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Surhoff joins Mora, Matos on the bench as injury list grows

DENVER — DENVER - First the losses started piling up for the Orioles. Now it's the injuries.

They entered last night's game against the Colorado Rockies without third baseman Melvin Mora or center fielder Luis Matos. Mora was out with a strained ligament in his left foot, and Matos was out with an injured rib cage.

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Then, in the fourth inning, left fielder B.J. Surhoff left the game with a strained left calf.

Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said he doesn't think Mora or Matos will have to go on the disabled list, but he couldn't be sure with Surhoff. And after the team's 5-3 loss, it was contemplating another roster move.

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Asked if he thought he was headed to the DL, Surhoff said, "I can't tell you anything right now. We'll see how it feels [today]."

Surhoff said he wasn't exactly sure how he hurt himself but he tweaked the calf when he ran out a ground ball in the first inning and then felt some serious pain when he ran out to his position in the third inning.

The Orioles did get some good news yesterday after Mora and Matos visited a local doctor. Both had magnetic resonance imaging exams, and neither injury appears to be serious.

Mora, who leads the team with a .354 batting average, strained a ligament in his left foot on Thursday night retreating to first base on a pickoff throw and had to leave the game in the first inning.

Matos injured his rib cage when he ran into the center-field wall trying to make a running catch on Lou Merloni's second-inning double Monday in Cleveland. He played all three games in Los Angeles this week but went hitless in 10 at-bats.

"I don't foresee putting them on the [disabled list]," Mazzilli said. "Hopefully, it's just a day or two [before they return], and we've got an off day Monday."

Still, it made for an interesting lineup last night, as Jerry Hairston made his first major league start at third base. He spent a full season at third base during his freshman year at Southern Illinois University, but hadn't played there since.

"Obviously we're a little short-handed right now," Mazzill said. "Two of our main guys are down, and it didn't come at an opportune time for us. But you've got to make do. You can't dwell on what you don't have."

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Newhan arrives

The Orioles added utility man David Newhan to their roster after he was released yesterday by the Texas Rangers, and he had an impressive debut, coming up as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning and drilling a homer 435 feet into the second deck in right field.

Newhan was hitting .328 with nine home runs and 38 RBIs for Triple-A Oklahoma, but he had a clause in his contract that would allow him to become a free agent if the Rangers didn't promote him to the big leagues by June 15.

Newhan, 30, hadn't played in the big leagues since 2001 with the Philadelphia Phillies. He missed the 2002 season recovering from shoulder surgery and is finally back to full strength.

To make room for Newhan, the Orioles sent right-handed hitting Jose Leon back to Triple-A Ottawa. They continue their search for another right-handed bat, but their talks with former first-round draft pick Jeffrey Hammonds are still on hold as he recovers from a thumb injury.

Bauer goes on DL

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The Orioles placed reliever Rick Bauer on the 15-day disabled list yesterday with a nerve irritation in his right elbow. They had tried optioning him to Ottawa, but with this injury, the option will be voided.

Bauer gave up six runs in 1 2/3 innings on Monday, raising his ERA to 6.61.


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