Millwood in the opener

Manager Dave Trembley might not be ready to announce his starting rotation on Monday.

"We're going to let the next time through go, but I don't think there's any doubt now who's going to be the No. 1 guy," Trembley said. "I guess he threw eight scoreless innings in the back. Monday I'll be able to tell you who that guy is."

Trembley chuckled, knowing that Kevin Millwood was the obvious choice all along.

I guess this little nugget will have to pass for news today. Millwood is the No. 1 starter.

Trembley has referred to the dogfight in the bullpen. How would he describe what's happening at the backend of the rotation?

"I would say we're going to go 15 rounds with it," Trembley said. "We're going to go the distance and keep battling and keep running these guys out here and try to make the right decision and the best decision. Guys are answering the bell and they're making it real tough for me. And I like it."

Like everyone else, Trembley was impressed with David Hernandez's fourth-inning escape from a bases-loaded, no-out jam.

"His poise was good," Trembley said. "He wasn't walking around the mound, he didn't change his game plan, he didn't look like he got flustered and he didn't try to overthrow. Last year, what you saw with David and a lot of young guys is they tried to overthrow, they'd elevate the ball and they're asking the umpire for a new one.

"He probably threw more pitches below the belt today than I've seen from him in a long time with his fastball. Now that makes it even more effective because he's got a swing-and-miss pitch if he elevates it out of the strike zone."

The Orioles were able to learn more about Hernandez today because of that jam. It's an uncomfortable situation for a young pitcher, but it's also an education for everyone.

"Absolutely, because you want to see how they're going to react," Trembley said. "You want to see if somebody's going to cave in or not. You probably get a much better read from your players when things aren't going according to plan. You've got to see what people can do through a little bit of adversity because they're certainly going to be tested in the regular season."

The Orioles defeated the Red Sox, 6-1. Ross Wolf gave up a run in the top of the ninth after Alberto Castillo's scoreless eighth.


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