KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Reliever Gregg Olson has not been as consistent as he was during the first two months of the season, so manager Johnny Oates took him aside yesterday to make sure he is all right.
"He had some nagging injuries for a while, but health-wise, he's OK," Oates said. "He hasn't had treatment on anything in four or five days."
Olson doesn't say much about how he feels physically, but he has had some forearm stiffness and he was removed from a game in early July with a strained muscle in his side. Since the beginning of July, he has blown five of 12 save opportunities, including one Saturday night.
Olson and Oates met briefly before yesterday's game, just to make sure they were on the same wavelength.
"There have been a couple of little things bothering me a little bit, but everything is good," Olson said.
The loss yesterday left the Orioles with a 10-12 record on artificial turf. They have not had a winning record on the carpet since 1986, when they went 14-11.
Hoiles close to returning
Catcher Chris Hoiles is expected to rejoin the team later this week, but Oates said it is unlikely that he will be ready to play when the Orioles open a nine-game homestand tomorrow night against the Seattle Mariners.
Hoiles has been swinging the bat well during his injury rehabilitation assignment with the Double-A Hagerstown Suns, but Oates has to be satisfied that he will be able to throw well enough to warrant a return to the lineup.
The Orioles don't figure to rush Hoiles, since they are going to have a hard enough time deciding what to do with one of their two reserve catchers until the rosters expand Sept. 1.
Frohwirth piles them up
Right-hander Todd Frohwirth pitched four innings and continues to add to his league lead in relief innings pitched. He has thrown 83 1/3 innings out of the bullpen. Oakland's Jeff Parrett is second with 77 1/3 , and Kansas City's Rusty Meacham is third with 75 1/3 .
Frohwirth pitched 96 1/3 innings last year to rank second among AL relievers, even though he did not join the team until May 28.
Left-hander Pat Clements was ejected by home plate umpire John Shulock in the fifth inning yesterday for hitting Royals catcher Mike Macfarlane with a pitch.
Macfarlane took a fastball off the hip and had to be restrained at home plate. He shouted at Clements and then at Shulock, who sent him to first base and gave Clements the hook.
Shulock apparently assumed that Clements hit Macfarlane intentionally, since Orioles catcher Mark Parent had been hit by Royals starter Hipolito Pichardo earlier in the game and Bill Ripken had been buzzed behind the head after a home run by Leo Gomez.
Pichardo, however, was allowed to remain in the game.
Charity crab feast
The Orioles will hold a Crab Fest Sunday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at La Fontaine Bleu in Glen Burnie to benefit the Children's Cancer Foundation. Tickets are $35 for adults and $20 for children, and requests should be made by tomorrow. The phone number is (410) 792-0346.
Mike Devereaux was charged with his fourth error of the year for an errant throw in the fourth inning. He made three errors in 149 games last year. . . The Orioles still are on pace to challenge the major-league record for fewest errors in a season (84 by the '88 Minnesota Twins). . . The Orioles are 2-8 closing out road trips this year. . . They are 15-24 in day games. Only three AL teams have done worse in natural lighting. . . When Royals shortstop David Howard walked and scored in the ninth inning of Saturday night's game, it was the first time in 11 games that a walk had come back to haunt the Orioles. In between, Orioles pitchers walked 28 batters without one coming around to score.