OAKLAND, Calif. - -Aubrey Huff endured five of his balls getting caught either on the warning track or at the wall in Seattle. In the same series at Safeco Field, he hit a shot that was initially ruled a homer and correctly overruled into a foul ball.
In Friday's series opener at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Huff watched another potential homer die on the right-field warning track. Frustration ensued after each near miss, but the Orioles' first baseman didn't reach his breaking point until the eighth inning Saturday night, when he had a bloop hit with two men on taken away on a diving play by Oakland Athletics left fielder Matt Holliday. The normally reserved veteran whipped his helmet and continued his tirade in the bathroom in the corner of the home dugout.
"For me, this whole road trip, I felt like I've swung the bat really well," said Huff, who is just 3-for-his-past-22 and has one homer in his past 80 at-bats. "In Seattle, which is not a good hitters' park, I hit five balls that were probably homers in Baltimore and most parks. If I hit two there, that's one thing. But five? That really [ticked] me off.
"Then finally yesterday, I broke a bat and jammed one off and Matt Holliday, of all people, made a diving catch in shallow left field. We're all human there. I don't care how much I try not to snap, that one got me. That was it."
Huff was held out of the starting lineup in Sunday's 3-0 loss for just the second time all year as Oscar Salazar, whose contract was purchased earlier in the day to replace the injured Cesar Izturis, got the start at first base and went 0-for-4. Huff said he had no problem with getting the day off and looked forward to the mental break with Monday also being a day off.
Huff was joined on the bench by slumping second baseman Brian Roberts, who sat for the first time all year, with Ty Wigginton getting his first start at second base. Roberts pinch-hit in the eighth inning and struck out, extending his skid to 2-for-26 after going 0-for-18 at one point early last month.
"They are probably trying to carry the team themselves, and they don't need to do that," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said of Huff and Roberts. "I think it's commendable that they both have that approach, but I just think that everybody goes through it."
Pie gets scare
Outfielder Felix Pie left the hospital late Saturday when a CT scan revealed nothing but what Trembley called a throat contusion. Pie, who was available for Sunday's game, hit a foul ball in the third inning Saturday that bounced up and hit him in the throat as he tried to run to first base. He finished the at-bat and struck out before being removed from the game before the bottom of the inning.
"It scared me because it felt like something grabbed in my throat, like I had something in there," Pie said. "It hurts a little when I touch it, but the doctor said everything is fine. I'm glad that I'm OK."
Around the horn
Even though the number 32 that he wore in college and in the minor leagues is available after the release of reliever Jamie Walker, rookie catcher Matt Wieters said he plans to stick with No. 15 for now. ... Izturis was discharged from the hospital after Friday's appendectomy and rejoined the team for its flight back to the East Coast after the game. ... After pitching 4 1/3 scoreless innings Sunday, Brian Bass has an 0.86 ERA in his past nine games. ... The Single-A Frederick Keys will send a franchise-record-tying six players to the Carolina/California League All-Star Game on June 23 in Lake Elsinore, Calif.: pitchers Brian Matusz, Luis Lebron and Zach Britton; catcher Caleb Joseph; first baseman Brandon Waring; and shortstop Pedro Florimon.