Demotion not considered for Matusz

Demotion not considered for Matusz
Interim manager Juan Samuel told reporters after today's game that he's not thinking about optioning left-hander Brian Matusz to the minors. "Not at this point. Not in my mind," he said. Reminded that the Orioles demoted Brad Bergesen and Chris Tillman this season, Samuel replied, "We're not thinking about that right now." He clearly wanted to change the subject. Samuel had an extended chat with Matusz in the second inning before taking the ball from him. "I basically asked him if...
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Too late for a do-over? (updated)

Too late for a do-over? (updated)
The worst part about this game is it started. Brian Matusz gave up six runs in 1 2/3 innings. I omitted the hit batter when passing along his line in my last entry. It wasn't pretty. Felix Pie took another poor route on a fly ball to left, allowing it to bounce on the warning track and over the fence for a ground-rule double. He looked tentative chasing it. He certainly has the speed to run it down. Nick Markakis and Scott Moore couldn't catch up to Vernon Wells' fly ball down the right...
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Gonzo and Matusz

Gonzo and Matusz
The plans for Michael Gonzalez have changed. He was supposed to pitch today at Triple-A Norfolk, but he'll wait until tomorrow. That appearance will be the last one on his injury rehab assignment. The Orioles originally were going to give him two more outings. The Blue Jays batted around in the second inning against Brian Matusz and have taken a 6-1 lead. Matusz goes 1 2/3 innings in his shortest outing of the season. He served up a grand slam to Yunel Escobar in the second among the five...
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A few random thoughts

A few random thoughts
With Corey Patterson expected to be unavailable for the next few days, I wonder whether the Orioles will keep Josh Bell on the roster tomorrow when Luke Scott is activated from the disabled list. Perhaps the smarter move is to send down Frank Mata and fatten up the bench. President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail, appearing earlier today on 105.7 The Fan, confirmed that he expressed interest in Justin Smoak after the Rangers drafted the first baseman in 2008. He knew the Rangers had...
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More on Patterson

More on Patterson
Corey Patterson told reporters that he'll probably miss the next game or two with a bruised left heel. He isn't confident that he could pinch-hit today. Patterson said he sustained the injury last night when his left foot hit the bag on a bunt. A thin bench is almost transparent.
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Patterson scratched (w/more notes)

Patterson scratched (w/more notes)
Corey Patterson has been scratched from the lineup with a sore heel, an injury sustained during last night's game. Patterson is being examined by a team physician, and the Orioles hope that he's available to pinch-hit. Otherwise, they're down to a two-man bench consisting of Julio Lugo and catcher Craig Tatum. "When he bunted last night, we think it happened," interim manager Juan Samuel said. Felix Pie will bat first and play left field. Just insert his name in Patterson's spot in...
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Bell and Fox starting today

Bell and Fox starting today
Here's the Orioles lineup: Corey Patterson LF Miguel Tejada DH Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Adam Jones CF Jake Fox C Scott Moore 2B Josh Bell 3B Cesar Izturis SS Brian Matusz LHP Matt Wieters had his right leg wrapped in ice again today as he walked out of the trainers room, but he told me that his hamstring feels much better.
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Post-game Samuel

Post-game Samuel
Interim manager Juan Samuel was asked about the Orioles' failure to twice lay down sacrifice bunts tonight. They came up small in the small-ball department. "We need to do that if we are going to win some close ballgames," Samuel said. "We need to play good defense and do the little things. A little bit disappointed that we didn't get those down, so we've just got to continue to work on those little things. But if we are going to win the close ones, we need to do the little...
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Britton dazzles again

Britton dazzles again
Another brilliant night for left-hander Zach Britton, who registered his first Triple-A victory by holding Columbus scoreless on five hits over 7 1/3 innings in Norfolk's 4-0 win. Britton's ERA is 1.50 in three starts since moving up from Double-A Bowie. He threw a scoreless inning for Team USA in the Futures Game before making tonight's start. Britton struck out three and walked one. How much longer before we're watching his major league debut? Columbus led the International League in...
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More frustration (updated)

More frustration (updated)
Corey Patterson joined Craig Tatum tonight as players who were instructed to lay down a sacrifice bunt and couldn't do it. Tatum walked in the fifth to load the bases with no outs, and Cesar Izturis singled in two runs to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead. No real harm. But Patterson struck out in the eighth after Izturis' leadoff single. Miguel Tejada singled to put runners on the corners with one out, but Nick Markakis grounded into a routine 6-3 double play. Markakis took a pitch that he...
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That's more like it (updated)

