Loewen eager to take cuts

The Baltimore Sun

Most important to Adam Loewen, the Orioles rallied to win Thursday night's game against the Chicago White Sox. But the left-hander really wanted a chance to bat in the 10th inning.

The Orioles ran out of bench players, so manager Dave Trembley sent Aubrey Huff to play third base and shifted Melvin Mora to shortstop. Closer George Sherrill was scheduled to bat before Adam Jones singled to drive in the winning run, but he never would have made it to the plate.

Trembley wanted a more experienced hitter in that situation, so Loewen and Steve Trachsel began getting loose. Loewen took some swings off the pitching machine and hoped to get into the game.

"I have a lot of confidence for someone who hasn't hit in five years," he said, grinning.

"I don't think Steve was swinging. He was just ready to go."

Loewen batted .353 with 38 RBIs in 45 games as a first baseman at Chipola (Fla.) Junior College when he wasn't pitching. He still hits off a tee once in a while to stay ready.

Bynum going seven

Utility player Freddie Bynum, recovering from surgery on his right knee, is scheduled to play seven innings in his next game at extended spring training. He hasn't gone beyond five since being cleared to take the field.

Bynum has been used at shortstop, but he's expected to start moving to different positions.

Meanwhile, Alex Cintron has been activated and joined Triple-A Norfolk. Trembley said he isn't sure how Cintron's presence will affect Scott Moore's opportunities at shortstop.

"I don't think Scott Moore was going to play every day at shortstop, anyway," Trembley said.

Reliever Fernando Cabrera, who underwent surgery on his right elbow over the winter to clean out debris, is scheduled to pitch Tuesday at extended spring training.

Markakis counsels

Anyone questioning whether Nick Markakis is ready to take on a leadership role should have seen him counseling Guillermo Quiroz before the ninth inning of Thursday's game.

Markakis called to Quiroz as the Orioles' backup catcher was heading to the on-deck circle to lead off the ninth, and they had a brief discussion before White Sox closer Bobby Jenks threw his first pitch. Quiroz reached on an infield hit and later scored.

"I saw that," Trembley said, noting that Markakis also held court with some of the younger hitters, including Jones.

"Nick was helping some of the guys with some of these pitchers. Nick's quiet, but Nick's very sharp. He's a ballplayer, plain and simple. And a good one."


Sun reporter Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this article.

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