The Orioles were left with only two healthy players on their bench - catcher Brook Fordyce (.219) and outfielder Brady Anderson (.197). David Segui remains day-to-day with a sore left knee that was examined Friday.

Segui hasn't played since Thursday at Tampa Bay.

Mills battles himself

Looking at struggling reliever Alan Mills, Hargrove sees a pitcher who needs better location on his slider. He also sees someone who's beginning to lose confidence.

"Alan's just not throwing strikes," Hargrove said. "Alan's always had a good slider. He's been able to throw it for strikes when he wanted to. For a couple outings, he hasn't been able to do that. He's overcranking it, trying to be too nasty, and it's causing him to get behind in the count."

Mills has allowed four homers in his past four appearances. The damage has included three-run shots from Boston's Carl Everett, Tampa Bay's Chris Gomez and Toronto's Brad Fullmer. Manny Ramirez followed Everett's bomb with a bases-empty homer.

Mills sat dejectedly at his locker before yesterday's game, keeping to himself rather than exchanging in the usual banter with teammates and reporters.

"No matter how much time you have in the big leagues, there are times that everybody starts doubting themselves," Hargrove said. "You've got to fight through that period and, when you do, you realize you're still awfully good at what you do, and you relax and let things happen for you.

"Right now, Alan looks like he's in one of those periods where he's doubting himself a little bit and maybe has some questions."

Around the horn

Cal Ripken saved a run from scoring in the seventh inning and showed off some range when he backhanded a ball hit down the line by Fullmer. Ripken's momentum carried him into foul territory, where he rolled on his shoulder but kept Vernon Wells from advancing past third base. ... The Blue Jays called up Wells from Triple-A Syracuse before the game and optioned pitcher Matt DeWitt. Wells, regarded as one of their top prospects, batted leadoff yesterday and went 3-for-5 with a stolen base.