OAKLAND, Calif. – Orioles cleanup hitter Miguel Tejada's decision to drop down a one-out bunt in the sixth inning produced his desired result, but also may take the third baseman out of the lineup for a couple of days.
Tejada suffered a mild groin strain while running to first base in the Orioles' eventual 4-3 loss to the Oakland Athletics yesterday. Tejada ultimately slid headfirst into the bag to make sure he got the hit, but he then limped back to the dugout, flanked by manager Dave Trembley and head athletic trainer Richie Bancells.
"My groin tightened," said Tejada, who had three hits before leaving the game. "It is a couple days. No [disabled list]. The doctor said it's not going to be anything to worry about. I'll be ready in a couple days."
That would be good news for the Orioles, who already have second baseman Brian Roberts, left fielder Felix Pie, and relievers Koji Uehara and Michael Gonzalez on the 15-day DL.
Following Tejada's bunt, Luke Scott reached on an error, Ty Wigginton walked and then Garrett Atkins ripped a two-run, bases-loaded single to tie the game at two.
"What Tejada did today was probably one of the most unselfish team plays I've seen in a long, long time," Trembley said. "The guy loves to win, wants to win."
Tejada said that he was just trying to spark the Orioles' offense.
"I know I'm hitting fourth but in this game when you are struggling the way the whole team is right now, you have to make something happen," he said. " You try to get on base see if Luke can hit a home run and tie the game."
A nice wakeup call
Lou Montanez was at a Durham, N.C. hotel on Friday morning with the rest of the Triple-A Norfolk Tides when his cell phone started buzzing exactly at the time he expected it to.
"I was going to get up and go to the gym and I had my alarm set. So my phone rings, and I was thinking, that's my alarm," Montanez said. "I look over and answer and it was [Tides manager Gary Allenson]. He told me, ‘You are going up.' And I said, ‘What? Where am I going? Another room?' He said, ‘No, you're going to the big leagues. [Felix] Pie got hurt.' I said, ‘OK, Where are they playing?' And he said, ‘The west coast.' I had to pack up all my stuff real quickly but it's nothing I'm going to complain about."
Montanez was hitting .259 with five RBIs in seven games when he was recalled to take Pie's roster spot. He got an at-bat on Friday night and hit into a double play.
"I've felt really good at the plate," he said. "I was seeing the ball good, I had a lot of balls hard. We also were in a funk. I think it's kind of an Orioles' thing. A lot of guys were swinging good and the numbers weren't showing."
Uehara (left hamstring strain) threw live batting practice on Saturday and will throw in a simulated game on Monday. Trembley said he's "progressing very well … and getting close."
Roberts (herniated disk in back) saw Dr. Lee Riley on Friday and he'll visit the back specialist again on Monday to determine when the second baseman can resume activities. Trembley said that Roberts' condition has improved.
A good trend
Jeremy Guthrie had a lot of issues last season, but one of his biggest problems was getting off to a poor start in the first inning.
En route to a 10-17 season, Guthrie had a first-inning ERA of 7.99 in 33 starts and had allowed 57 hits and 14 walks. Fourteen of those hits were extra-base hits.
With another scoreless first yesterday, Guthrie hasn't allowed a first-inning run through three starts, and he's surrendered four hits – all singles – and no walks in first innings this season.
Around the horn
The A's have now won 13 of their past 14 games against the Orioles, including nine straight at the Coliseum. … With his first inning single, Orioles catcher Matt Wieters snapped an 0-for-14 slump. Wieters hit third yesterday for the first time this season. … Yesterday marked the first time in eight games where the Orioles knocked an opposing starting pitcher out before six complete innings. Oakland starter Justin Duchscherer went 5 2/3 innings. Still, the Orioles were held to three runs or fewer in seven of their last eight games, and they've totaled just 23 runs during their nine-game skid … Atkins' sixth-inning single that scored two runs was the Orioles' first run-scoring hit with two outs and a runner in scoring position all season. Roberts got the one hit back in the top of the fifth inning on April 8 against the Tampa Bay Rays, but it was an infield single and didn't plate any runs. … Double-A Bowie's 3-2 victory over Akron yesterday was their eighth straight win and improved them to 9-1 on the season.