It certainly was not the spot Sam Perlozzo wanted for Kurt Birkins, but with all his other options in the bullpen exhausted at that point, the Orioles' manager had no choice.
So, in a scoreless game in the 12th inning last night, Perlozzo summoned Birkins, who had not pitched to live hitters since an appearance in extended spring training March 30. The left-hander was one out away from escaping the inning unscathed before he threw a changeup to Detroit Tigers left fielder Craig Monroe that caught way too much of the plate.
Royals @Orioles Tonight, 7:05, MASN, 105.7 FM Starters: Royals' Gil Meche (1-1, 4.40) vs. Orioles' Steve Trachsel (0-0, 4.05)
Kansas City Royals@Orioles
Day Time TV Starters
Today 7:05 MASN Gil Meche (1-1, 4.40) vs. Steve Trachsel (0-0, 4.05) Tomorrow 7:05 MASN Brandon Duckworth (0-0, 0.00) vs. Erik Bedard (1-1, 6.94) Saturday 7:05 MASN Odalis Perez (0-2, 10.80) vs. Daniel Cabrera (1-1, 3.07) Sunday 1:35 13, MASN2 Zack Greinke (1-1, 1.38 ) vs. undecided
Radio: All games on 105.7 FM
Outfielder David DeJesus leads Royals regulars with a .378 batting average and is tied for the American League lead with 14 hits. Tony Pena Jr., acquired from Atlanta, is first in the AL with four triples. Third baseman Alex Gordon, 23, the second overall pick in the 2005 draft, started the season in a 1-for-22 slump, but he connected for his first major league home run against Toronto on Tuesday. Greinke, a one-time top prospect who will start Sunday, missed almost all of last season due to social anxiety disorder, but he has looked very sharp in two starts this season, allowing two earned runs in 13 innings. Closer Octavio Dotel is eligible to come off the disabled list this weekend, but he is more than a week away from being ready. David Riske will serve as closer in his absence.
(Through last night) BattersAvg.ABRH2B3BHRRBISBGerman.467150710031
De La Rosa113.552012.21348