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For O's Tejada, patience is no virtue

LOS ANGELES — LOS ANGELES - Orioles hitting coach Terry Crowley doesn't want Miguel Tejada to change a thing.

Crowley realizes Tejada is a free swinger at the plate, and when the shortstop goes into a slump like the 3-for-28 skid he took into last night's game, everyone screams for Tejada to be more patient.

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"That's his game," Crowley said. "I was talking to him today, and he's got to stay aggressive. When he tries to back off a little bit and get a really good pitch to hit, there's no chance for something spectacular to happen. If he's aggressive, gets his front foot down on time, good things will happen more often than not."

Tejada's production has tailed off recently, and he entered last night batting just .238 with runners in scoring position. But he's still off to a much better start than last year, when he hit just .176 over his first 32 games and .305 the rest of the way.

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"I'm fine," Tejada said. "I just had a bad week."

Tejada came out for early batting practice yesterday - four hours before game time - determined to swing his way out of his rut.

Crowley, the former Minnesota Twins hitting coach, said Tejada reminds him of Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett.

"The determination is there," Crowley said. "I think he takes it a little too hard. He's upset as anybody that we haven't been winning as a team and he hasn't been contributing. He's going to bounce out of it."

Bauer to be examined

After reporting soreness in his right shoulder, Rick Bauer will see Orioles physician Dr. Charles Silberstein today in Baltimore. Bauer was sent to Triple-A Ottawa after giving up six runs in 1 2/3 innings on Monday in Cleveland, raising his ERA to 6.61.

The Orioles couldn't hear the ringer on their bullpen phone that day, and Bauer only had one at-bat to warm up before replacing Eric DuBose.

"I wouldn't want to think that [hurt Bauer's shoulder]," said Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli. "That's just an unfortunate circumstance. We talked to the umpire to get him a little extra time [to warm up]."

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Team signs Newhan

The Orioles signed Texas Rangers infield prospect David Newhan last night to give them another left-handed bat off the bench, and he'll be in uniform tonight when they begin a three-game series in Colorado.

Newhan's contract with the Rangers allowed him to choose free agency if he wasn't called up to the big leagues this week. He entered yesterday batting .331 for Triple-A Oklahoma and was leading the Pacific Coast League in triples (six) and runs (56) and was 10-for-10 in stolen base attempts.

Newhan, the son of Ross Newhan, a Hall of Fame baseball writer with the Los Angeles Times, plays first base, second base and third base. A corresponding roster move was expected after last night's game.

Hannaman needs surgery

Ryan Hannaman, one of three pitchers the Orioles received in the trade that sent Sidney Ponson to the San Francisco Giants last year, underwent a magnetic resonance imaging exam that showed damage to his left labrum and rotator cuff.

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Silberstein recommended surgery, and Hannaman plans to see Anaheim Angels team physician Dr. Lewis Yocum before having the procedure done.

The trade has yet to produce as the Orioles had hoped. Damian Moss flopped last season and the Orioles turned him loose last winter, and Kurt Ainsworth recently underwent right elbow surgery.

Mazzilli, Lopez meet again

One day after saying he didn't think he was being treated fairly, Rodrigo Lopez walked into Mazzilli's office yesterday for a closed-door meeting. Mazzilli pulled Lopez from the starting rotation and put him back in the bullpen on Tuesday.

"Obviously he wants to start; I can understand that," Mazzilli said. "The bottom line is what it does for the team."

Lopez entered last night's game in the sixth inning. He quickly surrendered a 3-1 lead, giving up a two-run homer to Jason Grabowski.


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