Burres doesn't blame bullpen for no-decision

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Pitcher says relievers will improve

Hoey faults mound for shaky debut

June 18, 2007|By Dan Igo | Dan Igo,Sun Reporter

Brian Burres was scheduled to start in Saturday night's game but was pushed back a day because of soreness in his throwing arm. That extra day's rest was just what the left-hander needed.

After a shaky first two innings, when he gave up three runs, including two homers, Burres settled down, giving the Orioles seven strong innings of five-hit ball. The seven innings were a career high, as were his nine strikeouts. He also retired 15 hitters in a row starting in the second inning.

In the seventh, Burres walked Augie Ojeda with two outs. Manager Sam Perlozzo came out to the mound to a chorus of boos, but left Burres in. Burres retired Eric Byrnes on a pop-up.

"My pitch count was getting up there and [Perlozzo] wanted to know how [the arm] was feeling," Burres said. "I said it was feeling fine and he said, `OK, get this guy.'"

Burres got a no-decision after Jamie Walker gave up an RBI single to Chad Tracy. Still, Burres didn't blame the bullpen.

"I've got all the confidence in the world in our bullpen and they're going to do a good job for us," he said. "It's just right now, it's a little bit of a struggle, but we'll get them. There are way too good pitchers out there for this to keep happening."

About his shoulder, Burres said: "It was fine. I had no discomfort or anything the whole time. I was good. I didn't have any problems with it."

Debut not so memorable

Orioles reliever Jim Hoey made his season debut Saturday night, but the situation wasn't quite what was planned.

Hoey gave up three runs in two-thirds of an inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks, a far cry from the numbers he posted at Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. He struck out a combined 40 batters while walking just six in 25 2/3 innings.

Before Saturday's game, Perlozzo said he didn't want to use Hoey or Cory Doyne in a pressure situation. However, Hoey began the ninth inning with the Orioles down by one run. He said he knew the situation might arise where he would have to come in.

Hoey retired his first batter on a groundout, but it was downhill after that. He walked the next two hitters and hit Chris Young, loading the bases. A single and a sacrifice later, the Diamondbacks had three more runs and Hoey was out of the game. Hoey said the problems began with his stride.

"There was a huge hole [in front of the mound] that I should have had them come out and fix," he said. "I actually fell down on one of my pitches. I think [Daniel] Cabrera's stride is just so big. It's the first time I've ever felt uncomfortable on the mound."

Perlozzo said the results of Hoey's outing were a combination of nerves and overthrowing, which Hoey thought affected him a little bit. Hoey said he needs to get back to basics.

"I got to revert back to when I was in the minor leagues," he said.

Streaks end, continue for Huff

Aubrey Huff's 10-game hitting streak ended Saturday, as did his four-game multi-hit streak. During the streak, Huff raised his batting average from .244 to.279.

Huff does have a streak that is not so positive. He has gone 124 at-bats without a home run, noteworthy because he has hit at least 20 home runs each of the past five seasons and has four this year. Huff says that although he thinks this streak is a fluke, he doesn't know when the homers will start.

Huff's last home run was a game-winner May 9 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, his former team. Despite his recent lack of power, don't expect Huff to make changes in the coming weeks.

"I'm getting hits, so why make adjustments?" he said.

Around the horn

Catcher Ramon Hernandez has been cleared for all activities and is expected to come off the disabled list when eligible Friday. ... Miguel Tejada served as the designated hitter for the second time this season, with Freddie Bynum starting at shortstop. "He says he was a little tired," Perlozzo said, "and if he says it, then we accommodate him when we can."

daniel.igo@baltsun.com

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