No bench to spare as O's resume game

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

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August 25, 2008|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

Barring a roster move before tonight, manager Dave Trembley will be left with nobody on his bench when the Orioles resume their April 28 game against the Chicago White Sox that was suspended after the 11th inning.

The game, which will start at 6:05 p.m. before the regularly scheduled three-game series opener, will pick up in the top of the 12th inning with the score tied at 3. The Orioles, considered the road team, will send Kevin Millar up to the plate first.

"It would be to our benefit for Millar to go up there and hit one out," Trembley said, aware of his limited pitching and position-player options.

Designated hitter Aubrey Huff won't be available because he was ejected, nor will outfielder Jay Payton or catcher Guillermo Quiroz, because they had already been removed from the game when it was suspended. Brandon Fahey and Luis Hernandez, the Orioles' two shortstops that day, are both with Triple-A Norfolk, and center fielder Adam Jones is injured and unavailable.

That will mean Lou Montanez will have to play center field and Alex Cintron and Juan Castro will have to occupy the designated hitter and shortstop spots. That, of course, could change if the Orioles decide to make a roster move. Neither team has announced which pitcher will be on the mound when the game resumes.

For the Orioles, relievers Jamie Walker, Dennis Sarfate and Jim Johnson are unavailable, leaving Randor Bierd, Fernando Cabrera, Alberto Castillo, Rocky Cherry, Lance Cormier and Kam Mickolio as Trembley's options.

Closer George Sherrill, who is unavailable because he is on the disabled list, was the pitcher of record when the game was suspended because of poor field conditions.

"The game probably should have been stopped after five innings," Trembley said. "Obviously, me saying that is a no-no, but at this particular point in time, there's been so many no-nos I got nothing to lose. ... That was absolutely brutal, those conditions. I remember Fahey in the 11th inning, trying to get that ground ball. He went through a lake."

Until September

Jones (fractured left foot) felt fine after taking live batting practice yesterday, but Trembley said the young center fielder won't be activated until next Monday at the earliest.

Trembley said Jones still has to show that he can run the bases and make throws from the outfield. He also wants the first-year Oriole to hit live pitching twice, potentially in simulated games.

Said Jones: "I wouldn't say I can't play until Sept. 1. I'd say they don't want me to play until Sept. 1. It's not my call. Whenever they feel I'm ready, I'm ready."

Around the horn

Adam Loewen will begin the transformation from pitcher to hitter Sept. 8 when he joins the Orioles to start working with hitting coach Terry Crowley. Loewen will be with the team for a week before reporting to instructional league, where he'll begin learning to play the outfield. ... Trembley reiterated that top prospect Matt Wieters will not be called up when rosters expand in September. ... The Orioles are hoping that Troy Patton (shoulder surgery) and Danys Baez (elbow surgery) go to instructional league and perhaps pitch in a game before it's over.

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Times Orioles manager Dave Trembley has been ejected this season, the most recent coming in Saturday's game

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