Lugo still unavailable; VandenHurk start on hold

Infielder Julio Lugo still hasn’t been cleared to play, increasing the possibility that he’ll be shut down for the last few weeks. The Orioles aren’t ready to make that concession, but Lugo told me that he’ll probably visit another specialist tomorrow.

Lugo, who’s been diagnosed with sinusitis, added that he feels “a lot better” today and was smiling as he passed me in the hallway outside the clubhouse. He also joked that doctors keep checking his head and they can’t find anything inside of it.

Another utility infielder, Robert Andino, is making his third consecutive start at third base. However, manager Buck Showalter said rookie Josh Bell will “play some more” before the season ends.

The Orioles don’t have a starter listed for Wednesday in Boston. Showalter suggested that it could be Kevin Millwood instead of Rick VandenHurk, with Brad Bergesen starting on Tuesday.

“We still plan on getting Vandy a start,” Showalter said. “We’re just not sure exactly where it’s going to slot out yet.”

VandenHurk, who gave up Curtis Granderson’s three-run homer last night, might be held back in case he’s needed in long relief. For example, if Troy Patton has to pitch today.

Patton is still here, by the way. I said hello to him this morning. It wasn’t his evil twin.

Showalter was told about Joe Girardi’s comments last night regarding Jeremy Guthrie, who has hit 10 Yankees in his career, more than any other team. Guthrie nailed Derek Jeter with his first pitch last night, sparking Girardi’s latest criticisms.

“I understand. I’d feel the same way,” Showalter said. “I do know you have to pitch a lot of their guys in and he’s had pretty good numbers, comparatively speaking, against Jeter, so I don’t think it would be anything intentional. But I understand how Joe would feel that way. I’d probably feel the same way.”

Showalter said he didn’t notice how Alex Rodriguez ran all the way to the Orioles’ dugout after scoring in the first inning last night.

“I’ve got to tell you something, I don’t watch him,” Showalter said. “It’s not that significant to me, to watch somebody from another team. It’s kind of insignificant to me. That’s the first I heard of it. I’m not looking for those things necessarily.

“I’ve had players before that, when they’ve had some leg issues, one thing the trainers tell them is to run all the way through and be careful slowing down. That’s a stretch. I understand. But I didn’t notice it and I didn’t hear anybody else notice it. And if you have a problem with that, maybe keep him off the bases so he can’t do that.”

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