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Surhoff's next stop may be DL

TORONTO — TORONTO - Orioles outfielder B.J. Surhoff was waiting to see how his leg responded to treatment yesterday before estimating how many games he'd miss.

Manager Mike Hargrove might already have a pretty good idea.

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Hargrove indicated yesterday that Surhoff could go on the disabled list after reinjuring his left quadriceps muscle Thursday in New York.

The injury first occurred as Surhoff was running to second base during a July 9 game in Seattle. He missed the last four games before the All-Star break, and two others once play resumed.

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Surhoff returned to the lineup last Saturday and responded by going 2-for-4 with three RBIs in an 8-4 win over Anaheim.

Surhoff was batting .481 with seven RBIs in his past seven games. He homered off Roger Clemens on Thursday before injuring himself while running to first base on a tapper to the mound in the fifth inning.

"We may DL him to get it over with," Hargrove said. "We gave him the four days off before the break and it really hasn't been right. It hasn't gotten better."

Only Surhoff's average is improving, but he sat on the bench last night while David Segui served as the designated hitter, going 1-for-3. Surhoff is receiving ice and electronic stimulation treatments.

"Hopefully it won't be too long. It seems like quads are a more difficult injury for me," he said.

"Injuries to me are always frustrating. The rest of my body feels good. I feel good at the plate. This is just a nagging injury."

"Anytime you pull a muscle," Hargrove said, "either it gets better or it gets worse. His has gotten worse."

Surhoff went on the disabled list May 4 with a strained right hamstring.

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Since being activated May 28, he's batted .378 (45-for-119).

Hentgen shows his stuff

Each time an Orioles starter makes an appearance this week, it's fair to wonder whether it could be his last before joining a new team.

Now it's Pat Hentgen's turn.

Hentgen opposes the organization that brought him to the majors in 1991, the year before Toronto won the first of two consecutive World Series titles.

Scouts will be watching him today, just as they do Sidney Ponson, Jason Johnson and Rick Helling.

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And more rumors will swirl.

"You read about it and hear about it," he said, "but when it comes down to it, you have no control over it. You just go out and try to pitch. Every time you pitch in this league, it's a showcase for the other teams because there are so many scouts in the stands."

The San Francisco Giants had a scout monitoring Johnson last night. These aren't just starts, they're auditions.

Surfing the Internet yesterday, Hentgen found his name listed among the pitchers drawing interest from the St. Louis Cardinals, who placed Matt Morris on the 15-day disabled list earlier this week with a fractured right index finger. Hentgen pitched for the Cardinals in 2000 after spending parts of nine seasons in Toronto.

"I don't know what's going to happen," he said. "I really haven't heard my name a lot. But you can't worry about things that are out of your control."

Hentgen has pitched once at SkyDome, in his final start last year, since the Blue Jays traded him to the Cardinals. Making only his fourth appearance after returning from ligament-transplant surgery in his right elbow, Hentgen allowed five runs in six innings in a 5-1 loss.

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"I definitely feel like my stuff now compared to how I was in September is a lot better," Hentgen said. "I felt a little awkward at first, but once I got the first out, it was just like any other start. I just remember getting hit around a little bit and not pitching that well.

"I'll try to change that."

A little insurance?

Rick Croushore, who hasn't pitched in the majors since 2000 with the Boston Red Sox, was added to Triple-A Ottawa's roster yesterday.

The Orioles signed Croushore as a free agent and sent him to the minor league complex in Sarasota, Fla., where he's been working out.

Croushore, who turns 33 next month, is 5-11 with 11 saves and a 4.88 ERA in three seasons with the Cardinals, Colorado Rockies and Red Sox. He appeared in 59 games with the Cardinals in 1999.

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Reaching for glory

Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts, who began the season at Triple-A Ottawa, ranks first in the American League among players with the highest percentage of games reaching base this season. He has failed only three times in 54 games (94.4 percent).

Roberts has lots of familiar company in the top five.

Luis Matos dropped to fourth, failing to reach for just the fourth time in 52 games last night (92.3).

And Melvin Mora is fifth at 91.5, reaching in 75 of 82 games, with a walk last night.

Kansas City's Mike Sweeney (93.5) and Cleveland's Milton Bradley (93.1) are second and third, respectively.

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Sainted newcomer

The Orioles signed outfielder Cory Harris from the independent St. Paul's Saints and assigned him to lower Single-A Delmarva.

Harris was batting .344 with the Saints. He's a former 40th-round draft pick of the New York Mets in 1999.

The Orioles reassigned Delmarva outfielder Josh McCurdy to short-season Aberdeen. McCurdy was batting .087 in seven games with the Shorebirds. He hit .167 in five previous games with Aberdeen.


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