As number of pitches grows, count out O's

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Staff throws 209 over eight innings

Williamson to be activated today

Notebook

May 13, 2007|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,Sun reporter

Boston -- Orioles starter Steve Trachsel maintains that his command was still there, even after he walked four Boston Red Sox hitters and needed 102 pitches to get through 4 1/3 innings.

"Too many pitches, that's for sure," Trachsel said after the Orioles' 13-4 loss to Boston yesterday at Fenway Park. "They worked a lot of good counts. It's just who they are. They are not real aggressive. Both starters threw a lot of pitches in five innings. It was kind of a strange game."

Indeed, it was, one in which the Orioles pitchers threw an astounding 209 pitches in eight innings. The Red Sox lead the major leagues with 163 walks, drawing seven yesterday and 15 in this series.

Orioles pitchers specialize in handing them out, which has made the past two days particularly brutal for manager Sam Perlozzo and pitching coach Leo Mazzone to watch. The Orioles have issued five or more walks in 16 of their 37 games. Their 161 walks allowed easily lead the American League and have played a key role in tiring their bullpen, which helped lead to yesterday's defeat.

"They threw a lot of pitches," Perlozzo said. "It ain't tough on me; it's tough on the guys."

On second thought

The Orioles scrapped their plan yesterday to activate Scott Williamson from the disabled list, choosing instead to keep long reliever Jon Leicester in the bullpen. As it turned out, Leicester was needed to pitch 1 2/3 innings in relief of Trachsel before he left the game with a shoulder injury.

Leicester will likely either be put on the DL or designated for assignment, opening a spot for Williamson to be activated today. Williamson hasn't pitched since April 23 because of tightness in his right triceps.

"We actually talked to Scott today," Perlozzo said. "The situation is we'll probably have to lose a long guy. Here against this team and in this ballpark, we said that we are ready to activate you, we just realize that you are going to eat some innings for us with the worst-case scenario. It's probably unfair to ask him to eat more than a couple of innings coming off the disabled list. He's fine with the fact that if we feel like we need the long man for the next day or two, we can delay it for a day or so. So we are going to do that."

Parrish struggling

Orioles reliever John Parrish didn't give up an earned run in his first 10 outings this season, immediately becoming a reliever Perlozzo could count on in clutch situations. But in recent weeks, Parrish has reverted to his pre-injury form, when he was prone to stretches of wildness.

He has given up runs in his five of his past nine outings, his ERA rising to 4.96.

"I think he's going to be OK, but the last couple of times out, he's not been," Perlozzo said. "I wish that he would be. We're trying to make an adjustment on staying on top of the ball a little bit more. It's just a matter of commanding his pitches now. Pitchers go into those kinds of funks. You just hope that he gets out of it quickly."

In Friday's series opener against the Red Sox, Parrish allowed a hit and walked three, including one that brought in a run, in two-thirds of an inning. In his past 7 1/3 innings, including yesterday when he was needed to get the last out of the eighth, Parrish has surrendered nine earned runs and 13 walks.

Hernandez plays on

Perlozzo spoke with catcher Ramon Hernandez before this series began and asked him what day he wanted to have off in the series. Hernandez's response?

"He pretty much said, `It's the Boston Red Sox and they are in first place. I don't need any days off,'" Perlozzo said. "So he's in there. It's not like we are wearing him out. He's only played in, like, 12 ballgames. If it gets hotter and he plays a lot in a row, then we'll worry about it."

Around the horn

With a third-inning single yesterday, Brian Roberts extended his hitting streak to 11 games. ... Miguel Tejada played in his 1,117th consecutive game yesterday, moving in a tie with Hall of Famer Billy Williams for the fifth-longest streak all time. ... Tejada also stole a base in the seventh inning yesterday, his first steal since Aug. 7, 2006.

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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