig (2,130) and Everett Scott (1,307).

"If it happens, it happens," Tejada said about the possibility of his streak ending. "I don't play every day just because I have the streak. I play every day because I like to play baseball."

Hoey showing signs

When he was brought on to face the Minnesota Twins' Torii Hunter in his major league debut Aug. 23 at Camden Yards, Orioles reliever Jim Hoey acknowledged that he was slightly awestruck.

"I had his name in the back of my mind while I was pitching, and you can't do that," Hoey said.

Hoey, the 23-year-old who started the season at Single-A Delmarva, got off to a rocky start after his promotion, allowing runs in two of his first three outings. But in two scoreless one-inning appearances in this series, Hoey has allowed one hit while striking out two. He credits bullpen coach Larry McCall, who has changed his grip on his fastball. That, Hoey said, has helped him spot the ball on the outside corner more.

Then, there's also the matter of Hoey getting over the nerves that accompanied him to the mound in his first couple of outings.

"The first couple of times, everything was new, but it still is the same game," Hoey said. "You just have to calm down and attack hitters."

Perlozzo defends Loewen vs. ump

Perlozzo expressed more disappointment before yesterday's game about plate umpire Bob Davidson's treatment of Adam Loewen in Saturday's game. Davidson took issue with how Loewen responded to a ball call in the fifth inning and loudly lectured the pitcher.

Loewen went into a tailspin after the incident, though the pitcher said Davidson's words had nothing to do with his struggles.

"Unless a pitcher shows up an umpire, it's an out-of-line response for a young man that might've only grimaced or something," Perlozzo said. "Nobody seemed to see it. Usually, if a guy does something like that one time, an umpire sees it and says, `If he says another thing, I'm going to go out and tell him.' You don't rip your mask off and scream at him."

Around the horn

Catcher Ramon Hernandez, who didn't start his fourth straight game, worked out on the field before yesterday's game, and Perlozzo is hopeful he'll return to the lineup tonight. There was no such progress with Corey Patterson (sprained right shoulder), who is likely out for the rest of the road trip and possibly longer. ... The Orioles have allowed a major league-high 185 homers, including a franchise-record 11 grand slams this season.

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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