The Orioles received a scare when pitcher Chris Smith, the seventh selection in the 2001 amateur draft, left Wednesday's start after facing only five batters because of pain in his surgically repaired left shoulder.
Smith was making his fourth start at short-season Single-A Aberdeen, and only his 11th appearance since signing with the Orioles. But he apparently dodged another serious injury.
Doc Rodgers, the Orioles' director of minor league operations, said Smith was bothered by some cramping in the shoulder. Manager Don Buford removed him from the game after being told of the discomfort.
"He's fine," Rodgers said. "I don't think it's anything more than a strain. It's minor."
Smith will miss his next start as a precaution, but Rodgers expects him to be available for his following turn.
"He just reported a little soreness [Thursday]," Rodgers said.
Smith is 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in 13 1/3 innings with the IronBirds.
In a span of four starts, John Maine went 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in 24 innings. ... Mike Fontenot hit safely in 12 of 14 games, batting .364 with eight doubles and 11 runs. He was tied for second in the International League with seven triples. ... Aaron Rakers hadn't allowed an earned run over 13 appearances covering 21 2/3 innings. He had 20 strikeouts.
Jacobo Sequea suffered only his second blown save Saturday in a 6-5, 10-inning loss to Binghamton. Sequea, who had 16 saves heading into the weekend, gave up three runs (two earned) and four hits in 1 1/3 innings. ... Keith Reed went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs Saturday. He was batting .311 in 63 games. ... Dave Trembley picked up his 1,200th win as a minor league manager Friday. ... Pitcher Scott Rice was added to the Southern Division for the Double-A All-Star Game, giving Bowie seven representatives. ... Dave Crouthers threw six shutout innings Friday, allowing two hits and striking out nine. ... Walter Young went into the weekend ranked third in the Eastern League with 21 homers and fifth with 59 RBIs.
B.J. Littleton was suspended for 15 days by Major League Baseball for testing positive for a banned muscle supplement. The suspension took effect July 6. ... Branden Florence homered twice Saturday in a 5-4 win over Lynchburg. ... Tripper Johnson was named the Carolina League's Player of the Month for June after batting .355 with eight homers and 23 RBIs in 25 games. He posted a .742 slugging percentage and .429 on-base percentage. ... Chris Ray left Friday's start in the sixth inning with a blister on his foot. ... Making his second start since being demoted from Bowie, Brian Finch allowed five runs in 2 2/3 innings in a 6-1 loss.
Adam Loewen has two wins in 13 games this season. He hasn't allowed an earned run in his victories, but has given up 25 in his other appearances. ... Nick Markakis was named the organization's Player of the Month for June after batting .375 with 21 RBIs in 22 games. ... Mike Russell hit his 11th homer in Saturday's 8-3 win over Charleston. ... Fredy Deza retired 22 of 23 batters in Wednesday's 3-2 win over Hickory. He allowed two runs and three hits in eight innings.
Aberdeen's Levi Robinson's 10-game hitting streak ended Friday. ... C.J. Smith homered Tuesday and went 3-for-3 the next night. ... Bluefield's Winer Mendez tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings Tuesday. ... Corey Shafer went 4-for-5 with a triple, homer and three runs scored Wednesday.