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Foot injury kicks Mora out of lineup again

The Orioles are giving third baseman Melvin Mora another day to get healthy.

Mora wasn't in the lineup again last night after straining a ligament in his left foot during Thursday's game in Los Angeles. He ran Tuesday and was given yesterday off before testing it again today.

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"He's better than he was yesterday," Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said.

"You're always cautious with an injury. You want to make sure when you come back, especially with him being such a big part of the offense, that we don't lose him for a longer period of time. You don't want to make it worse than it is."

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David Newhan made another start at third base last night and batted second. He was 4-for-5 and is now 9-for-16 (.563) with a home run, six runs scored, an .875 slugging percentage and a .632 on-base percentage since joining the Orioles on Friday.

Newhan underwent surgery in June 2001 to repair a torn labrum, and had another procedure in September 2002 to repair a torn rotator cuff.

"I couldn't ask for a better way to come back. It's a blast, it's been great," he said. "It was a long road, but it's great to be back."

Meanwhile, Larry Bigbie stayed in the lineup after leaving Tuesday's game in the fourth inning because of cramping in his right calf muscle. He received heat treatments before batting practice.

"Whenever you have cramps there's a little bruising, but it's nothing major," he said.

Bigbie was limping in the clubhouse yesterday, but only because of the treatment. The cramps apparently had subsided.

"It was just continuous," he said. "It wasn't like I couldn't walk or anything like that. I was fine sitting down, but I'd go to my position and it would start grabbing on me. It was just one of those things where if you can't get it out, there's nothing you can do for it.

"It's kind of like when you're sleeping and you get those cramps. It would jump around a little bit, jump around and then grab."

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Bigbie figured he was in trouble while trying to field a run-scoring single by Miguel Cairo in the third inning. He chased it awkwardly and sensed the pain would only get worse.

"That was the first ball that was really hit to me, and that's when I knew I was going to have problems moving after the ball," he said. "I knew then that with a quick action it was going to grab, and I'd probably have to say something."

Back in the rotation

As Rodrigo Lopez prepares for Saturday's start against the Atlanta Braves, he no longer is braced for the possibility of returning to the bullpen. This time, he's fairly certain the Orioles are keeping him in the rotation.

That's how Mazzilli explained it to him Tuesday, and it brought a sense of comfort to Lopez.

"I'm really excited to be back in the rotation. I'm happy, and I just can't wait for my next start," he said. "It motivates me to be better day by day."

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Lopez has been more effective in relief, but he allowed three runs and walked four in 1 1/3 innings Tuesday night after replacing John Parrish.

"That was my worst outing of the season. I was doing everything right, but I wasn't hitting my spots," he said. "I'm going to put that behind me and look forward."

Around the horn

Orioles trainer Richie Bancells has been named to the American League All-Star Game staff for the second time, joining Texas Rangers trainer Ray Ramirez. Bancells also worked the 1993 game at Camden Yards. ... Orioles pitchers have issued 320 walks in 67 games. The major league record is 827 by the 1915 Philadelphia Athletics.


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