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O's Matos day-to-day with injury to wrist

OAKLAND, CALIF. — OAKLAND, Calif. -- Orioles center fielder Luis Matos was listed as day-to-day yesterday after getting hit with a fastball on the left wrist Tuesday night and spending several moments on the ground in the 12th inning, writhing in pain.

Matos went to a local hospital to have X-rays taken, and no bones were broken, but the ball left a deep bruise, and he wasn't able to swing a bat yesterday.

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Asked when he thinks he'll be able to return, Matos said, "Maybe the ice will help with the swelling, and we'll see [today]."

With Matos unavailable in center field, Orioles manager Mike Hargrove turned to rookie Tim Raines Jr., inserting him in the ninth spot of the batting order and moving shortstop Deivi Cruz up to second.

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Orioles executive vice president Jim Beattie said there are no plans to rush Melvin Mora back from his minor league rehabilitation assignment before rosters expand from 25 to 40 on Monday, so the team will have to make do with Raines unless Matos makes a quick recovery.

Mora, who has a bruised right hand injury, played center field and went 1-for-4 last night for Double-A Bowie. Second baseman Jerry Hairston (broken right foot) went 1-for-3.

Even without the injury, Matos has been struggling of late with four hits in his past 35 at-bats, and his average has dropped from .327 to .306.

A year ago, the Orioles had several players slump toward the end of the season, perhaps because of fatigue, and before last night, Matos had played in 83 of the team's 85 games since his promotion from Triple-A Ottawa on May 23.

"I'm just struggling at the plate right now," Matos said, dismissing the fatigue factor. "I don't want to pinpoint on one thing. I know I'm going to get it back before the season's over."

Two other regulars who seem to be battling fatigue include Brian Roberts, who entered last night with three hits in his past 27 at-bats, and Tony Batista, who had nine hits in 59 at-bats.

Hargrove currently has no alternatives for Batista at third base, but he said he was planning on giving Roberts a day off yesterday, until Matos went down. With those two out, it would have left the team decidedly thin atop the order.

Traveling smart

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Jason Johnson flew to the Bay Area several hours ahead of his teammates on Monday, allowing him to get some rest for Tuesday's start. The Orioles had to play a night game at Yankee Stadium and didn't get to their downtown San Francisco hotel until about 4 a.m.

The A's didn't have it much better, playing a night game in Toronto before flying home. They landed at the airport about 30 minutes ahead of the Orioles.

"Whoever approved this schedule, I don't know, it's the stupidest thing I've ever seen," Johnson said. "I felt pretty rested, and I knew I needed to go out there and give them a great start because I knew those guys were tired."

Johnson was solid, holding the Athletics to one run on five hits in seven innings, but he wound up with his third straight no-decision.

Bedard strong again

Making his second injury rehab start at short-season Aberdeen, left-hander Erik Bedard struck out nine over 3 2/3 innings in Tuesday's 8-7, 13-inning win over Staten Island. Bedard, who underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow last year, allowed one run and three hits, with one walk, before reaching his pitch limit.

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Bedard has allowed two runs and seven hits in two games at Aberdeen, covering 7 2/3 innings. He has walked one and struck out 13. Bedard appeared in three games in the Gulf Coast League, allowing one run and four hits in eight innings.

Around the horn

Omar Daal (left shoulder tendinitis) tired slightly at the end of a simulated game yesterday but remained on track to make a rehabilitation start for Aberdeen on Monday. ... Kurt Ainsworth (broken right shoulder blade) threw nothing but fastballs in his first session from a mound, but Hargrove said "it was very impressive."

Sun staff writer Roch Kubatko contributed to this article.


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