O's might dangle thriving reliever Bradford in trade

The Baltimore Sun

With the non-waiver trade deadline approaching and contenders looking to bolster their bullpens, Orioles reliever Chad Bradford is shaping up as an attractive trade candidate - though such a move has become less likely since closer Chris Ray went on the disabled list.

Bradford, 32, has posted a 2.90 ERA and surrendered only one run in eight appearances this month.

Dealt twice in his career, Bradford isn't letting the trade speculation distract him. He signed a three-year contract in November and continues to approach each day as though he'll remain with the Orioles.

"I don't have any control over that," he said. "I've been through this several times. I just go out and pitch."

The 10-year veteran is one of several Orioles relievers who have been pitching well lately.

Rob Bell, Jamie Walker and Paul Shuey combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings yesterday before rookie Cory Doyne allowed two runs in the ninth in a 10-7 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Huff shines at third

Aubrey Huff emulated Brooks Robinson by hitting for the cycle last month. Now, he's doing a pretty good impression of the Hall of Fame third baseman in the field.

Huff got his eighth start at third Wednesday night and made a diving stop and throw in the second inning to rob Devil Rays shortstop Brendan Harris of a hit.

Huff's versatility has helped the Orioles get through a rash of injuries that have removed both starters from the left side of their infield. With shortstop Miguel Tejada expected to return tonight against the New York Yankees, Huff hopes the team can continue to build on its recent success.

"It's been good to see," he said. "Hopefully, we can finish strong."

Suspended game finish

The Orioles will give fans an appetizer tonight, offering the conclusion of the June 28 suspended game against the Yankees before playing the scheduled game.

The Yankees led 8-6 in the eighth inning when rain forced the suspension. Derek Jeter stood at second base after driving in the go-ahead runs.

Because the Orioles' roster has undergone significant changes, catcher Ramon Hernandez won't be forced to play first base, with Chris Gomez moving to third after Melvin Mora's ejection. Tejada is expected to play shortstop. Brandon Fahey could move from shortstop to third, or Luis Hernandez could replace Mora.

Interim manager Dave Trembley must decide on a pitcher because Ray, who gave up Jeter's hit, is on the DL.

Ray to be examined further

The Orioles are attempting to schedule an arthrogram for Ray in which dye would be injected into his elbow to more easily detect any loose bodies, fractures or tears.

Ray is listed as having a sprained medial ligament. A magnetic resonance imaging Monday revealed a bone spur, but the Orioles aren't certain how long it has existed or whether it has become detached.

Ray will undergo a three-week rest and rehabilitation program before starting a throwing program that could last two to three weeks.

Another injured pitcher, Jaret Wright, has started the fourth week of a throwing program.

patrick.gutierrez@baltsun.com roch.kubatko@baltsun.com

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