Cabrera says hit batter was unintentional

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Mora returns to second in lineup

Hernandez is dropped to sixth

May 24, 2007|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN REPORTER

Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo summoned Daniel Cabrera into his office yesterday and inquired whether the right-hander intentionally hit Troy Glaus in the fifth inning of Monday night's game. Cabrera denied it, and Perlozzo was satisfied with the response.

"I've got no reason to believe he would," Perlozzo said. "It certainly wasn't a situation to do that. He was having a hard enough time finding the plate.

"I asked him point-blank whether he hit [Glaus] on purpose and he said, `No.' I've got to believe that."

After hitting Glaus, Cabrera dropped a throw from Kevin Millar while trying to cover first base and record the final out. Perlozzo removed him from the game with the Orioles trailing 6-2.

"Our conversation was more about damage control and maintaining composure," Perlozzo said. "I told him that I'm going to wash yesterday's game away and I don't expect him to do that anymore. I expect him to maintain his composure, no matter what happens. That's a step in the maturity process. He's with me on that. It hasn't happened very often lately, but last night it did and we want to nip it in the bud right now."

The Blue Jays wish Cabrera had better control, or better judgment. Many of them were furious when he drilled Glaus in his left hip, a pitch they deemed intentional.

"That's the third or fourth time that's happened against us," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said after the game. "What will happen is his teammates will get hold of him and straighten him out because they are the ones who will have to pay."

Toronto starter A.J. Burnett retaliated by throwing behind Jay Gibbons' legs in the bottom of the inning, and plate umpire Brian Runge warned both benches.

"If you're hitting somebody when you shouldn't be, which is what I wanted to find out, I was going to address that. You're going to get somebody hurt on this ballclub if you start doing stupid things," Perlozzo said.

As for his performance on the mound, Cabrera noted that he didn't have his best stuff and labored to throw his curveball for strikes. The result was six runs (five earned) allowed in 4 2/3 innings and a 6-4 loss.

"I couldn't throw my breaking ball and I missed a lot with my fastball," he said.

Lineup shaken up

Perlozzo lowered Melvin Mora in the lineup three weeks ago in an attempt to get more production out of the offense.

Yesterday, Perlozzo returned Mora to his customary second spot in the order in an attempt to get more production out of the offense.

He also lowered Ramon Hernandez from fourth to sixth, and reinstated Miguel Tejada as the cleanup hitter.

Perlozzo said he intended to meet with Mora before the game and discuss what he expected from his third baseman - and what he didn't want - after making the change.

"I don't need him to be pushing the ball around and things like that," Perlozzo said. "I just want him to swing the bat there, and if it's late in the game."

Tejada changes approach

Having a batting practice pitcher throw balls slow and straight from behind a screen isn't going to increase Tejada's power numbers, so he decided to try something different yesterday.

Tejada requested that the Orioles set up a pitching machine in front of the mound for early hitting, allowing him to swing at sliders and curveballs and more accurately simulate game conditions.

"I think my problem right now is not my swing. My problem right now is I'm swinging at bad pitches," he said. "Early in the season I was totally fine, and now in the last week I've really been struggling. But that's part of baseball."

Before last night, Tejada hadn't hit a home run since April 25, when he connected off Boston's Curt Schilling.

Around the horn

Bench coach Tom Trebelhorn might return to the club Saturday. He returned to Arizona over the weekend to be with his wife, Elizabeth "Bo" Black, who's recovering from a stroke. ... Brian Burres is still expected to start Saturday unless he's needed in relief.

roch.kubatko@baltsun.com

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