Penn to start Thursday in place of DuBose


The Orioles will call up Hayden Penn, their top pitching prospect, from Double-A Bowie in time to make Thursday's start at Toronto in place of struggling left-hander Eric DuBose.

Penn, 20, was 2-2 with a 6.75 ERA in seven starts for the Orioles this season before he was returned to Bowie on July 1.

"We're going to bring him [in] and let him go this start," said Orioles interim manager Sam Perlozzo. "We're not going to let him go past that start. We'll see how it goes and then we'll see where we go from there. We're not going to say anything other than he will pitch one game and we'll decide which direction we're going to go."

In August, Penn was 3-1 with a 1.97 ERA for Bowie. The opposition hit just .157 against him during that time.

"He's been striking out some people, going deep into the game and pitching well," said Perlozzo, who said that he didn't think Penn was in over his head when he was with the Orioles earlier this season. "I thought when Hayden got the ball down in the zone and threw strikes that he could compete up here."

DuBose, who has allowed 14 hits and eight earned runs in his past two starts, will be back in the bullpen. Perlozzo said that Sunday's starter, John Maine, will remain in the rotation. Daniel Cabrera, who remains on the disabled list with a strained back, threw a side bullpen session on Sunday and reported no pain.

Cabrera will make a rehab start tomorrow at Double-A Bowie and could be back in the Orioles' rotation in time to start on Sept. 6.

Who's on first?

Rafael Palmeiro was the Orioles' clear-cut everyday first baseman before he began his suspension on Aug. 1 after failing a steroid test, but Perlozzo acknowledged yesterday that has changed and he will use a mixture of players at first until somebody gets hot.

Palmeiro has played in only six games since his return, slowed by a sprained ankle and a cold bat (he is just 2-for-22 after the suspension).

"If he swings the bat, he would be [the everyday first baseman]," Perlozzo said. "He's not different than anyone else we've been talking about."

Around the horn

Perlozzo called Sidney Ponson, who has been away from the team since Thursday night, the day of his arrest on drunken-driving charges, but had yet to talk to him as of yesterday afternoon. Ponson did leave Perlozzo a message, thanking the manager for his support. ... Tim Byrdak had his ailing left shoulder looked at by a team doctor, who determined that the reliever had no structural damage, just some tightness caused by fatigue.

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