MRI probably marks end to Ponson season


A magnetic resonance imaging test taken on Sidney Ponson's right forearm yesterday confirmed that he has extensor tendinitis, and the Orioles most likely will shut him down for the remaining month of the season.

The results of the MRI matched Wednesday's diagnosis by team orthopedist Dr. Michael Jacobs. At the time, manager Mike Hargrove anticipated Ponson missing at least two starts because of pain in the muscle, which runs from the elbow to the forearm, but last night said the chances were "remote" that the pitcher would take another turn in the rotation.

"This is just to be on the safe side," Hargrove said. "We don't want to do anything to jeopardize Sidney."

Ponson, who's eligible for arbitration after the season, is 5-10 with a 4.94 ERA and three complete games in 23 starts. He went on the disabled list retroactive to April 16 with elbow tendinitis, and said last night that he's been dealing with pain "for a while" but continued to pitch.

"I don't want to make excuses. I chose to go out there and pitch and I take responsibility for all the games we lost," said Ponson, who left after four innings of Tuesday's 6-2 loss to Oakland.

Though he probably is finished for the season, Ponson is hoping to make a few more starts.

"I might be pitching in two weeks. You never know," he said.

"I've had a disastrous season. I let myself down and let a lot of people down around me. I can't take any positives out of the season. It's been really bad for me. I take all the blame. It's my fault. I tried hard, but it didn't work this year. I'm just going to work hard and come back next year and show these guys that I can really play here."

Anderson bats seventh

For the first time in more than two years, Brady Anderson's placement in the Orioles' lineup last night didn't include the responsibilities of a leadoff hitter.

Seeking better left-right distribution against Seattle Mariners starter Aaron Sele, Hargrove lowered the struggling Anderson to seventh. Anderson provided the only left-handed bat among the last six Orioles.

In explaining his decision, Hargrove pointed to Anderson's .413 career average against Sele, which included a home run and eight RBIs in 46 at-bats.

"Brady's had a lot of success against Sele," Hargrove said before the game. "I'm just trying to get a little left-handed balance down the lineup."

Anderson went 0-for 3 with a walk.

Anderson hadn't been moved down in the order since April 21, 1999, when he batted third in a game at Tampa Bay's Tropicana Field. Hargrove had kept him atop the order this season despite a .198 average going into last night. His on-base percentage, which stood at .308 last night, ranked in the bottom five among American League hitters until recently.

Bauer gets first O's shot

The first three additions to the Orioles' expanded roster will arrive today. All of them are pitchers, and two have been here before.

Rick Bauer, Ryan Kohlmeier and John Parrish have been summoned from Triple-A Rochester. Bauer, who will take Ponson's turn in the rotation tomorrow, was added to the 40-man roster after the Orioles transferred Pat Hentgen to the 60-day disabled list.

Bauer, 24, went 2-6 with a 3.54 ERA in nine starts at Double-A Bowie before his promotion to Rochester on May 26. He's gone 10-4 with a 3.89 ERA in 19 games, including 18 starts, with the Red Wings.

Johnson reprimand expected

Though he hadn't read the quotes from Jason Johnson after Thursday's 15-0 loss to Oakland, Hargrove expects the pitcher to be fined for critical remarks aimed at umpire Tim Welke.

Johnson became furious with Welke's refusal to call strikes on any borderline pitches, and Hargrove was ejected after removing him from the game in the fifth inning and arguing on the right-hander's behalf.

This wasn't the first time that Johnson had some run-ins with Welke, and he did some venting afterward that most likely will get the attention of the commissioner's office.

"All I've got to say is, if he wants to quit, go ahead. Nobody's going to stop him," Johnson said. "He calls a game like he doesn't want to be out there. So don't even come to the ballpark if you don't want to play or if you don't want to call a good game."

Around the horn

Mel Proctor, the former play-by-play announcer for Orioles' broadcasts on Home Team Sports, returns for the first time in five years for today's game against Seattle on Fox Sports. ... The Mariners are expected to activate outfielder Jay Buhner from the DL before today's game. Buhner, out all season with an injured left arch, batted .389 with three homers and eight RBIs in seven games at Triple-A Tacoma. ... For the season, the Orioles are 38-43 with a .265 batting average and 4.8 runs scored per game with David Segui in the lineup. Without him, they're 17-36 with a .235 average and 3.7 runs scored.

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