That's more like it (updated)
Jeremy Guthrie left tonight's game with a chance to post his first victory since May 25. Guthrie gave up a home run to leadoff hitter Fred Lewis on his first pitch of the night, but that was it. He allowed seven hits, walked one and struck out six in 6 2/3 innings. Guthrie hadn't made it through the fifth in his two previous starts, surrendering 10 earned runs and 16 hits in a combined 8 2/3 innings. He also issued eight walks in those two games. Interim manager Juan Samuel removed Guthrie...
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Sloppy Saturday (updated)

Sloppy Saturday (updated)
The Orioles drew a walk and collected a hit off Toronto starter Brandon Morrow over the first three innings, but he faced the minimum number of batters. And he didn't need a double play. How is this possible? Corey Patterson broke too soon for second and was caught stealing after his leadoff walk in the first. Julio Lugo reached on a fielder's choice in the third, but he was caught stealing after getting a late jump and glancing back at the plate as if he expected Cesar Izturis to chase the...
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If you blinked...

If you blinked...
...you missed the first run of the game. Toronto leadoff hitter Fred Lewis swung at the first pitch from Jeremy Guthrie, a fastball, and drove it 405 feet over the center field fence to give the Blue Jays a quick 1-0 lead. Adam Jones made a nice leaping attempt, but couldn't bring down the ball. Lewis has hit four leadoff homers this year, and five in his career. Guthrie has allowed 16 homers this season, including one in each of his last four starts. The Blue Jays added a two-out...
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Blue Jays lineup; MacPhail's Q&A

Blue Jays lineup; MacPhail's Q&A
For the Blue Jays: Fred Lewis LF Yunel Escobar SS Jose Bautista RF Vernon Wells CF Adam Lind DH Aaron Hill 2B Lyle Overbay 1B Edwin Encarnacion 3B Jose Molina C Brandon Morrow RHP President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail took questions from season-ticket holders earlier today. Here are a few interesting points: * MacPhail indicated that the new manager will get to pick his coaching staff. The subject came up when a fan asked about Scott McGregor's chances of being named pitching coach...
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Roberts pushing to play (w/quotes added)

Roberts pushing to play (w/quotes added)
Interim manager Juan Samuel spoke to Brian Roberts earlier today and told reporters that the second baseman thinks he only needs about 15 additional at-bats before he's ready to come off the disabled list. He'll have to convince the Orioles. Roberts will report to Double-A Bowie on Monday, as I've written, and he's scheduled to stay there all week. He could be activated next weekend, putting him ahead of schedule. "He's missed a lot of time and we've got a little over two months...
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No Bell again today

No Bell again today
Here's the Orioles lineup: Corey Patteron DH Miguel Tejada 3B Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 1B Adam Jones CF Felix Pie LF Craig Tatum C Julio Lugo 2B Cesar Izturis SS Jeremy Guthrie RHP
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Round of Gulf

Round of Gulf
Brian Roberts started at second base today for the Gulf Coast League Orioles and went 1-for-4 with a strikeout before leaving the game. Roberts grounded to short, singled to center, struck out and grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. He's batting .533 in five games. The Orioles could choose to rest him tomorrow before assigning him to Double-A Bowie on Monday. Luke Scott served as the designated hitter today. He's 0-for-2 with a walk and run scored. Scott popped up and grounded out before...
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This, that and the other

This, that and the other
Brian Roberts is scheduled to continue his injury rehab assignment at Double-A Bowie on Monday, when the Baysox begin a seven-game homestand against Binghamton at Prince George's Stadium. Roberts is 7-for-11 with a double, run scored, two walks and two strikeouts with the Gulf Coast League Orioles. Left-hander Michael Gonzalez is supposed to pitch again tomorrow at Triple-A Norfolk after giving up two runs and three hits last night in two-thirds of an inning. Gonzalez has allowed six runs...
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Post-game Samuel (w/Gonzo update)

Post-game Samuel (w/Gonzo update)
Interim manager Juan Samuel praised starter Brad Bergesen for battling on a night when the right-hander didn't have his best stuff. "He kept the game close," Samuel said. "We got some opportunities there. Even though his command probably wasn't where he wanted it to be, he kept the game close for us. So that's all we wanted. "I think since he has been back here, he has had a few good outings. His tempo was very, very good. He threw a lot of strikes, his ball was sinking. We didn't see...
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The decision

The decision
The Orioles put runners on the corners with two outs in the bottom of the seventh after Felix Pie doubled and Julio Lugo extended the inning with an infield hit. Cesar Izturis stepped to the plate as the potential go-ahead run against Blue Jays left-hander Ricky Romero. Should a pinch-hitter step out of the dugout? Izturis was 0-for-2, but he began the night batting .310 in his last 18 games, with four doubles (half of his season total) and a homer (his only one of 2010). Interim manager...
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