Injury Stops Uehara



Line Drive Hits Pitcher, But He Should Make Next Start

April 30, 2009|By Childs Walker | Childs Walker,

Orioles starter Koji Uehara endured a scary moment Wednesday when a line drive ricocheted off his chest in the seventh inning of a loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

Uehara left the game, but an X-ray was negative, and he is expected to make his next start.

"Koji's fine," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "They got him good. He's one tough son of a gun."

Uehara said he was in no pain after icing his chest post-game. The line drive by former Oriole Gary Matthews Jr. struck him in the seventh inning of a 3-2 loss. Uehara staggered for a few seconds, then went to his knees in obvious pain. After several moments, he rose on his own power and walked off the field to a warm ovation from the crowd at Camden Yards.

"Right away, when I got hit, I couldn't breathe for a moment," Uehara said through his interpreter, Jiwon Bang. "But after awhile, I was fine."

The shot scared teammates. "Oh man, as soon as it hit him, I wanted to run in as hard as I could," center fielder Adam Jones said.

The injury happened just after Uehara surrendered home runs to Torii Hunter and Kendry Morales that gave the Angels a decisive lead. The home runs, not the line drive, were on his mind after the game.

"He's more upset about giving up that home run," Bang said.

Penalty for Walker?

The Orioles are expecting reliever Jamie Walker to be penalized for critical comments he made about a balk call Tuesday night.

"You know, we'll have to pay the pied piper," said Trembley, who was ejected for arguing the call by umpire Angel Hernandez. "I guess when he comes around. So be it."

Walker questioned the motive for the call, which cost him a pickoff and led to two Angels runs.

"I don't know if the guy has something against me or what, but no way in hell did I balk," Walker said after the game. "It changed the whole damn game. I may get screwed in the long run, but that's just unacceptable at this level. ... I don't know if he had money betting on the game or what, but that's a horses - - call."

Walker had balked once before in 531 career appearances.

Trembley praised the reliever as an emotional competitor in an emotional game. "People who hide it and pretend it doesn't affect them, well, that's not the truth," he said.

Trembley was diplomatic when asked about the call and said he doesn't expect umpires to harbor animosity toward Walker.

"Like I said before, the umpires do the best they can," he said. "You don't carry anything over game to game. You just have to be professional. Once the game is over, the day's over, you turn the page and move on. You can't carry grudges in this business."

Mora back on bench

Third baseman Melvin Mora did not start Wednesday's game, but not because of any new problems with his strained left hamstring.

"I wasn't going to play him anyway," Trembley said. "He's missed over two weeks. And I just thought the first time through, a day game after a night game, I wasn't going to do it."

Mora pinch hit in the ninth inning and struck out. Trembley said Mora will play all three games this weekend in Toronto. Mora went 3-for-5 with two RBIs in his return from the disabled list Tuesday.

Around the horn

Nick Markakis extended his hitting streak to 16 games with an RBI single in the eighth inning. The streak is the second-longest April streak in Orioles history, behind Davey Johnson's 17-game streak in 1971, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

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