Gibbons could return from rehab stint today

With his injury rehab assignment nearing completion, the Orioles could activate outfielder Jay Gibbons for today's game and take him on the six-day road trip that begins tomorrow at Anaheim.

Gibbons went 2-for-11 with a homer and five RBIs at Single-A Frederick before the Orioles transferred him to Double-A Bowie. Gibbons got his first hit with the Baysox on Saturday before going 0-for-3 with a walk yesterday. He has been alternating between the outfield and designated hitter.


"We'll see how today goes," manager Lee Mazzilli said.

Gibbons went on the disabled list June 29 with a partial tear in his hip flexor. He rehabbed for 3 1/2 weeks before rejoining the Orioles July 30 in New York, where team officials watched him run and take fly balls.


Also bothered this season by lower-back pain, Gibbons spent part of his rehab time in Los Angeles strengthening the area.

Gibbons is batting .223 with six homers and 28 RBIs in 53 games. He was 6-for-45 (.133) in 14 games before returning to the DL.

Gibbons gives the Orioles another left-handed-hitting outfielder, adding to the surplus.

Larry Bigbie continues to play left field and B.J. Surhoff has started four of the past five games in right. David Newhan also can play the outfield, though he has been used more as the DH in recent weeks.

Karim Garcia sat out for the third straight day because of a sore right heel.

As for dispensing at-bats to all those outfielders, Mazzilli said, "We're just going to go with the hot hand and play the guys who can help us win."

Surhoff is sizzling

Surhoff has hit safely in nine of his past 10 games with an at-bat, going 15-for-38 (.395) since coming off the DL July 27. He contributed a two-run double and a single yesterday.


"Before I was hurt, I was feeling real good at the plate, but I also was driving the ball better," said Surhoff, who missed about five weeks with a strained calf.

"I'm having good at-bats and getting hits, which is positive, but I've got to start driving the ball a little more. But I'm not complaining about the results."

Or the playing time. Surhoff is getting regular at-bats after struggling to get in the lineup early this season.

"I think it's proven that my results are better when I play all the time," he said. "That's the case with a lot of guys."

But how much longer will he play?

He has had to settle for minor league contracts the past two winters, signing late and making the team out of spring training.


"Hopefully I don't have to go the same route," he said. " ... I don't know what's going to happen. I'm just worrying about finishing out the season and playing strong."

Having celebrated his 40th birthday Wednesday, and with four kids at home, Surhoff is beginning to feel the tug of retirement. But it's not coming from his family, which supports his desire to play.

"The tug is there, absolutely," he said, "but it comes from me thinking about it."

That's the ticket

Because of a power outage yesterday at Camden Yards, which didn't allow the Orioles to print out tickets, the club had to get a little creative with walk-up and will-call requests. The Orioles sold available upper-deck seats for the general admission price of $5.