Pie down

Pie down
Anyone want to bat leadoff? The Orioles' decision to put Felix Pie on the disabled list this afternoon with a strained muscle in his upper back leaves them without two leadoff hitters. Pie joins second baseman Brian Roberts, who's supposed to fill that role on a full-time basis. I'd draw straws, except that's also the method I'd use to write out the entire lineup. Not very original. Adam Jones gets the call tonight, and it won't be the last time. If I'm Jones, I'd be a little...
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Tonight's lineups

Tonight's lineups
For the Orioles: Adam Jones CF Nick Markakis RF Miguel Tejada 3B Matt Wieters C Nolan Reimold DH Luke Scott LF Garrett Atkins 1B Ty Wigginton 2B Cesar Izturis SS Kevin Millwood RHP For the Athletics Rajai Davis CF Daric Barton 1B Ryan Sweeney RF Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B Eric Chavez DH Jake Fox C Gabe Gross LF Adam Rosales 2B Cliff Pennington SS Dallas Braden LHP
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The real race

The real race
If you'd rather shield your eyes from the division standings, and it's like staring at the sun until you get a searing headache, I have a better race for you. Who is the greater source of frustration for manager Dave Trembley - Koji Uehara, Mike Gonzalez or Felix Pie? Uehara was limited to 12 starts last year because of hamstring and elbow injuries. The hamstring first became an issue in spring training. And his stamina was so poor, he'd break a sweat opening a bottled water. Now the...
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What to do with Pie

What to do with Pie
Has anyone been able to find the reset button on this season? I'll gladly take the tip of a pen and press it inside that little hole. Whatever it takes to start over. If the Orioles can't lead the league in wins, maybe they'll take first in injuries. Felix Pie's shoulder won't heal, and he left last night's game in obvious pain after taking a hard cut. Manager Dave Trembley has sat him against left-handers, but not only because of the percentages. He just can't use Pie every night...
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Being programmed

Being programmed
I'm bouncing between programs tonight - the SNL special, the "30 for 30" documentary on Allen Iverson, the end of the Caps game. I check on the Orioles and see David Hernandez give up two runs in the first inning. I turn back later and see Cesar Izturis ground out to strand two runners. I flip back again and see Oakland add a run in the second inning and still have the bases loaded. Hernandez did a terrific job controlling the damage in the second. The game could have totally gotten out...
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Second to none (w/injury updates)

Second to none (w/injury updates)
Injury updates: MASN's Amber Theoharis tells me that closer Mike Gonzalez will head to the minor league camp in Sarasota to begin a three-week rehab assignment. It'll be a while before he's attempting to close games again. Manager Dave Trembley told reporters in Oakland that Jim Johnson most likely would receive the bulk of the save opportunities. Kam Mickolio will work at the back end of the bullpen, giving Trembley a power arm late in the games. Also, Koji Uehara is scheduled to face...
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Tonight's lineups

Tonight's lineups
For the Orioles: Felix Pie LF Adam Jones CF Nick Markakis RF Miguel Tejada 3B Matt Wieters C Luke Scott DH Ty Wigginton 2B Garrett Atkins 1B Cesar Izturis SS David Hernandez RHP For the Athletics Rajai Davis CF Daric Barton 1B Ryan Sweeney RF Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B Kurt Suzuki C Eric Chavez DH Adam Rosales 2B Travis Buck LF Cliff Pennington SS Ben Sheets RHP
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Missing the Orioles

Missing the Orioles
Today is the first day that I've been away from the Orioles since I arrived in Sarasota on Feb. 16, and I'm beginning to experience separation anxiety. I just asked my neighbor how his groin is feeling. I chastised the paper boy for his poor arm slot. I stopped by the Eldersburg bowling alley so I could check how the ball was coming out of someone's hand. I popped in a tape of the last New Year's Eve celebration so I could watch another ball drop. I chose a different chair this morning...
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Roster move official (updated)

Roster move official (updated)
The Orioles just announced that they've recalled right-handed reliever Kam Mickolio from Triple-A Norfolk to replace closer Mike Gonzalez on the 25-man roster. He joined the team in Oakland. Mickolio went 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in 9 1/3 innings in spring training, but he also walked seven batters. He allowed one earned run in three innings at Norfolk, but also issued four walks. Once that plate stops moving, he'll be fine. The Orioles view Mickolio as a potential closer down the road once his...
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Opponents 8, Orioles 1

Opponents 8, Orioles 1
You want good news? The Orioles didn't give up a run in the eighth or ninth inning for the first time this season. That's progress. I respect the fans who applauded Luke Scott's one-out walk in the bottom of the ninth inning. I won't question their sanity. Way to stay in the game. Dave Trembley talks with the media after the O's 9-1 loss to the Rays Garrett Atkins followed with a little roller in front of the plate. The catcher picked up the ball and tagged Atkins on the foot for...
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A closer look

