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Doubleheader set for today


The Orioles and Philadelphia Phillies will play a day-night doubleheader today after last night's game was postponed because of rain.

Erik Bedard will face Cole Hamels at 1:35 p.m., and Kris Benson will pitch against Scott Mathieson at 7:05 p.m. Tickets from last night can be used for the day game, and Comcast SportsNet will televise both games.

With more rain possible, Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said the team will wait to see what happens before deciding how to proceed with the rotation. There won't be an issue until Sunday, when either Bedard or Benson would have to pitch on three days' rest or the team would need to use a spot starter.

Ryan Madson will start for the Phillies tomorrow, as previously scheduled starter Brett Myers left the team to deal with matters related to being charged with striking his wife in Boston last week.

Conine hopes HR is start

Jeff Conine's ninth-inning home run Sunday afternoon did little for the game's outcome, but it may have been valuable to the veteran, who is trying to break out of a season-long struggle at the plate.

"You're just constantly tinkering with your stance, and I found something that felt comfortable," Conine said yesterday. "When you're comfortable, you see the ball better."

Conine entered this past weekend with just nine hits in June - only two for extra bases - but he went 4-for-7 starting both Saturday and Sunday.

Looking to find better run production against left-handed pitching, Perlozzo had Conine hitting sixth yesterday before the rainout.

"He looks like he's swinging the bat a lot better," Perlozzo said. "He doesn't look fooled like he was, or hesitant. He's taking good, hard swings on pitches, and I'm sure the hits help. He's been working hard trying to get going, and we certainly need him."

A career .286 hitter, Conine is batting .239 with six home runs and 20 RBIs.

"Since Day One it's been frustrating," said Conine, who turned 40 yesterday. "When you don't hit like you know you're capable of, it's always frustrating. I've had a couple good games. You just build on that and ride it as long as you can."

Fasano returns

Sal Fasano returns to Camden Yards with the Phillies this week, and the catcher said he has mixed emotions about coming back to Baltimore, where he played 64 games last season.

"It's part of the game to go different places to try to further your career, but it is weird to the sense that I loved it here," Fasano said.

Fasano quickly became popular with his teammates and the fans after joining the Orioles from Triple-A Ottawa on May 11. Despite thinking he would return this season, Fasano realized the team had no need for him with the addition of free-agent catcher Ramon Hernandez.

"It's a good thing that I did go somewhere else," said Fasano, who has received the bulk of the Phillies' catching duties with Mike Lieberthal injured.

Mora ready to go

After asking for a day off Sunday, Melvin Mora (sore left knee) was back on the lineup card yesterday and said he felt ready to play. He joked that despite having a scheduled day off Monday, there wasn't much time for rest.

"I don't have a day off," he said. "I have six kids in the house."

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