Adam Loewen, who signed a $4 million contract with the Orioles as their 2002 first-round draft pick, missed his final start of the season for Single-A Frederick last night with a left shoulder injury, saying he hopes it's nothing serious.
Loewen, 20, left his previous start on Saturday after feeling a pinch on the front of his pitching shoulder. He was examined this week in Frederick and was still sore yesterday, so the plan is to have him see Orioles physician Dr. Charles Silberstein next week in Baltimore, where he'll likely undergo a magnetic resonance imaging exam.
"I guess I'm a little worried, but I really believe it's nothing major," Loewen said last night in Frederick. "It felt like a pulled hamstring."
Loewen went 4-5 with a 4.11 ERA at Single-A Delmarva before getting promoted to Frederick last month. He tossed five shutout innings for Frederick in his first start but left the second one after tweaking the shoulder and giving up six runs in three innings.
"It came out of nowhere," Loewen said. "My shoulder and arm felt great all year."
Frederick's players underwent season-ending physical exams this week, and despite the injury, Loewen showed no signs of lost strength in the shoulder, Orioles minor league director Doc Rodgers said.
In recent starts, Loewen's fastball was clocked from 92 to 95 mph.
"He felt a pinch is how he described it," Rodgers said. "It's still a little sore, but there really isn't much there. We'll follow up before he leaves Baltimore."
The Orioles were planning to send Loewen to the Arizona Fall League, but that will depend on how the shoulder recovers.
"I think I'll still go," Loewen said, "if everything looks all right."
Rafael Palmeiro started at first base yesterday for the second time in the series, leaving him 21 appearances short of having a $4.5 million option kick in for next season. He went 2-for-5 with two RBIs in the Orioles' 13-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
The only game Palmeiro missed came Wednesday night with left-hander Mark Hendrickson starting for Tampa Bay.
Manager Lee Mazzilli declined to project how many starts Palmeiro would make in the field this weekend. All three starters for the New York Yankees in the series are right-handed.
"Ask me tomorrow when the lineup comes out," Mazzilli said.
Segui: no problems
Though he didn't start yesterday, David Segui got through Wednesday's game without any problems related to his surgically repaired left knee.
Appearing in his first game since April 24, Segui had two hits and scored a run. The Orioles activated him from the disabled list earlier in the day.
"He feels good today," Mazzilli said. "It was very big to find out his recovery, how he was going to be the next day, especially playing on turf."
Mazzilli said the switch-hitting Segui won't play exclusively against left-handers.
The Orioles wasted no time leaving the state of Florida yesterday and staying ahead of Hurricane Frances.
About 2.5 million Florida residents have been told to evacuate, and the Orioles were glad to board their charter flight for New York's La Guardia Airport.
As if the team needed more weather-related issues, with eight postponements this season and countless delays.
"If anyone's had bad weather, it's been us," Mazzilli said. "Nobody's had it worse."
The dugout was probably a safe place for Tim Raines Jr. yesterday. As long as he stayed away from Tino Martinez.
Martinez took exception to Raines bunting in the sixth inning of Wednesday's game with the Orioles leading 3-0. He shouted at the Orioles center fielder to swing the bat, and Devil Rays reliever Chad Gaudin drilled Raines in the right calf in the ninth inning.
Raines and Martinez were out of the lineup yesterday.
"I guess it was a misunderstanding," said Raines, who replaced Larry Bigbie in center field in the seventh inning yesterday. "He said a few words as I was running to first. It caught me off guard. My dad played with him on the Yankees. I didn't know what to do."
Raines doesn't believe Gaudin's pitch was aimed at him. "I talked to a few guys on their team, and they said that had nothing to do with it," he said.
Christensen reported from Frederick. Kubatko reported from St. Petersburg, Fla.