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For Orioles' Segui, injury to left wrist still not right

Still uncertain whether he will need surgery on his injured wrist, David Segui took early batting practice again yesterday before returning to the Orioles' bench for their game against the Minnesota Twins.

Segui tried hitting from the right side and continued to have discomfort in his left wrist.

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"He swung the bat pretty good," said manager Mike Hargrove, "but you could still tell that it was bothering him."

Segui can drive the ball while batting from the left side, which he has done for three straight days, but only because he doesn't need his top hand as much.

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"I can air it out left-handed," he said.

Segui, who is eligible to come off the disabled list Sunday, had surgery on the same wrist last year to repair a damaged tendon. The Orioles are listing his latest injury as a sprain, but they also concede that he again could undergo a season-ending procedure.

"We haven't been able to rule it out," Hargrove said.

Meanwhile, outfielder Marty Cordova will begin a throwing program tomorrow and attempt to swing a bat for the first time since having surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow.

Asked if he projected a September return for Cordova, Hargrove said, "We're not anticipating anything. We'll just see how he does."

Looking for win No. 1

Left-hander Eric DuBose, still searching for that elusive first major league win, will try to locate it without becoming too distracted by the Green Monster.

DuBose will start tomorrow during the doubleheader in Boston. It still hasn't been determined whether he'll pitch the first or second game.

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"I guess the first game would be good because I could get it over with," he said. "And a day game would make it harder for the hitters to see because of the glare."

DuBose moved into the rotation at Triple-A Ottawa this season and was 9-5 with a 3.39 ERA in 19 games. He didn't allow a run in three of his last five outings, going 3-1 with a 1.52 ERA in 29 2/3 innings.

"I'm just excited to go out there and get a spot start and get some innings," he said. "I still feel like I have a lot to prove, if not for this year, then for next year."

He was doing fine in the bullpen. DuBose hasn't surrendered a run in five relief appearances since his recall on July 22. He threw 32 pitches after replacing Damian Moss on Monday, shutting out the Twins over 2 1/3 innings.

"It was basically like a live side session," he said.

In his first start with the Orioles, DuBose allowed two runs in 6 1/3 innings against Kansas City on May 4. The Royals won, 4-0, but he left a lasting impression on the club and figures to compete for a job in the rotation next spring.

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"I threw a lot of first-pitch strikes," he said. "The first time through the lineup, I threw one first-pitch ball. When you're getting ahead, pitching becomes a lot easier."

If DuBose is to obtain that first big league win tomorrow, it will have to come at a hitter-friendly park, against a team that leads the majors in batting.

Cust makes appearance

It took awhile, but Jack Cust finally made an appearance with the Orioles this season, starting as the designated hitter last night and batting sixth against Minnesota right-hander Kyle Lohse.

Cust, who was 0-for-2, received his third promotion from Ottawa this season when Melvin Mora went on the disabled list Tuesday with a bruised right hand. He didn't get into a game until last night.

"When we've called him up, we've been very honest with him about what his role was," Hargrove said. "The last couple of times, it's been for a more temporary amount of time, and we advised him that there may be every chance that he doesn't get at-bats. And he's been fine.

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"He's worked hard when he's been there, and gone back and picked up where he left off. In fact, he's gotten better every time he's gone back. He's here and we'll give him some at-bats and hope we get some good production out of him."

Casanova signed

The Orioles have signed catcher Raul Casanova to a minor league contract and assigned him to Ottawa.

Casanova joined the Orioles last September and was released after the season. He was batting .301 at Triple-A Colorado Springs this year, with 20 doubles, four homers and 36 RBIs in 60 games.

Around the horn

Jeff Conine has been successful in his past 15 stolen base attempts, dating back to September 2001. ... All fans 14 and under attending today's game will receive a Jay Gibbons T-shirt.


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