Hip strain forces Jones to bench

Notebook

Center fielder expects to play Thursday in Minnesota

reliever Castillo demoted

  • Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, center, is greeted at home plate with high-fives from Adam Jones, left, and Nick Markakis after his three-run homer in the fifth inning against Boston.
Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, center, is greeted at home plate… (Baltimore Sun photo by Kenneth…)
May 05, 2010|By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun

NEW YORK — — Center fielder Adam Jones was scratched Wednesday from the Orioles' lineup with a right hip strain less than an hour before their series finale with the New York Yankees. Jones called it precautionary and said he expects to be in the lineup Thursday night, when the Orioles begin a four-game series against the Minnesota Twins.

"It was just smarter not to play today," he said. "I'd end up hurting myself more than I need to."

Jones said he hurt his hip while taking a swing during his second at-bat in Tuesday night's game and it became more uncomfortable as the game progressed.

"I'm swinging out of my [butt] all the time, and it felt uncomfortable," Jones said. "I just battled through it the rest of the game. We'll get it taken care of [to] make sure I don't miss any more time than I need to."

With Jones out, Lou Montanez, normally a corner outfielder, made his first start in center field, and he had a tough day defensively. He sprinted back toward the right-center-field wall in the fourth inning and appeared to have a play on Mark Teixeira's drive, but he pulled up and lost the ball in the sun. The two-run double gave the Yankees a 6-1 lead.

"I feel like if that sun wasn't there, I would have made the play," Montanez said. "I was right there, but that's the way we're rolling right now."

Uehara up, Castillo down

With Koji Uehara expected to rejoin the team Thursday in Minnesota, the Orioles optioned reliever Alberto Castillo to Triple-A Norfolk. Castillo allowed three earned runs in five innings (5.40 ERA) in six games for the Orioles this season.

Castillo, a 34-year-old left-hander who has pitched in 54 games for the Orioles over the past three seasons, turned in three consecutive scoreless outings after he was recalled April 20. But he then surrendered runs in his next three appearances, including allowing homers to Robinson Cano and David Ortiz.

"I've been showing since I've been playing with the Orioles that I belong," he said. "That's the way this business is. I've got options, and I understand. I'm just going to go down there, working, and get back up here."

Kranitz gets the hook

Orioles pitching coach Rick Kranitz threw his hands up in the air after he was ejected by plate umpire Paul Emmel in the bottom of the second inning for arguing balls and strikes. Kranitz acknowledged questioning Emmel's ruling of a ball by starter David Hernandez during Brett Gardner's at-bat, but he didn't feel what he said warranted an ejection.

"As long as I've been a pitching coach in this league, you can ask … the umpires how much I really complain about strike zones or anything like that," Kranitz said. "It wasn't so much that. I was asking, and obviously he didn't like it. I thought it was a pretty quick [hook]. I didn't think I should have been thrown out of the game for … what I said. There was basically no profanity or anything like that. He just, I guess, didn't want to hear it."

Kranitz, who earned his first ejection as the Orioles' pitching coach, said he told Emmel, " 'That ball is down.' I guess he didn't like that, and I said one other thing and he said, 'That's enough.' I said, 'That ball's down,' and that was it."

Around the horn

Shortstop Julio Lugo had three hits Wednesday after entering the game with just four. … The four double plays the Orioles hit into were two shy of tying a team record. ... The homers by Matt Wieters and Nolan Reimold in the ninth inning were the first back-to-back home runs for the Orioles this season. … Starter David Hernandez has now gone 15 starts since last getting a win Aug. 11. His 11-game losing streak is the longest current streak in the majors. … With the victory Wednesday, his 27th against the Orioles, Yankees starter Andy Pettitte surpassed Catfish Hunter and now trails only Whitey Ford (30) for the most career wins against the Orioles since their move to Baltimore. … The Orioles are 4-23 in their past 27 road games. … Reliever Jim Johnson pitched a scoreless inning, allowing one hit, in his first appearance for Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday.

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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