Hot-hitting Scott happy he's not being left out

The Baltimore Sun

CHICAGO -- Orioles outfielder Luke Scott has said all along that he simply needed an opportunity to hit left-handed pitching and he would prove that he was more than capable of playing every day.

Orioles manager Dave Trembley has started Scott against four of the past six left-handed pitchers the O's have faced, including last night against Chicago Cubs southpaw Ted Lilly. Entering last night, Scott was 4-for-11 against lefties during that stretch with a double, triple, homer and three RBIs. That has raised his average to .220 against lefties this season.

Then Scott went 2-for-3 against Lilly.

"With anything in life, if you don't have much experience at it, it's kind of hard," Scott said. "The more you do something, the better you're going to get at it. The more I face lefties, the better I'm going to get hitting them."

Trembley had Scott in the lineup just three of the first 15 times that the Orioles opposed a left-handed starter. But before the series against the Pittsburgh Pirates this month in which the Orioles faced three left-handed starters, Trembley said the club was prepared to take a better look at Scott against southpaws.

Last night, he started in left field and Jay Payton played center, with Adam Jones beginning the night on the bench.

"I like what I've seen, plus the fact that these guys got to play," Trembley said. "With the way the schedule is, we're going to play the Nationals, and they're throwing lefties against us. ... . You just put guys in there and give them an opportunity and show confidence. I think [Scott is] a good hitter. With a guy that is a good hitter, it doesn't matter who is pitching, right or left."

No doubt about it

In the Orioles' 7-5 win in the series opener Tuesday, closer George Sherrill became only the sixth pitcher in baseball history to earn a save by striking out the final three batters of the game with the bases loaded, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

It was the second straight time Sherrill has loaded the bases in the ninth inning and gotten out of it without allowing a run.

Sherrill has 26 saves, but in only 10 of them has he closed the game out without allowing a base runner. In his saves, Sherrill, who secured four of his first five saves without putting on a runner, has allowed one base runner seven times; two, six times; and three, three times. After getting out of the jam Tuesday, Sherrill admitted that he focuses more with men on base.

"I think it's just being lazy - mentally and physically, just not concentrating on mechanics," he said. "You see a bunch of pitches sail high and aren't even close. Eventually, you've got to trust your stuff and just concentrate. I guess it takes bases loaded with nobody out to do it. I think I'm concentrating, but I guess I'm not concentrating enough."

His teammates are starting to get used to the drama. They have coined the phrase "Never a doubt Georgie," and that's repeated to the pitcher after they go through the handshake line after Sherrill closes a game.

Asked if he believes them, Sherrill smiled and said, "They might have doubts, yeah."

Around the horn

Shortstop Freddie Bynum has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. ... Adam Loewen pitched another scoreless inning for Double-A Bowie on Tuesday and was scheduled to throw again last night. He'll throw again Saturday for Triple-A Norfolk, after which the Orioles will make a decision on his status. ... Rule 5 reliever Randor Bierd (right shoulder impingement) will continue his rehabilitation program tonight for Single-A Frederick.

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