Staying down, cleaning up

The Tigers need a third baseman. Brandon Inge broke his hand and will miss the next four to six weeks.

The Orioles have a third baseman, Miguel Tejada, who is drawing interest from a few teams, including the Padres.

I'm not above playing matchmaker.

Nolan Reimold hit a two-run homer last night at Triple-A Norfolk, and Single-A Frederick's Xavier Avery came within a triple of the cycle.

The Orioles were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position last night, but I doubt that many people noticed. The Rays scored seven runs in the second inning and nothing else mattered.

The Blue Jays are 9-0 against the Orioles this season. The Rays are 6-1.

That'll keep you in last place.

Well, among other things.

The Orioles allowed five runs or more in an individual inning for the 14th time this season, tying them with the Brewers for the most in the majors.

That'll also keep you in last place.

I'm hearing less talk from fans about keeping Juan Samuel as manager and Craig Tatum behind the plate. I guess the buzz from the Texas sweep has worn off.

I hate when that happens.

At least the roster won't grow stagnant. Kevin Millwood and Michael Gonzalez could be activated tomorrow, and Brian Roberts could join them this weekend. Gonzalez and Roberts are on the 60-day disabled list, so room must be created on the 40-man roster.

Jim Johnson's throwing off a mound again, but putting him on the 60-day DL makes good 40-man roster sense.

As for 25-man moves, Josh Bell figures to be optioned to Norfolk. That's the most obvious one. The kid needs to play third base every day. Get him off the bench.

Brad Bergesen could return to the Tides' rotation. Samuel left open the possibility of putting a starter in the bullpen, but that doesn't ease the roster crunch. And Roberts could replace Scott Moore.

Ty Wigginton hit cleanup again last night, a logical placement considering that he's tied for the team lead in home runs. But he's batting .201 with one homer in 154 at-bats in the fourth slot.

Who's the alternative?

This may come as a total shocker, but the Orioles don't have a legitimate cleanup hitter on their roster.

No, really.

Miguel Tejada is hitting .274 with four homers in 168 at-bats in that role. Nick Markakis is a career .273 hitter with five homers in 187 at-bats. Adam Jones is 1-for-6 lifetime. Luke Scott is 2-for-17 this season, and he's a career .188 hitter with five homers in 117 at-bats.

It probably doesn't matter. Same with the RISP stat from last night.

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