Millwood's return

I told you about Michael Aubrey's hot streak at Triple-A Norfolk, which included a grand slam last night. He also added a two-run shot, giving him six RBIs.

He's batting .237, so consistency has been an issue, but there's no denying that his bat is sizzling right now.

Frank Mata, optioned over the weekend, allowed a run and two hits in two-thirds of an inning. He also threw two wild pitches.

Kevin Millwood comes off the disabled list today and pitches for the first time since July 5 in Detroit, when he gave up five runs in one inning.

It seems so long ago.

Millwood has allowed five runs or more in five of his last seven starts. He hasn't completed the sixth inning in six of the last seven.

He's due.

He's also healthy after dealing with a strained right forearm.

"Everything feels good," he said yesterday. "I went through all my treatment, all my rehab stuff, and everything feels good."

Millwood threw a light bullpen session on Tuesday after finding out that his start was pushed back to tonight.

"It was more of a tuneup to get ready," he said.

Millwood was a strong trade possibility before the slump and the injury. His value is down, but he can hike it back up with a quality outing tonight.

Here's the problem: He's 0-8 with a 5.71 ERA lifetime against the Twins.

Millwood was better against them on May 8, allowing three runs over seven innings in a 6-1 loss. But his next victory over them will be his first.

Nick Punto is 11-for-24 (.458) with four doubles against Millwood, Jim Thome is 6-for-10 (.600) with a double, three homers and six RBIs. Justin Morneau is 8-for-22 (.364) with three doubles, three homers and 10 RBIs. Michael Cuddyer is 11-for-26 (.423) with four doubles, a homer and three RBIs.

Brian Roberts is expected to take a break from his injury-rehab assignment tonight before the Orioles decide whether to activate him this weekend or wait until they hit the road. He's pushing to play for them right away, but the Orioles don't want to risk another setback.

I'd definitely put him on the 25-man roster for the series in Toronto, even if it means using him as the designated hitter for a few games to stay off the artificial surface. And then you wait for the first time he dives into second base, or extends himself for a ground ball, and hope he jumps back up to his feet.

The Orioles are getting healthier.

Now they need to get better.

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