Even in Florida sun, Williamson under weather

The Baltimore Sun

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. -- Orioles reliever Scott Williamson went as far as he could yesterday, retiring one batter, loading the bases and forcing in a run with a walk before manager Sam Perlozzo made a pitching change.

Nobody said it would be easy to retire major league hitters while recovering from bronchitis.

Williamson has been taking medication for the past three days. He didn't report to camp Monday and still wasn't at full strength yesterday when he took the mound.

After replacing reliever Jamie Walker to start the fifth inning, Williamson allowed a hit and walked three batters. His only out came on a strikeout.

Perlozzo went to the mound with one out and the bases loaded, returned to the dugout and had to summon John Parrish after Williamson walked Florida Marlins right fielder Cody Ross on four pitches.

"I tried to pitch through it and if it wasn't spring training I probably wouldn't have been out there, but I needed to get an inning in and get my pitches in," Williamson said before the Marlins completed a 5-1 victory over the Orioles.

Williamson expects to be recovered in two days.

Payton the man in left

When Jay Payton signed with the Orioles on Dec. 11, he expected to get his at-bats, no matter what moves the team made later. And Perlozzo indicated Tuesday that Payton will get the majority of starts in left field.

"I felt like, if I came in and did the things I was capable of doing, I'd get the majority of starts out there," Payton said.

"Everybody here's going to get at-bats. It's a competition, but it's not a competition. The good thing is, we've got some depth here. I can play all three spots, so there's going to be plenty of at-bats here."

No worries for Tejada

Miguel Tejada took batting practice and started at shortstop yesterday, removing any concerns after he left the complex Tuesday and was examined by a local doctor.

Tejada completed Tuesday's workout, but he complained of feeling a little flush after returning to the clubhouse. His blood pressure was slightly elevated, and the Orioles sent him for another reading and an electrocardiogram, which were normal.

"I'm fine. They say I don't have anything wrong with me," he said.

Around the horn

Jay Gibbons remained out of the lineup with a strained abdominal muscle, and he'll likely skip today's game against the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers. Gibbons said he could play, but the Orioles are being careful with the injury. ... Catcher Eli Whiteside had two passed balls yesterday.


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