O's play down scuffle between Payton, Mora


Bedard unfazed by winless streak

Baez struggling after a solid April

May 16, 2007|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,Sun reporter

TORONTO -- Several Orioles said yesterday that the near fistfight between Melvin Mora and Jay Payton after Monday's loss was an isolated incident and not an indication that the clubhouse is dividing.

"It's a heat-of-the-moment kind of thing," designated hitter Jay Gibbons said. "Stuff happens. It was forgotten about in like five minutes. [The clubhouse] is the same as it was a month ago. We had a group of eight for lunch today. That's how it is. Everybody likes each other. We're scuffling right now, but we're still having fun."

Payton, who made the last out Monday, was upset at Mora for taking third base on a 1-1 pitch in the ninth inning with the Orioles trailing by two runs. The two had words in the dugout, and it continued outside the visiting clubhouse as several Orioles restrained the two from getting after each other.

Mora apologized to Payton later, and the two, who became friends when they were teammates with the 1999 and 2000 New York Mets, hugged in the clubhouse.

"There is nothing wrong with this clubhouse," Payton said. "Guys are just tired of losing, that's all. We have a good team, definitely good enough to win, and everybody is tired of losing. It just kinds of mounts after a while. [The incident] had nothing to do with anything that is going on around here. The fact was the way we lose ballgames sometimes, with mental lapses or whatnot, we all got to do a better job of focusing and playing the game the right way."

Manager Sam Perlozzo acknowledged the incident didn't look good, but he didn't consider it a big deal.

"You'd rather not see anything in the dugout," Perlozzo said.

No complaints on no-decisions

Erik Bedard is not one to reveal much of anything to reporters, and that includes frustration on his current winless stretch. Bedard, who got his fourth straight no-decision last night after seven solid innings, hasn't won since beating the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on April 18.

"At the beginning of the season, I was giving up five, six runs a game and winning," the pitcher said when asked about his recent tough luck. "It's just turned around. As a starter, you always deal with that. Every year it happens, and it will keep happening for years to come. You just have to deal with it and get ready for the next start."

Bedard is 0-1 in his past five starts. Perlozzo said after Monday's game, in which Bedard squandered a three-run lead, that he thinks his No. 1 starter has finally gotten in a groove.

Baez latest to struggle

More than a few eyebrows in the industry were raised when the Orioles signed reliever Danys Baez to a three-year, $19 million deal in November. He was coming off a season in which he had a 4.35 ERA and blew seven saves in 16 opportunities.

But the Orioles thought injuries contributed to his poor 2006, and he would be an effective setup man. He was just that last month, allowing runs in two of 13 outings. But in his past seven appearances, he is 0-2 and has given up two runs in three different appearances, including Monday night, when he served up a tie-breaking, two-run homer to Troy Glaus.

"Prior to the last two and when he had several good ones in a row, I thought he was [pitching] down a lot," Perlozzo said. "I think when he gets hurt is when he gets the ball more up than he should."

Around the horn

When MASN play-by-play broadcaster Gary Thorne asked executive vice president Mike Flanagan, Flanagan said he didn't think it was appropriate to comment on Perlozzo's day-to-day status. ... The Orioles signed outfielder Tike Redman, 30, who played parts of five seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, to a minor league contract and sent him to Triple-A Norfolk. ... Minor league outfielder Jon Knott, who impressed in a short stint with the club, is on the minor league disabled list with a bad back. ... A magnetic resonance imaging test on Jon Leicester's right shoulder didn't reveal a significant injury, and the pitcher will report to the club's minor league complex in Sarasota, Fla. ... Perlozzo said Jaret Wright is progressing in his rehabilitation of his right shoulder, but still feeling some soreness. ... Orioles pitchers have been taking batting practice in preparation for this weekend's interleague series against the Washington Nationals.


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