O's glad `real rough road trip' over

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Travel, weather difficult

going 3-3 pleases team

April 29, 2008|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,Sun Reporter

CHICAGO -- The Orioles boarded a plane last night after the suspension of their game against the Chicago White Sox, a whole lot drier and a whole lot warmer after playing 11 innings in frigid and rainy conditions. They certainly were glad to be heading home, even if it's for just three games.

Several Orioles labeled the scheduled seven-game road trip, in which they went 3-3 with one game still to be decided, as the most grueling of their career.

"We've all been talking about it," designated hitter Aubrey Huff said. "I don't think, as far as I know, nobody's ever been through a trip like this as far as mental grind, weather, time. It's been a real rough road trip ... This game's still up for grabs, but you've got to be proud of the way we played."

After losing Game 1 of the trip to the Mariners, the Orioles won the next two nights, scoring the go-ahead run in the eighth inning in each of them. They then had to fly from Seattle to Chicago late Thursday night into early Friday morning, not getting to their hotel here until around 7 a.m.. That alone ticked off several players, who thought the series finale at Safeco Field should have been a day game.

"If you're changing two time zones, you [have to] have a day game," former Mariner George Sherrill said. "That's all there is to it. You can't make somebody get in at 7 in the morning. That just can't happen. We battled on the road trip and did really well."

The players started to trickle into the visiting clubhouse at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday, and they had plenty of time to get acclimated. The series opener was delayed about two hours because of rain and eventually postponed. It was rescheduled as part of a day-night doubleheader that took most of Saturday to complete.

They had a day game Sunday, and yesterday' game started as a day contest but was delayed more than two hours and ultimately ended without a winner. It was that kind of trip.

"Unfortunately, we leave here without winning the game, without losing the game," manager Dave Trembley said.

Plans altered?

The Orioles are expected to call up left-hander Garrett Olson to start in today's series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays. What they do about Wednesday's starter remains to be seen. Trembley had announced before the game that long reliever Jim Johnson would get the spot start, but that now appears unlikely because Johnson was needed to pitch two innings yesterday. He now has turned in 13 scoreless innings this season.

"We'll have to see," Trembley said. "I got through this game today. I'll talk to my pitching coach and have it to you tomorrow or the next day."

Getting to Jenks

The White Sox's Bobby Jenks is considered one of the most dominant closers in baseball, but the Orioles tend to make him look ordinary. Yesterday, he blew his second save against them this season. He has 14 career blown saves, five of them to the Orioles.

"Luck," was Brian Roberts' explanation. "It's not like he comes in and we're like, `OK, sweet, we're going to win this game.' "

Huff gets hook

In a tie game in the 10th inning, Huff thought he had beaten Juan Uribe's throw and reached first base on a leadoff infield single. However, first base umpire Mark Wegner called him out, though replays showed that Huff beat the throw. The call prompted Huff to rip off his helmet and aggressively dispute the call.

Wegner tossed Huff after he continued to yell from the bench.

"Let's just put it this way: I've never been more angry in my life in baseball," Huff said.

No news on Loewen

Orioles starting pitcher Adam Loewen saw team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens yesterday and had a magnetic resonance imaging test and a CT scan taken on his left elbow. Results should be revealed today.

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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