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Ripken, others join team today


With rosters expanding today, the Orioles will activate third baseman Cal Ripken from the disabled list, recall outfielder Eugene Kingsale from Triple-A Rochester and purchase the contract of outfielder Karim Garcia from the Red Wings. And that's just the beginning.

More personnel moves will be announced today, including the expected call-ups of third baseman Ryan Minor, infielders Jesus Garcia and Ivanon Coffie, catcher Willie Morales and pitcher Luis Rivera. Those promotions will be delayed until Rochester's season ends Monday.

No players from Double-A Bowie are likely to be recalled. Neither is Rochester pitcher Leslie Brea, who received less attention for his one start with the Orioles than for revealing after the game that he was 26 years old rather than 21. Josh Towers, whose season was interrupted by a shoulder injury, has resumed pitching but probably won't be brought up because he's not on the 40-man roster.

Kingsale, 24, missed most of the season with a torn right quadriceps that denied him the starting center-field job in Rochester, and perhaps an earlier assignment in Baltimore. The first native of Aruba to play in the majors, in 1996, Kingsale was transferred to the 60-day disabled list after injuring his hamstring on a rehab assignment.

He batted a combined .385 (20-for-52) in 14 games with the Rookie-level Gulf Coast Orioles, Single-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie. He's 4-for-10 in two games with Rochester.

Kingsale, who's out of minor-league options, has batted .241 (21-for-87) in 42 games with the Orioles during the past four seasons. If he remains with the club next season, he could compete with rookie Luis Matos for a spot in the outfield. The Orioles also could choose to trade him, especially if it's determined that Matos wouldn't benefit from beginning next season at Rochester.

Room was created for Kingsale on the 40-man roster with the removal of Mike Kinkade, who went on the restricted list after making the U.S. Olympic baseball team.

"I certainly want to see him play," said manager Mike Hargrove, who will get that chance while Matos recovers from a bruised shoulder. "He's played well on his rehab assignment, and he's playing well so far at Rochester."

Garcia, 24, was acquired from the Detroit Tigers on June 12 for future considerations. He's batting a combined .283 (119-for-421) in the International League, including Triple-A Toledo, with 28 homers, 92 RBIs and a .551 slugging average. He's hitting .274 (73-for-266) with 13 homers and 54 RBIs in 75 games at Rochester.

Garcia began the season with the Tigers, going 3-for-17 in eight games before being optioned to Toledo, where he hit .297 (46-for-155) with 15 homers and 38 RBIs in 40 games.

He won't be available for three games while serving a suspension related to an April 22 brawl between members of the Tigers and Chicago White Sox. He'll be eligible to play Monday in Minnesota. The Orioles had room on the 40-man roster for Garcia after transferring pitcher Scott Erickson to the 60-day disabled list.

Triple-A detour for Parrish

John Parrish threw on the side yesterday, his last act with the Orioles before reporting to Rochester today. Parrish will start Sunday's game in Buffalo, then rejoin the club Tuesday in Minnesota.

The Orioles announced Parrish's temporary demotion after Wednesday's game at Camden Yards. The move is intended to enable Parrish to work on his mechanics and find a comfort zone outside a pressurized environment. The left-hander has been struggling to locate the strike zone, in part because he's throwing across his body while worrying more about the placement of his feet and arm slot.

Hargrove also has noted that Parrish is giving "too much credit" to opposing hitters rather than trusting his stuff.

"I've been thinking about all my mechanical things out there and trying to overcompensate on throwing for strikes and being able to get a ball across the plate, and it's taking away from my effectiveness by not being as aggressive," said Parrish, 22, who has walked 32 in 34 2/3 innings and failed to get through the third inning his past two starts.

Rookie Jay Spurgeon will make Parrish's start Sunday in Cleveland, a week after winning his first major-league game with seven strong innings against Tampa Bay.

"They had told me I'd start again. I just didn't know when it would be," he said. "Whatever they want me to do is fine."

Matos may play within week

Having lost some of the swelling and soreness that hindered him Wednesday, Matos is optimistic that he'll return to the lineup in less than a week.

Matos bruised his left shoulder while colliding with Detroit first baseman Dean Palmer in the second inning of Tuesday's game. A magnetic resonance imaging was inconclusive because of the swelling. Another one won't be administered unless Matos continues to experience pain.

Hargrove back in Cleveland

Tonight's game marks Hargrove's first visit to Cleveland since being fired after winning his fifth straight Central Division title last season. The Orioles started their season against the Indians at Camden Yards, which provided enough attention for Hargrove.

"I would not have liked for our first series to open in Cleveland," he said. "It was interesting enough with Cleveland here. It would have been a complete zoo instead of half a zoo."

Hargrove, who managed the Indians for 8 1/2 seasons, said he began thinking about the trip "the last couple days, off and on."

"I certainly haven't dwelled on it," he said. "In a lot of ways I'm looking forward to it, and in other ways I'm not looking forward to it. It'll be nice to sleep in my own bed for a couple days, and seeing friends and family, but we're there to play baseball. That's my focus.

"I can honestly say that in no way do I wish I was back there and not here. I really like it here. This is my home now."

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