A closer look
Manager Dave Trembley confirmed that Jim Johnson would "get that consideration" as Mike Gonzalez's replacement in the ninth inning. It's not a ringing endorsement, but it sounds like Johnson is the frontrunner to close. He brings a little experience, if not a lot of success, to the table. Gonzalez told Trembley that his shoulder has been bothering him the last couple of days. The club is awaiting the results of his MRI.
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A few items of possible interest

A few items of possible interest
Today's attendance: 10,248. Not a record low, but pretty darn low. That's 125,646 tickets sold for this homestand. B.J. Upton has two home runs this season - both of them coming today. He connected off Brad Bergesen in the third inning and took Jason Berken deep in the seventh. Tampa Bay 9, Orioles 1 Did two blown saves in four games really turn things around this dramatically? It's the second multi-homer game of Upton's career, the other coming July 20, 2007 at New York. See, bad...
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What's going on with Sarfate? (updated twice)

What's going on with Sarfate? (updated twice)
Dennis Sarfate entered today's game at Triple-A Norfolk, but he apparently left without throwing a pitch. Anybody else find that strange? The Tides lead Charlotte, 7-0, in the bottom of the seventh. Jake Arrieta tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out five. He threw 79 pitches, 56 for strikes. Update: Sarfate left the game with a strained oblique muscle. He's tossed three scoreless innings for the Tides this season, allowing one hit, walking one and striking...
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From bad to worse

From bad to worse
I wonder if the new reliever can get here right now. Brad Bergesen is getting the pinata treatment today. B.J. Upton just hit a three-run homer in the third inning, the second for the Rays today. Tampa Bay 6, Orioles 0. Bergesen just doesn't have it today. Upton slaughtered an 89 mph fastball, sending it 405 feet into the seats in left-center field. The Rays also collected two doubles in the inning. Four of their five hits have gone for extra-bases, with Upton and Carlos Pena touching...
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Gonzalez to DL

Gonzalez to DL
The Orioles just announced that they've placed reliever Mike Gonzalez on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left shoulder. The move is retroactive to April 10. A corresponding roster move will be announced "at a later time," according to the Orioles' press release. Usually, that means after the game. Kam Mickolio has allowed one run and four hits in three innings, with four walks and five strikeouts, at Triple-A Norfolk. Alberto Castillo has surrendered one run and two hits, with...
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Tatum's turn

Tatum's turn
Backup catcher Craig Tatum, making his first start today for the Orioles, assumed that Brad Bergesen hadn't faced Tampa Bay in the regular season because he couldn't find video of the game. Maybe the Orioles burned it. Bergesen took the loss last year after giving up four runs and nine hits, including a homer, in 5 2/3 innings. Tatum is looking for any advantage as he gets more acquainted with the pitching staff. He caught Bergesen twice in spring training and has set the target in...
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Along came Jones

Along came Jones
Don't expect Adam Jones to be pacing the floor today in anticipation of batting first for the Orioles. He's done it six other times in his career, and he told me earlier today that his placement in the lineup doesn't make "one bit of difference." "Where I hit never changes my approach," he said. So don't look for Jones to lay down a bunt in the first inning. "I just play my normal game," he said. "It's more at-bats and I love hitting, so it gives me an opportunity to get up...
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Gonzalez hurt?

Gonzalez hurt?
Reliever Mike Gonzalez notified manager Dave Trembley last night that he wasn't available to pitch because he couldn't get his shoulder loose in the bullpen. A team physician will examine Gonzalez today. "He told me that he wasn't feeling comfortable getting loose last night," Trembley said. "Obviously, there were a couple situations last night where I would have loved to bring him in." Trembley is waiting to receive an update from head athletic trainer Richie Bancells, but he...
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Jones first, Wigginton second

Jones first, Wigginton second
Adam Jones CF Ty Wigginton 2B Nick Markakis RF Miguel Tejada 3B Nolan Reimold LF Luke Scott DH Garrett Atkins 1B Craig Tatum C Cesar Izturis SS Brad Bergesen RHP
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The Matusz decision: To hope or hook

The Matusz decision: To hope or hook
The clubhouse opens at 10:05 a.m. today, and it will provide some warmth on this cold morning. Forget chilly. I just stepped outside and the "chilly" ship has sailed. It's cold. We're getting up to 64 degrees today, according to the Fox 45 weather forecast. Or it's going to be 45 according to the Fox 64 forecast. I'm a little tired and wasn't paying close attention. Before we turn the page on last night's game, which is sure to leave a paper cut considering the way this season is...
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